More than 1200 pub operators and industry stakeholders attended the 2023 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence at the WINX stand at the Royal Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday 31 October.
The event celebrated the hospitality of the state’s pubs, presenting awards for a record 42 categories.
“The AHA NSW Awards for Excellence is a chance to come together and acknowledge the best in our business from outstanding operators to exceptional food and beverage offerings, accommodation, design and community engagement,” AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said.
“This year, the calibre of finalists and winners has yet again proven the hospitality offering across NSW is nothing short of world-class.”
The big winners were Laundy Hotels, with the esteemed group operator taking out several awards, including two majors: Hotel Group Operator of the Year and Metropolitan Hotel of the Year for The Log Cabin in Penrith.
The other big winner was Tattersalls Hotel in Armidale, which won Individual Hotel Operator of the Year and Regional Hotel of the Year. The pub also took out Best Restaurant and Best Steak Sandwich, as well as a few Highly Commended mentions in other categories.
“The team at Tattersalls Hotel Armidale are extremely proud of these fantastic results. For a statewide competition it is great for a regional town to bring home these awards. Our team’s dedication to the customer experience and satisfaction is ultimately what has resulted in us being able to achieve these results,” the pub’s operators stated.
The People’s Choice Award went to Bogan Gate Pub in the states’s Central West region.
NSW hotel industry legend David “Taffy” Thomas, who recently sold the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay after 50 years of operation, was also inducted into the AHA NSW Hall of Fame.
Other winners on the night included Solotel’s The Abercrombie (Best Unique Bar Experience and Best Innovative Refurbishment) and Barangaroo House (Best Cocktail List). Fernando Sanchez, also from the Sydney-based group, took out Metropolitan Chef of the Year for his work at Opera Bar. Damian Duggan from Crown Hotel in Grafton was named Regional Chef of the Year.
The Tourist Hotel in Queanbeyan and Hotel Gosford also took out a couple of awards during the ceremony, with Tourist Hotel named a joint winner for Best Live Music Venue (with Drifter’s Wharf in Gosford) and winning Best Regional Gaming Venue. Hotel Gosford took out Best Regional Local and Best Rehional Casual Dining (Northern). A full list of winners at this year’s AHA NSW Awards for Excellence can be found here.