PROVING the old adage that good things come in small packages, Newcastle’s Bar Petite won best small bar at the 2012 AHA (NSW) Awards for Excellence.
This week’s awards also recognised East Maitland’s The George Tavern, which won the best overall country hotel and best liquor retail outlet, Cessnock’s 221 Restaurant & Bar at the Royal Oak Hotel, which won best country restaurant category, while Broadmeadow’s Sunnyside Tavern took the gong for best budget pub-style accommodation.
Said to be Newcastle’s first small bar, Bar Petite opened in The Royal complex in late 2010.
Michael Kearney took over about a year ago and Tony Harrison (formerly of Nor’East) soon followed.
Kearney said the Newcastle community had embraced the small bar concept as an intimate space for a drink and bite to eat.
‘‘We just think when you walk into the bar it has a friendly and comfortable feel,’’ Kearney said.
‘‘It’s just a lot more personal, you can come in and meet the head chef and the owner and have a drink.’’
He hoped the AHA award would encourage more small bars to open in the city and around the Hunter.
‘‘Hopefully it will open the gates for more venues to open,’’ Mr Kearney said.