Voting for the 2019 Small Bar Awards, presented by the Small Bar Association of WA, has opened. Now it’s eighth year, the awards recognise the contribution the small bar community makes to the hospitality industry. The 2019 Small Bar Awards will be held at The Standard on Monday 10 June, with winners to be announced on the night.
Winners are named across four categories: ‘Best Small Bar — Critic’s Choice’; ‘Best Small Bar — People’s Choice’; ‘Best New Small Bar’ and ‘Best Regional Small Bar’. This year an additional category has been included; ‘Smells Like a Small Bar’ celebrates venues across Western Australia that have small bar vibe despite having a larger capacity.
Voting is in two stages. First, those within the industry who hold a small bar license participate in a peer vote to choose a shortlist of up to six bars per category. Then, both the public and critics vote for the winner of each category. Voting criteria includes product offering, including food if relevant; service; décor; ambience and responsible service of alcohol. Public votes run from 24 May – 5 June.
This year’s judges are sommelier Emma Farrelly (State Buildings); global hotelier Rob Weeden (Pan Pacific Hotels Group); food, drink and travel writers Max Veenhuyzen (Australian Gourmet Traveller, Broadsheet) and Fleur Bainger (STM, Australian Traveller); Georgia Moore (The WA Good Food Guide); and freelance wine consultant Rachael Niall.
“We’re excited at introducing a new category this year,” says Wesley Eate, president of the Small Bar Association of WA. “It’s an ode to all the venues repping the small bar ethos. Places with a focused style and offering and a personal touch are who this new award is for; even if they’re bigger than the small bar capacity of 120 people.”
The shortlisted venues for 2019 are:
BEST SMALL BAR
Rodney’s Bait n Tackle
Varnish on King
BEST REGIONAL SMALL BAR
Yours or Mine
BEST NEW SMALL BAR
SMELLS LIKE A SMALL BAR
Image credit: Rodney’s Bait n Tackle