Lessees’ Star turns

A raft of operators were recognised at Star Pubs & Bars’ annual Star Awards

Stewart Grant (second left) of Star Pubs & Bars with some of the Scots Star Award winners
Stewart Grant (second left) of Star Pubs & Bars with some of the Scots Star Award winners

From awards for Best Bar Team and Pint Perfection to Best Newcomer and Heart of the Community, Scots lessees cleaned up at Star Pubs & Bars’ Star Awards.

Managers and staff from 90 pubs attended the awards, where various Scots lessees picked up a gong.

The Electric Bar in Motherwell, a family run business headed by Craig Speirs, was named Heart of the Community, while Brian Caithness of The Tipsy Ghillie in Kelso lifted the Best Newcomer of the year.

Various Glasgow operators also scooped awards, including Celeste McGinn of Denholms (Best Bar Team); Paul McDonagh of Bon Accord (Best Spirits); and James and Louise Rusk of The Butchershop Bar & Grill (Best Wine).

Elsewhere, Nick Livingstone of 7 Saints in Prestwick was presented with the Marketing Award, while Joanna and Chris Pauley and Joe Humphrey of The Ox in Edinburgh were recognised as Famous for Food.

Joanna Pauley told SLTN it “was amazing to be singled out”.

“The quality of Scottish food has never been better and the competition we were up against was tough,” she said.

“Our chefs were delighted.”

And the Pint Perfection award was dispensed to Steve and Hazel Latto of The Criterion in St Andrews.

Steve said beer is “central to The Criterion’s offer”.

“We strive for perfection in every pint we serve, so it was fantastic to have our efforts recognised,” he added.

This year’s awards ceremony is said to have been the firm’s biggest yet, reflecting its enlarged estate of 2700 pubs, 270 of which are in Scotland.

Lawson Mountstevens, Star Pubs & Bars managing director, said: “This was a special year for the Star Awards as it was also the first anniversary of our acquisition of 1900 pubs from Punch Taverns.

“It has been fantastic to have so many great operators join Star Pubs & Bars and to see so many of them represented at the Star Awards; the increased numbers took the level of competition up a notch.

“If the Star Awards is anything to go by, the standard of talent in the leased and tenanted sector is at an all-time high.

“It was inspiring to have so many superb operators, who are so passionate and positive about pubs, gathered together.”