Lessees shine at Star Pubs awards

Five Scottish operators recognised in pubco’s UK-wide scheme

• Scottish finalists celebrated at the awards ceremony in Birmingham.
• Scottish finalists celebrated at the awards ceremony in Birmingham.

FIVE Scottish Star Pubs & Bars lessees were recognised at the pub company’s second annual awards ceremony in Birmingham this month.

Max Houliston of the Hole in the Wa’, Dumfries, was awarded the evening’s top honour, sharing the Lifetime Achievement award with two Star Pubs & Bars lessees from south of the border.
Scottish lessees also topped five categories in the Star Pubs & Bars Northern region of 445 pubs.
James and Louise Rusk of the Butchershop Bar and Grill in Glasgow saw double success claiming both the ‘Green Pub’ and ‘Marketing’ awards.
In the east, lessees Anna and Mike Christopherson of the Joseph Pearce in Edinburgh received the ‘Retail Innovation’ award, and Hazel Latto of Criterion in St Andrews claimed the ‘Best Cask Pub’ award.
John and Dawn McHugh of the Mercantile, Dundee, picked up the ‘New to Food’ prize.
Award winners were selected by a judging panel made up of employees from Star Pubs & Bars and the pubco’s parent company Heineken as well as representatives from sponsor companies.
All winners and finalists were invited to an afternoon of sports and leisure activities at the Forest of Arden Hotel and Country Club in Birmingham before attending the evening’s awards ceremony hosted by former World Snooker Champion and TV personality John Parrott.
Chris Jowsey, trading director at Star Pubs & Bars, said the expertise of licensees was “incredibly impressive”.
“From training to environmental initiatives to food, they are up there and indeed often exceed the achievements of far bigger UK companies,” he said.
“Innovation and a willingness to continually challenge themselves to try something new was another really strong attribute of all the finalists.
“The award winners are testimony to the professionalism and dynamism of leased pub operators, a story which is sadly not often told in the wider media.”