The award was presented to Kehoe’s owner Louis Fitzgerald at a gala event in the Mansion House celebrating the bicentenary of the Licensed Vintners Association last Friday.
The LVA, claiming to be the oldest trade association in the country, has been representing Dublin publicans since 1817.
Runner-up went to Peter’s Pub in Johnson Place, owned by Enda Keogh.
The Bank on College Green – owned by David Chawke – was the inaugural winner of the Best of the Best Pubs for Food award with the runner-up award going to The Old Spot on Bath Avenue.
These new Licensed Vintners Association annual awards are in memory of former publican and former LVA Chair Oliver Hughes, founder of the Porterhouse Group, who passed away last year. He was a former LVA Chair.
The ‘Best of the Best’ was being celebrated in memory of one of the best, commented Deirdre Devitt.
“Oliver was not so much a man of his time as a man way ahead of it,” she told a packed Mansion House last Friday, “He was just so innovative as a businessman. You can see that by counting the number of craft breweries there are now.
“These awards are really to honour Oliver’s memory and to celebrate, as he would, excellence in the pub trade. These are the pubs that Dublin publicans themselves rate as the very best. That’s what makes these awards that bit special”.
Voting in the awards was by LVA members only and the votes were counted by BDO.