South Belfast’s Ryan’s Bar is celebrating with a pint of butterbeer having been crowned Northern Ireland’s Most Innovative Pub at this year’s Pubs of Ulster Pub of the Year Awards, thanks to their Harry Potter|based theme.
The bar on the Lisburn Road dazzled the judges in Belfast City Hall with their exciting and unique marketing campaign around the final Harry Potter instalment; a campaign that magically increased revenue,|media coverage and Ryan’s|customer base.
Colin Neill, chief executive of Pubs of Ulster said: “This year’s awards have once again showcased the best of the industry and demonstrated the excellence that exists in the trade. I would like to thank all the pubs which entered this year’s awards and congratulate all the winners, especially Ryan’ Bar, which is a leading example of the quality of the local pub trade and|a deserving winner of the|coveted title.”
The Pub of the Year Awards is the culmination of an extensive search for the best pubs in a range of categories across Northern Ireland. Finalists were selected following an extensive judging process and were judged, depending on their category,|by written submissions, interviews or by independent|mystery shoppers.
An independent judging panel comprising of Martin Breen, Editor of the Sunday Life; Gary McDonald, Business Editor of the Irish News; Adrienne McGill, Business Editor of the News Letter; Paul Connolly, Managing Editor of the Belfast Telegraph; Robert Cully from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and|Louise Murphy from Hospitality Review then decided on the|overall winners.
The Sunday Life Readers’ Choice Award was also presented on the night to The Head O’ The Road in Portadown. The Pubs of Ulster Chairman’s Award was presented by Chair Sorcha Wolsey to Joe McDermott, Pubs of Ulster Treasurer, who was honoured for over a decade’s worth of service to the industry during which time he has worked tirelessly for the development and enhancement of the local licensed trade sector.
As the only competition to focus solely on the pub trade, this year’s awards were sponsored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Britvic, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Dillon Bass, Heineken Northern Ireland, Molson Coors, Richmond Marketing, Tennent’s NI and Drinks Inc. The awards are also supported by the Sunday Life, Hospitality review and U105.
The Pub of the Year Awards were hosted by comedians Dan Gordon and Tim McGarry and after the awards, guests celebrated in style at the exclusive Pub of the Year Awards after party at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast.