Chester Zoo’s award-winning gastro pub is extending its opening hours due to ‘phenomenal demand’

This place is becoming an attraction all of its own.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 8th May 2024

Chester Zoo’s much-loved restaurant, The Oakfield, is set to extend its opening hours for the rest of the year following what they have described as ‘phenomenal demand’ from the public.

The award-winning gastro pub situated within the zoo’s grounds has been popular with visitors and Cheshire locals in general ever since it was lovingly restored in 2018, with footfall increasing as park numbers also continue to climb.

A Grade II listed building, The Oakfield was actually first opened all the way back in 1931 by Chester Zoo‘s founder, George Mottershead, and once housed everything from lions, bears, chimpanzees, pelicans, parrots and more.

Cut to today and it’s simply home to good food, a great drinks selection and wonderful service in line with Chester Zoo’s equally high standards when it comes to animal welfare and conservation – and now the restaurant is giving guests what they want be opening on additional days and for longer.

As per an announcement from the zoo, the doors of The Oakfield will now be open every Friday and Sunday evening from 5–11pm.


Their inaugural Sunday service takes place on 12 May with doors open from 5pm and the last table reservation being taken at 19:30 – and trust us, this place can book up quickly. But don’t worry, walk-ins are still welcome and the bar serves until 10pm.

Naturally, the menu features big Sunday roasts as well as classic pub dishes such as The Oakfield’s signature steak burger, battered fish and chips and sausage and mash, just to name a few.


As for the newly rolled out Friday nights, doors open once again at 5pm with the last food bookings available until 20:45pm. The menu’s mouthwatering in this instance too, featuring the likes of Welsh black ribeye steak, a braised lamb shoulder dish and breaded aubergine with katsu curry sauce.

In the years since its return to glory, it’s won various accolades including the regional Taste Cheshire Awards and even international recognition from Traveller’s Choice Awards hosted by TripAdvisor – who just so happened to rank Chester Zoos’ gastro pub in the top 10% of restaurants in the entire world.

Yep, it’s pretty bloody good.

Read more:

Speaking on the announcement, Food and Beverage Operations Manager at The Oakfield, Chloe Gill, said: “Our Friday evening trial proved to be super popular. So, in response to the phenomenal demand we’ve had, and as we head into summer months and begin to enjoy lighter evenings, we’re thrilled to extend our opening hours to include not just Fridays but Sunday evenings too!


“Our guests can enjoy our sun garden while taking in the sights and sounds of nature, brimming with bird song and the majestic roars of lions in the distance – all while knowing every sip of their drink or bite of their food supports our charity, helping to create a brighter future where wildlife thrives.”

Better still, it’s no easier to find than ever thanks to the zoo’s new events entrance on Caughall Road, Upton, which leads you straight up to the gastro pub.

If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can book a table HERE.

For all the latest news, events and goings on in Greater Manchester, subscribe to The Manc newsletter HERE.

Featured Images — Chester Zoo (supplied)