Just two mates from Oxfordshire who are passionate about drink!


“The Keep” is the smallest bar in Wallingford with the biggest selection.

Choose from over 70 gins, dozens of craft beers, ales, ciders and wine. As a freehold, we love nothing more than to sell local booze and rotate our offering to reflect the best that Oxfordshire has to offer.

From the Cotswolds to California, from Cornwall to Croatia we have what people are talking about, or maybe what they should be talking about.

How it all began

Rob and Sam played cricket and worked together in a pub long before they were business partners.

After University and a few uninspiring jobs they decided to start something together and in the Summer of 2015 the idea for ‘The Keep’ was born from the ashes of a neglected, empty shop front in Wallingford. Working with a mentor from the Prince’s Trust, they opened a record store with Wallingford’s favourite DJ; Richard Strange whilst they waited for a license to sell alcohol.

After a long awaited few months of waiting for that license to go through, Wallingford finally opened its gates to a new pub in May 2016. The Keep on Castle Street was born.

A long winter

All was going swimmingly at Keep HQ until February 2020 when news began to cover our headlines regarding the spread of COVID-19. In March, The Keep was forced to close its doors indefinitely, and the future of all of the countries pubs was uncertain. Rob & Sam didn’t sit on their laurels though. There was stock to sell and beer was going off, so, they decided to do a door to door drinks service… dressed as flamingos… riding bikes. 

The idea seemed simple to Rob & Sam, why let all your beer go out of date when there are thirsty residents with no pub to go to. It turned out to be recognised across the whole of Oxfordshire, making the front page of all local newspapers and even the NHS Nightingale newsletter. 

From Flamingo...

Eventually, retail opened up and there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Social distancing and mask wearing was in full force but even so, Sam and Rob decided to completely shift the business structure and turn The Keep into an off-license. All tables and chairs were removed and shelves were brought in to hold hundreds of bottles of gin, rum, tequila, and many many cans of craft beer. We quickly became known as the new place to buy great quality craft beers from all over the country. Deya, Verdant, Cloudwater, Track, Pomona Island and a load more breweries packed the shelves and still to this day, we sell cans to drink in or take-away. We also started up a gin club that had over 150 local members, each receiving a monthly box of goodies.

...to Pig

This innovative move ended up being the best decision they ever made. It kept The Keep on the map during very hard times, and more importantly, it paid the bills and kept it alive and ready to re-open as a pub again in October 2021. COVID-19 was an awful experience and to this day, the country is still suffering in some way. But it did give the boys an opportunity to do something different, to gain some experience in the off-license world and in the end, to open up another venue, a restaurant this time. Partnering up with local chef Aimee Hunt; Five Little Pigs of Wallingford opened in May 2021.

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