The Australian Hotels Association ACT (AHA) hosted its annual Hospitality Awards this week recognising Canberra’s best and most popular licensed bars, restaurants, nightclubs and accommodation hotels.

In total 32 awards were presented, covering all aspects of the ACT’s hospitality industry including Best Cocktail Bar (Black Market), Best Restaurant (Pomegranate), Best Local and Best Deluxe Accommodation (Jamala Wildlife Lodge and Hotel Realm), as well as a number of new Awards including Best Speciality Restaurant (Raku) and Best Wine List (Bar Rochford).

AHA ACT Acting General Manager Anthony Brierley said, “This year’s event once again celebrated innovative newcomers in new entertainment precincts as well as well-established venues.

“From a hidden whisky bar (Molly – Best Live Entertainment venue), to a world-class wildlife retreat, to local craft breweries (Capital Brewing Co and Bentspoke Brewing Co – Best Beer) this year’s winners showcased innovation, creativity, talent and flair across the ACT’s vibrant hospitality sector.

“Over the next few months, I encourage all Canberrans to visit and experience the venues recognised in the 2018 AHA ACT Hospitality Awards. These venues are a significant reason why Canberra is such a great place to live, work and visit.”

CoCu Hospitality had a fantastic night, with two of the group’s venues Public and Edgar’s Inn jointly taking out the major pub award of Best Local. Director Frank Condi attributed the win to the staff and support of local residents.

“Both venues won the award which is great. I have put in a lot of time with staff at both venues to have them understand the locals and embrace our local community. It’s been great that everyone supports us and we wouldn’t be there without them. We have locals work for us and their families seem to support us in what we do. Being recognised is a fantastic achievement for all of our staff.”

Another big winner on the night was The Duxton, taking out three awards: Best Pub Eatery, Best Functions and Events Venue and Best TAB Licensed Venue. General manager David Quinn said the awards were a great representation of what the pub is all about.

“The team at The Duxton are extremely proud and excited to achieve the awards across three key categories that reflect the core values of our business so well. For many years we have worked to constantly improve the venue and our service offering and it’s extremely satisfying to see it all come to fruition and receive these awards for our efforts.”

More than 450 industry, political and hospitality leaders attended the gala dinner and Brierley he expected the Territory’s winners to do well at the AHA’s National Awards held on the Gold Coast in September.

“Canberra’s hospitality industry is world-class. I expect AHA ACT Winners will punch well above their weight in September, and bring home a swather of National Awards to the Nation’s capital,” he said.

The hotel, hospitality and tourism sector is vital to the ACT’s economy and it continues to grow, now contributing over $2bn to the local economy and employing 16,000 Canberrans.

Brierley added: “Competition was incredibly tough this year, particularly given the record number of nominees. I congratulate all award winners.

“AHA ACT sincerely thanks all key sponsors and event partners for their generous support and making the 2018 Awards night such a memorable success.”

AHA ACT Public
The team from Public celebrate their joint win for Best Local.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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