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Barking George bids to be named UK's best town centre pub

Barking George at The Harrogate Inn.

Harrogate's Barking George is in the running to be crowned the UK’s best town centre pub at the 2024 Great British Pub Awards.

The Barking George, located at The Harrogate Inn, has made the category's final shortlist of six.

Described as the Oscars for the Pub Industry, the annual competition aims to reward and recognise the nation's finest pubs, helping their owners and operators put bums on seats and pride into their hard-working teams.

A winner will be selected in September.

Barking George is the only contender in the category in the north of England, with its fellow finalists drawn from London, Birmingham, Kent, Lincolnshire and Surrey and put its best foot forward by highlighting the breadth of its transformation from the old St George Hotel.

Its qualification also recognised the variety offered by its food and drinks menus, including the newly launched weekend brunch offering, marketing and promotional activities and the company’s approach to staff training and retention.

September’s event in Manchester will be Barking George’s second final of the year, with the venue in the running to be named one of the UK’s top pubs at next week’s Pub and Bar Magazine Awards.

Its place at that competition’s finale was earned by winning the county title for North Yorkshire and will see it vie with 93 fellow county winners for further regional and overall titles.

Reacting to further recognition of his bar by the hospitality industry, general manager Henry White said:

“I couldn’t be prouder to have Barking George make the shortlist of a very well-respected competition in the industry.

“It’s been quite a year since we reopened last summer, and this is just a wonderful way to bring those 12 months to a close.

“We launched to a big fanfare and there was a lot of focus on us with Barking George and The Harrogate Inn marking such a step away from what Hotel St George was about and I’m thankful the people of Harrogate and beyond have taken to the refurbishment. 

“The inn has a superb mix of clientele, with everyone from the ladies who lunch, the cocktail set, the cask ale aficionados and everyone in between coming down regularly.

“We’re now eagerly awaiting our judging visit later in the summer so we can show our assessor everything special about the bar, from the food, drink and our brilliant team, to our amazing customers and the fabulous atmosphere they bring to Barking George.”

PR and communications manager for The Inn Collection Group, Andrew Robson added:

“Henry and the team at Barking George have put in sterling efforts this year to establish the inn with its new style and offering and we’re delighted that the application struck a chord with the judges.

“Barking George and The Harrogate Inn as a whole has been a solid performer for the group, and it is very much thanks to the people of the town and district who give us their custom and have allowed us to qualify for these finals.”

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