Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Dane Lilling­stone dane.lilling­stone@ whit­sun­day­

“EV­ERY rum has a story. It’s not just a drink, it’s liq­uid his­tory,” the Rum Bar’s Mark Wy­att said.

Per­haps it’s that pas­sion be­hind the pop­u­lar Air­lie Beach bar that has led to it be­ing nom­i­nated as one of the top 10 in Aus­tralia for the sec­ond year run­ning.

Mr Wy­att, or Dr Rum as he is af­fec­tion­ately known, said be­ing nom­i­nated for “Rum Bar of the Year” by the Aus­tralian Bar Awards, wasn’t just recog­ni­tion for their work, it was a step to­wards pro­mot­ing the Whit­sun­days.

“It’s a small bar in Air­lie Beach and we’re be­ing recog­nised on an in­ter­na­tional scale,” he said.

“From very hum­ble be­gin­nings...(op­er­at­ing out of a ‘hole in a wall on Air­lie Beach’s es­planade’) it’s just great for the re­gion. (We) don’t look at it as an award for the bar, we look at it like an award for the re­gion.

“We’re not in com­pe­ti­tion with other bars, we’re in com­pe­ti­tion with other re­gions like Port Dou­glas and Noosa who are on that foodie map.”

Dr Rum said their nom­i­na­tion was a great way to try and help push the Whit­sun­days into be­com­ing a foodie des­ti­na­tion.

Just over a decade ago, Dr Rum opened up Aus­tralia’s first com­pletely rum ded­i­cated bar. Now the Rum Bar has been fea­tured in ev­ery­thing from Queens­land Week­ender to the UK’s Daily Mail. Lo­cated at Fish D’vine, the bar stocks hun­dreds of dif­fer­ent types of rums from all over the world and their mo­jito has been voted on­line as one of the world’s best. The recipe for his suc­cess? “Be­ing a bit of lu­natic... (and) be­liev­ing in what you’re do­ing and just keep push­ing it forward,” he said.

The Bar Awards are on Septem­ber 19 in Syd­ney.


PERFECT MIX: Mark 'Dr Rum' Wy­att is ec­static the Rum Bar has been nom­i­nated as one of the 10 fi­nal­ists for 2017’s Rum Bar of the Year in­dus­try award.

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