Weekender Readers' Choice Awards: May 1, 6 p.m.-8.pm., Breakers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs (1280 Hwy 315, Wilkes-Barre). Free. Must be 21+.
Every year, just as spring finally creeps into NEPA, our readers start e-mailing and calling us, asking when the voting for our annual Readers' Choice Awards begins. It's an event they look forward to each and every year, and we do too, as it gives us a chance to not only see what our readers are up to when they're not flipping through our pages, but it also allows us to gather together to celebrate the area and all it has to offer. Whether you're listed among the final results or you're a reader who just enjoys a fun night out, we invite you to join the Weekender crew at Breakers at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs on Thursday, May 1 at 6 p.m. for the awards ceremony. As our readership can attest, it's the event to anticipate every year. Best adult store Winner: Adult World Runner-up: Playtime Boutique Best alternative lifestyle bar Winner: Twist Runner-up: 12 Penny Saloon Best art gallery Winner: Art Seen on the Square Runner-up: AfA Gallery Best auto sales, new Winner: Wyoming Valley Motors Runner-up: Motor World Auto Group Best auto sales, used Winner: Pierce Street Motors Runner-up: Nationwide Car Sales Best bakery Winner: Bakery Delite Runner-up: Sanitary Bakery Best bar Winner: R Bar and Grill Runner-up: Kildare's Irish Pub Best barber Winner: Lou, Sharp Cuts 2 Runner-up: Norm's Kutt-N-Up Best beer selection, bar/restaurant Winner: Arena Bar and Grill Runner-up: Backyard Ale House Best beer selection, non-bar/restaurant Winner: Krugel's Georgetown Deli & Beer Runner-up: Wegmans Food Markets Best bike night Winner: Quaker Steak & Lube Runner-up: J J Banko's Seafood Best book store Winner: Barnes & Noble Runner-up: Books-A-Million (BAM) Best bouncer Winner: JK Krajewski, Kildare's Irish Pub Runner-up: Nick Bolesta, River Grille Best bowling alley Winner: Chacko's Family Bowling Center Runner-up: Stanton Lanes Best burgers Winner: Five Guys Burgers and Fries Runner-up: Red Robin Best chain restaurant Winner: Olive Garden Runner-up: TGI Fridays Best chef Winner: Chef Gene Philbin, Peculiar Culinary Co. Runner-up: Beaumont Inn Best Chinese restaurant Winner: Peking Chef Runner-up: Asian Cafe Best clothing boutique Winner: Bratty Natty's Boutique Runner-up: Showroom 56 Best club DJ Winner: DJ Hersh Runner-up: DJ MC, aka Jason McConnell Best club-sized music venue Winner: The Factory: Underground Runner-up: River Street Jazz Cafe Best cocktail selection Winner: R Bar and Grill Runner-up: Arena Bar and Grill Best coffee shop Winner: Dunkin' Donuts Runner-up: Northern Light Espresso Bar Best college Winner: King's College Runner-up: Wilkes University Best college bar Winner: Rodano's Runner-up: Beer Boys Best college radio station Winner: 90.7 WCLH, Wilkes University Runner-up: 88.5 WRKC, King's College Best columnist/writer Winner: Justin Brown: Sorry Mom & Dad, Weekender Runner-up: Melissa Hughes: Girl Talk, Weekender Best comedian Winner: James Holeva Runner-up: Paul Matreselva Best corner bar Winner: R Bar and Grill Runner-up: Sloppy Joe's Beer Garden Best cover band Winner: M80 Runner-up: The Chatter Best dance club Winner: The Woodlands Inn Runner-up: Rodano's Best day spa Winner: The Woodhouse Day Spa Runner-up: Alexander's Salon & Spa Best deli lunch Winner: Canteen 900 Runner-up: Circles on the Square Best desserts Winner: Perkins Restaurant & Bakery Runner-up: Olive Garden Best diner Winner: Eddie's Place Runner-up: Glider Restaurant Best drink specials Winner: R Bar and Grill Runner-up: Arena Bar and Grill Best eco-friendly business Winner: Nucleus Raw Foods Runner-up: Canteen 900 Best exotic dancer Winner: Paige, Gentlemen's Club 10 Best female bartender Winner: Lauren Maga, R Bar and Grill Runner-up: Estella Sweet, Twist Best festival/bazaar/annual event Winner: La Festa Italiana, Scranton Runner-up: Pittston Tomato Festival Best fine dining Winner: Ruth's Chris Steak House Runner-up: Kevin's Bar and Restaurant Best florist Winner: McCarthy Flowers Runner-up: Carmen's Flowers & Gifts Best food truck Winner: What the Fork Truck Runner-up: The Magic Bus Cafe Best fries Winner: Five Guys Burgers and Fries Runner-up: McDonald's Best gaming or comic store Winner: GameStop Runner-up: Comics on the Green Best garden center Winner: Dundee Gardens, Inc. Runner-up: Lowe's Home Improvement Best golf course Winner: Fox Hill Country Club Runner-up: Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club Best gym Winner: Planet Fitness Runner-up: VIVE Health and Fitness Best hair salon Winner: Pure Lavi Salon Runner-up: Sakari Salon Best hair stylist Winner: Alisha Albert, Runs With Scissors Runner-up: April Campas, Eclectic Salon Best happy hour Winner: Arena Bar and Grill Runner-up: Beer Boys Best hoagies Winner: Vino's Deli Runner-up: Dagwood's Deli & Subs Best hookah lounge Winner: Crimson Lion Hookah Lounge Runner-up: Exhale Hookah Lounge & Kabob Grill Best hot dogs Winner: Abe's Hot Dogs Runner-up: Ferris's Lunch Best hotel Winner: The Woodlands Inn Runner-up: Hilton Scranton & Conference Center Best ice cream Winner: The Lands at Hillside Farms Runner-up: Manning Farm Dairy Best Irish bar Winner: Kildare's Irish Pub Runner-up: Flaherty's Drinking Establishment Best Italian restaurant Winner: Olive Garden Runner-up: Cafe Toscana Best Japanese sushi restaurant Winner: Mirakuya Japanese Restaurant Runner-up: Mizu Sushi Best jeweler Winner: Rainbow Jewelers Runner-up: Dunay Jewelers Best karaoke Winner: Ole Tyme Charley's Runner-up: Kildare's Irish Pub Best large music venue Winner: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain Runner-up: F. M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts Best local athlete Winner: Eugene Lewis Runner-up: Stephanie Jallen Best local blog Winner: It's a Keeper, Christina Hitchcock Runner-up: Gort42 Best local brewery Winner: Susquehanna Brewing Co. Runner-up: Lion Brewery Best locally made beer Winner: Susquehanna Brewing Co. Runner-up: Lion Brewery Best male bartender Winner: Mark Mason, Hops & Barleys Runner-up: Billy Lavan, Riverside Café Best martini selection Winner: Billy B's Martini Bar and Restaurant Runner-up: Arena Bar and Grill Best Mexican restaurant Winner: La Tolteca Runner-up: CK's Cantina & Grill Best motorcycle shop Winner: Electric City Harley-Davidson Runner-up: Cycle Playground Best movie theater Winner: Cinemark Runner-up: R/C Wilkes-Barre Movies 14 Best musical instrument store Winner: Guitar Center Runner-up: Wayne's World Best nail salon Winner: Sakari Salon Runner-up: Pure Lavi Salon Best new bar Winner: The Sanderson Street Tavern Runner-up: The Factory: Underground Best new restaurant Winner: LongHorn Steakhouse Runner-up: 279 Bar & Grill Best open mic night Winner: Legend's Saloon Runner-up: 279 Bar & Grill Best original band Winner: The Mercury Display Runner-up: Crock Pot Abduction Best patio/deck Winner: River Grille Runner-up: Cooper's Cabana Best pet store Winner: PetSmart Runner-up: Petco Best photographer Winner: Jessica Standish Runner-up: Tom Bonomo, Eyedesignstudios Best piercer Winner: Pat Riot, Conflict Artistry Runner-up: Woody, Electric City Tattoo Gallery Best pizza Winner: Angelo's Pizzeria Runner-up: Maroni's Pizza House Best place to buy accessories Winner: Charming Charlie