Launched in September 2013, the Guildford Best Bar None Awards invited the town’s licensed venues to sign up for assessment of their business and the chance to attain accreditation from the scheme. This endorsement aims to help the public make an informed decision when it comes to choosing a pub or bar, giving them the confidence that a venue has been assessed and meets a standard much higher than the minimum required for the trade.
Guildford's pubs, bars and clubs celebrated at the Mandolay Hotel on Monday 4th September for the 2017 awards as the town's Best Bar None award winners were announced following the fourth year of judging. Delivered by Experience Guildford, the town centre’s Business Improvement District, the nationally acclaimed awards celebrate best practice amongst the licensed trade, showcasing the hard work and commitment of Guildford's venues to create and run safe, responsible and inviting town centre pubs, bars and nightclubs.
A total of 14 venues entered the awards across seven key categories, covering best bar, best pub and best late night venue focusing on independent and national operators, along with best entertainment venue. Each venue was assessed and judged by an expert panel on their delivery of four set operational criteria to select individual category winners. The assessment criteria included:
• Prevention of crime and disorder
• Public safety
• Prevention of public nuisance
• Protection of children from harm
An overall Guildford Best Bar None winner, sponsored TG Media Group was then selected from the winners across all categories.
Late night venue, J D Wetherspoon was crowned Best Bar None overall winner and also picked up the award for Best National Late Night Venue. Commenting on their win, Dave Smith, General Manager says; “I think winning the award is a great reflection of all the hard work that the managers and staff have put in over the last few years. We work closely with all agencies to ensure a safe venue for everyone, and winning a Best Bar None award proves we are on the right track. This win shows customers and partner agencies how serious we are about running a professional and safe venue.”
The Star Inn scooped the Best Pub within the national category, whilst The Keep held onto their title of Best Pub within the independent category. All Bar One was again crowned Best Bar national, and Kokomo won Best Bar in the independent category for the second year. The award for Best Entertainment Venue went to the eclectic Boileroom for a further year, whilst popular night spot, Bar Thirteen, won the Best Late Night Venue within the independent category.
Guildford was delighted to welcome Mick McDonnell, National Coordinator of the Best Bar None scheme to help present the awards this year. Commenting on Guildford’s commitment to supporting and promoting a safe night time economy and the strong partnership links between supporting organisations, McDonnell says; “It’s absolutely fantastic to come back to Guildford for the fourth Best Bar None awards. What always strikes me when in Guildford is the positivity in the room, especially from the Experience Guildford team.
“Seeing the Mayor, councillors, council officers, and other partners supporting the project, seeing the venues waiting in anticipation for the announcement of the awards makes for a great night.
“I would personally like to thank Experience Guildford for continuing to fund and deliver Best Bar None and look forward to returning in year five.”
Amanda Masters, General Manager at Experience Guildford adds: "We’re delighted to crown Guildford’s Best Bar None winners for a fourth year. All of the businesses who put themselves forward for these awards have worked hard to make Guildford one of the safest night spots to visit in the south-east. Their efforts in partnership with the town’s licensing, police and other associated organisations have resulted in a town known for its high operational standards and strict policy in respect of tackling alcohol related crime and disorder.
“Best Bar None is just one of the initiatives that Experience Guildford and partners have introduced to ensure Guildford is a safe and welcoming environment to work, live and play, and a key factor in us attaining Purple Flag accreditation. Thanks to all the partners involved, including Guildford Borough Council, Guildford Pubwatch, Community Safety, Surrey Fire and Rescue and Surrey Police along with community charity groups such as Street Angels.”
Cllr Graham Ellwood, Chairman of Guilford Borough Council's Licensing Committee continues: “I was delighted to present the award for Best Bar None Independent Pub of the Year to Jane Lyons from The Keep. Thank you to Experience Guildford for another great awards evening and thank you to all who make Guildford's nightlife so vibrant and safe, namely; the pubs, clubs, police and fellow emergency services as well as the Guildford Street Angels, taxi marshals, town rangers and my own licensing team.”
For more information on Guildford's Best Bar None Awards and other initiatives to enhance and promote Guildford's night time economy visit www.experienceguildford.com.
JD Weatherspoon receiving their award!