Meet the GBPA nominees: Best Managed pub

By Ed Bedington

- Last updated on GMT

Great British Pub Awards 2017: The winners will be revealed at the Hilton on Park lane on 7 September
Great British Pub Awards 2017: The winners will be revealed at the Hilton on Park lane on 7 September

Related tags: British pub awards, Great british pub, Best managed pub, Coffee

With less than a month to go until the John Smith’s Great British Pub Awards 2017, it’s the turn of the nominees for Best Managed Pub to be previewed. 

This category recognises managed pubs that have driven trade most successfully over the past year

The Botanist, Newcastle

Last year’s winner from the equally award-winning team of New World Trading, The Botanist in Newcastle-upon-Tyne will be seeking to defend its crown and make it two years on the bounce for this powerhouse of an operation.

Built in the former food court of a defunct shopping mall, it has taken the local scene by storm. This impressive venue features a central bar with a giant tree growing out of the middle
and an outside terrace with views across the city.

Recent investment has seen improvement of the outside space, with increased seating and an outside bar installed.

The bar also has plans to introduce a whole new floor into the business by expanding its mezzanine level, which is currently a walkway to the outside terrace, into a Wooden Wonderland for private hire functions.

The Coach and Four, Cheshire

This Wilmslow-based business is something of a jewel in the crown for family brewer Hydes. Fighting off strong and growing competition from rival operators in the area, this is a business that continues to grow and thrive.

The operation has benefited from significant investment, with more than £100,000 spent on increasing its accommodation offer by a further 20 rooms. And another £25,000 has been spent
on refurbishing and refreshing the pub itself.

A strong focus on community lies at the heart of this operation and a complimentary coffee
and cake morning for residents of the local elderly and dementia care home has proven a popular hit, with other businesses getting involved, including the local Co-op, which provides cake, and a florist and massage therapist.

Pleased to Meet You, Newcastle

This award-winning venue aims to offer a little something for everyone, with a great choice of gins from around the world, plus craft beers and fine wines.

Cocktails are a particular speciality, with an emphasis on not just selling the traditional classics but also creating one-off specials only to be found at Pleased To Meet You.

Based in the heart of Newcastle, the operation recently opened a new basement bar, The Viceroy, which has increased its capacity by a further 200 and had a significant impact on takings. The new
bar now regularly plays host to cocktail-making classes and gin-tasting sessions, as well as private parties and the occasional wedding party.

Further investment has seen a new restaurant space opened up on the site, and its outside drinking space given a makeover and renamed the Botanical Garden.

The Somers Town Coffee House, London

With a focus on continuous improvement, the Somers Town Coffee House, run by the Yummy Pub Company, is a business to be reckoned with. Operating as the “best kept secret in Euston”, and despite being off the beaten track on leafy Chalton Street, business is really starting to boom. A focus on the three Ps – people, performance and purchasing – is helping to push the business forward, and a central support system means the on-site team is able to focus on the day-to-day delivery of service to the customers without having to worry about the administration elements.

The pub also plays host to Yummy Pub’s Chef Academy, working with homeless youngsters to take unqualified teenagers and turn them into fully-qualified chefs over an 18-month period.

185 Watling Street, Northants

This Towcester-based business on the A5 Watling Street road, a route dating back to the time of the ancient Britons, opened in October 2015 and is already performing brilliantly.

Innovation is helping to drive that success and the pub has done a lot of work to create a new, healthier children’s menu, working with a local nutrition advisor as well as a panel of local schoolchildren. The result has seen the creation of an interactive, healthier kids’ menu which includes at least two of the children’s five-a-day, as well as exciting novelties like a ‘build your own’ pizza wrap.

The pub has also launched a new outside summer bar, featuring draft lagers and, in partnership with Diageo, a Tanqueray summer drinks list. The bar is supported with a festival that will see music in the evenings throughout the warmer weather, as well as a Dining Under the Stars promotion.

Two Brewers, London

This Clapham-based bar is one of the most profitable within the Stonegate empire, and shows no signs of slowing down.

A focus on entertainment and events sees the pub take part in everything from the Clapham Street Party, which has now grown into a hugely-successful community event, through to working with local charities to host fun events which are helping to attract new clientele and boost takings throughout the year.

With a long-standing team – GM Jimmy Smith has worked at the site for over 20 years – this is a pub that has real roots in its south London community. Operating as a premier club and cabaret bar, the business has focused on the LGBT scene for more than 36 years and continues to thrive, appealing to a broad customer mix. There are plans to expand into currently unused upper floor space to create a roof terrace.

Tickets for the Great British Pub Awards can be bought by phoning 01293 846508. For more information about the event visit its dedicated website.

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