Winners for the 2017 Time Out Bar Awards were announced on 29 January, with This Must Be Place taking out two awards, and Mikey Nicolian from Continental named Bartender of the Year.
During the event, held at the Sky Terrace at the Star, Time Out Sydney announced winners from across 11 categories, including the Legend Award, People’s Choice, and Best Bar Team. The awards were decided by a panel of Time Out critics, with the exception of the Hot Talent Award, which is voted on by an industry panel, and People’s Choice, which is voted by Time Out readers.
As well as the top gong for Bar of the Year, Oxford bar This Must Be the Place, which specialises in spritzes, took out the award for Best Cocktail Bar. The bar had previously received Time Out Sydney’s Best New Bar accolade in 2015.
“This bar brought something new and dynamic to Sydney's bar scene when they launched their Spritz menu, and it's that kind of boundary pushing that keeps us going back there,” said Time Out’s national food and drink editor, Emily Lloyd-Tait .
The Time Out Legend Award was given to jazz bar Venue 505 in recognition of 12 years of independent music , while King Street cocktail and soda bar PS40 was named Best New Bar.
Best Wine Bar went to the Dolphin Wine Room in Surry Hills, with Big Poppa’s in Darlinghurst awarded Best Restaurant Bar.
Best Neighbourhood Bar nominees spanned the city, from Castle Hill and Parramatta, to Redfern and Newtown, but Enmore’s the Gretz took top honours.
The Hot Talent Award – designed to pinpoint a future star of the Sydney bar scene – was given to Lobo Plantation bartender Ryan Snedden. City venue Hudson Ballroom (formerly Plan B and Goodgod), won People’s Choice.
Kat Dopper, who runs the club nights Heaps Gay at venues around Sydney, was bestowed with a one off award, Queen of the Party, in recognition of her work in keeping Sydney’s nightlife vibrant through difficult times.
“Sydney’s bar scene has grown since 2008 when we held our first bar awards,” said Time Out CEO Michael Rodrigues. “Our bars and bartenders have since received global recognition. It’s been difficult to watch good businesses suffer the last couple of years, but we applaud and support the tireless spirit of the bar community in battling the challenges created by the lockouts.
“Barry O’Farrell created a problem that Mike inherited and didn’t know what to do with. Will Gladys do better? We look forward to continuing the dialogue with the Berejiklian administration to make Sydney late again.”
Full list of nominees and winners:
BAR OF THE YEAR
- This Must Be the Place WINNER (no nominees)
- Venue 505 WINNER (no nominees)
- Hudson Ballroom WINNER (no nominees)
QUEEN OF THE PARTY
- Kat Dopper, Heaps Gay WINNER (no nominees)
BARTENDER OF THE YEAR
- Michael Nicolian, Continental WINNER
- Michael Chiem, PS40
- Charlie Lehmann, Ramblin' Rascal Tavern
- Stuart Morrow, The Baxter Inn
- Dre Walters, Kittyhawk
BEST BAR TEAM
- Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern WINNER
- The Baxter Inn
- Big Poppa’s
- Eau de Vie
HOT TALENT AWARD
- Ryan Snedden, Lobo Plantation WINNER
- Marcus Dullard, Continental
- Jemima McDonald, Earl's Juke Joint
- Zach Morgan, Bulletin Place
- Evan Stroeve, Shady Pines Saloon
BEST COCKTAIL BAR
- This Must Be the Place WINNER
- The Barber Shop
- The Baxter Inn
- Bulletin Place
- Earl’s Juke Joint
- Eau De Vie
- Lobo Plantation
- Papa Gede’s
BEST WINE BAR
- The Dolphin Wine Room WINNER
- 121 BC
- Love Tilly Devine
BEST NEW BAR
- PS40 WINNER
- Jangling Jack’s
BEST RESTAURANT BAR
- Big Poppa’s WINNER
- Bar Brosé
- Dead Ringer
BEST NEIGHBOURHOOD BAR
- The Gretz, Enmore WINNER
- The Bearded Tit, Redfern
- Crooked Tailor, Castle Hill
- Leadbelly, Newtown
- Uncle Kurt’s, Parramatta