Drinks news

Northern Ireland’s best hospitality venues revealed at Pub of the Year Awards

Beannchor Group’s Bill Wolsey and Petra Wolsey with the Industry Legend award at Hospitality Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2015, awarded in recognition of his commitment to the local hospitality industry. Presenting the award to Bill is Alyson Magee, Editor of Hospitality Review NI magazine. Also pictured is Chair of Hospitality Ulster Olga Walls

Beannchor Group’s Bill Wolsey and Petra Wolsey with the Industry Legend award at Hospitality Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2015, awarded in recognition of his commitment to the local hospitality industry.  Presenting the award to Bill is Alyson Magee, Editor of Hospitality Review NI magazine.  Also pictured is Chair of Hospitality Ulster Olga Walls

Beannchor Group’s Bill Wolsey and Petra Wolsey with the Industry Legend award at Hospitality Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards 2015, awarded in recognition of his commitment to the local hospitality industry. Presenting the award to Bill is Alyson Magee, Editor of Hospitality Review NI magazine. Also pictured is Chair of Hospitality Ulster Olga Walls

Following a record number of entries from pubs, hotels and restaurants, a total of 44 shortlisted premises and individuals from right across Northern Ireland went head to head to be named the toast of the trade. A total of 14 awards were presented at the glamourous ceremony, which was hosted by Cool FM presenter Pete Snodden and attended by VIP guests.

In an exciting new development and in recognition of the great diversity of pubs in Northern Ireland, this year there were three separate Pub of the Year Awards, recognising the best City, Urban and Rural pubs across the province. With the introduction of the three new categories this year’s Awards were the most inclusive yet. After a hotly contested competition the three Pub of the Year winners were:

  • Pub of the Year City – Sunflower Public House, Belfast
  • Pub of the Year Urban – Mary’s Bar, Magherafelt
  • Pub of the Year Rural – Friels of Swatragh, Derry~Londonderry

In recognition of the growing importance of food provenance, Hospitality Ulster introduced three new Commitment to Local Food Awards (in partnership with Food NI/Taste of Ulster), recognising the outstanding Commitment to Local Food within Northern Ireland’s Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants. With fierce competition in this category the eventual winners were:

  • Commitment to Local Food Pub (in partnership with Food NI /Taste of Ulster)- Pier 36, Donaghadee
  • Commitment to Local Food Restaurant (in partnership with Food NI/ Taste of Ulster) – Tedfords, Belfast
  • Commitment to Local Food Hotel (in partnership with Food NI /Taste of Ulster)- Newforge House, Magheralin

The Best Bar Person of the Year Award (in association with Sunday Life) recognised truly exceptional individuals and was entered via nominations through the Sunday Life. With the highest ever number of nominations recorded this year, pub-goers across Northern Ireland embraced the opportunity to share their appreciation about their favourite barperson. In a competitive field, Nathaniel McCauley from Muriels Café Bar, Belfast clinched the Best Barperson title.

Meanwhile, Best Hotel Bar 1, 2 and 3 Star was awarded to The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro, Bangor whilst The Manor Country Hotel, Enniskillen scooped the Best Hotel Bar 4 and 5 Star.

The Hospitality Ulster Rising Star (in partnership with Ulster University Business School) – another new Award for 2015 – went to Miss Sindile Moyo – an exceptional young student, who graduated in July with a degree in International Hospitality Management from Ulster University.

Three Commitment to the Community Awards were presented to winners in pub, hotel and restaurant categories, recognising their outstanding contribution to local charities, good causes, cross community initiatives and efforts to increasing industry standards. The winners were:

  • Commitment to the Community Pub – Front Page Bar, Ballymena
  • Commitment to the Community Restaurant – 26 West Bar and Grill, Belfast
  • Commitment to the Community Hotel – La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Castlereagh

Also new to the 2015 line-up was the Industry Legend Award (in partnership with Hospitality Review NI). The award was presented to Bill Wolsey, founder and managing director of Beannchor Group for his outstanding contribution to the local hospitality industry.

Commenting on the awards, Olga Walls, chair of Hospitality Ulster, said: “Our Awards recognise and reward excellence and the important contribution local venues make, not only within their own communities, but to the hospitality industry as a whole.This year we have further developed our awards categories to recognise all the people and businesses, from rising stars to seasoned pros that make Northern Ireland’s hospitality industry as impressive as it is. We saw a huge increase in entries this year, with the standards the highest ever, which is a real indication of the quality and diversity of the sector. “I would like to congratulate all of this year’s winners and commend all of our shortlisted venues and finalists; to reach the final of a competition of this calibre is no mean feat; each and every one should be proud to be counted amongst the best in Northern Ireland.”  

Hospitality Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards are the only industry recognised awards. After rigorous judging by the panel, the shortlisted premises from across Northern Ireland were put through their paces with mystery shoppers visiting their premises, ensuring they adhere to best industry standards before the winners were decided. The prestigious Awards aren’t all that the winners will take away. Each of the winners will be offered an exclusive place at an interactive Masterclass, with one of the UK’s most sought after speakers and trainers, David Meade. David will guide the chosen few through a host of practical techniques that focus on driving sales by developing their customer experience, revealing the real secrets behind motivating staff and driving sales. Winners will also receive a bespoke video clip of their Award presentation from Simba Star Media for use online and on social media.

This year’s Awards were supported by Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Drinks Inc., Heineken Northern Ireland, Henderson Foods, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI, and media partners, Sunday Life, Downtown Radio/Cool FM and Hospitality Review NI.

For further information about the Pub of the Year Awards 2015 and for the full list of winners, shortlisted venues and finalists, visit www.nipuboftheyear.org

Share this Post:

Also in this section