The quality of food, customer service and the warm welcome of three Wexford pubs was praised at a national pub of the year awards ceremony.
Butler's Bar and Restaurant, Racecourse, Broadway, was awarded Best Tourist Pub sponsored by Molson Coors: Sean Óg's at Upton Court Hotel, Kilmuckridge, was awarded top bar in Outstanding Customer Service, sponsored by Heineken, and Mannion's pub, Mount Elliott, New Ross, was the winner in the Best Food category, sponsored by Musgrave MarketPlace.
They were among some of the finest pubs in the south east representing counties Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny and Tipperary who enjoyed success at the 2018 Irish Pub Awards Regional Finals, which took place in Rafter Dempsey's Pub in Kilkenny.
All nine winners will now go forward to the final of the National Pub Awards at the RDS Concert Hall in Dublin 4 on Wednesday, November 21, when the national category winners and the overall Irish Pub of the Year will be announced.
President of Vintner's Federation of Ireland (VFI), Padraic McCann expressed his delight at how well the awards are going.
'Entries for this year have grown well ahead of last year. Judging took place over the summer months and tonight we are announcing our regional winners who will go forward to represent south east Ireland in the national final to be held in November. The awards were developed as part of our strategy to raise the profile of VFI member pubs around the country.
The Irish pub is at the heart of every town and village and it is where locals gather to meet friends and neighbours for good food and craic. It is where tourists meet locals and can enjoy Irish hospitality at its best. Irish pubs are also a major provider of employment in our regions. These awards are an excellent vehicle to showcase what the pub has to offer the modern customer.'
The prize package for all finalists will include a management training course to help them progress their business further. They will also avail of comprehensive media coverage at local and national level, including a feature in the special awards supplement to be published in the Irish Independent on the day of the gala awards ceremony at the RDS Concert Hall, Dublin 4, on November 21.
The partners to Irish Pub of the Year Awards are: Febvre Wine Company; Media Partners, Independent Newspapers, Trade Media Partner, Drinks Industry Ireland and Management Development Partner, Skillnet Ireland.