York’s Pub of the Year is named – and promises a big party when it reopens

Manager Ian Warner in the window above the Slip Inn. All the pictures were taken before the pub closed. Photographs: Gavin Aitchison
22 Apr 2020 @ 8.04 am
| Food & Drink

A much-loved community local has been named the best pub in York, and is promising a big celebration when the current situation ends.

The Slip Inn in Clementhorpe, just south of the city centre, has won the York Camra Pub of the Year title, the region’s most prestigious pub award. The news comes just a few weeks after the pub celebrated its tenth anniversary as a locally-owned free house.

Manager Ian Warner and owner Paul Crossman will host a celebration via Facebook Live this evening (Wednesday) to allow locals and regulars to raise a glass in celebration while adhering to lockdown rules. 

It is the first time The Slip has won the award, which has been running since 1995 and which covers pubs in much of North Yorkshire as well as York.

Fantastic feeling

Planning a big celebration at the Slip

Mr Warner said: “It’s a fantastic feeling to have won the pub of the year award, particularly as it has happened in the year we celebrate ten years as a free house.

“After a year of major investment, we have added an extra three real ale pumps and have added an extra seven lines for craft keg beers and two more dedicated to real cider.”

He added:

  • We will be looking to celebrate this award once we reopen and are able to welcome back the many friends and loyal customers, without whom we would not have been in a position to win.

    We wanted our regulars and staff to be able to join in with the excitement, which is why we decided to hold a live event on Facebook tonight, and it will be great to see the reaction of so many people who we’ve been missing in the past few weeks.

The Slip Inn dates back to the 1840s but had been owned by a succession of large pub companies in the early years of this century, and there were fears for its future when the financial crisis led to large-scale pub sales around 2008.

It was then bought and rescued by local residents and friends,  Jon Farrow and Mr Crossman, who also manages The Swan pub nearby. The pair also later rescued The Volunteer Arms in west York.

They turned The Slip into a free house and the redevelopment of the pub was completed early this year. Mr Warner took over as manager in 2017, following the sudden death of Mr Farrow.

Invested heavily

Cheers! Paul Crossman and Ian in the Slip Inn

Mr Crossman said: “We are over the moon to have received this award from York Camra, in this our tenth anniversary year as a free house. An accolade like this makes a really big difference to a small independent pub like ours.

“We have invested heavily in The Slip Inn over the past year, and we are really excited to now be able to offer a hugely increased range of independent beer, and especially more of those from our great local breweries. So this award is just the icing on the cake.

“It’s obviously a pity that this should also be the year of such an unprecedented national crisis, when pubs have quite rightly been required to close. Still, at least it means when we can  eventually safely reopen, we will have all the more cause for celebration.”

A spokesman for York Camra said: “We give our congratulations to The Slip Inn. These are obviously odd times for all pubs but we look forward to celebrating properly later in the year.”