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Merivale collected seven awards at the Australian Hotel Association (AHA) NSW Awards for Excellence, held on Monday 25 November, in Sydney. Justin and John Hemmes were honoured for their outstanding contributions to hospitality and inducted into the prestigious AHA NSW Hall of Fame.


It was a stellar night for 1920s speakeasy Palmer & Co. The prohibition-style bar in the beating heart of the CBD was awarded ‘Best Boutique Bar’ while head bartender, Matt Fitzgerald, was given the highly sought-after title of ‘Cocktail Bartender of the Year’.


Pacha Sydney, the unrivalled entertainment experience that takes place every Saturday night at ivy, won ‘Best Promotional Concept’ for its highly successful launch campaign. Last night’s win capped off a sensational first year for Pacha; since launching in November 2012, it has been named ‘Club Night of the Year’ in the 2013 In The Mix Awards and ‘Best Night Club’ in the 2013 Australian Liquor Industry Awards.


The multi-award winning est. added another feather to its illustrious cap, winning ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’, while Felix’s talented head chef, Nathan Johnson, was awarded ‘Chef of the Year’.


With more than 50 restaurants, bars, pubs, hotels and function spaces in Sydney, Merivale also won ‘Group Operator of the Year’, recognised for its outstanding quality in food offerings, bar presentation, customer service and involvement in industry activities. 


It was a particularly special evening for Merivale with Justin and John Hemmes both inducted into the AHA NSW Hall of Fame. Honoured for their “enormous contribution to the hospitality sector in Sydney”, their induction was met by a standing ovation from the crowd of over 1,000 business and community leaders.


In his acceptance speech, Justin Hemmes dedicated the prestigious accolade to his family: “A special tribute to my dad [John], without him I certainly wouldn’t be where I am and we wouldn’t have the business we have today, to my mum [Merivale] for her continued support and to my sister [Bettina] for her impeccable taste and partnership”.


For further information on the AHA NSW Awards for Excellence, visit


For further information on Merivale, please contact:


Rebecca Gibbs

Publicist, Merivale

Phone: 02 9240 3056

Email: [email protected]



Originally a fashion house, Merivale, owned by the Hemmes family, has been established in Australia for 58 years. The Hemmes family are developing and operating pioneers within the hospitality industry, owning a portfolio of more than 50 restaurants, bars, pubs, hotels and function spaces in Sydney. Justin Hemmes is the Chief Executive Officer of Merivale.

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March into Merivale, one of the most anticipated events on Sydney’s food calendar, is back for one incredible night on Wednesday 22 March at ivy. A celebration of the best of Merivale, bon vivants can sip, sample and savour an outstanding spectrum of food, cocktails and wine, as the group’s leading talent come together for a supercharged culinary extravaganza.