Finalists Announced for the 2024 Industry Excellence Awards

Bar & Restaurant Expo is pleased to announce the finalists of its 2024 Industry Excellence Awards. Finalists in each category are celebrated for their dedication to the independent bar and restaurant industry. These individuals and businesses exemplify integrity, commitment to equality, sustainability, community, and culture across the industry.  

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

Judges include:  

  • 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  

Winners will be announced at the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo on Wednesday, March 20 at 11:15 a.m. 


2024 Industry Excellence Awards Finalists Include:  

Bartender of the Year  

Eddie Baty, New Waterloo, Austin, Texas  

Dominique Jackson, Realm of 52 Remedies, San Diego  

Jackson Walton, The Stove, Las Vegas 


Chef of the Year  

Iliana de la Vega, El Naranjo, Austin, Texas  

Shaun Hergatt, Aqua Seafood & Caviar Restaurant, Las Vegas 

Yoshi Okai, New Waterloo, Austin, Texas  


Community Leadership Award  

Ebony Austin, Nouveau Bar & Grill, Atlanta 

Troy Guard, TAG Restaurant Group, Denver 

Mark E. Miller, Kris Kringle/Harbor Crab, Patchogue, New York  


Best Cocktail Program  

DONNA, New York 

The Barrel Room, San Francisco 

WATERTRADE, Austin, Texas  


Best Hospitality Training Program   

OTOKO, Austin, Texas  

Your 3rd Spot, Atlanta, Georgia  


Bar of the Year  

Happy Accidents, Albuquerque, New Mexico  

Last Rites, San Francisco 

Your 3rd Spot, Atlanta 


Restaurant of the Year  

OTOKO, Austin, Texas 

The Barrel Room, San Francisco 

The Wine Kitchen, Leesburg, Virginia  


“Once again, the industry has wowed us with the quality of nominations for exceptional venues and individuals. said Tim McLucas, Vice President of Bar & Restaurant Group. “We look forward to naming the winners at this year’s expo.”   

Each finalist will be awarded two Expo + Party Passes to the 2024 Bar & Restaurant Expo, as well as recognition on the Bar & Restaurant Expo website, social media, and newsletter before and during the expo. In addition, the winners in each category will receive a beautiful custom award, one VIP ticket to the 2025 Bar & Restaurant Expo, and additional media recognition on the website, social media, newsletters and more. 

2024 industry excellence awards

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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. 

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.