The winners and runners-up in Durham City’s annual awards for the best bars, pubs and clubs were announced at a ceremony last night (Tuesday 20th November).

Run by Durham County Council and Durham Constabulary, the Best Bar None Awards celebrate establishments that promote sensible drinking and are responsibly managed.

The awards scheme, which has been running since 2008, is open to all pubs, bars and clubs in Durham City Centre. This year, 33 premises took part, including bars within Durham University.

The Library, on Saddler Street, scooped awards for Best Alcohol Free Bar, Best Bar and Overall Best Premises Bar None. The venue was praised for its extensive menu of non-alcoholic drinks and its high standards of customer safety and responsible licence holding.

Premises receive All Bar None accreditation by submitting to a three-hour assessment from the police and council officers and undergoing two further spot checks.

There are specific awards for establishments which get the highest scores in both types of visit. The scores premises achieve also determine if they are ranked at gold, silver or bronze level.

The 2018 Best Bar None Awards were given out in a ceremony in the Bishop’s Suite at Ramside Hall last night.

The winners and runners up were:


Winner: The Three Bridges

Runner-up: Half Moon Inn


Winner: The Library

Runner-up: The Court Inn


Winner: Fabio’s

Runner-up: Klute

Best Alcohol Free Bar

Winner: The Library

Runner-up: The Woodman

Overall Best Premises Bar None: The Library

An evaluation of last year’s scheme showed some licencees reporting a boost in turnover of more than 25% and a rise in footfall of 15%, as compared to 2008. Licencees also reported that violence has been decreasing year-on-year.

The leader of Durham County Council, Cllr Simon Henig, said, “The scheme has shown real success in helping to make our city a safe place.”

“It is great to see the commitment of businesses and individuals rewarded at the awards night and also through the benefits the scheme brings to those who participate.”

The partners in the Best Bar None Awards include Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary, Durham University, The British Institute of Inn-Keeping, National Pub Watch, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, and National Best Bar None.

 Sponsors of the scheme include LWC (Licensed Wholesale Company) North East, Prince Bishops Shopping Centre, Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa, and Durham City BID Co Ltd.

(Featured image courtesy of Jim Kelly, from Flickr Creative Commons)

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