Proud Mansfield sweeps the board in awards for best nightlife

Manager Damien Calko and colleagues Elena Parker (left) and Kirsty Layton receive andwhynot's award from police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping (second right).
Manager Damien Calko and colleagues Elena Parker (left) and Kirsty Layton receive andwhynot's award from police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping (second right).

Mansfield’s nightlife is the best in the county bar none -- ands that’s official after the town swept the board at an exclusive awards ceremony.

The Best Bar None awards aim to unearth the pubs and clubs across Nottinghamshire that offer the safest and most enjoyable nights out.

And not only did andwhynot bar, on Leeming Street, win the overall prize as best in the county, Mansfield also scooped five other leading accolades.

The Late Lounge, also on Leeming Street, was named best late-night venue, while andwhynot also took the prize for best town-centre independent venue and the judges’ choice honour. The Bold Forester, on Botany Avenue, was named best suburban chain venue, while the Stag And Pheasant, on Clumber Street, took the award for best town-centre chain venue.

What’s more, the Mansfield-based company, Cheeky Monkey Bars, which owns andwhynot and The Late Lounge, landed a total of six gongs, with categories also being won by The Junction pub at Sutton and The Lion pub at Farnsfield.

Jonathan Edwards, who runs Cheeky Monkeys with Paul Anderton, said the results were concrete proof that Mansfield had firmly banished its previously dodgy reputation for nightlife.

“Mansfield has been on the up for many years, so to get official recognition is brilliant,” said Jonathan. “I am abslutely overwhelmed to win so many awards. I am pleased not just for the company, but also for Mansfield as a whole.

“These awards were all about high standards and giving the best service to the public, so I am proud of all our pubs. It’s all down to the management and staff, who have worked so hard.”

All the venues had to undergo a thorough assessment of their policies and procedures before an independent panel of judges, with expertise in licensing, chose the winners. In addition, the public were asked to pick their favourite places, and more than 4.200 votes were cast.

The manager of andwhynot, Damien Calko, and colleagues Elena Parker and Kirsty Layton, received the top prize from Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner Paddy Tipping, who was guest of honour at the ceremomy, held at the Goosedale centre in Papplewick.

Best Bar None is a national accreditation scheme, supported by the government. The Nottinghamshire scheme is funded by the county council and Mr Tipping’s office. A survey has shown that pubs and clubs that are accredited are more popular and have helped to cut alcohol-related crime and disorder.

Mr Tipping said: “I want people to have a great night out in safety. Licensed venues can play a key role in this, while ensuring a thriving local economy. Best Bar None helps to nurture this safe environment by raising standards and encouraging licensees to take pride in their premises.”

Sarah Nelson, Mansfield Business Improvement District manage, said: “This is great news and a boost for Mansfield town centre venues, who put in a lot of effort to create somewhere special for people to go.

“We congratulate all the winners.”

Mansfield town centre also has Purple Flag accreditation, which is granted to town and city centres that meet or surpass the standards of excellence in managing the evening and night-time economy.