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Ulster Pub of the Year Awards 2015: Shortlisted revealed of drinking establishments vying for top honour

Published 22/10/2015

Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill, model Ashleigh Coyle and Olga Walls of Hospitality Ulster unveil the shortlist for the Ulster Pub of the Year awards. Pic: Presseye.
Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill, model Ashleigh Coyle and Olga Walls of Hospitality Ulster unveil the shortlist for the Ulster Pub of the Year awards. Pic: Presseye.

The shortlist for this year's Ulster Pub of the Year awards has been revealed.

Following a record number of entries from pubs, hotels and restaurants, a total of 44 shortlisted premises and individuals from right across Northern Ireland will now go head-to-head to be named the toast of the trade at the top industry awards next month.

Winners of a record 14 awards will be revealed at a special gala awards night hosted by Cool FM breakfast show host, Pete Snodden, at La Mon Hotel and Country Club on Wednesday, November 11.

Shortlist:

Best Hotel Bar 1, 2 & 3 Star

Adair Arms Hotel, Ballymena, County Antrim

The Port Hotel, Portrush, County Antrim

The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro, Bangor, County Down

Walsh's Hotel, Maghera, County Londonderry

Whistledown Hotel, Warrenpoint, County Down

 

Best Hotel Bar 4 & 5 Star

The Bushmills Inn, Bushmills, County Antrim

Europa Hotel, Belfast, County Antrim

Hastings Everglades Hotel, Derry, County Londonderry

La Mon Hotel & Country Club, Castlereagh, Belfast, County Antrim

Manor House Country Hotel, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

 

Commitment to the Community Hotel

Fir Trees Hotel, Strabane, County Tyrone

La Mon Hotel & Country Club, Castlereagh, Belfast, County Antrim

The Port Hotel, Portrush, County Antrim

The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro, Bangor, County Down

Walsh’s Hotel, Maghera, County Londonderry

 

Commitment to the Community Pub

The Devenish Complex, Finaghy, County Antrim

The Elk, Toomebridge, County Antrim

Front Page Bar, Ballymena, County Antrim

The Ivy Bar, Newtownards, County Down

The Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone, County Antrim

 

Commitment to the Community Restaurant

The Four Trees, Moira, County Down

Pretty Mary's, Moira, County Down

26 West Bar & Grill, Belfast, County Antrim

 

Pub of the Year City

The Albany, Belfast, County Antrim

Bootleggers, Belfast, County Antrim

The Garrick, Belfast, County Antrim

The Perch Rooftop Bar, Belfast, County Antrim

Sunflower Public House, Belfast, County Antrim

 

Pub of the Year Rural

Friels Bar & Bistro, Maghera, County Londonderry

Halfway House, Banbridge, County Down

The Maghera Inn, Castlewellan, County Down

The Ponderosa, Derry

The Wild Duck Inn, Portglenone, County Antrim

 

Pub of the Year Urban

Devenish Bar, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh

Devlin’s Bar, Armagh

The Dirty Duck Alehouse, Holywood, County Down

Mary’s Bar, Magherafelt, County Londonderry

Pier 36, Donaghadee, County Down

 

Commitment to Local Food Pub

The Dirty Duck Alehouse, Holywood, County Down

The Garrick, Belfast, County Antrim

The Maghera Inn, Castlewellan, County Down

Pier 36, Donaghadee, County Down

Pretty Mary's, Moira, County Down

 

Commitment to Local Food Restaurant

The Barking Dog Restaurant, Belfast, County Antrim

The Elk, Toomebridge, County Antrim

Molly’s Yard, Belfast, County Antrim

Tedfords, Belfast, County Antrim

The Yellow Heifer, Camlough, County Armagh

 

Commitment to Local Food Hotel

The Bushmills Inn, Bushmills, County Antrim

La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Castlereagh, County Antrim

Newforge House, Magheralin, County Armagh

The Salty Dog Hotel and Bistro, Bangor, County Down

Slieve Donard Resort and Spa, Newcastle, County Down

 

Best Bar Person (in association with Sunday Life)

Danny Leitch, Ruby's, Larne

Laura Keegan, Keegans Bar, Armagh

Nathaniel McAuley, Muriel's Cafe Bar, Belfast

Neil McDonald, The Poet, Dundonald

Willie Gregg, The Harbour Bar, Portrush

 

Hospitality Ulster’s Rising Star (in partnership with Ulster University)

To be announced on the night

 

Industry Legend (in partnership with Hospitality Review)

To be announced on the night

 

Olga Walls, chair of Hospitality Ulster said: “Hospitality Ulster’s new look Pub of the Year Awards provide a valuable opportunity to recognise the significant contribution Northern Ireland’s hospitality venues make, not only within their own communities, but to the hospitality sector as a whole.

“We are lucky to have world class hospitality venues on our doorstep and these Awards will recognise and reward those businesses that are setting industry standards with their customer offering, service and innovations.

“The competition for this year’s Awards is very high, which is a real indication of the standards being set across the sector. I would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted individuals, pubs, restaurants and hotels and wish them the very best of luck at next month’s Pub of the Year Awards.”

One Award category also invited nominations from the general public, with people nominating their favourite bar person by writing to The Sunday Life, which is joining forces with Hospitality Ulster once again to find out who the public feel should clinch the coveted title of best bar person.

All submitted Award entries, along with public nominations from the Best Bar Person and the Industry Legend Awards are vetted and judged by an independent judging panel comprised of industry experts, before being mystery shopped to ensure they meet industry standards and best practice guidelines.

The Pub of the Year’s expert judging panel consists of mentalist and hospitality expert, David Meade; John Mulgrew, business journalist, The Belfast Telegraph; Hugh Black, president of the Belfast Chamber of Trade and Commerce; Beannchor Group managing director, Bill Wolsey; Worldwide drinks industry veterans, Maire Campbell (former Coca-Cola); Padraig Gribben, chief executive Vintners Federation Ireland; Terry Loughins (former Diageo) and Brigid Simmons (chief executive, British Beer & Pub Association); Martin Breen, editor, Sunday Life; Alyson Magee, editor, Hospitality Review; Jordan Moates, Downtown/Cool FM; Gary McDonald, business editor, The Irish News; Richard Sherriff, business editor, The News Letter and Nathan Hanna, Belfast Live.

After rigorous judging by the panel, hospitality venues from across Northern Ireland are put through their paces further, with mystery shoppers visiting their premises to ensure they adhere to best industry standards.

Tickets to the Hospitality Ulster Pub of the Year Gala Awards night cost £85 per person or £850 for a table of 10 and can be booked by emailing Caroline Dunlop on CarolineD@mcepublicrelations.com

For further information about the Pub of the Year Awards 2015, visit www.nipuboftheyear.org

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