Winners Announced for the 2023 Industry Excellence Awards!

On Wednesday, March 29, Bar & Restaurant Expo announced the winners of the 2023 Industry Excellence Awards during a special awards ceremony held on the expo floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Industry Excellence Awards are dedicated to recognizing, celebrating and supporting the businesses and individuals who make the independent bar and restaurant industry great. Each award recipient was selected by a panel of expert judges based on their talent, integrity and commitment to equality, sustainability, community and culture across the industry.

The judging panel was made up of six industry experts:

  • Chad Michael George, founder of Proof Productions
  • Mia Mastroianni, celebrity hospitality expert, and mixology consultant on “Bar Rescue”
  • Taryn Olsen, VP of Brand Strategy, Sourced Craft Cocktails
  • Chip Klose, restaurant coach and host of the Restaurant Strategy Podcast
  • Cory Armenta, corporate executive chef, Left Bank Brasseries and LB Steak
  • Matt Montrose, chief executive officer, OMvino

Winners of the 2023 Industry Excellence Awards:

kate gerwin

Bartender of the Year:

Kate Gerwin, Happy Accidents Bar- Albuquerque, New Mexico 

This award is given to a bartender of exemplary performance, skill and dedication—both behind the bar and beyond it. This person has worked tirelessly to improve their bar program, bar culture, guest experience and the industry at large, serving as a positive example for other beverage professionals.


Chef of the Year:

Troy Guard industry excellence award winner

Troy Guard, TAG Restaurant Group- Denver, Colorado & Houston, Texas

This award is given to a chef who has dedicated themselves to culinary excellence, as well as sustainable, ethical practices and inclusive culture. This individual sets high personal and professional standards for food professionals across the industry.



Community Leadership Award:

Adam Orman

Adam Orman, L'Oca d'Oro and Good Work Austin- Austin, Texas

An individual in the food & beverage community who has demonstrated outstanding contributions and dedication to bettering their local community.



Bar of the Year:

Three dots and a dash industry excellence awards

Three Dots and a Dash- Chicago, Illinois

This award is given to an establishment that consistently demonstrates exceptional hospitality, creativity, training, culture and service. This bar has a unique identity and has established itself as a leader within the category.



Best Hospitality Training Program:

marlow's tavern industry excellence awards

Marlow’s Tavern- Atlanta, Georgia

This award is given to a restaurant or bar that has prioritized hospitality and guest experience by investing in a robust onboarding and continuing education program that yields results and consistently demonstrates exceptional hospitality, creativity, culture and service.


LGBTQIA+ Venue of the Year:

industry excellence award winner decant

DECANTsf- San Francisco, California

This establishment consistently delivers exceptional hospitality, creativity and service, while championing the LGBTQIA+ community. The LGBTQIA+ Venue of the Year has a demonstrated history of supporting the queer community.


Restaurant of the Year:


Ernest- San Francisco, California

This venue boasts a unique atmosphere, thoughtful food & beverage offerings and an in-depth training program. The Restaurant of the Year has established itself as a leader in the community and has made a significant impact within the industry.


The winners were presented with a beautiful custom award and a VIP Ticket to attend the expo in 2024. Winners are also eligible to become part of the judging panel moving forward.


Plan to Attend the Annual 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 or participate in the annual Bar & Restaurant Expo. Visit for details.

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at Bar & Restaurant Expo 2024, 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.