The economy may have taken a hammering over the last year but Northern Ireland’s entertainment and hospitality industry is still thriving.
In 2009 new restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels across the province opened their doors.
To celebrate the best of what Northern Ireland has to offer, the Fate Awards are back this year, with 17 categories featuring the shortlisted entries vying to win over the judges.
From classic bar to cocktail bar, gay venue to gastro pub, the province’s favourite hotspots will battle it out against each other to win a coveted award.
Announcing the shortlist, Michael Deane, head of the judging panel, said: “The Fate Awards is synonymous with success throughout Northern Ireland. Each year the bar is raised as the expert panel of judges whittle down the public nominations to determine the leaders in our industry”
Award categories are: Best Classic Bar, Best Style Bar, Best Cocktail Bar, Best Gastro Pub, Best Front of House, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Regional Bar, Best Regional Restaurant, Best Club, Best Regional Club, Best DJ, Best Gay Venue, Jim Aiken Live Venue, Colin Angus Best Media Personality, Best Hotel and Best Newcomer.
Commenting on the shortlist, Michael Mervyn-Jones, publisher of Fate Magazine, said: “Across the country, everyone in the entertainment industry has worked really hard to prove their worth in the past year and, although the year ahead is also predicted to be a difficult one, outstanding achievements should always be celebrated.
“That’s what the Fate Awards are all about; recognising and celebrating those who go that extra mile within the hospitality industry.
“The industry is still thriving with a number of new restaurants, bars and clubs opening in 2009 and our newcomer category is testament to the resilience of the Northern Ireland people who, even in recession, have come out to support and enjoy these new and exciting venues.”
The Fate Awards take place on March 26 at the Europa Hotel, Belfast.