Press Release

Best Bar None Awards honour downtown Toronto establishments For commitment to responsible alcohol sales and service

Toronto - June 9, 2015

TORONTO, ON, June 9, 2015 – Real Sports Bar & Grill, Turf Lounge and Fionn MacCools on Front Street have been recognized as the best among bars, restaurants and clubs when it comes to implementing the highest standards for the responsible sales and service of alcohol in Toronto’s downtown core.

The establishments were selected by a judging panel comprising Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), and Best Bar None (BBN) Ontario, an industry-led international accreditation and awards program that rewards excellence amongst responsible liquor sales licensees.

There are eight winners of the third annual Best Bar None Awards in Toronto:

Best Bar/Lounge: Real Sports Bar & Grill Best Members Club: The Spoke Club
Best Restaurant: Turf Lounge Best Hotel: Hyatt Regency Toronto on King
Best Club: Crocodile Rock Best Venue: Air Canada Centre
Best Pub: Fionn MacCool’s (Front Street) People’s Choice: Real Sports Bar & Grill

“All the winners have set high standards and serve liquor responsibly in order to reduce the potential for alcohol-related issues. By developing positive relationships with neighbours, patrons, the city, law enforcement and industry partners, the winners are helping make the community safer and the experience for patrons more enjoyable,” said Tony Elenis, the President and CEO of the Ontario Restaurant, Hotel and Motel Association, which leads BBN Ontario.

All BBN Ontario accredited businesses are eligible for the awards, which will be handed out today from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, King Street Social Bar, 370 King St. W. Toronto. The winners and newly accredited establishments will receive marketing materials they can display to indicate to the public that they’re a BBN-accredited venue. When you see the “Best Bar None” Ontario decal at a bar, pub, restaurant or club, you can be assured that the establishment has met the highest standards for responsible service of alcohol and operates with the safety and well-being of its patrons and the community in mind.

BBN Ontario partners include MADD Canada, the AGCO, LCBO, King Spadina Residents Association, Toronto Entertainment District Business Improvement Area, Toronto Police Service and the City of Toronto.

“Everyone has a responsibility to keep our roads safe. That’s why MADD Canada is pleased to work with Best Bar None and industry partners to recognize these establishments for their successful track record of building patron and community safety into their businesses,” said Andrew Murie, CEO of MADD Canada.

A key component of the accreditation and awards process is an independent third party investigation to verify that an establishment is in compliance with its own processes and the appropriate provincial regulations as administered by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.

“The AGCO expects all liquor licensees to operate with the public interest in mind. That’s why we’re encouraged by the actions of BBN award-winners, as they’ve met the high standards established by this internationally-recognized program. They’re good neighbours who proactively work with local partners to address issues that may otherwise spill into their communities,” said Tom Mungham, AGCO’s Chief Operating Officer.

Best Bar None originated in 2003 in Manchester, U.K. In the U.K. and in Alberta, Best Bar None programs have been credited with increasing levels of public safety and reducing crime in downtown entertainment districts. The program also improved the economic viability of these districts and built positive relationships between owners of licensed establishments and local community groups and police.

Media Contact

Tony Elenis
President and CEO
Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association
Phone: 905-361-0268

Andrew Murie
MADD Canada
Mobile: 416-720-7642

Joe Kim
Media Relations
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Phone: 416-326-5962
Mobile: 416-319-9308