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Outstanding Bar Award

2200 entries have been narrowed down to 24 finalists for the Outstanding Bar Award from the James Beard Foundation.  Here are the finalists.


Campari has announced that it will be the presenting sponsor of the James Beard Foundation Awards’ first-ever “Outstanding Bar Program Award.”  The debut award category breaks new ground by recognizing a restaurant or bar that has demonstrated excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.  This year more than 2,200 entries for this new category were submitted from across the country and 24 semi-finalists were announced by the Foundation.

The James Beard Foundation Awards program is the nation’s most prestigious recognition program honoring professionals in the food and beverage industries.  This year’s awards attracted 57,000 online entries for the Restaurant and Chef Awards including outstanding chef; wine and spirits professionals; best new restaurant; and rising star chef.

“We are honored to present the James Beard Foundation’s inaugural Outstanding Bar Program Award,” said Jason Daniel, Campari Brand Director, Campari America.  “Campari has long enjoyed the passion and loyalty of the bartending community.  It gives us great pleasure to shine the spotlight of recognition on these very worthy practitioners of the craft from across the country.  With this new award, the stars of the mixology world will take their rightful place alongside their distinguished culinary peers.”

Here are the finalists:

Alexandria, Va.

  • PX

Atlanta, Ga.

  • Holeman & Finch Public House
  • The Porter Beer Bar

Boston, Mass.

  • Drink

Chicago, Ill.

  • The Aviary
  • The Violet Hour

Houston, Texas

  • Anvil Bar & Refuge

Los Angeles, Calif.

  • Rivera

Madison, Wis.

  • The Old Fashioned

Minneapolis, Minn.

  • La Belle Vie

New Orleans, La.

  • Arnaud’s French 75 Bar
  • Cure

New York, N.Y.

  • PDT
  • Pegu Club

Park City, Utah

  • High West Distillery & Saloon

Philadelphia, Pa.

  • The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co.
  • Standard Tap

Portland, Ore.

  • Clyde Common

Providence, R.I.

  • Cook & Brown Public House

San Antonio, Texas

  • The Esquire Tavern

San Francisco, Calif.

  • Bar Agricole
  • Beretta

Seattle, Wash.

  • The Zig Zag Cafe

Washington, D.C.

  • The Columbia Room

The nominees will be announced on Monday, March 19, 2012 at a press-only event at The Venetian and The Palazzo’s Azure Pool in Las Vegas.  The winner will be honored at the James Beard Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception on Monday, May 7, 2012 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York.