Bar & Restaurant Expo Announces Winners of Three Industry Award Categories

Today, Wednesday, March 20, attendees of this year’s Bar & Restaurant Expo gathered to celebrate outstanding leaders, venues and suppliers as event organizers announced winners of three esteemed industry award categories: Industry Excellence Awards, Industry Impact Awards and the first-ever Supplier Awards.  

“These individuals and businesses represent the best of the best, and we are proud to recognize their achievements and contributions,” said Tim McLucas, Vice President of Bar & Restaurant Group. “Congratulations to all our winners!”  

The winners of each award can be found below:  

2024 Industry Excellence Award Winners  

The Industry Excellence Awards celebrate dedication to the independent bar and restaurant business. These winners exemplify integrity, commitment to equality, sustainability, community, and culture across the industry.  

Winners in each category were selected by a panel of experts from Johnson & Wales University who evaluated each submission based on several criteria: 

  • Panel Chair: Brian Warrener, Associate Professor & Director of the Center for Beverage Education & Innovation 

  • Jennifer Broderick, Professor 

  • Sarah Malik, Associate Professor 

  • Deana Marzocchi, Associate Professor 

  • Dean Mistretta, Assistant Professor 

“The quality of the entries this year was uniformly excellent,” said Warrener. “Our panel of judges believe these winners truly represent the best in the industry.” 



dominique jackson

Bartender of the Year 

Dominique Jackson, Realm of 52 Remedies 

San Diego, California 





2024 industry excellence awards
Ebony Austin celebrates her win of the 2024 Community Leadership Award.

Community Leadership Award 

Ebony Austin, Nouveau Bar & Grill 

Atlanta, Georgia 










iliana de la vega

Chef of the Year 

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo  

Austin, Texas 



Best Cocktail Program 


Austin, Texas 





your 3rd spot

Best Hospitality Training Program 

Your 3rd Spot 

Atlanta, Georgia 



happy accidents

Bar of the Year 

Happy Accidents, Albuquerque 

New Mexico 


Restaurant of the Year 



Austin, Texas 



2024 Industry Impact Award Winner 

This award recognizes an individual who has displayed an immense passion for their craft and has helped make significant advancements in the field. Considerations for the award include enhancing employee culture, raising the visibility of under-represented businesses and owners, implementing fair wage compensation, practicing sustainability, and supporting mental health, sobriety and addiction recovery initiatives.  


Bar & Restaurant Expo

Derek Brown, Founder of Positive Damage, Inc. 

Author and Founder of Positive Damage, Inc., Derek Brown has been recognized as a leading beverage figure affecting positive change in the global bar industry. As one of the nation’s top bartenders, Brown owned Spirited Awards 2017 “Best American Cocktail Bar” winner, Columbia Room, in Washington, D.C. He now works as a wellness coach and consultant on low- and no-alcohol drinks. 


2024 Supplier Award Winners, supported by CM Profit Group  

Bar & Restaurant Expo worked with research company CM Profit Group to present the inaugural 2024 BRE Supplier Awards. These awards aim to honor trailblazers who have redefined the bar and restaurant landscape with their exceptional products and solutions. Suppliers submitted products for consideration across six categories, and then Bar & Restaurant Expo attendees voted on which they considered the best in each category based on their experience with the company and its product.  



Best Alcoholic Beverage 

Diageo's Don Julio Alma Miel Joven Tequila 


Bar & Restaurant Expo

Best Entertainment Product 

Team Trivia 




Best Equipment, Tool, or Bar Supply 

True Manufacturing 


oh snap pickling co

Best Food Product/Producer 

Oh Snap! Dilly Bites 



Bar & Restaurant Expo

Best Non-Alcoholic Product or Mixer 

Ritual Zero Proof Spirits 


Draft Top Pro

Best Technology Product 

Draft Top PRO 



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Plan to Attend or Participate in the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, March 18-20, 2024

To learn about the latest trends, issues and hot topics, and to experience and taste the best products within the bar, restaurant and hospitality industry, plan to attend Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024 in Las Vegas. Visit

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello ​(for companies A to G)​ e: [email protected]​ p: 212-895-8244

Tim Schultz​ (for companies H to Q) ​e: [email protected]​ p: 917-258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh ​(for companies R to Z)​ e: [email protected] p: 917-258-5174​

Also, be sure to follow Bar & Restaurant on Facebook and Instagram for all the latest industry news and trends.