Two business partners are toasting their success after scooping The Observer’s Pub of the Year award.
Chris Leech, 47, and Philip Quarton, 46, won the award just two and a half years after opening their popular St Leonard pub in London Road, St Leonards.
The competition was launched in October when the Observer asked its readers for nominations and then put those shortlisted to the public vote. Chris and Philip transformed the old Warrior Gate put into a thriving new business in the heart of the town. They previously ran pubs in Islington and Kentish Town. But after 25 years in the city they decided to move to the coast after a recommendation from some of his customers who lived in St Leonards. The pub opened its doors in August 2012 and went from strength to strength. It supplies real ale from local micro brewers Rother Valley, Hastings Brewery and Franklins. The pub has been entered into the 2015 Good Beer Guide published by the Campaign for Real Ale. Chris said: “I was surprised to win the award and I want to say thanks to all those people who voted for us. I think we have nice, honest and genuine people here. We get involved in everything and this year we have been invited to take part in the Mardi Gras. We’re going to make a shelf behind the bar so we can keep the trophy on display.”
Emma Angell, marketing manager for JP South, the Observer’s parent company, said: “The St Leonard is a worthy winner. It is a prize worth having, especially as it is voted for by the public and those people who have visited the pub. “We were very pleased with the response which this competition received.” For more information about the pub visit www.thestleonard.co.uk