A POPULAR seafront bar which won an award is saying 'cheers' after it created a new outdoor area with the prize money.

Glasses are being raised to the stylish new space outside The Nook on Weymouth Esplanade which as well as accommodating more customers, keeps drinkers warm and safe.

It comes after the venue won a prestigious national award last year in recognition of its efforts to deliver tens of thousands of freshly made cocktails to customers’ homes during lockdown.

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

For winning at the Great British Pub Awards, The Nook was able to receive a share of a prize fund.

Licensees Amy and Gareth Burton submitted an application for a £10,000 grant from the £165,000 Coca-Cola Community Pub Fund, which was divided between all 15 Great British Pub award winners and their chosen charities.

The grant money has gone towards transforming its outdoor space and increasing its capacity, with the addition of two covered areas that can seat up to 60 people. The seating is protected by an electric awning and free-standing pergola complete with heaters to keep customers warm, and surrounded by a custom-made metal barrier to ensure everyone’s safety.

Amy Burton said: “Thanks to the £10,000 grant from Coca-Cola, we can seat people inside and out, come rain or shine. We’re thrilled to have welcomed our loyal customers back, and now we have capacity for lots of new customers too.”

When the first lockdown was announced in early 2020, the team at the venue quickly pivoted their business to provide takeaway cocktails – including a delivery service – for customers to enjoy at home. The service that won them their Great British Pub Award is still going from strength to strength, and is now available via a new online platform.

Paul Robertson, Head of On-Premise at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, said: “We’ve been inspired by the ways in which publicans have adapted their business models to keep their businesses afloat, and keep their communities entertained.

“The Coca-Cola Community Pub Fund is our way of giving something back. The grant money is designed to help these businesses – and their communities – get back on their feet when they’re able to. The Nook’s outdoor seating area looks amazing and we’re so pleased for the team.”