Canberra’s top bars and restaurants announced at the 2018 AHA Awards

Date: 06 August 2018

What makes a good “local”? It’s got to be local, sure, close by to home. But it’s more than that. A good local feels familiar, you know it might not be the best food in town, you know you might get a cheaper schooner somewhere else, but if it’s Tuesday night and you can get a good deal on a schnitzel and a glass of wine, you’re happy.

At Monday night’s Australian Hotels Association ACT Hospitality Awards Edgar’s Inn in Ainslie and Manuka’s Public won Best Local, northside and southside both represented.

Edgar's Inn in Ainslie was the joint winner of Best Local in Monday night's AHA ACT Hospitality Awards.

Edgar’s Inn in Ainslie was the joint winner of Best Local in Monday night’s AHA ACT Hospitality Awards.Photo: Supplied

Thirty-two awards were presented for the top hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars and industry workers from across Canberra.

Black Market in Civic won Best Cocktail Bar while Best Restaurant went to Pomegranate in Kingston. Molly won Best Live Entertainment Venue and Hopscotch won Best Late-Night Entertainment Venue. Black Fire Restaurant in Braddon won Best Casual Dining

Best Deluxe Accommodation was shared between Jamala Wildlife Lodge and Hotel Realm while Best Environmental Practice went to Little National Hotel.

New awards were presented for Best Speciality Restaurant (Raku) and Best Wine List (Bar Rochford).

O’Connor’s The Duxton won three awards: Best Pub Eatery, Best Functions and Events Venue and Best TAB Licensed Venue.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge was a joint winner in the Best Deluxe Accommodation category.

Jamala Wildlife Lodge was a joint winner in the Best Deluxe Accommodation category.Photo: Supplied.

“This year’s event once again celebrated innovative newcomers in new entertainment precincts as well as well-established venues,” AHA ACT acting general manager Anthony Brierley said.

“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,” Brierley said.

“Over the next few months, I encourage all Canberrans to visit and experience the venues … they are a significant reason why Canberra is such a great place to live, work and visit.”

Brian Smith from Hopscotch and Young & Friskys won the John Press Award, and Paul Tomas, the general manager at Rydges Canberra was named the 2017 Member of the Year.

Maria Estanillo (Buvette Bistro & Wine Bar, Hotel Realm), Matthew Ouwerkerk (Highgate Kitchen & Bar), Ringo Fung (National Convention Centre) and David Utschink (Little National Hotel) were also individually recognised.

The winners were announced at a ceremony at QT Canberra on Monday night.

The AHA is a member organisation representing hospitality businesses across the country.

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