A publican who successfully transformed the fortunes of a local Edinburgh pub has won a major Scottish Publican of the Year Award.
Cormac Lovett, licensee of the Bonnington Bar on Bonnington Road in Leith came top out of more than 40 Punch pubs in the Lothians in the annual awards which celebrate the area’s great pubs.
It is awarded to pub landlords who go the extra mile for their customers and ensure they are supportive of the communities they serve.
In only two years at the helm, Cormac has turned the Bonnington into a thriving community venue as well as a successful business.
Fellow staff and customers praised him for his commitment to making sure all his customers received first-class, friendly and professional service.
The pub, which has seen sales dramatically increase in recent months, was also praised for the quality food and drinks now on offer.
The award scheme is run by leased operator Punch which has more than 3300 pubs across the UK.
Cormac said: “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. There are a lot of fantastic Punch pubs within the region, so to walk away with this accolade was a real honour.
“When I took over the venue I could see it had fantastic potential. It had undergone a significant investment but just needed greater consistency in management.
“I have worked hard to recruit a team who share the same values and standards as I do and together we have built up a really strong reputation as a welcoming community local.
“I would like to thank my team and our loyal customers for all of their support they are what makes the Bonnington Bar the success it is today and hopefully for the future.”
He described the Bonnington as “a real community hub” which now hosts regular quiz and poker nights to engage the local community.
It also set up live music nights to offer city musicians and bands the chance to perform to a live audience.
The Bonnington now uses the phrase “Bonnington – your local bar in Leith” to highlight its dedication to the area and how it is striving to mintain its role as a venue for locals to visit and enjoy.
Punch’s operations director, Brian Davidson, said: “Congratulations to Cormac, his award is well deserved for his commitment to the pub and its customers.
“We believe in a genuine partnership approach to business and work with some extremely talented publicans. This was an opportunity to recognise this talent and to showcase the fantastic calibre of people that run our pubs, such as Cormac at Leith’s Bonnington.”