Belfast Telegraph

PUB OF THE YEAR: Best bar none

Well here it is folks — the 10 finalists who have been shortlisted for the first ever Sunday Life Readers’ Choice gong for this year’s Pub of the Year awards.

Punters have been nominating in their droves by post and email to tell us why their local should win the prize. We’ve listed the top 10 most-nominated here in alphabetical order — not by number of nominations — and now it is up to YOU to pick who should be the overall winner.

We’re going to keep the voting open for four editions and it will be the pub with the most votes which wins this special award. The winner will be announced at the Pubs of Ulster’s gala bash on Wednesday, November 3, in Belfast City Hall, where the country’s best pubs will be recognised in a range of categories including Best Food Pub, Best Neighbourhood Pub and Best Employee/Team.

Sunday Life will be producing special framed newspaper front pages for winner and finalists in our exclusive Readers’ Choice awards that can take pride of place in those bars.

The Derg Arms
(Sammy Walls’), Co Tyrone
Ashley Yarnoff said: “My vote is for the Derg Arms in Castlederg, Co Tyrone! Sammy Walls’ is the best — kind, considerate, and a staple in my travels over to Northern Ireland for the past five years. Cheers!”

The Errigle Inn
Regular Sinead McNulty said: “I think that the award should go to the Errigle Inn this year as they most definitely deserve the title! They are consistently hitting the mark as regards customer satisfaction, delicious food, top quality menus, excellent promotions and really informative and enticing website. They are all about their customers and always make you feel welcome, in my eyes they are the best and also it's my local pub!”

Grace Neill's
Donaghadee, Co Down
James Tidman nominated this pub because it’s perfect “for a drink, a meal or just to soak up the warm and friendly atmosphere — a pub that sums up the spirit of Northern Ireland and her people.”

Dungannon, Co Tyrone
Local Andrew Gillen said: “McAleer’s Bar should win this accolade, simply because it is a young, bright, trendy local bar and nightspot. It recently underwent massive refurbishment, and as a result catapulted itself back to one of the areas top night spots. In tandem with this, during the day, it is a great venue to meet for a quiet drink, or watch the match.”

Necarne Arms
Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh
Robert Anderson said: “This pub is an excellent place to relax in comfort and style and suits both young and old with its contemporary take on the classic bar. The Necarne Arms has great entertainment with its tribute, theme and charity nights as well as great bands etc — it’s a great place for just having the craic!”

Olderfleet Bar
Larne, Co Antrim
Brenda Ashbridge said: “The beer garden is second to none with it's beach bar, heaters and just the amazing space. The bar staff are friendly and I love that they have my drinks waiting for me when I arrive.“The owner is the point of driving round town to get my preferred drink when they run out (which is rare), and then giving me freebies to compensate. AND...the craic is mighty. I wouldn't drink anywhere else.”

The Hole In The Wall Bar
Richard Shilliday said: “The Bar is a great local where people are always welcomed with a smile, on quiet nights there is always someone to have a pint and a bit of craic and on busy nights even when the bar is packed everyone is greeted and served without waiting for any length of time. I am proud to be a customer of such a great bar.”

Pier 36
Donaghadee, Co Down
Maureen Roberts said: “I wish to nominate Pier 36 in Donaghadee for Pub of the Year 2010. My reasons for doing so are that it just ticks all the boxes, from surroundings, staff, location, all top notch, the food is wonderful, so fresh, they source local and seasonal produce, and have a very fine wine list catering for all pockets! Attention to detail on every level is key with Pier 36, I highly recommend it.”

Ballynahinch, Co Down
Mary Dornan said: “It has excellent food, friendly staff and it’s great value for money.”

Shepherd's Rest
Draperstown, Co Londonderry
Anne McGuigan said: “The reason I want to vote for this pub is because it is a friendly pub with a great atmosphere about it, it is in a lovely location with great views it is a family-friendly pub great for all ages. The staff are friendly and everything about it is just lovely.”

Belfast Telegraph

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