We’re proud to announce the 25 Nightclub & Bar Award winners that will be taking home awards at the 2019 Nightclub & Bar Show.
The Nightclub & Bar Awards were expanded for the 34th Nightclub & Bar Show to better represent our changing industry. Several individual awards will be awarded for the first time in Nightclub & Bar’s storied history, as will expanded venue and new book awards.
Our coveted Bartender of the Year Award has been changed for 2019 to reflect our commitment to serving bar, nightclub and restaurant owners and operators. The past several winners—Giuseppe Gonzáles, Chris Hannah, Nectaly Mendoza and Steve Schneider—are bartender-owners. Our 2019 Bartender-Owner of the Year is multi-unit operator Molly Wellmann who last year bought out her partners of 9 years. Her focus on bartender training and community also factored into her win.
For the first time ever, we’re awarding Brand Ambassador of the Year. The award is going to Megan Breier, West Coast Bourbon Ambassador of Beam Suntory. Breier’s won, in part, due to her dedication to educating both industry professionals and consumers, along with her incredible ability to create and host engaging, fun and informative experiential events.
Influencer of the Year is another new award for 2019. Natalie Migliarini, founder of Beautiful Booze, has taken tens of thousands of followers on her cocktail adventures across the globe. Her journey has led to countless guest bartending appearances and cocktail creation for several influential brands. That’s to say nothing of the stunning cocktail and venue photography that accompany Beautiful Booze posts.
Erick Castro has won two Nightclub & Bar Awards this year: Industry Podcast of the Year for Bartender at Large, and New Bar Concept of the Year for Raised by Wolves in San Diego, CA. Bartender at Large features high-level operator and bartender interviews and information in an approachable, easily digestible format. Raised by Wolves earned its award in part for its spectacular design and its unexpected location.
Two books won two new Nightclub & Bar Awards. The Aviary Cocktail Book by authors Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas and Allen Hemberger is our Beverage Book of the Year. Not only is the book, available in two versions, breathtaking, it was published in a unique way to ensure the vision of the authors wouldn’t be compromised. Your Restaurant Sucks! Embrace the Suck. Unleash Your Restaurant. Become Outstanding. by Donald Burns won Industry Book of the Year for the author’s no-nonsense approach to operator coaching and improvement.
New venue awards include Brewery Bar of the Year (From the Earth Brewing Company in Roswell, GA), Distillery Bar of the Year (Philadelphia Distilling, producers of award-winning Bluecoat American Dry Gin), Upscale Bar of the Year (Sugar on top of the EAST, Miami hotel), New Lounge or Nightclub Concept of the Year (TAO Chicago), and Themed, Niche or Pop-up Bar of the Year (‘80s-themed New Wave Bar).
Industry innovators and leaders will take home well-deserved Nightclub & Bar Awards across our recurring categories: Beer Bar of the Year goes to Bittercreek Alehouse in Boise, ID; Cocktail Bar of the Year to the Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge in Kansas City, MO; Stoney’s Rockin’ Country in Las Vegas is our Country Bar of the Year winner; Dance Club of the Year was clinched by The Grand in Boston; 2 Way Inn, opened well before Prohibition, is our Dive Bar of the Year winner; the famed Midnight Rambler at The Joule, Dallas, TX, wins Hotel Bar of the Year; our LGBTQ Venue of the Year, Tracks in Denver, has operated for several decades; Jason Aldean’s Kitchen + Rooftop Bar in Nashville is the winner of our Live Music Venue of the Year award; Lounge of the Year goes to the highly deserving PX Lounge in Alexandria, VA; The Country Club in New Orleans takes home Restaurant Bar of the Year; stunning panoramic views helped Cindy’s in Chicago win Rooftop Bar of the Year; Big Sky Buckhead will take our Sports Bar of the Year award home to Atlanta; and the immersive and exciting Hale Pele in Portland wins Tiki Bar of the Year.
Congratulations to our 2019 Nightclub & Bar Award winners! We look forward to celebrating their wins on Tuesday, March 26 at the Nightclub & Bar Show in Las Vegas.