The ultimate stars of the Northern Ireland licensed, catering, tourism and hospitality industries have been revealed at the Molson Coors Licensed & Catering News (LCN) Awards with Groucho’s Café Bar taking the prestigious Award for ‘Country Pub of the Year’, sponsored by Galway Crystal and being a finalist in the ‘Food Pub of the Year’ award category. Colm McBride from Uluru Bistro was also a finalist in the ‘Hospitality Trainee of the Year’ category.
The dynamic driving force behind these important industry awards, now in their second year, is Licensed & Catering News (LCN) – the authoritative voice of the trade in Northern Ireland since 1940. Hosted by television personality Roy Walker, the awards recognise entrepreneurial spirit, excellence and best practice in the hospitality industry. They are also the only awards in Northern Ireland to cover a broad spectrum of the hospitality industry.
Each of the 450 entrants vying for recognition this year were subjected to a rigorous and complex judging process conducted by independent specialist company Spotcheck, which resulted in 66 finalists being unveiled for fifteen individual award categories.
Jill Beasant from Spotcheck NI commented on Groucho’s Café Bar: “The staff were extremely friendly and attentive and I was treated as if I was a regular customer. I felt instantly at ease in this pub, there was a great atmosphere and interesting and pleasant surroundings.”
“It’s brilliant to be able to bring the Country Pub of the Year Award back to Country Armagh, and particularly to Richhill! Everyone’s worked so hard over the last few years and it’s great for the team to get this recognition. Being a finalist at last year’s LCN Awards was excellent in terms of raising our profile, so it is incredible to have won this year – we’re absolutely over the moon,” said Mervyn Steenson, Groucho’s Café Bar, Armagh.
“Galway Crystal would like to extend its warmest congratulations to Groucho’s on winning Country Pub of the Year. Just like Galway Crystal, Groucho’s is passionate about customer service and strives to provide something that little bit different and special every time,” said Claire Flaherty, sales and marketing executive for Galway Crystal (part of the Belleek Group)
Bill Penton, publisher of Licensed & Catering News commented: “We had a phenomenal response to the awards this year and I would like to congratulate all of our winners and finalists. These companies and individuals are helping to keep trade standards within the licensed, catering, and tourism and hospitality industries at their optimum ‘five star’ level for customers to enjoy and have been rewarded and acknowledged for their outstanding achievements, hard work and dedication.”
Niall McMullan, head of sales, Northern Ireland, Molson Coors said: “The Molson Coors LCN Awards are a very important event in the annual trade calendar as they celebrate the success and commitment to excellence of everyone within our local licensed, catering, hospitality and tourism sectors. We would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists who have been acknowledged for the hard work and dedication they have shown to the industry.”
Disability Action were the charity partner for the Molson Coors LCN Awards and were absolutely delighted at raising over £2,500 at the event.