Managed operator Mitchells & Butlers (M&B) is to open its first ever Premium Country Dining (PCD) gastro-pub in a city centre - in a site operated as a discount Goose venue at one stage, writes Paul Charity.

The company has around 60 up-market PCD sites, which tend to be located in affluent towns and their suburbs or rural destination sites.

It is set to convert the Red Lion in Oxford’s Gloucester Street to the format with a re-opening set for late February.

The company has just opened a PCD on Epping high street and has a venue, the King William IV on Chigwell high street in Essex that has high drinks volumes. But the Oxford site is the first venture into a city centre.

A source said: “It’s got a very large garden and is quite close to the theatre in Oxford - it’s going to be lovely.”

The building dates back to the early 20th century, when it replaced an earlier Red Lion. It later took the name Oxford Bakery and Brewhouse, becoming the Fuggle and Firkin in 1995 before changing to The Goose five years later. The pub returned to its original name in 2008 under Mitchell and Butlers.

Two Wetherspoon sites have opened nearby in recent years and one local told local media that the venues “seem to have taken that particular part of the market”.