Blanche Bar bags cov­eted State gongs

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

Kar­ratha’s Blanche Bar has been named the best bar team in WA and the most in­no­va­tive venue in tourism by the State’s peak hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try body.

Blanche staff took home the two Aus­tralian Ho­tels As­so­ci­a­tion WA Hos­pi­tal­ity Awards for Ex­cel­lence at its an­nual gala din­ner last week.

The Blanche team was also a fi­nal­ist in eight other cat­e­gories, while owner Bart Par­sons was a fi­nal­ist for the venue man­ager award and man­ager Lara Du­cie a can­di­date for the food and bev­er­age ser­vices award.

Mr Par­sons said he was proud of the “family-like” staff at­mos­phere and rapid progress Blanche had made to be in a po­si­tion to com­pete with ma­jor hos­pi­tal­ity play­ers on a State level.

He said win­ning the tourism in­no­va­tion award was a par­tic­u­larly no­table achieve­ment for a venue in the Pil­bara, where tourism is a still-de­vel­op­ing sec­tor.

“This is a mas­sive award for a Pil­bara venue to win, (as) we are up against venues across the State in ar­eas where the tourism sec­tor has ma­tured to pro­vide amaz­ing events and lev­els of ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“We have def­i­nitely made peo­ple stand up and no­tice the Pil­bara on a dif­fer­ent level to what has pre­vi­ously been per­ceived.”

Pre­sent­ing the AHA WA tourism in­no­va­tion award on the night, MC Paul Mur­ray said Blanche brought a “unique ex­pe­ri­ence” to Kar­ratha res­i­dents and vis­i­tors.

Iconic Pil­bara venue the Whim Creek Ho­tel was also highly com­mended in the family din­ing award cat­e­gory.

The ho­tel was also a fi­nal­ist in the so­cial me­dia ac­tiv­ity and re­gional ca­sual pub din­ing awards.

Man­ager Bob Bon­giorno said staff had en­tered the venue for the awards be­cause they had gained “a bit of a rep­u­ta­tion” since open­ing in 2015 and fam­i­lies were their main de­mo­graphic.

“We’ve been recog­nised in the me­dia a fair bit, and peo­ple love the place, so we thought we’d nom­i­nate and see how we went,” he said.

“Ob­vi­ously be­ing suc­cess­ful in that one cat­e­gory was great, but we aim to keep on im­prov­ing and maybe pull two or three awards next year.”

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