Hotel's ribs special rated best pub deal in NSW
HAVE you dined out on barbecue ribs at the Village Green Hotel lately?
If not, you're missing out. That's the because the venue's $10 Monday lunch and dinner special has been named the Best Cheap Eat Meal Under $15 at the 2016 AHA NSW Awards for Excellence.
The $10 for members and $12.50 non-members special is part of the Grafton venue's series of $10 weekly specials.
Quality ribs have long been synonymous with the Village Green and was something co-owner Charlie Nalder wanted to continue when the North Coast Hotel Group took over the business in October last year.
"We run a pretty successful strategy to offer good value meals at affordable price at our other venues," Mr Nalder said.
"The ribs have always been good here and the girls had their own secret sauce recipe.
"So not knowing much about the off-premise side to the business, off we went and we've had some great results in terms of increasing numbers through the restaurant.
"When the award application came up we thought our ribs were very unique and our strongest point of difference.
"Up against some massive hotel groups, we think it's pretty impressive from a small hotel.
"Never in a million years did we expect to win it. But we're very happy we received it.
"The staff are over the moon because they have worked very hard and it's been a big shift for them to go from doing what they did previously to doing what we do."
The North Coast Hotel Group also celebrated success in the Best Family-Friendly Hotel category, with the Moonee Beach Tavern earning the accolade.
"It's one of the awards we've been striving towards for a number of years both at Moonee Beach and the Seaview Tavern at Woolgoogla," Mr Nalder said.
"The family-friendly aspect is one of the KPIs we judge our business on. Pubs are now a very different animal to what they were 15 years ago.
"We covered the beer garden, put in dining decks, a climbing wall, putts putt golf, kids playground, mini socer field with basketball and netball hoops, a big screen for kids' movies and we run kids activities evey night in the holidays.
"If the kids are busy and occupied, mum and dad are relaxed and have a much better experience at the venue, and we get a better return."
Mr Nalder indicated it's that mindset that will be behind major renovations planned for the Village Green over the next 12 months.
The AHA Awards were held at The Sunken Money Hotel at Erina on the Central Coast on Tuesday night, November 29.
The major gongs at the AHA Awards went to Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel who won Hotel of the Year - City as well as Best Social Media Activity, while The Sunken Monkey won Hotel of the Year - Country, in addition to Best Nightclub/Nightlife venue for its 'Proud Mary's' club.
More than 600 nominations were received for the Awards across a record 42 categories. The winners are decided by two rounds of anonymous judging.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the annual awards night was about recognising the effort the state's venues and their 75,000 staff members put in each and every day.
"The nominees are a 'who's who' of the hotel industry in NSW and the awards honour the best in the business," Mr Whelan said. "My congratulations go to all the winners on the night."
Full list of award winners:
Best traditional hotel bar: Union Hotel, North Sydney
Best cocktail/lounge bar: Henry Deane, Hotel Palisade, Sydney CBD
Best specialty/emerging bar: Bar Florian, Port Macquarie/Huxley's Caringbah (joint)
Best draught beer quality: The Oaks, Neutral Bay
Best innovative wine list: The Dolphin, Surry Hills
Best retail liquor outlet: Harrigans Irish Pub and Accommodation, Pokolbin
Best family-friendly hotel Moonee Beach Tavern, Moonee Beach
Best outdoor experience: Kooringal Hotel, Wagga Wagga
Best rooftop bar: The Glenmore, The Rocks
Best innovative refurbishment: Rose of Australia, Erskineville
Best new/redeveloped hotel (country): Gregory Hills Hotel, Gregory Hills/ Narellan Hotel, Narellan (joint winners)
Best new/redeveloped hotel (city): Crows Nest Hotel, Crows Nest
Heart of the Community: The George Tavern, Green Hills
Best restaurant (country): Graze At The Willow Tree Inn, Willow Tree
Best restaurant (city): Charing Cross Hotel, Waverley
Best fine dining restaurant (mains $35+): Bistro Moncur, Woollahra Hotel
Best steak: The Sackville Hotel, Rozelle
Best burger: Bayview Hotel, Gladesville
Best cheap eat meal under $15: Village Green Hotel, Grafton
Best live music: Hotel Steyne, Manly
Best sports bar: Agincourt Hotel, Haymarket
Best pub-style accommodation (traditional): Prince of Wales, Gulgong
Best pub-style accommodation (deluxe): Caves Beachside Hotel, Caves Beach
Single hotel operator of the year: Des Kennedy, Oriental Hotel, Mudgee
Best group hotel operator of the year: Public House Mangement Group