Fionn McAlpine from The Harbour Bar, Portrush (centre) pictured with Mark Stewart, chairman, Pubs of Ulster (left) and Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton (right) at Pubs of Ulster’s prestigious Pub of the Year Awards 2013, where The Harbour Bar won the overall Pub of the Year 2013 Award. In addition to its big win, The Harbour Inn also won the Best Charity Initiative Award and was shortlisted for a further four awards on the night – Best Marketing Initiative, Best Big Idea, Best Food and Best Barperson (in association with The Sunday Life).
A further six awards were handed out on the night hosted by Apprentice star, Jim Eastwood at La Mon Hotel and Country Club on Wednesday 13th November 2013. Belfast was strongly represented with three of the big winners from the city: The Limelight (Best Entertainment); The Garrick (Best Big Idea) and The Hudson Bar (Best New/Improved). Further afield, The Elk in Toomebridge clinched the Best Food Award and The Wild Duck Inn won the Best Marketing Initiative Award. Margaret Ferguson from The Lakeside in Ballydugan, Co. Down and Maggie McGaughey from The Front Page in Ballymena were named joint winners of Best Barperson (in association with The Sunday Life).
The annual Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards and provide a valuable opportunity to recognise the significant contribution local pubs make, not only within their own communities, but to the industry as a whole. This year’s awards were supported by Belfast Distillery Company, Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Drinks Inc, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI and media partners, Sunday Life, U105 and Hospitality Review NI. Picture by Stephen Hamilton, Press Eye.