THE Record Café on North Parade is celebrating after receiving a Pub of the Year award for the third time in four years.
A representative of the Bradford branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) presented Record Café owner Keith Wildman with the award on Sunday in a low-key presentation of the winner’s plaque with social-distancing rules having to be observed.
Peter Down, acting chairman of Bradford CAMRA, said: “The overall standard of pubs nominated for the Bradford Branch Pub of the Year award has been rising year on year.
“This year was one of the closest results yet, demonstrating the high quality of all the pubs involved.
“The Record Café had previously won the competition in 2017 and 2019 and was runner-up in 2018.
“It is a fantastic achievement for it to now be formally announced the CAMRA Bradford Branch Pub of the Year 2020 and is just reward for the effort that Keith and his team have put into running a pub that is held in such high regard.”
“It came as surprise really as there are so many new pubs opening throughout the district,” said Keith. “We are quite a niche venue but when people enjoy it and recommend us to others, it feels like you’re doing your job well. I just want to keep improving our standards all the time.
“It’s like they say in football, you’re only as good as your last match.”
Bradford CAMRA completed the process to select their Pub of the Year 2020 at the beginning of the year and intended to present the award to the Record Café in May.
However, the enforced closure of pubs from March 20 and the implementation of the COVID-19 lockdown measures prevented this from happening.
As a result, the presentation of the award was delayed until last Sunday.
Keith said: “We found out we won the award in March and then that week we had to close down, so it was a more low-key affair this year.”
As in previous years, the Bradford Branch Pub of the Year 2020 was selected from a range of establishments within the area as nominated by branch members.
A short-list of pubs was then produced from those receiving the most nominations. These were then judged on quality of beer/cider/perry, atmosphere/style/décor, service and welcome, community focus, sympathy with CAMRA aims and good value.
Pubs within the Central Bradford area and in the surrounding Outer Bradford area were judged independently. A winner was announced for each area and the pub with the highest score declared the overall winner.
The Outer Bradford Pub of the Year 2020 is the Salt Cellar, Saltaire, and the runners-up are the Corn Dolly, Bradford, and The Fox, Shipley.
Keith added: “After seeing all the other nominated venues on this list, they’re all amazing pubs. It justifies all the hard work we’ve put in to receive the award.”