Nottingham pub New Foresters has been crowned the Overall Winner at this year’s Best Bar None Awards – as well as scooping the Best Pub and Best Independent awards.
This year’s winners were announced at a lavish ceremony on Tuesday 12 September at Pryzm, on Lower Parliament Street, Nottingham.
The winning drinks establishment, which is located on St Ann’s Street and caters for the LGBQT community, was particularly praised for its great attention to detail in the prevention of crime, disorder and public safety, as well as their assistance with vulnerable customers.
The Best Bar None Awards are designed to promote the responsible and effective management and operation of licensed premises, with the scheme being run in Nottingham city centre by the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) since 2010.
This year 69 licensed premises in the city centre secured Best Bar None accreditation, with 54 achieving the top ranked gold status – an increase of six venues from last year’s scheme, demonstrating that more venues than ever are committed to Best Bar None and dedicated to delivering safe and enjoyable nights out for their customers.
The highest scoring accredited venues were then independently judged by industry experts, with a winner of each of the six categories as well as an overall winner chosen.
New Foresters, which scooped Overall Winner, Best Pub and Best Independent, demonstrated “good evidence of staff training and retention” and “good all round security measures”.
Assistant manager of the venue, Jade Amay, said: “We are over the moon. We really didn’t expect to win one award, let alone three! It’s amazing and we’re really proud of ourselves.”
Taking home the Best Bar award was Grosvenor Casino, on Maid Marian Way, which was praised for having “good practical steps to discourage drink driving with good access to transport home” as well as “good security and safety measures”.
Quirky hidden venue Boilermarker, on Carlton Street, was awarded Best Cocktail Bar, with the judges being impressed with its full table service and free table water.
Polly Reade, operations manager at Boilermaker, commented: “It’s quality over quantity with us. I’m really happy about winning the award. This is for the team and how hard they work.”
The Best Club was announced as Rock City on Talbot Street because of its emphasis on the safety of vulnerable people including having an on-site paramedic and large numbers of trained first aid staff.
General manager at Rock City, Mark Smith, said on the win: “We’re extremely pleased to win this award. It’s a great achievement and we’re proud to be Nottingham’s number one nightclub. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making our venue a safe place as well as a great night out for everyone.”
Brasserie and bar chain Browns on Park Row was awarded Best Restaurant for having excellent drugs prevention measures and a committed staff training programme.
Andrew Crawford, a director of the Nottingham BID, said: “Big congratulations to New Foresters for not only being crowned Overall Winner but scooping two other category awards too. This is a huge achievement and just shows what a safe and secure venue it is in Nottingham city centre.
“This year’s scheme and awards has been a great success with a high amount of accreditations and gold rankings. This highlights how Nottingham is a safe place to visit and that the scheme is helping to make the city even safer by improving standards of operation.”
Jonathan Smith, managing partner at Poppleston Allen licensing solicitors, added: “As everyone involved in this sector knows, running licensed premises is a tough job. It’s not just about running a profitable business or providing something different. It’s about creating a safe environment where people can enjoy themselves and have a great experience. I’ve been working in the sector for over 20 years and honestly think the quality of operators is better than it has ever been. Hats off to all the winners tonight and particularly the New Foresters for their trio of wins.”
Mick McDonnell, national Best Bar None coordinator said:
“It was absolutely fantastic to see so many people including representatives from the police, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner turning out to acknowledge the Best Bar None winners.
Everyone working together in partnership to create a safe and vibrant night-time economy is so important to a city like Nottingham, and to see the enthusiasm and commitment of the pubs, bars and clubs to ensure their customers have a great but safe night out is heart-warming.
I must also personally thank Poppleston Allen the main sponsors and the Nottingham BID team for managing the scheme supplying all of the assessors and administrative support. They have certainly taken the scheme and the awards to another level this year. I look forward to working even closer with them over the next year to encourage even more venues to become BBN accredited.
Congratulations to all of the winners, all the accredited venues and Nottingham BID for putting on an excellent event.”