By Dana Kroll, Uptown Marketing and Communications Specialist
We wait all year for this. Especially those of us that (one) love West Michigan, (two) love local and independent businesses, and (three) love awesome, equitable, and FREE journalism – we’re looking at you, Revue West Michigan! The incredible team behind this beloved regional publication has once again worked their tails off to keep one of our area’s most beloved of traditions alive and thriving. That is, the Best of the West competition (it’s eighth annual, might we add). Now that their work is done, it’s time for our part, and that is, to offer hearty congratulations to all of our district’s winners. This year, Uptown netted 58 winners and finalists; up by 11 from last year. Seems safe to say it: When it comes to local businesses in Uptown, we’re not only growing,- we’re growing winners.
It’s important to mention that while our organization always appreciates the opportunity that this contest provides us to beam pride about our businesses and the people who operate them…it’s also a good time 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, hold near and dear to heart. 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.
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 finalist position in their categories as listed:
Breakfast: Wolfgang’s • Burgers: Black Napkin • Chinese: Red Bowl • Dessert: Chartreuse Sisters and Mokaya • Diner: Matchbox Diner & Drinks • Fries: Black Napkin • Ice Cream/Frozen Treats: Furniture City Creamery • Mediterranean: Živio • Mexican: Donkey Taqueria • Most Innovative Cuisine: grove • Pizza: Quarantino’s • Sandwich/Deli: Schnitz Deli • Bloody Mary Bar: The Winchester • Bourbon: Eastern Kille Distillery/Eastern Kille Wealthy • Craft Cocktails: Buffalo Traders Lounge and Eastern Kille Distillery/Eastern Kille Wealthy • Distillery: Eastern Kille Distillery/Eastern Kille Wealthy • Gin: Barrel Finished Gin by Eastern Kille Distillery/Eastern Kill Wealthy • Sour Beer: Brewery Vivant and Speciation Artisan Ales • Vodka: Utility Vodka by Eastern Kille Distillery/Eastern Kille Wealthy • Catering: Kangaroo Kitchen and Catering • CBD Retailer: The Grassy Knoll • Chef: Jeremy Paquin, Essence Restaurant Group • Interior Designer: Jean Stoffer, Jean Stoffer Design • Tattoo Shop: Sovereign Arms Tattoo Co. • Wellness Center: The Vitalist Institute of Psychospiritual Transformation • Book Store: Books and Mortar • Butcher: Louise Earl Butcher • Thrift/Consignment Shop: Rock Paper Scissors • Shopping District/Destination: Wealthy Street • Women’s Clothing: Basic Bee Boutique • Art Museum/Gallery: Lafontsee Galleries & Framing • Movie Theater: Wealthy Theatre
A few final and special callouts we would like to mention. First: Two of our four business districts are to be recognized this year. Both our Eastown and Wealthy Street corridors were who YOU picked as your favorite shopping destinations, in all of West Michigan. Thanks! Also – Way to go, Long Road Distillery. They’ve netted their second “Golden Certificate” – that means they are two for two (as this extra competition category began just last year), and that their stellar brand scored first place wins across the most total voting categories. Find their incredible sips at the Less Traveled Cocktail Bar in East Hills.
Congratulations again to all of our winners. To find out more about any of these wonderful establishments, check out the Business Directory on our website.
Meanwhile, be sure to pick up your copy of the August Revue WM magazine, found on newsstands throughout countless local businesses in our district (it is also digitally distributed – find it here).