NSW PUBS SHINE AT GLITTERING 2015 AWARDS NIGHT

In Awards by Clyde Mooney

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A salubrious swarm of hoteliers and industry gathered last night at The Star to honour the best venues and individuals at the 2015 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence.

There were stand-out winners both expected and unexpected from the line-up of nominees, amid a year of exemplary efforts and best-ever business practises.

The indomitable Merivale took home no less than five awards, including Best Fine Dining Restaurant and Best Overall Hotel – City for Establishment.

Solotel appeared on a string of finalist lists, taking Best Entertainment Venue for work at the Golden Sheaf, but one of the highlights of the night was Bruce Solomon accepting one of the two Hall of Fame awards presented, with the veteran taking a big swipe at the so-called ‘lockout’ regulations – accusing the State Government of “killing” the area.

2015 Hall of Fame inductee, Ron Roberts

2015 Hall of Fame inductee, Ron Roberts

The Waugh’s flashy new Collaroy Hotel was similarly runner up in a handful of awards, but did walk away with Best New/Redeveloped Hotel and Best Cocktail Bartender.

The north coast’s Kingscliff Beach Hotel was a big winner, snatching Best Sports Bar, Best Pub TAB, and Best Keno Venue – Country.

But the real stand-out winner of the night was the humble and fortuitous Lucky Hotel, in Newcastle. Itself undergoing a major 2015 renovation in the past 12 months, The Lucky was awarded Best New/Redeveloped Hotel – Country, Best Pub-Style Accommodation – Deluxe, Best Burger, Best Individual Hotel Operator for Hayley McCloy, and Overall Hotel of the Year – Country.

Rolly De With’s The Junction Hotel also took awards for Best Casual Dining Venue – Country Northern, and Best Pub-Style Accommodation – Traditional.

Shane Jacobson, star of the 2006 dry comedy about the portaloo industry – Kenny, was also proud to see The Junction get the underrated honour of Best Bathroom Facilities, which it shared with the recently overhauled Charring Cross Hotel.

AHA NSW President, Scott Leach

AHA NSW President, Scott Leach

AHA NSW CEO John Whelan praised the “best in the industry” to roughly 1,000 guests – many of whom filed downstairs after the Awards to Marquee, to continue the celebrations until the early hours.

“Our venues employ more than 75,000 people across NSW, and it is great to see the hard work of management and staff honoured here tonight,” said Whelan.

FULL LIST OF WINNERS BELOW

AHA Awards 2015_Blake and Hayley McCloy_adj_LR_30w

Blake and Hayley McCloy

 

2015 AHA NSW AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE WINNERS

BEST TRADITIONAL HOTEL BAR

WINNER: Banjo Paterson Inn, Jindabyne

BEST COCKTAIL/LOUNGE BAR

WINNER: Palmer & Co., Sydney

BEST BOUTIQUE BEER OFFERING

WINNER: The Winston, Winston Hills

BEST RETAIL LIQUOR OUTLET

WINNER: Prince of Wales Hotel, Merewether

BEST FAMILY FRIENDLY HOTEL

WINNER: Sodens Hotel, Albury

BEST OUTDOOR/NON-ENCLOSED FACILITY

WINNER: Republic Hotel, Sydney

BEST NEW/REDEVELOPED HOTEL – COUNTRY

WINNER: The Lucky Hotel, Newcastle

BEST NEW/REDEVELOPED HOTEL – CITY

WINNER: Collaroy Hotel, Collaroy

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE AND ACHIEVEMENT

WINNER: Belrose Hotel, Belrose

BEST PROMOTIONAL CONCEPT

WINNER: Merivale, Sydney

(March into Merivale Food & Wine Festival 2015)

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

The Man from Snowy River Hotel, Perisher Valley

BEST RESTAURANT – CITY

WINNER: Ananas Bar & Brasserie, The Rocks

BEST FINE DINING RESTAURANT MAJORITY OF MAINS $35+

WINNER: est. , Establishment Hotel, Sydney

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE COUNTRY – NORTHERN

WINNER: Junction Hotel, The Junction

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE COUNTRY – SOUTHERN

WINNER: Duke of Kent Hotel, Wagga Wagga

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE COUNTRY – WESTERN

WINNER: Prince of Wales Hotel, Gulgong

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – EASTERN

WINNER: Coogee Bay Hotel, Coogee

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – SOUTHERN

WINNER: Taren Point Hotel, Taren Point

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – WESTERN

WINNERS:

3 Weeds Hotel, Rozelle +

The Fiddler, Rouse Hill

BEST CASUAL DINING VENUE CITY – NORTHERN

WINNER: Blues Point Hotel, McMahons Point

BEST STEAK VENUE

WINNER: Graze at the Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree

BEST BURGER

WINNER: The Lucky Hotel, Newcastle

BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE

WINNER: The Golden Sheaf Hotel, Double Bay

BEST SPORTS BAR

WINNER: Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff

BEST GAMING VENUE

WINNER: El Cortez Hotel, Canley Heights

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Kooringal Hotel, Wagga Wagga

BEST PUB TAB – COUNTRY

WINNER: Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff

BEST PUB TAB – CITY

WINNER: V Bar, Sydney

BEST KENO VENUE – COUNTRY

WINNER: Kingscliff Beach Hotel, Kingscliff

BEST KENO VENUE – CITY

WINNER: The Fairfield Hotel, Fairfield

BEST PUB – STYLE ACCOMMODATION TRADITIONAL

WINNER: Junction Hotel, The Junction

BEST PUB-STYLE ACCOMMODATION DELUXE

WINNER: The Lucky Hotel, Newcastle

INDUSTRY RISING STAR

WINNER: Doron Whaite – Hemmesphere, Establishment, Sydney

APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR INDUCTEE

WINNER: Matthew Wills – Palings Kitchen & Bar, ivy, Sydney

COCKTAIL BARTENDER OF THE YEAR

WINNERS:

Kurtis Bosley – Collaroy Hotel, Collaroy

Taylor Scelzi – The Glenmore, The Rocks

CHEF OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Matt Kemp – Charing Cross Hotel, Waverley

BEST BATHROOM FACILITIES

WINNERS:

Junction Hotel, The Junction +

Charing Cross Hotel, Waverley

BEST INDIVIDUAL HOTEL OPERATOR

WINNER: Hayley McCloy – The Lucky Hotel, Newcastle

BEST GROUP HOTEL OPERATOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Redcape Hotel Group

OVERALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR – COUNTRY

WINNER: The Lucky Hotel, Newcastle

OVERALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR – CITY

WINNER: Establishment, Sydney