Nottingham’s Best Independent Businesses Revealed
The results of the 2018 It’s in Nottingham Independents competition have been announced with tapas restaurant Bar Iberico on Carlton Street, winner of the restaurant category, taking the overall title of the city’s Best Independent Business, based on a public vote and the views of an independent judging panel.
Judges praised the restaurant for the varied menu, the quality of the food and drink offering, the friendly and efficient service and the overall appearance, commenting that it was a very enjoyable all round experience.
This year for the first time there was also a Special Achievement award for an independent business that the judges believed should receive recognition for its contribution to the independents scene in Nottingham city centre. There were a number of contenders for this award, such is the strength and depth of the independent offering in the city, but the award eventually went to wine and spirits merchants Weavers on Castle Gate, in acknowledgment of the company being one of Nottingham’s oldest independent businesses and also for its ability to continually innovate.
Originally established in 1844 as a public house, it diversified into being a wholesale business too, with the pub eventually being sold in 1959. Weavers has continued to operate as a wine and spirits merchants supplying to the public and to the trade and its shop is a popular shopping destination for both every day and special wines and spirits. Its latest innovation is its own Castle Gate gin which is flavoured with ground acorns gathered in Sherwood Forest and a pink gin that has the additions of strawberry and lavender. Alan Trease, who is managing director, is the fourth generation of family involved in the business and he is supported by son Philip and daughter Mary.
In addition there were winners in the competition’s seven different categories which were chosen by the judging panel from amongst the finalists in each category and these were as follows:
Attractions and Things to Do: Broadway Cinema, Hockley
Café/Coffee Shop: Wired Café Bar, Pelham Street
Health, Hair and Beauty: Steele Hairdressing, Trinity Walk
Homeware and Giftware: Handmade Nottingham, St James’s Street
Pubs, Clubs, Bars and Music Venues: Malt Cross, St James’s Street
Restaurant: Bar Iberico, Carlton Street, Hockley
Retail and other: Knit Nottingham, Trinity Walk
The announcements were made at a special breakfast event that took place at Nottingham Playhouse Bar and Kitchen on Wednesday 4 July – Independence Day.
Speaking after discovering they had won the competition, Dan Lindsay who jointly owns Bar Iberico with executive chef Jacque Ferreira, said: “There is a huge independent scene in Nottingham so it is amazing to win the restaurant category and just wonderful for the fantastic team at Bar Iberico who work so hard to be recognised. And in a city of amazing independents, it is such an honour to win the overall award too.”
“It is really brilliant for Weavers to be recognised with the special achievement award,” said director Mary Trease on behalf of the Trease family. “For a business to still be retailing after 165 years is quite an achievement. We are still very much a traditional family business but also strive to be original by developing our own products, for instance the Castle Gate gin and winning this award recognises that.”
Geoff Williams, director of the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), the organisation behind the It’s in Nottingham competition, said: “I would like to congratulate all the competition finalists and particularly our winners. Thousands of people nominated their favourite business, which is a clear indication of the love that local people have for our great independents. It made it a difficult task for our judges to pick winners in the different categories and then the overall winners but I do believe that we have some very worthy winners, particularly Bar Iberico and also Weavers, the first recipient of our Special Achievement Award. “