Star Pubs & Bars gave Paul Williams the award to commend the contribution he and his recently deceased wife, Pauline, made to the local area, and to celebrate their 40 years in the industry.
The award is especially poignant as Pauline died from cancer in December, just nine days after diagnosis.
Paul said: “Pauline and I jumped at the opportunity to take on the Dynevor Arms when we saw it. It was ideal – a lovely country pub in a village, close to the city. We’d spent a number of years managing pubs before taking on our first pub, which was what we were advised to do.
“We loved our years running our own pub. It’s important to have that passion for hospitality which we did. So, although it is goodbye officially, I shall be helping out occasionally behind the bar, as I love the job.”
Since taking on the lease of the Dynevor Arms, Paul and Pauline created a popular, friendly country dining pub, attracting regular customers from Cardiff and surrounding villages. They added a conservatory at the rear, allowing them to cater for more customers.
Tribute to an 'absolute gem'
Paul thanked the staff and customers for their support over the years, including Rachel Jordan, who is in charge of the kitchen, and Jeff Granger, who helps with the bar and restaurant.
“Most of all I would like to thank my wife Pauline for our many happy years at The Dynevor Arms,” he said.
He continued: “She was an absolute gem. Everybody loved her. Her funeral was the biggest I had ever been to with 200 people attending. She was a mother hen to all the staff, taking them under her wing and supporting them. She touched many and as such her memory lives on.”
During their time at the Dynevor Arms, the couple helped raise £30,000 for the Velindre Cancer Care Centre in Cardiff through raffles, party nights and music nights. They scored a host of awards including Best Bar None Pub of the Year, Coca-Cola Pub of the Year, Bass Lessee of the Year and Pub in Bloom runners-up.
According to Dave Morgan, Star Pubs & Bars business development manager, Paul and Pauline had been “fantastic” long-serving operators, and had established a “superb reputation” at the pub.
The Dynevor Arms was the first pub the couple owned. Prior to taking it on, they had managed a number of Cardiff pubs including Wenvoe Arms, the Pantmawr Inn and the Robin Hood pub.
Today, the pub employs 24 people locally and, over the years, has given jobs to generations of customers’ children.
Morgan said: “I am sad not to be able to thank Pauline in person as she did a brilliant job. The pub’s popularity is a testament to her and Paul’s hard work and high standards. Paul will be missed though will still be a familiar face at Dynevor Arms when he’s not playing golf.
“So on behalf of Star Pubs & Bars, the industry and the many people who have become regular customers at the Dynevor Arms, thank you and enjoy your much deserved retirement.”