The Magnet in Broadstairs has won Thanet Traditional Pub of the Year 2022 and overall runner-up in the Thanet Pub of the year competition from the isle’s Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).
The award was handed to owners Nikki Munn and Will Leeves last weekend by Thanet Camra branch chairman Mike St Clare-Newman.
Nikki and Will have been at the helm of the venue since February 2019 and have seen the business grow in popularity.
Mike praised the achievements made at the pub over the three years, especially “when two of those years have included some of the most difficult trading conditions for the hospitality industry.”
He said fine real ales and ciders, involvement in community events and fundraising and excellent customer service were all ingredients that had earned the pub its accolade.
Nikki said she, Will and staff are delighted with the award which is their first from Camra.
She said: “I was gobsmacked and didn’t expect it. We are over the moon.”
Building up a loyal customer base from February 2019 until the pandemic broke, making sure measures were in place to make people feel safe and secure during the height of the covid crisis and having a personal touch are credited for the Albion Street pub’s success.
Nikki said: “We have had so many locals and regulars supporting us each time we opened. Will and I are normally here and we also have amazing staff that work hard, love talking to the customers and putting them at ease but it is also down to our regulars and customers, coming in and encouraging other people to come in as well. We welcome everyone.
“We also do a lot of community things and are fundraising just now for Thanet Food Bank, the RNLI and Thanet Disabled Riding Centre.
“People can come and see live music at the weekends but also can come and just have a chat, there are no TVs or amusements. We have a few board games and we are very traditional, we’ve stripped it all back.”
The Magnet is rebranding as a pub rather than a micropub but will retain that same ethos of being a welcoming, independent venue with good ales and ciders.
A presentation was also made to the Hair of the Dog micropub in Minster which this year gained a runner up certificate.
The venue, run by Gary Hake and Julie Beaney since 2013, was commended by Camra for its quality real ales and ciders, but also for its exemplary community engagement with Camra saying: “The service this pub supplied to its customers and its engagement with the community was exemplary and without equal in the local area.
“Everything isn’t always about money, sometimes it’s about engagement. A good local village pub should be part of the community it serves. And here, that is their strength, and that is their mission.”
The Hair of the Dog is a previous Thanet Cider Pub winner.
A further runner-up presentation is due to be made to The Artillery Arms in Ramsgate today (April 27).