Blanche Bar bags coveted State gongs
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.”