NSW 2016 AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE “GREAT NIGHT FOR INDUSTRY” – WINNERS SPEAK

In Awards by Clyde Mooney

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“Another great year” was the consensus as nearly 1200 hotel industry professionals and guests overflowed The Star’s Event Centre for the 2016 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence.

The record 42 awards garnered over 600 nominations, reflecting the health and vibrancy of the hotel sector in New South Wales.

While the crème rose to the top, with the big trophy recipients each picking up multiple awards across their dozens of nominations, competition produced an especially broad range of winners from across the State.

Arthur Laundy and partner Fraser Short enjoyed the honour of Hotel of the Year – City for their landmark Watson’s Bay Hotel, which also picked up Best Social Media (again). Laundy’s famous Steyne Hotel picked up Best Live Music venue, Short got Best Promotional Concept for The Morrison, and the pair got a Highly Commended for Northies as Best Sports Bar.

“I congratulate the AHA, the whole event was very good,” Laundy today told PubTIC.

“The Watson’s Bay was a fantastic effort by Fraser and James* and the boys – they’ve done a wonderful job there.”

St.George’s Paul Hilder (far right) joins Fraser Short (right), Arthur Laundy (centre) and the team from the Watson’s Bay Hotel.

Consolidating their prolific acquisitions and rebrands in the past year, Public House Management Group (PHMG) earned their way into a string of nominations.

The massive overhaul of the Narellan Hotel went on to pick up Best New Redeveloped Hotel – Country (joint winner with the Malouf’s Gregory Hills Hotel) and the legendary Bistro Moncur in the Woollahra snatched Best Fine Dining Restaurant.

But the big honour was recognition of PHMG as Group Hotel Operator of the Year, which Group founder and MD Mitchell Waugh told PubTIC was very much a Group effort.

“Public House Management Group are thrilled to be awarded Best Hotel Group Operator,” said Waugh.

“We owe this award to every single one of our dedicated staff and team members who work across the PHMG portfolio.

“We look forward to another great year in 2017!”

The sentimental favourite award for the industry old hands is always the annual induction of one legend into the AHA NSW Hall of Fame.

Unassuming as always, this year’s recipient reportedly spent much of the ‘guess who’ introduction by AHA NSW CEO John Whelan trying to figure out the winner, and wondering why Whelan seemed to be looking at him.

“I was trying to work out who it was as John was reading the introduction,” Gallagher admitted to PubTIC. “I never thought it was me! I also thought the winner was told before the night.

“It wasn’t until they said Brian and Pam Gallagher and seeing a photo of myself at age five the penny dropped.”

Gallagher went to stage and after chastising his wife for keeping the secret, told the hushed audience how embarrassed he was to be up there and that “many others” deserved it.

On his other big award, Best Traditional Hotel Bar for the Union Hotel, Gallagher – a self-confessed “big fan” of the traditional bar – said both the wins and missed nominations last night were great for keeping the spark in his loyal staff.

“The win for the Union was fantastic,” he reflected today. “Thanks and congratulations to all the staff on that.

“I might be biased, but I felt last night was a great event for the industry.”

 

* James Wicks (GM – The Sydney Collective)

The team from the Sunken Money, Erina – winners of Hotel of the Year – Country and Best Nightclub

 

AHA NSW President, Scott Leach

FULL LIST OF WINNERS

BEST TRADITIONAL HOTEL BAR

WINNER: Union Hotel North Sydney

 

BEST COCKTAIL/LOUNGE BAR

WINNER: Henry Deane, Hotel Palisade Sydney

 

BEST SPECIALITY/EMERGING BAR

JOINT WINNERS: Bar Florian Port Macquarie, Huxley’s Caringbah

 

BEST DRAUGHT BEER QUALITY

WINNER: The Oaks Neutral Bay

 

BEST INNOVATIVE WINE LIST

WINNER: The Dolphin Hotel Surry Hills

 

BEST RETAIL LIQUOR OUTLET

WINNER: Harrigans Irish Pub & Accommodation Pokolbin

 

BEST FAMILY FRIENDLY HOTEL

WINNER: Moonee Beach Tavern Moonee Beach

 

BEST OUTDOOR EXPERIENCE

WINNER: Kooringal Hotel Wagga Wagga

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Kingscliff Beach Hotel Kingscliff

 

BEST ROOFTOP BAR

WINNER: The Glenmore The Rocks

 

BEST INNOVATIVE REFURBISHMENT

WINNER: Rose of Australia Erskineville

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sydney Junction Hotel Hamilton

 

BEST NEW/REDEVELOPED HOTEL – COUNTRY

JOINT WINNERS: Gregory Hills Hotel Gregory Hills, Narellan Hotel Narellan

 

BEST NEW/REDEVELOPED HOTEL – CITY

WINNER: Crows Nest Hotel Crows Nest

 

HEART OF THE COMMUNITY AWARD

WINNER: The George Tavern Green Hills

 

BEST PROMOTIONAL CONCEPT

WINNER: The Morrisons Bar & Oyster Room Sydney

 

BEST SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

WINNER: Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel Watsons Bay

 

BEST RESTAURANT – COUNTRY

WINNER: Graze At The Willow Tree Inn Willow Tree

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Sprout Dining, The Crown and Anchor Hotel Newcastle

 

BEST RESTAURANT – CITY

WINNER: Charing Cross Hotel Waverley

 

BEST FINE DINING (MAJORITY OF MAINS $35+)

WINNER: Bistro Moncur, Woollahra Hotel Woollahra

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE COUNTRY – NORTHERN

WINNER: Sydney Junction Hotel Hamilton

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Lucky Hotel Newcastle

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE COUNTRY – SOUTHERN

WINNER: Coniston Hotel Coniston

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE COUNTRY – WESTERN

WINNER: Oriental Hotel Mudgee

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – CBD

WINNER: Cruise Bar Circular Quay

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – EASTERN

WINNER: The Sheaf Double Bay

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – SOUTHERN

WINNER: Taren Point Hotel Taren Point

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ugly Pizza Caringbah

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – WESTERN

JOINT WINNERS: Rose of Australia Erskineville, Town Hall Hotel Balmain

 

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – NORTHERN

WINNER: Hunters Hill Hotel Hunters Hill

 

BEST STEAK VENUE

WINNER: The Sackville Hotel Rozelle

 

BEST BURGER VENUE

WINNER: Bayview Hotel Gladesville

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Goodtime Burgers, The Eastern Bondi Junction

 

BEST CHEAP EAT MEAL UNDER $15

WINNER: Village Green Hotel Grafton

 

BEST LIVE MUSIC

WINNER: Hotel Steyne Manly

 

BEST NIGHTCLUB/NIGHTLIFE VENUE

WINNER: Proud Mary’s, The Sunken Monkey Hotel Erina

 

BEST SPORTS BAR

WINNER: Agincourt Hotel Haymarket

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Northies Hotel Cronulla

 

BEST GAMING VENUE – COUNTRY

WINNER: Gregory Hills Hotel Gregory Hills

 

BEST GAMING VENUE – CITY

WINNER: El Cortez Hotel Canley Heights

 

BEST PUB TAB – COUNTRY

WINNER: Central Hotel Shellharbour

 

BEST PUB TAB – CITY

WINNER: Blue Cattle Dog Hotel St Clair

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Hunters Hill Hotel Hunters Hill

 

BEST KENO VENUE

WINNER: Central Hotel Shellharbour

 

BEST PUB STYLE ACCOMMODATION TRADITIONAL/STANDARD EXPERIENCE

WINNER: Prince of Wales Hotel Gulgong

 

BEST PUB STYLE ACCOMMODATION DELUXE OVERNIGHT EXPERIENCE

WINNER: Caves Beachside Hotel Caves Beach

 

INDUSTRY RISING STAR

WINNER: Matt Clifton, Donnys Manly

 

BARTENDER OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Kurtis Bosley, Woollahra Hotel Woollahra

 

CHEF OF THE YEAR – COUNTRY

WINNER: Cheryl Pavey, Town Green Inn Port Macquarie

 

CHEF OF THE YEAR – CITY

WINNER: Sam Bennett, Cricketers Arms Hotel Balmain

 

SINGLE HOTEL OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Oriental Hotel, Mudgee Des Kennedy

 

GROUP HOTEL OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Public House Management Group

 

HOTEL OF THE YEAR – COUNTRY

WINNER: The Sunken Monkey Hotel Erina

 

HOTEL OF THE YEAR – CITY

WINNER: Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel Watsons Bay