The team behind the independently owned Hickory’s Smokehouse group is celebrating after scoring a major win at the prestigious Publican Awards.
The Chester based company, which opened its much-loved site in Worcester back in August 2018, was crowned Best Brand & Concept at a glittering ceremony at Evolution in Battersea.
Hickory’s West Kirby, which opened its doors back in 2012, has proved a hugely popular addition to the Wirral dining scene with guests loving its family-friendly vibe and unique food and drink offering.
General Manager Tom Schofield says: “The whole team are absolutely thrilled to have won this award. The Publican Awards are so well respected in the industry so I know the whole team feels super-proud to have been recognised. We’ve got some fantastic regular guests here in West Kirby and their support means everything to us.”
The Southern-style restaurant and bar group was up against a range of leading pubs vying to be crowned best in the UK.
More than 1,500 leading lights from across the hospitality industry attended the awards representing the cream of the UK pub market.
Judges were impressed Hickory’s overall ethos and brand values as well as the back story which led to the development of the popular concept.
Founder Neil McDonnell comments: ‘We are so humbled to receive such a prestigious award. It’s been an amazing journey for us so far and this award is really testament to the hard work, dedication, creativity and sheer passion of our team. We are incredibly lucky to have some amazing talent in the business. Without them we simply wouldn’t be where we are today.”
How it all began at Hickory’s Smokehouse
Born out of an inspirational road trip Neil took to the Deep South back in 2008, the first Hickory’s Smokehouse was launched in Chester in 2010. Over the last ten years the team has been back to the Southern States no less than fifteen times. With more visits planned this year, their research trips are now a regular feature of their annual calendar, allowing head chefs and managers to experience the region for themselves. These once in a lifetime experiences are designed to encourage ongoing research and development and give the team a true taste of Southern American food, culture and service.
Their passionate and authentic approach has won them an army of dedicated fans and the group now operates eleven successful sites across the North West and Midlands.
Speaking about the secret to their success, Neil said, ‘We have been fanatical about keeping the offering as authentic as possible. From importing smokers from Texas and Missouri, the dishes on our menu to our unique cooking methods to the genuine welcome we give to all our guests, we live and breathe Southern hospitality and thankfully our guests seem to like it.’
Tom said the team are looking forward to a busy spring and summer: “We’ve got a packed programme of events planned for the whole family. Our character breakfasts will still be a regular feature along with our Friday night Happy Hour and live music and we can’t wait to welcome guests new and old as we move into spring.”
Find out more at https://hickorys.co.uk/