Bar & Restaurant Expo, the nation’s largest and most influential gathering of bar and restaurant owners and operators returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center on March 21 – 23. Formerly known as Nightclub & Bar Show, the 36th annual showcase celebrated yet another immensely successful year, boosting attendance to well over 10,000 attendees. The three-day expo featured an impressive total of 350 exhibitors and over 80 conference sessions with industry professionals, as well as an interactive Restaurant Zone, Sports Bar, Food & Beverage Innovation Center, a variety of educational workshops, bootcamps, product launches, keynote and more.
The transition to Bar & Restaurant Expo in 2022 included many significant changes to the showcase, including interactive booths, product experiences with real time operator feedback, and an overall immersive environment. The evolution of the brand aligns with the fast-moving hospitality industry and broadens the breadth and depth of the audience of the expo to include food buyers, food & beverage directors, food distributors, chefs, as well as other key stakeholders within the food service sector.
The expo floor was officially opened to attendees with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by retired NASCAR driver and co-founder of City Lights Shine, Brendan Gaughan and Bar & Restaurant Group Vice President Tim McLucas. Gaughan and McLucas walked the star-studded red carpet which also preceded the opening of the expo floor where many of the most influential names in the industry entered the expo in style including, BRE Executive Council Members Mia Mastroianni and David Kaplan; celebrity chef Brian Duffy; Food & Beverage Innovation Kitchen chefs Jennifer Behm-Lazzarni, Kayla Robison, Chad Rosenthal, Kevin Des Chenes; Co-founder of The Spirits in Motion, Phil Wills; Founder and Visionary of FIG Brand Strategy Firm TaChelle Lawson; Mixologist & Owner of Japp’s Bar Molly Wellman; Co-founder of Invictus Hospitality Michael Tipps; Chef Adrian Lipscombe of Uptown Café & Bakery; and Dennis McKinley of Detroit Equities.
On the red carpet, Tim McLucas presented a $5,000 check on behalf of Bar & Restaurant Expo to the official charity partner of the year, Children of Restaurant Employees, or CORE, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing relief to those effected by disasters around the globe. Bar & Restaurant Expo also generously donated a sizable amount of food that went unused at this year’s expo to Nevada’s largest food bank, Three Square.
Tim McLucas, Vice President of the Bar & Restaurant Group stated, “We are thrilled to have hosted the 36th annual event, and the first under our new name Bar & Restaurant Expo. Our expansion into the Restaurant category has already significantly increased the number of restaurants participating, and enhanced the education program. It is clear from the rapid growth in our attendance numbers since 2021 that the industry is now back to business and eager to leverage this new growth opportunity”.
Bar & Restaurant Expo capped off a stellar year with the 2022 Industry Excellence Awards ceremony. These awards, presented by expo sponsor sunday, were designed to recognize, celebrate, and support the people who make the independent bar and restaurant industry great. The prestigious awards, including categories like community leadership, innovator of the year, most original concept, and many more, were presented by Mia Mastroianni and Molly Wellman. A full list of the extraordinary 2022 winners can be found here.
The Bar & Restaurant Expo will return to Las Vegas March 27-29, 2023. For more information, visit here.