A student union bar was named overall winner in this year’s Best Bar None awards for bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants in Guildford in Surrey.
Rubix at the University of Surrey Students’ Union picked up the top award and also won two of the other categories for best late-night venue and best independent.
The bar at The Mandolay boutique hotel (pictured) picked up the award for best bar while TGI Friday’s was named best restaurant. The category of best pub was won by The Three Pigeons, part of Stonegate Pub Company.
The awards are run each year by Experience Guildford, the town centre’s business improvement district, which spearheads the Best Bar None scheme.
The scheme and its awards celebrate best practice among the licensed trade, showcasing the hard work and commitment of Guildford’s venues to create and run safe, responsible and inviting town centre evening economy businesses.
A total of 18 venues gained Best Bar None accreditation across the five key categories of best bar, best pub, best restaurant, best late-night venue and best independent. 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, and protection of children from harm.
As overall Guildford Best Bar None winner, Rubix received the prize of a £500 voucher provided by one of Guildford’s newest venues, Cosy Club, for the team to enjoy a celebratory night out at its new site in Tunsgate Quarter.
James Lackovic, venue manager at Rubix, said: “We’re delighted to have won not only Best Bar None overall, but also the best late-night venue and best independent category. It marks a tremendous achievement for the whole team.
“We place the welfare of the students who visit our venue at the heart of everything that we do and winning these awards re-emphasises why we are here and the special focus that we instil on training all our duty managers, supervisors and team members to carry out their responsibilities.
“Awards such as these do some much to enrich towns as a whole, helping create destination status and bring in customers from a wider catchment area because they can be assured of a varied and safe night-time offering.”
Best Bar None’s national co-ordinator, Mick McDonnell, who helped present the awards, said: “This year we’ve seen a positive year-on-year increase of venues getting behind the scheme, all wishing to demonstrate that they run safe and responsible evening venues.”
Amanda Masters, general manager at Experience Guildford, added: “Guildford’s licensed venues have again stepped up to the mark, assuring both the Best Bar None assessors and the public of a safe and welcoming night out in the town.
“We’re delighted to crown this year’s winners and continue our collaborative efforts, in partnership with the town’s licensing, police and other associated organisations, to ensure that our town is 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 a safe and thriving night-time economy in Guildford and has been a key factor in us attaining Purple Flag accreditation over the last four years.
“Thanks to all the partners who have supported the scheme, including Guildford Borough Council, Guildford Pubwatch, Community Safety, Surrey Fire and Rescue and Surrey Police along with community charity groups such as Street Angels and Firebird Brewing Co. who kindly donated the welcome drinks.”
A second five-year term for Experience Guildford was voted in by BID members after a ballot in October last year.