The top-performing operators have been revealed in the annual awards for the bars, clubs, pubs and restaurants in Nottingham’s Best Bar None scheme.
The winner of best bar was Cape at the junction of Victoria Street and Pelham Street, which was praised for the quality of its staff training and crowd management as well as their approach to security and tackling underage drinking.
The best club was Volt in Broadway, where judges praised the venue’s community involvement and support of the Street Pastors scheme, which provides volunteers to look after people late at night, along with the club’s security policies and use of drug-detection dogs.
The winner of best pub was JD Wetherspoon’s The Company Inn in Castle Wharf. The judges especially liked its approach to security, the comprehensiveness of its policies and its conflict management training.
Bistro Live in Barker Gate won the new category for best restaurant. The judges were particularly impressed by its approach to preventing drink driving as well as its management procedures.
Matthew Sporne, manager of Cape, said: “We wouldn’t normally speak to people from other companies really, but when you see them being awarded for best practice in something, it gives you the chance to talk to them and see how you can incorporate it at your own place.
“I’ve been involved in the Best Bar None scheme in Leicester as well as Nottingham and it is excellent for promoting the night-time economy. It encourages operators to behave responsibly and look after customers, as well as work together to improve.”
Dan Heffernan, a partner at Volt, said: “I am Nottingham-born-and-bred, and to get this award means so much. It is about how the club works as part of the community and that is really important to us. We are an independent venue and were up against some great venues, like the DHP Family, so to be listed alongside them is really special.”
They received their awards at an event at Nottingham’s Alea Casino after being selected out of 75 licensed premises accredited for the initiative this year. Click here for the full list of gold, silver and bronze awards.
An independent judging panel of industry experts carried out anonymous reviews of the top venues in each category according to their scores in the initial assessment and the applications they submitted.
All the category winners are now invited to the Nottinghamshire Food and Drink Awards which take place on June 22 when the overall Best Bar None winner for 2016 will be announced.
Best Bar None, part of a national initiative, and the awards have been run by the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) for the city centre since 2010. To achieve Best Bar None status, venues have to demonstrate that they have policies and procedures in place to prove that they are safe, responsible and well operated and also comply with relevant legislation.
Andrew Crawford, a director of the Nottingham BID, said: “Congratulations to all of our winners as well as to all the accredited venues. It sends out a very strong message that Nottingham city centre is a safe and welcoming place.”
Mick McDonnell, national Best Bar None co-ordinator, praised the scheme which has seen a sharp increase in participation on the back of new openings in Nottingham city centre and the new category for restaurants.
He said: “The increase in membership of 47% this year only goes to show the commitment of the trade and everyone else involved to ensure that Nottingham continues to be a safe place to visit and go out in, especially at night.
“I would personally like to say a huge thank you to Nottingham BID for administering the scheme, the police, the council and the police and crime commissioner for supporting the scheme and most importantly the participants (venues) for getting involved in making the Nottingham City Best Bar None Scheme as successful as it is.”