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Oscar’s Wine Bar, Stirling: ★★★★★

5 mins read

Oscar’s Wine and Cocktail Bar possesses the ambience of a sunny holiday abroad; tables with big umbrellas, surrounded by foliage and endless amounts of bright light. It makes a change from dreary Scotland. 

Situated in Stirling’s Arcade, Oscar’s has transformed the space into the first bar in Stirling that specialises in both wine and cocktails.

It is the perfect fit for the restored 19th-century building. The grand architecture is adorned with string lights and big lanterns, creating a warm glow below the skylight and the centrepiece is a magical archway table. 

 Brig spoke to Nichola O’Neill, one of Oscar’s owners.

 “Oscar’s is modern dining with a relaxed feel. We want people to feel as if they’re abroad and in the sun, while also taking the pomp out of a wine bar. We want people to try new things.”

“Our food offering is different. We also have the atrium space, so the out and in appeal.”

“My mum had bars when I was growing up. I worked in hospitality through uni and after. My partner and business partner are also part of the industry, so we all have a background in hospitality.”

“I worked here in the Arcade for ten years, and I’ve always said if run properly something like this might do well. So, when there was available space, we decided ‘Let’s go for it!’. My business partner was in Alicante at the time, in tapa and wine bars. It was the meeting of two minds.”

“Oscar is my youngest child. We had a hard time having him so the naming it Oscar’s represents that anything is possible.”

The bar is small and leads to the inside seating area, home to an apt “Goodbye 2020” sign. The dark colours and decor give it a sophisticated feel. 

Credit: Isla Glen/Brig

Oscar’s held a soft opening on June 5th and was fully open on the 6th. O’Neill said: 

“Opening week has surpassed our expectations, which in this climate we are delighted with. We have had lots of support from locals and all the feedback is positive. So, overall a good week.”

“Oscar’s is for everyone. I had a customer say to me the other day that she could bring her mum or her granny but could also come here and have fun with her friends, which I think sums up what we are going for.”

“I think Stirling is crying out for somewhere nice to go, with good food, a nice environment and service. We hope to bring people to Stirling and keep it local at the same time.”

Oscar’s food menu contains small plates, buns and dawgs, platters and classics. 

I ordered the pan-fried halloumi with red chilli, walnut and basil pesto from the small plates menu. It had the perfect chew and a divine combination of flavours. 

Alongside my halloumi heaven, I enjoyed a Pure Dawg. This was a Brigston hot dog with red onion jam, confit tomato ketchup and mustard. It arrived beautifully presented with the perfect ratio of sauce, dog and bun. Although tricky to eat – like most hot dogs – I savoured every mouthful. 

With my food, I enjoyed ice-cold water and the Sauvignon Glaswegin Spritz cocktail, which is the perfect summer drink; refreshing, sweet and Insta-worthy. 

In the future, Oscar’s plans to grow its brand and concept. Currently, they are pursuing live music and growing their menu.

If you enjoy attentive and friendly service, delectable food and moreish cocktails, and a bright atmosphere, Oscar’s is the perfect place to go. 

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