Proud landlord Gary Smith raises a glass to his punters and to YEP readers – after they named his pub the Best Boozer in Leeds.
The Golden Lion in Chapeltown, Pudsey, has scooped the prestigious title after fans flocked to vote for the historic hostelry.
Gary, 50, who runs the pub with wife Joanne, said: “We were shocked at first, but really pleased. We try to do our best for the community. We just try to keep a friendly atmosphere, and are community-led but very welcoming to strangers, who always come back because we get to know them.”
The historic boozer, which dates from 1732, actually started life as a courthouse building but later that century, it was transformed into a public house, and has never looked back. The pub is currently undergoing an extensive refurbishment of its exteriors, which will be completed in six weeks, and Gary hopes it will keep the punters coming.
Nominations for The Golden Lion praised its “live bands, comfortable surroundings, friendly warm welcome, nice atmosphere, free pool during the week”.
Gary is especially keen to thank fans of the pub’s regular music nights, and to fans of individual bands, who took to Twitter and Facebook to rally votes. He said: “Thank you to all who voted, all the regulars, those people who follow the bands and YEP readers,.”
Sam Jarrett, promotions supervisor at the YEP, said: “It’s been great to get such a strong response from pubs and bars across Leeds in what is the first Best Boozer competition we’ve done. With thousands of votes cast and 99 pubs in total taking part, we’ve been totally overwhelmed by the efforts of our entrants.”