By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist
It’s August in West Michigan which means fun, sun, and the good times that a little healthy competition always brings…and that by that we mean of course, The Best of the West competition! Our friends at one of the state’s most well-known regional publications, Revue West Michigan, have again orchestrated the area’s favorite voter-driven contest, have tallied the votes, and have now announced the results. And that means that it’s once again time for Uptown to offer a heartfelt congratulations to all of our district’s winners – that’s 46 finalists, 17 top-spot winners, and a first-ever ‘Golden Certificate’ recipient, all of whom call Uptown home.
This year marks the 7th annual contest for the mag, and they shared that it was also their strongest ever for voter participation. More than 340,000 individual votes were received, across 102 total categories. WOW!
Revue WM has put a ton of effort into evolving the contest over the years, as it’s grown in participation and popularity, and this year was to be included in that evolution. For the first time, additional voting opportunities, categories, and recognitions were introduced, plus this year the publication also held a formal announcement party, to celebrate the winners in real time and in person. You can read more about their contest, here.
For our part, Uptown always appreciates the opportunity this contest provides us to be reminded of how grateful we are for all of the voters. Perhaps you’re one of them! If so, you should know that a ‘Best of the West’ recognition is one that small and local businesses, like ours in Uptown, consider a deep honor to receive. Casting your vote is a really meaningful way to support local, and directly impacts the visibility and brand recognition of the finalists and winning businesses.
Thanks of course are due to Revue WM as well, for keeping this tradition alive in our community.
And now for the main event – it’s time to shout out our winners. We are so proud of these fantastic establishments, and we hope you can take time to experience them soon to find out why they’ve been awarded the title of the very BEST in their categories, in all of West Michigan!
In addition, we celebrate the following businesses who scored a top-three finalist position in their categories as listed:
Art Museum/Gallery – LaFontsee Galleries ; Beer, Wine, And Liquor Store – Smitty’s ; Bloody Mary – The Winchester ; Bookstore Cuisine – Books & Mortar ; Breakfast Cuisine – Wolfgang’s Restaurant ; Brewery Cuisine – Brewery Vivant ; Butcher Cuisine – Louise Earle ; Chinese Cuisine – Red Bowl ; Coffee Cuisine – Sparrows Coffee ; Coffee Cuisine – Squibb ; Craft Cocktails – Buffalo Traders Lounge ; Dessert Cuisine – Mokaya ; Fried Chicken – Hancock ; Gin – Long Road Distillers, Michigin ; Hiking/Outdoor Gear – Woosah ; Ice Cream – Furniture City Creamery ; Interior Designer – Jean Stoffer ; Mediterranean Cuisine – Zivio ; Men’s Clothing – New Yorker Menswear ; Mexican Cuisine – Donkey Taqueria ; Pizza – Harmony Brewing Company ; Pizza – Quarantino’s ; Sandwich/Deli – Schnitz Deli ; Shopping District – Eastown ; Soup – Electric Cheetah ; Sour Beer – Speciation Artisan Ales, Incipient ; Thrift/Consignment – Rock Paper Scissors Consignment ; Wellness Center – Wanderlux ; Yoga – Kula Yoga ;
Finally, we are proud to announce that the recipient of Revue WM’s first ever ‘Golden Certificate’ has been awarded to Long Road Distillers, who have just recently opened their newest cocktail bar, which is located in the heart of our East Hills district, and is called Less Travelled GR (so yeah, we’re claiming them as “ours” now…). This first annual award was designed to recognize the business with the most votes tallied up across more than one category. Way to go, friends.
Congratulations again to all of our winners. To find out more about any of these wonderful establishments, check out the Directory on our website. Meanwhile, be sure to pick up your copy of the August Revue WM magazine, which is also a FREE publication that can be found on newstands throughout countless local businesses in our district.