Time Out Bar Award finalists revealed

08 February, 2019 by Tam Allenby

The nominees for the 2019 Time Out Bar Awards in both Sydney and Melbourne have been released, with the nominees for one award in particular sparking a heated reaction.

No nominees are released for the major award each year, Bar of the Year, with the winner revealed at each city’s respective awards night – to be held at Transport Public Bar in Melbourne on Sunday March 3 and Oxford Art Factory in Sydney on Sunday March 10.

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In Sydney, Bancho Bar, Bar Topa, Doss House, Employees Only, Nick & Nora’s, The Nook, Ode, Old Mate’s Place, Poly and Rosenbaum & Fuller are all in the running for Best New Bar.

Vying for the same title in Melbourne are Bar Romantica, Clooney Kitchen and Bar, Congress, Ends and Means, Galah, The Ghost of Alfred Felton, Miss Moses, Mjolner, Westwood and Wolf and Swill.

Best Cocktail Bar nominees in Sydney include The Baxter Inn, Bulletin Place, Burrow Bar, Jacoby’s, Jangling Jacks, Lobo Plantation, Old Mate’s Place, Papa Gedes, PS40 and This Must Be the Place; in Melbourne, Above Board, Beneath Driver Lane, Black Pearl, the Everleigh and Whisky and Alement are nominated.

Best Bar Team nominees in Sydney are The Baxter Inn, Jacoby’s, Old Mate’s Place, PS40 and Ramblin’ Rascal; in Melbourne, Clooney Kitchen and Bar, The Elysian Whisky Bar, The Everleigh, Mr West and Union Electric are all in the running.

However, the list of nominees in one of the trade’s most anticipated awards categories each year, Bartender of the Year, provoked a heated discussion in some circles on social media.

In particular, prominent industry figure Paige Aubort – Coleman’s Academy founder, and 2015 Bartender of the Year at the Australian Liquor Industry Awards – pointed out in a post on Facebook that all five of the nominees in the category are men.

“Time Out Sydney Bar Awards 2019 Bartender of the Year nominations have been released… 5 beautiful, hospitable and deserving men have been recognised for their hard work and not a single woman?” Aubort wrote, before listing a number of female bartenders – including recent winner of the Bacardi Legacy Australian finals, Jenna Hemsworth – who didn’t make the list.

“Shout out to all the women slogging it out in bars across Australia that aren’t being seen, recognised, given a platform. I SEE YOU.”

A further comment on Aubort’s post called attention to the lack of female representation in the same category in the Melbourne awards, with the Bartender of the Year nominees also comprising five male bartenders.

The nominees for Bartender of the Year in Sydney are Marcus Dullard (Continental Deli Bar Bistro CBD), James Fury (Jacoby’s), Andrea Gualdi (Maybe Sammy), Daniel Noble (Old Mate’s Place) and Evan Stroeve (Bulletin Place).

In Melbourne, Lewis Halls (Bad Frankie), Josh Hodges (Mr West), Hayden Lambert (Above Board), Darren Leaney (Capitano) and Matt Linklater (Black Pearl) are nominated.

In response to the outrage online, Time Out issued a statement, in which it said: “Judging criteria for each award can be found on our site, along with our independent reviews policy. Our criteria focus on the experience that any member of the general public can expect from the other side of the bar.

“We do our best to champion diversity and inclusivity across all aspects of our business. We take feedback from our readers (both consumer and trade) very seriously. We will use this learning to inform how we shape our events and content year on year.

“We look forward to celebrating the amazing achievements of the industry at our annual awards events in Melbourne on March 3 Transport Public Bar and Sydney on March 10 at the Oxford Art Factory.”

Click through for the full list of nominees in the 2019 Time Out Bar Awards in Sydney and Melbourne.