Scotland scores in smart casual

Award scheme recognises stars in a burgeoning sector

010_I&G Bar
Innis & Gunn launched its first venue in Edinburgh in July of last year.

Scottish venues tasted success at the inaugural Casual Dining Restaurant & Pub Awards by picking up a trio of awards at the ceremony in London.
Edinburgh beer firm Innis & Gunn’s first on-trade venture, The Beer Kitchen by Innis & Gunn, picked up the New Casual Dining Concept award while Project Pie in Dundee was named Independent Casual Dining Restaurant of the year and multiple operator Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) nabbed the Best Designed Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant prize for its Glasgow St Vincent Street site.
Over 300 guests are said to have attended the awards ceremony held at The Grange St. Paul’s Hotel and hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern.
Other winners on the night included pubs giant JD Wetherspoon, which was named Multiple Casual Dining Pub Brand of the Year, and Cote Restaurants, which was named Multiple Casual Dining Restaurant of the year.
Chris Brazier, event director for the awards, said the casual dining market “is thriving, thanks in large part  to the fantastic innovations and dedication of operators and the incredible dining experience they offer”, adding that the awards offer a “much overdue opportunity to celebrate” the sector.
Dougal Sharp, founder and master brewer at Innis & Gunn, said the team has been “blown away” by the way the public has responded since the company opened its first venue in July 2015.
“Winning this award is the icing on the cake to a brilliant start to our retail roll-out,” said Sharp.
“The Beer Kitchen team have worked tremendously hard and the whole Innis & Gunn business is incredibly proud of their latest achievement.”
Innis & Gunn opened its first venue in Edinburgh with a second scheduled to open in Dundee this month.
The firm aims to further expand, with plans for another two outlets this year.