A New Brighton bar and eatery has been crowned The Best Independent Operator in the UK at this year's Eat Out Awards.

The award-winning independent Blackberry Grove has recently celebrated their second birthday while also announcing plans to open a new premises in Liverpool.

For owner, Joanna Jones, the dream began with two credit cards and a loan after she separated from her husband.

Now Joanna is looking forward to what's to come.

She said: “Everybody told me to use a crowd funder to start New Brighton but I thought from the beginning that it was my dream and my baby so I’ve always been of the thinking if you believe in something, put your money where your mouth is.  

"I just about managed to do that with New Brighton but it will be a massive step up financially to open in Liverpool so as well as putting money myself, we have decided to go down this route with incentives for people who help us.

"It’s something I’ve always wanted, it was just about biding our time and getting New Brighton right before setting our sights further afield.  

"I’m a born and bred Liverpudlian, I’ve dreamt of my place there for a long time but now we have the perfect team here, we can finally start putting those plans into practice.”

To celebrate Blackberry Grove's recent success, Joanna hosted a party to say thank you to regular customers, family and friends who supported her throughout the years. 

Among the guests were David Kennedy from Hollyoaks, actor Dean Sullivan and Birkenhead boxer Sean 'Masher' Dodd. 

Within five months of trading, Joanna and the team were recognised winning the ‘Outstanding Customer Care’ award at The Wirral Tourism Awards 2016.  

In November 2016, they were shortlisted and named as one of the best 20 places in the country for people with food allergies to eat out at (Free From Eating Out Awards 2016) and were nationally recognised again at The Casual Dining Awards this year.

Most recently the eatery had success at the prestigious Cheshire Life Food & Drink Awards winning ‘Outstanding Customer Service’ and were shortlisted for ‘Best Independent Business of The Year’ at The Wirral Business Awards 2017.