Local haunts recognised at Golden Plate Awards

December 9, 2023 BY

The judges were impressed with the ambiance and front of house staff at 18th Amendment Bar. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/18th AMENDMENT BAR

Two of Geelong’s beloved establishments have been recognised at this year’s Golden Plate Regional Hospitality Awards.

The Golden Plate Awards were established in 2003 and celebrate the achievements of eateries and cocktail bars across regional Victoria.

Adding to its growing list of achievements, this year 18th Amendment Bar took home the award for Best Customer Service.

For the third year in a row, the prohibition-style speakeasy was also runner up in the Best Cocktail Bar or Cellar Door category, losing out to Kyneton-based Miss M’s Lounge.

18th Amendment Bar’s operations manager, Damien Kos-Beckwith, said it’s dedicated staff and a commitment to serving quality ingredients that help to ensure the cocktail bar continues to move from strength to strength.

“We have a very low turnover of staff which means they all help contribute to the menu, they help pick the beers and the wines, and help tweak the cocktails to be things they’re proud to serve.

“[And] without quality ingredients, cocktails will never be as good as they could be.

“We make sure we buy the best ingredients and try and source locally wherever we can.”

For the judges, it was the establishment’s ambiance that stood out.

Bean & Base Café owner, Lucky Thapliyal, at this year’s Golden Plate Awards. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/BEAN & BASE


“The 18th Amendment Bar is full of old-world charm, designed to seduce you into the charms of carefully designed and cleverly made cocktails, rare whiskeys and other delights,” the judges said.

“The bar is beautifully decorated with antique wallpaper, pressed tin and a wall of backlit bottles of liquor that becomes a liquor library, complete with step ladder.

“It is almost too easy to sit in one of dimly lit tables and imagine yourself back in the 20s drinking illicit booze while listening to jazz and blues.”

Mr Kos-Beckwith said the bar was designed to have a “nice, comfortable atmosphere”.

“It’s all designed for the guest. If the guest leaves happy, then we’ve done our job.”

Bean & Base Café and Woodfired Pizza were also recognised in this year’s awards, with the Rippleside eatery once again receiving the People’s Choice Award.

More than 6000 public votes were received in this category and Bean & Base received approximately 1800 of them.

The eatery’s manager, Vidya Kothapalli, said it was a thrill to win the award for the second year in a row and the establishment’s success would not be possible without the ongoing support of their loyal customers.