The Rix Hotel in Charters Towers has won prizes before for its bar and restaurant, but this year it took out the top gong as the best country pub in Queensland.
Owned by Noel and Jane Jesberg, the Rix Hotel scored the top prize of Best Regional Hotel at the 2023 Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence held recently in Brisbane.
For the second year in a row, the pub which dates back to 1875 also nabbed awards for the Best Regional Restaurant and the Best Regional Hotel Bar for its Beast & Barrel Bar & Grill.
Mrs Jesberg, a former television journalist, and Mr Jesberg, a third generation hotelier, bought the former Australian Hotel nine years ago.
Mrs Jesberg said they were "completely blown away" with the win of Best Regional Hotel.
"The spotlight came on us (at the awards' ceremony) and we looked a bit dumbfounded," she said.
"Obviously, it was very emotional as you put your heart and soul into a business that operates almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it's a lot of hard work and energy."
Mr Jesberg said they were overwhelmed at winning the three awards as there was a lot of competition, particularly from South East Queensland.
"And, we're a little hotel in the heart of cattle country, but I guess it's affirmation of what we're doing is well received...and we're setting benchmarks within the region which is really humbling," he said.
Mrs Jesberg said their driving ambition right from the outset was to bring "a city energy" to the bush.
"I think for a long time the level of sophistication in the bush had been underestimated," she said.
"So, we wanted to meld together something a bit fancy but something that still retained that old fashioned country hospitality with a focus on manners and which was very customer centric.
"We wanted to bring dishes that are found in the best gastro pubs within Australia and cocktails that mixologists turn out in Melbourne. We wanted to replicate that energy in our dining experience."
Mr Jesberg said the Rix Hotel was an experience and destination now where people could come to see the hotel's underground cellar through a glass floor and try the hotel's dry-aged beef from the recently installed dry-aged beef cabinet.
With some of the State's top producers regularly dining at the Rix, Mrs Jesberg said she could safely say that the restaurant was renowned for its beef and as a steakhouse now.
"It was Noel's idea for 'yes, let's be a steakhouse' and I thought that as we're right in the heart of cattle country, that was a bold move," she said.
"But, we canvassed the support (of producers), we got their advice and we've acted upon that and sourced beef from companies that they export their beef to so we can have that local link."
The Rix will now be in the running for the National Awards in Adelaide in November.
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