Despite the current economy, there are plenty of restaurant and bar operators doing good business today. But a select few go beyond just making money. They are driven by the need to share their passion with the customer, whether for wine, beer or spirits. Operators that seek out fresh and unusual offerings, and hone all aspects of their operation, from menu and decor to staff, communicate those passions persuasively.
Now in its third year, the Cheers Benchmark Awards (Beverage Excellence Awards for non-chain hospitality establishments) were created to honor those independent establishments that are true drink destinations. Benchmark Awards are presented in three categories: Best Wine Bar, Best Beer Bar and Best Cocktail Lounge. To qualify, entrants must be independent operators, defined as concepts operating in no more than five locations and independently owned or part of a hotel or a multi-concept restaurant company.
Our three winners this year are setting high standards, creating a benchmark against which all others should be judged. Congratulations to the 2009 Cheers Benchmark Award winners!