A POPULAR Greenock establishment has set the bar high after beating the competition to be crowned Scotland's best gastropub.

Nicolson's Bar & Kitchen on Bruce Street triumphed at the 10th Annual Scottish Entertainment Awards after seeing off opposition from across the country.

The bar, which is run by business partners Michael Frizzel and Symon Bleasdale, was voted into the final by local customers before being part of a rigorous judging process alongside 14 rivals.

Judges visited the establishments, including Carriages in Kilmacolm, before crowning the winners at a glittering awards ceremony in Glasgow.

Symon told the Tele: "My girlfriend nominated us for the award and then our customers got behind us to vote and get us into the final.

"It's such a tough competition and there were some big hitters in there, so we weren't expecting much.

"We were up against establishments in big cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"It felt unbelievable when we were announced as the winners, we were totally shocked.

"It's brilliant news, we're absolutely delighted."

Symon and Michael say the bar's success is down to the hard-working staff including manager Gary McDowell, head chef Conor Fairley and staff Sophie Wooff and Kerri Bell.

Manager Gary says there have even been new customers descending on the Greenock premises since they took home the top title.

He said: "Off the back of the award we've had excellent support from our regular customers, they're all delighted.

"But equally we've had a lot of new faces come thorough the door which we know is off the back of the award.

"It means so much to us all, especially after how hard things have been for the hospitality industry over the past two years."

Co-owner Michael added: "We'd like to thank all of our customers for their support and getting us this far.

"We wouldn't have been able to do this without them."