A popular family pub has beaten off stiff competition to lift the crown of the best watering hole in town.
Middlesbrough’s Rudds Arms was the overall winner in the 2011 Best Bar None Awards, also picking up the title of Best Community Pub.
The scheme, now in its fifth year, aims to reward pubs, bars and clubs for responsible management and the work they do to provide safe, enjoyable and crime-free places to eat and drink.
The awards are going from strength to strength, with 27 venues achieving Best Bar None accreditation this year compared with 16 in 2010.
The winners received their awards at a dinner held at Middlesbrough’s Thistle Hotel on Thursday, September 1.
Local bars and clubs were judged against a number of criteria covering their approaches to a range of issues including preventing crime and disorder and public nuisance, promoting public safety and protecting children.
Restaurants were able to enter the competition for the first time this year with Nando’s winning a vote by TFM Radio listeners.
TFM Radio’s support attracted further input from the listening public who gave the Radio Listeners’ Award to The Empire in the best venue category.
Karen Walker, licensee of overall winner the Rudds Arms, said: “This award is a great honour and is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of all our staff.
“They make the Rudds Arms somewhere families want to come to enjoy great food and drink.
“But the award is also for the customers of the Rudds Arms because they make it what it is – a big thank you to everyone who voted for us!”
The Rudds Arms will also receive a two-week radio advertising campaign promoting their venue as Best Bar None.
Councillor Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Community Protection, said: “Middlesbrough is safer now than it has ever been, and licensees across the town have played a vital role in helping to reduce disorder, anti-social behaviour and crime.
“They are helping to make Middlesbrough a safer and more attractive place for people to enjoy an evening out and it is only right that they should be recognised for their efforts.
“Best Bar None is a great partnership between the licensing trade, the local authority and Cleveland Police and it is going from strength to strength.”
This year’s awards were also sponsored by Mincoffs Solicitors, Printing.com and Diageo.