After two months of online balloting and tens of thousands of votes cast, we present to you your favorites in dozens of categories in our fifth annual Best of Atlanta awards.

Many people like to say these awards are nothing but a popularity contest. We don’t deny that at all, because in the end, the winners are decided by one thing only: your votes.

Our first round of voting took place in May and we gave readers a chance to nominate their favorites in categories of Community, People, Places, Shopping, Eats, Arts & Entertainment, Nightlife, Pets and Services. In most cases, the top three vote-getters (or more if there was a tie) were named finalists and moved on to the second stage of multiple-choice voting, which lasted through the end of June.

Many organizations, people and businesses let their fates be determined unprompted. Others mounted organized campaigns, usually through Facebook and Twitter, to convince fans and to garner votes from fans and friends and others. Both approaches are valuable and any group or business that has a devoted fan base willing to vote every day is worth checking out.

Be sure to congratulate the winners. And if your favorite didn’t make it to the finals, plan on doing something about that next year by nominating and voting early and often.

The best part of this issue is the party we throw for it, a party for the winners, finalists and for everyone who makes this community a great place to live, work and play.

We hope to see you there on July 17 at the Georgian Terrace. We couldn’t throw the party without the kindness and generosity of the gorgeous Midtown hotel as well as Green’s Liquor and Barefoot Wine, Henry’s Midtown, Campagnolo Restaurant & Bar, Green Ginger, Southern Sweets, our emcee Ian Aber of A Bear Comedy Show and DJ Vicki Powell.

Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to all of our communities who share their stories with us and therefore empower all of us.

NIGHTLIFE

 

NIGHTLIFE - my sisters room

BEST PLACE TO MEET WOMEN
MY SISTER’S ROOM
When it comes to where to meet women, readers flock to East Atlanta for a night at My Sister’s Room (www.mysistersroom. com). The lesbian bar has only gotten more popular since making the move from Decatur several years ago as it continues to take the top prize year after year in this category.
• LeBuzz (www.thenewlebuzz.com) finished second and Burkhart’s (www.burkharts.com) closed it out in third place.

 

Sunday ServiceTHEME NIGHT
SUNDAY SERVICE AT SISTER LOUISA’S CHURCH OF THE LIVING ROOM & PING PONG EMPORIUM
You have to have faith in something, and when gay Atlanta wants to have fun on Sunday night, they go to Sunday Service at Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium (www.sisterlouisaschurch.com). Best of Atlanta winner DJ Vicki Powell spins while the “parishioners” sip their drinks and soak in the fun at this Edgewood Avenue hotspot.
• Heretic Country Nights (www.hereticatlanta.com) placed second while The ManShaft at Mary’s (https://www.facebook.com/groups/themanshaft/) came in third place.

 

bar-empty-gallery-fullHOTEL BAR
THE LIVINGSTON AT THE GEORGIAN TERRACE
The Livingston at the Georgian Terrace (www.livingstonatlanta.com) wins for Best Hotel Bar this year and it’s no wonder why. The sleek hotspot across from the Fox Theatre is the place to go when gay Atlantans want to get a little spiffed up and hit the town, and it’s become one of the prime spots for watching the annual Atlanta Pride parade.
• Whiskey Park – W Midtown (www.gerberbars.com/whiskey-park-atlanta) took second place while Bar eleven – Loews (www.elevenatlanta.com) came in third.

OTP BAR
LEBUZZ
Marietta mainstay LeBuzz took the prize again this year for Best OTP Bar. The establishment routinely draws locals but also gay visitors from North Georgia and even those ITP looking for a change of pace. Saturday night’s Divas Cabaret hosted by Destiny Brooks is a crowd favorite.
• Blue Ribbon Grill (www.theblueribbongrill.com) came in second place and Eastside Station (www.eastsidestation.com) 
placed third.

 

IMG_2577NEIGHBORHOOD BAR
MARY’S
Readers liked gay hipster hangout Mary’s (www.marysatlanta.com) the best in this category, and who can blame them with the bar’s fun vibe, popular theme nights, great music and even a love seat upstairs to share a quieter moment away from the crowd. East Atlanta wouldn’t be the same without Mary’s.
• Hideaway (www.atlantahideaway.com) took second place while Woofs (www.woofsatlanta.com) rounded out the group in third.

KARAOKE
MARY’S
Those LGBT Atlantans wanting to belt out their favorite tune in front of a crowd (and their more shy friends who prefer to observe) picked karaoke night at Mary’s
(www.marysatlanta.com) as the place to do it. “Mary-oke” host CJ keeps the Tuesday and Saturday nights rolling with over 15,000 songs at his fingertips.
• Burkhart’s (www.burkharts.com) came in second place and G’s (http://www.communitas hospitality.com/gs-midtown/) came in third.

 

swinging richards 3

 

STRIP CLUB
SWINGING RICHARDS

The boys of Swinging Richards (www.swingingrichards.com) take the sexy crown for best strip club this year, as they continue their reign as tops in all-male, all-nude entertainment for gay Atlanta.
The Northside Drive club also outlasted brief competition from Bliss, which closed its doors earlier this year.
Clermont Lounge (www.clermont lounge.net) placed second while BJ Roosters came in third.

 

armorettes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DRAG SHOW
ARMORETTES SUNDAY NIGHT AT BURKHART’S
Readers made it clear you can’t go wrong with the Armorettes drag show (www.armorettes.com) Sunday nights 
at Burkhart’s. The troupe has been going strong for over 35 years and not only puts on an unforgettable show, but fund-raises while doing it, with more than $3 million raised for AIDS support services.
• The Other Show at Jungle (www.jungleatl.com) came in second place and
 Lips Atlanta (www.lipsatl.com) came in third.

 

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DANCE FLOOR
HERETIC
When it’s time to sweat it out to some of their favorite tunes, readers picked the dance floor at the Heretic (www.hereticatlanta.com) as their favorite place to do it. Whether hosting local, national or international DJs or putting on the popular 3-Legged Cowboy nights, the Heretic knows how to throw it down.
• Jungle (www.jungleatl.com) came in second while the Atlanta Eagle (www.atlantaeagle.com) rounded out the category in third.

 

burkhart's insideOVERALL BAR
BURKHART’S
Burkhart’s (www.burkharts.com) lands the top spot for Best Overall Bar this year. The Ansley Square hangout keeps the customers coming with their popular karaoke nights and drag shows, pool tables, expansive patio and friendly bartenders who can mix a cocktail up with the best.
• The Atlanta Eagle (www.atlantaeagle.com) came in second place, with Blake’s
On the Park (www.blakesontheparkatlanta. com) coming in third and Jungle (www.jungleatl.com) finishing fourth.

 

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BEST PLACE TO MEET MEN
BLAKE’S ON THE PARK
Atlanta’s gay boys on the prowl set their GPS for Blake’s On the Park                                      (www.blakes ontheparkatlanta.com) when they want 
to make a new connection. The 10th Street mainstay gives patrons a chance to chat it up in the more hopping downstairs, or head to the upstairs bar or patio for a quieter moment to get to know each other.
• Popular mobile app Grindr (www.grindr.com) came in second while Flex (www.flexspas.com) came in third.

BARTENDER
CHERIE OLIVIER & ANTHONY MOLLO
It was an incredibly talented group of bar- tenders from a variety of hotspots that made the finals this year, but two came out on top and that’s Cherie OlivIer from LeBuzz (www. thenewlebuzz.com) and Anthony Mollo from Burkhart’s (www.burkharts.com). Let’s raise a glass in their honor!
• Second place went to Matthew Livingtson of Mary’s and Makeda Warner of My Sister’s Room earned third place.

 

Mr. Atlanta Eagle to go with Atlanta Eagle photoNICHE BAR
ATLANTA EAGLE
The leather community is strong in Atlanta and when the sun sets, they head to our winner for Best Niche Bar, the Atlanta Eagle (www.atlantaeagle.com). The Ponce favorite is famous for their theme nights, large deck and smoking hot dance floor. And the annual Mr./ Ms. Atlanta Eagle Contest is not to be missed.
• Mary’s placed second and the Cockpit (www.thecockpitatlanta.blogspot.com) came away in third.

AFTER HOURS
FLEX

Readers voted “private gay men’s club” Flex (www.flexspas.com) as their favorite after hours spot, surely helped by the club’s outdoor pool, rooftop sundeck, full gym, large dry sauna and other amenities—like the eye candy—that keep the boys coming back to the 4th Street spa night after night.
• Swinging Richards (www.swingingrichards.com) came in second place while Xion rounded out the group in third.

(File photos)

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