A SEAFRONT bar in Weymouth has won a prestigious national award in recognition of its efforts to deliver tens of thousands of freshly made cocktails to customers’ homes during lockdown.

The Nook has bagged a Great British Pub Award – and will now receive a share of a £165,000 prize fund in celebration of the victory.

The bar was among 10 venues that made it to the final shortlist for the Continuity Award, which honours businesses that went above and beyond to continue providing services for customers during the coronavirus pandemic. Customers were asked to vote for their winner, and they came out in their droves to support the popular venue.

As well as cocktail deliveries across Weymouth, Portland and Dorchester, the bar also ran a twice weekly delivery of pizzas and chips to the ambulance base in Weymouth to keep staff going during lockdown.

The business is owned by Amy and Gareth Burton, who bought the bar eight years ago.

The pair had feared for the future of their business when the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close. But they quickly adapted to the unprecedented situation, ordering bottles and bespoke labels to take their cocktails to customers’ doors.

They said: “Within one week of enforced closure, and a few days of feeling sorry for ourselves and believing that we would probably go under, after eight years of operating, we managed to launch a cocktail home delivery service.

“We purchased 1,000 bottles online and had bespoke labels made, and within one week we had sold them all! We have sold over 40,000 cocktails via this system.”

A spokesperson for the Great British Pub Awards said: “Having seen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities across the country, and on the pubs that sit at their heart, The Great British Pub Awards changed its focus this year.

“The aim was to recognise and celebrate publicans’ selfless acts of kindness in lockdown, from feeding vulnerable members of the community and providing NHS workers with somewhere to stay, to keeping morale high when people needed it most.

Around 1,000 pubs entered across 15 categories, with more than 65,000 voters selecting their favourites before the winners were announced during a virtual awards ceremony hosted by TV presenter Stephen Mulhern last night. The prize fund has been offered by Coca Cola to encourage venues to keep up their good work.

Ed Bedington, Editor of pub trade brand The Morning Advertiser, which organises the awards, said: “Early on in the pandemic we received calls from pub owners telling us of the community work going on in towns, villages and cities.

“This was all being done despite the pub owners fearing for their own livelihoods. But they knew, even though they faced adversity themselves, they had to continue to support people in their communities. That’s just what publicans do.

“So we wanted to bring to life these moving stories and give pubs the recognition.”