Words by Ashley Locke
Photos by Lindsay Pace
Nestled in the heart of Oxford, Mississippi, Bar Muse is tucked away in a tiny, cozy corner of The Lyric on the square. As the brainchild of Joe Stinchcomb, a practiced bartender with a passion for quality cocktails and community building, Bar Muse is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to the craft. From its sleek and modern decor to its expertly crafted libations, Bar Muse has quickly become a staple in the Oxford drinking scene.
At Bar Muse, Stinchcomb and his partner Ross Hester, have paid attention to every detail—their commitment to quality extends to every aspect of the establishment, from the unique glassware to the carefully curated playlists.
Beyond providing a welcoming atmosphere and top-notch drinks, Stinchcomb is also dedicated to building a more equitable and diverse entrepreneurial community in Oxford. As a recent recipient of the Oxford-Lafayette County Economic Development Foundation's first-ever entrepreneurship grant, Stinchcomb plans to use the funds to offer business development and mentorship programs for underrepresented groups in the area. With its commitment to quality, community, and inclusivity, Bar Muse is more than just a bar—it's a cornerstone of the Oxford community.
Pear of Kings
1.5 oz Bourbon
.5 oz Amaro Melletti (or any amaro)
.75 oz Spiced PearSyrup
.5 oz lemon
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients to the shaker and shake with ice. Double strain and pour over a large ice cube. Garnish with star anise.
Spiced Pear Syrup
4 ripe pears
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise pods
Combine all ingredients to a pot and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool and strain out solids. The syrup lasts up to two weeks.
Good Day Cafe
When Stinchcomb and Hester first opened Bar Muse in October of 2021, they couldn't help but notice the alley space formerly occupied by Oxford Canteen. They knew from the get-go that it was an opportunity not only to expand their foothold in the Oxford culinary community, but also to revitalize one of their former favorite spots to grab lunch—Oxford needed a place to get elevated sandwiches in a casual atmosphere.
Partnering with Chef Patrick Hudgins, former Sous Chef of Saint Leo, they crafted a menu featuring sandwiches and elevated lunch fare. The reception by the community has been predictably great—they’ve developed a crowd of everyday regulars—but the most exciting part has been influencing the palate of Oxford to embrace things like tomato jam, kimchi-cucumber slaws, and gochujang ketchup.