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Co Armagh businesses amongst those who reign supreme at Hospitality Awards

'The Awards have acknowledged some incredible individuals who make a positive difference to the hospitality industry'

The Northern Ireland Hospitality Awards 2022 have concluded, with plenty of local representation taking home trophies, highlighting the wealth of successful hospitality businesses in the wider Armagh area.

The awards ceremony took place on Tuesday May 31 at The Europa Hotel in Belfast.

Rebecca McKinney, of Cool FM fame, hosted the ceremony and presented 33 awards to Northern Ireland’s top hospitality businesses, who were voted on by the public.

The list of local winners are as follows:

Outdoor Venue of the Year: Annaginny Farm Park (Dungannon)

Best Bar: Courthouse Bar and Restaurant (Lurgan)

Best Family Dining Restaurant: Safari Banbridge (Banbridge)

Best Restaurant Team: Parkland Restaurant (Armagh)

Best Dining Experience: Number 7 Duke Street (Newry)

Best Sports Bar: The Phoenix Bar (Newry)

Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year County Tyrone: Quinns Corner Restaurant (Dungannon)

Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year County Armagh: Sally McNally’s (Portadown)

Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year Overall Winner: Sally McNally’s (Portadown)

Pub of the Year County Armagh: Toby Jug (Armagh)

Pub of the Year Overall Winner: Toby Jug (Armagh)

Armagh I reached out to some local winners to hear their thoughts on these incredible achievements.

Ryan Kelly, Head Chef of the Parkland Restaurant Armagh said the results were a great testimony to County Armagh hospitality:

“We are absolutely delighted that The Parkland, Armagh has been recognised as the ‘Best Restaurant Team’ in Northern Ireland. It was such a tough category and everyone was so deserving.

“We are thrilled that our hard work – after one of the toughest times for hospitality – has been recognised and we are so excited to see where Parkland continues to grow to.

“It was an amazing night for Armagh hospitality with Sally McNally’s winning ‘Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year’ and Toby Jug winning ‘Pub of the Year’, alongside ourselves. Well done to Armagh!”

Matthew Bird, the owner of Sally McNally’s Portadown, who scooped the Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year Overall Winner Award, is delighted with the achievement:

“We went out last night just looking forward to returning to a bit of normality post pandemic. We never expected to return home with not one, but two awards!

“When it came to Best Casual Dining for the region of Armagh, we knew we were a good contender having won it twice before, but we never expected to win Best Casual Dining Overall across NI!

“We are small but we are mighty. Things have never been harder for hospitality than they are right now with rising costs etc but we will knuckle down and keep going onto bigger and better things.”

Patrick Lawlor, from Toby Jug Armagh, traces his success to the strong family ties to the business.

“Winning ‘Pub of the Year’ for County Armagh and Northern Ireland has been slightly daunting.

“The pub was originally owned by my grandmother, then my uncle Gerry and my wife Patsy and myself bought it over in 1996. As a family and team we’ve made a lot of sacrifices, most recently due to the pandemic.

“We have no doubts that we have a good pub and winning these awards confirms that for us. Patsy and myself want to thank the Toby Jug team, old and new, with a special mention to Eamon Donaldson who worked with us for 30+ years.

“Also to our customers but most importantly our family.”

A Spokesperson for the Awards said:

“The Awards have acknowledged some incredible individuals who make a positive difference to the hospitality industry.

“It was great to meet with inspiring people that work hard and go above and beyond the call of duty to meet their guests’ needs and improve the country’s cultural scene.

“We would like to congratulate all finalists and winners for their amazing achievements.”

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