Belfast Telegraph

Pub of the Year Awards: Bangor bar the Goat's Toe lifts award for top spot...but did your local haunt pick up a gong?

By John Mulgrew

The Goat's Toe in Bangor has been named Northern Ireland's Pub of the Year at a glitzy bash outside Belfast.

The quirky nightspot was awarded the local industry's top gong during the annual Pubs of Ulster awards.

Hundreds packed into the La Mon Hotel for the ceremony, hosted by Cool FM's Pete Snodden.

Andrew Gedge of overall winner, The Goat's Toe, said it was a "real honour" to be chosen as Northern Ireland's top pub.

"Our entire team works so hard and we are continually improving our premises to ensure we stay at the top of our game," he said.

A total of 38 bars from throughout Northern Ireland were shortlisted - vying for a prize across a total of 10 categories.

Among the familiar faces at the industry bash was Finance Minister Simon Hamilton, who joined mentalist David Meade and Charlie Lawson - Coronation Street's Jim McDonald.

Belfast pubs also walked away with some silverware of their own - with Ryan's Bar scooping the award for Best Big Idea.

Shiro lifted the gong for Best Marketing Idea while the Albany won Best New or Improved Pub.

Pubs of Ulster chairman Mark Stewart praised the high standards of all those who entered.

"Pubs of Ulster’s Pub of the Year Awards recognise and reward excellence and the important contribution local pubs make, not only within their own communities, but to the hospitality industry as a whole," he said.

"This year we received our highest level of entries to date. The high standard of our finalists is a clear indication of the increasing professionalism and quality of pubs right across Northern Ireland."

Pub of the Year 2014 Winners

Best Barperson (in association with Sunday Life)

WINNER: Clare Johnston, The Railway Arms, Coleraine

FINALISTS:

Christian Grey, Gillies Pub at Galgorm, Ballymena

Willie Gregg, The Harbour Bar, Portrush

SHORTLISTED:

Jordyn Busby, JD Tipler, Portadown

Kevin O’Brien, The Maypole, Holywood

Margaret Ferguson, The lakeside Inn, Downpatrick

Best Marketing Idea

WINNER: Shiro, Belfast

FINALISTS:

The Albany, Belfast

The Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone

SHORTLISTED:

The Elk, Toomebridge

The Filthy Quarter, Belfast

Best Charity Event

WINNER: Sallys of Omagh

FINALISTS:

The Cellar Bar at The Port Hotel, Portrush

Stables & Groomsport Inn, Groomsport

SHORTLISTED:

The Bridge House, Belfast

The Garrick, Belfast

Best Entertainment

WINNER: The Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone

FINALISTS:

Betty Black’s, Bangor

Corner Bar at The Market Yard, Limavady

SHORTLISTED:

O’Hare’s Lounge Bars, Newcastle

The Ryandale, Moy

Best New or Improved

WINNER: The Albany, Belfast

FINALISTS:

The Dirty Onion, Belfast

The National Grande Café Bar, Belfast

SHORTLISTED:

Kiwi’s Brew Bar, Portrush

Sunflower Public House, Belfast

Best Food

WINNER: The Maghera Inn, Castlewellan

FINALISTS:

Mary’s Bar, Magherafelt

The Salty Dog, Bangor

SHORTLISTED:

The Harbour Bistro, Portrush

The Ponderosa, Derry/Londonderry

Best Big Idea

WINNER: Ryan’s Bar & Restaurant, Belfastalban

FINALISTS:

El Divino, Belfast

The National Grande Café, Belfast

SHORTLISTED:

Devenish Bar, Enniskillen

The Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone

Best Hotel Bar

WINNER: Adair Arms, Ballymena

FINALISTS:

Cocktail Bar at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

The Salty Dog, Bangor

SHORTLISTED:

Benedicts of Belfast

Gillie’s Pub at Galgorm, Ballymena

Pub Week Event

WINNER: The National Grande Café, Belfast

FINALISTS:

The Anchor Bar, Newcastle

The Lakeside Inn, Downpatrick

SHORTLISTED

Mary’s Bar, Magherafelt

McBride’s on the Square, Comber

Pub of the Year

WINNER: The Goat’s Toe, Bangor

FINALISTS:

The Dirty Onion, Belfast

The Maghera Inn, Castlewellan

SHORTLISTED:

The Filthy Quarter, Belfast

The Railway Arms, Coleraine

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