CHEERS to The Grape and Bean – Mid Cheshire’s Best for Cocktails 2024!

With their legendary pina colada, which is a hit throughout the Pina Colada Festival each summer, mojitos and martinis and classic Old Fashioned drinks on the menu it’s a popular place.

With five owners and one bar manager, the award-winning Market Street venue has a wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise that has contributed to its success over the past three years.

The wine bar offers a relaxing space for customers to enjoy a wide range of draught and bottled beers and top quality wines as well as locally roasted coffee and an unrivalled collection of teas – and also award-winning cocktails!

In April, we launched our Best of 2024 competition.

This year’s search for Mid Cheshire’s best in a whole host of categories started with hair and Fox Hairdressing was crowned our first winner quickly followed by JD’s Café and their pies.

Next up were picture perfect nails with Blue Beauty Cheshire taking the title and The Bowling Green is officially Best for Roast Dinners.

Then we moved onto cocktails with customers and readers sending their nominations and votes for their favourite venues to get a speciality drink.

Voting for Mid Cheshire’s Best for Breakfast is currently taking place and we’re also looking for nominations in our latest search - Best for Fish and Chips.

Vote for Mid Cheshire’s Best for Breakfast 2024

Nominate your favourite for Mid Cheshire’s Best for Fish and Chips 2024

We toasted 12 terrific cocktail places in Mid Cheshire who made the shortlist for Best for Cocktails with The Grape and Bean taking this year’s coveted crown making it back-to-back wins.

The venue is owned by James Wilmington, Ian Barstow, Richard Caldwell-Hoe, Peter Price and Carl Gabbott with Janine Siddall employed as the bar manager.

As a team, they’re keen to see Northwich grow into a destination town and when the opportunity came up to open a new business they knew they couldn’t say no.

The men met and became friends at Northwich Round Table, getting involved in charitable events in the town with a #domore motto, and it was this that drove them forward in their business venture.

Manager Janine, who grew up in Alsager and moved to Northwich in 2008, said: “We pride ourselves on great service.

“We try and ensure that standards are met with every drink that leaves the bar to our customers.

“Every single drink is made to the same specification and presented the same and all staff are trained to ensure that consistency is there no matter who makes the drink.

“I like to think that we give treat every customer that walk through the door as a VIP to ensure that they feel special and have the best time and experience every time.

“We have the best regulars that come in every time they are out in town and I hope it is because they have formed a great relationship with the staff and enjoy their drinks and experience every time.”

The venue is open Thursday to Saturday with happy hour events and live music including Northwich Uke Club each Thursday evening and other local artists on a Saturday.

Janine Siddall is the manager at The Grape and Bean in Northwich

Janine Siddall is the manager at The Grape and Bean in Northwich

Janine, who is 44, added: “We control our music programme ourselves which means we can work with local people that want to perform and give them the opportunity to perform to our customers.

“This ranges from established bands to people who want to perform their own music to showcase it.

“We are an independent local business, so we have the power to change products, menus, service offerings as often as we need to accommodate what our customers are asking for, so we can continually evolve to ensure we are meeting their needs and provide them with the great service they have come to expect.

“We do cocktail masterclasses, where I teach people how to make our amazing cocktails and they get to make them and best of all drink them!

“They are always a great giggle and can be booked on a Friday night or Saturday daytime.

“We recently launched a food programme which has a Mediterranean feel to it with some stunning flatbreads and side dishes.

“It is all really fresh made to order and is great for the summer months ahead.

“We also offer some meat and cheese plates that pair brilliantly with our fantastic range of wines.”

Popular cocktails on their double award-winning menu include the pina colada, Mai Thai and Old Fashioned as well as espresso martinis, pornstar martinis and amaretto sours.

The menu also features some mocktail versions of the classics.

Pina coladas and pornstar martinis are popular cocktails on the menu

Pina coladas and pornstar martinis are popular cocktails on the menu

What do customers think of The Grape and Bean? Why did they think they deserved to win Best for Cocktails for a second time?

One happy customer said simply: “The best pina colada I’ve ever tasted!”

Janine said: “I have a great team around me which is always supportive and really helps me do what I do.

“We have the most lovely customers that make my job a pleasure to do.

“I have formed such good relationships with customers that some have now become friends.

“I like the fact that with our live music we have met some of the coolest musicians in the area and allow them to showcase their music on a weekly basis.

“We were delighted to make the shortlist for Best for Cocktails again this year after winning it last year and to retain our title is incredible.

“I felt a lot more pressure going into it this year after previously winning the title, but we have continued to ensure that no matter when you walk through our doors, you will get the cocktail made the same way and presented in the same way, each and every time.

“Cocktails are all subject to individual taste so I am thrilled that we are still pleasing so many people.

“Everyone at The Grape and Bean would like to thank each and every single person that took their time to vote for us.

“We are a small local business whose main focus is to try and be successful in this wonderful town of Northwich.

“We work so desperately hard to try and give people the best drinks, service and experience so I feel so appreciative that people took time to vote.

“Thank you so much!”

The Grape and Bean hosts live music each week (Credit Paul Barrett)

The Grape and Bean hosts live music each week (Credit Paul Barrett)