Montgomery restaurants receive industry awards for outstanding work

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 6:32 AM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Two Montgomery restaurants took home big awards for their outstanding work during the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association’s Industry Award winners annual dinner.

The Lower Lounge’s head bartender Nick Ware was named 2021 Bartender of the Year and Vintage Hospitality Group’s proprietor Jud Blount was named Restaurateur of the Year. The Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association awarded the two during its Stars of the Industry Awards, which honors Alabama’s lodging, tourism and restaurant industry.

Ware’s cocktail “A Streetcar Called Equality” helped win him the title. The cocktail is said to have a flavor palate inspired by Montgomery’s rich history, connecting Ware’s choice of whiskey, liqueurs, syrups and garnishes to specific historical events, cultural influences and the city’s landscape. It’s currently on the menu at the Lower Lounge, along with more of Ware’s creations.

Vintage Hospitality Group operates Vintage Year, its flagship fine-dining restaurant, and Vintage Cafe, a coffee shop, daytime eatery and retail store. The company also owns the hydroponic farm MGM Greens.

In 2022, the group will open City Fed, a new downtown venue that will include private event spaces and an authentic Italian restaurant called Ravello.

Executive Chef Eric Rivera, also of Vintage Hospitality Group, was a finalist in the Chef of the Year category. Britany Bohlen of the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa at the Convention Center was a finalist in the Back of House Restaurant Employee of the Year category.

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