A study in winning awards

The Study Room pub, Lancaster.
The Study Room pub, Lancaster.

The team at the Study Room in Lancaster is celebrating after being shortlisted as a national finalist in the Great British Pub Awards organised by The Publican’s Morning Advertiser.

The Study Room, developed by Strawberry Enterprise Ltd, has been recognised as one of only five finalists in the Best Turnaround category and will compete in the national awards in London in September.

The company saw the potential to develop the former Nag’s Head in Church Street.

Laura Horan, MD of Strawberry Enterprise Ltd, said: “We were told that it would never open as a pub again but we did our homework and were convinced that we could transform the run-down venue on the edge of the city’s busy circuit into a socially focused contemporary bar that provides a great range of locally sourced food and freshly made cocktails.

“We’re incredibly proud to have been shortlisted. It just goes to show that with the right level of investment, a strong idea and an obsession with service and standards you can build a successful business.

“You could say it’s a study in how to transform a pub’s fortunes!”

The Study Room opened in April 2014 following a joint £450,000 investment with owners Punch Taverns.

The bar was lovingly restored with contemporary furnishings and feature bookcases together with warm flooring and new windows so that people could see inside the pub.

As well as the stylish interior, the Study Room offers a food menu with local provenance key.

The team sources products from as many local businesses as possible, including Burt’s Butchers, Atkinson’s Coffee and Lancaster and Old School Brewery.

“It’s just basic maths; the more we put into our local economy the more that it will get spent locally,” added Laura.

Commenting on the accolade Punch Taverns’ partnership development manager, Andrew Stones said: “The team at the Study Room has worked extremely hard to transform this pub into an attractive and welcoming venue.

“It’s now the city’s most talked-about new bar, for all the right reasons. A great example of how to turn a business around and we wish Laura and the team all the best for the award night.”