Who won?

All y’all are a consistent bunch.

LEO’s 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards leaned heavy on the usual gems, go-tos and glitterati that make this town so faab-you-lous.

We have great restaurants and bars and attractions, and, well — they don’t change much year to year. There were a few surprises. LMPD gets on the Best Twitter Feed list (probably for its “pew pew” snaps). There was turnover for Best Cocktail, as Hell or High Water, Alex&nder at Copper & Kings and Commonwealth Tap battled it out. We might demand a recount on Best Local Athlete because Muhammad Ali was pushed out of No. 3 by Rajon Rondo… The ignominy!

By definition, the category for Best Thing That’s Happened This Year was certain to feel fresh and new and maybe even surprising. How many times can Papa John Schnatter and Rick Pitino be run out of town? This time, one of the top vote getters was U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell breaking his shoulder. That people find pleasure in someone’s pain — even if it is Mitch’s — is, well… painful. So, he did not win or place. But, if Mitch feels we have stolen his glory, LEO will gladly deliver him a consolation plaque: Best Worst Senator Who Is Destroying Democracy And Ruining Dining Out For Everyone Else.

Now, on to the list.

[Or to read LEO’s staff choices, click here.]


A&E

Best Art Gallery (that is not a museum)
1. Tim Faulkner Gallery
2. Revelry Boutique Gallery
3. Art Sanctuary

Best Local Album in 2019
1. “I Sold My Soul To The Devil When I Was 12” — GRLwood
2. “Electric Garden” — Electric Garden
3. “A Different Shade Of Blue” — Knocked Loose

Best Local Song in 2019
1. I Hate My Mom — GRLwood
2. Thru The Night — Jack Harlow
3. Might Be Right — White Reaper

Best Band/Musician Performing Original Music
1. GRLwood
2. Katie Taupin
3. White Reaper

Best Cover Band
1. The Juice Box Heroes
2. Cover Me Badd
3. Tony and the Tan Lines

Best Local Comedian
1. Tom Mabe
2. Mandee McKelvey
3. Dustin Black

Best Place to See Comedy
1. The Caravan Comedy Club
2. Diamond Pub
3. Kaiju

Best Drag Queen
1. Jade Jolie
2. Leah Halston
3. Karmen Kazzi

Best Drag King
1. TB Sparrow
2. Mykul Jay Valentine
3. Camila Jasis-Wallace

Best Festival
1. Forecastle
2. Bourbon & Beyond
3. Louder Than Life

Best Jukebox
1. Magnolia Bar
2. Nachbar
3. Please & Thank You

Best Karaoke Bar
1. Akiko’s Karaoke Club
2. Patrick’s
3. The Bard’s Town

Best Live Music Venue
1. Headliners Music Hall
2. The Louisville Palace
3. Mercury Ballroom

Best Live Theater Venue
1. Actors Theatre of Louisville
2. The Kentucky Center
3. The Louisville Palace

Best Improv Troupe
1. Louisville Improvisors
2. Project Improv
3. Improv 502

Best Movie Theater
1. Baxter Avenue Theatres Filmworks
2. Xscape Theatres
3. Cinemark Tinseltown

Best Museum (that is not a gallery)
1. Speed Art Museum
2. Frazier History Museum
3. 21c Museum Hotel

Best Outdoor Art Show
1. St. James Court Art Show
2. Cherokee Triangle Art Fair
3. Art in Speed Park

Best Performing Arts Group
1. Louisville Ballet
2. CirqueLouis
3. Kentucky Shakespeare

Best Theater Production
1. “Dracula” —Actors Theatre of Louisvlle
2. “Pippin” —Acting Against Cancer
3. “Cabaret” —Pandora Productions

Best Visual Artist
1. John Brooks
2. Letitia Quesenberry
3. Antonio Pantoja

Attractions

Best Place for an Event/Party
1. Mellwood Art & Entertainment Center
2. Copper & Kings American Brandy Co.
3. Ice House

Best Reuse of a Historic Building
1. Old Forester Distilling Co.
2. Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery
3. Noche Mexican BBQ

Best Place for Free Entertainment
1. Waterfront Park
2. Jeffersonville Riverfront
3. 21c Museum Hotel

Best Neighborhood
1. The Highlands
2. Germantown/Schnitzelberg
3. Clifton/Crescent Hill

Best Place to Take your Dog
1. Cherokee Park
2. The Parklands of Floyds Fork
3. Waterfront Park

Best Parade
1. Kentuckiana Pride Parade
2. Pegasus Parade
3. St.Patrick’s Day Parade

Best Park
1. Cherokee Park
2. The Parklands of Floyds Fork
3. Seneca Park

Best Place to Take Kids in the Summer
1. Louisville Zoo
2. Kentucky Kingdom
3. The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Best Place to Swim
1. Lakeside Swim Club
2. American Turners Louisville
3. Kentucky Kingdom

Best Place to Play Soccer
1. Mockingbird Valley Sports Complex
2. Seneca Park
3. Tom Sawyer Park

Retail

Best Adult/Erotic Store
1. Cirilla’s
2. Adam & Eve
3. Love Boutique

Best Antique Store
1. Joe Ley Antiques
2. The Crazy Daisy Antique Mall
3. Architectural Salvage

Best Bicycle Shop
1. Scheller’s
2. Parkside Bikes
3. On Your Left Cycles

Best Chocolate/Candy Shop
1. Muth’s Candies
2. Cellar Door Chocolates
3. Schimpff’s Confectionery

Best Car Dealer
1. Oxmoor Auto Group
2. Neil Huffman Automotive Group
3. Bachman Auto Group

Best Clothing Boutique
1. Dot Fox Clothing Culture
2. Six Sisters Boutique
3. Collections Boutique

Best Comic Book Shop
1. The Great Escape
2. The Destination
3. Heroes Comics and Gaming

Best Consignment Shop
1. Sassy Fox
2. Margaret’s Fine Consignments
3. Mariposa Consignments

Best Farmers Market
1. Douglass Loop Farmers Market
2. Bardstown Road Farmers Market
3. St. Matthew’s Farmers Market

Best Flea Market
1. The Flea Off Market
2. Fleur de Flea
3. The Kentucky Flea Market

Best Instrument Shop
1. Doo Wop Shop
2. Guitar Emporium
3. Mom’s Music

Best Jewelry Store
1. Davis Jewelers
2. Koerber’s Fine Jewelry
3. Shane Co.

Best Liquor Store
1. Total Wine & More
2. Old Town Wine & Spirits
3. Liquor Barn

Best Store for Bourbon
1. Westport Whiskey & Wine
2. Total Wine & More
3. Old Town Wine & Spirits

Best Local Bookstore
1. Carmichael’s Bookstore
2. Nanny Goat Books
3. McQuixote Books & Coffee

Best Local Hardware Store
1. Brownsboro Hardware
2. Keith’s Hardware
3. Oscar’s Hardware

Best Local Health Food Store
1. Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets
2. Seeds and Greens Natural Market and Deli
3. Paul’s Fruit Market

Best Local Record Store
1. Guestroom Records
2. Better Days Records
3. Matt Anthony’s Record Shop

Best Local Wine Shop
1. Old Town Wine & Spirits
2. Westport Whiskey & Wine
3. The Wine Rack

Best New Store/Business
1. 502 Hemp
2. One Love Hemp dispensary
3. The Spa at Norton Commons

Best Outdoor Sporting Goods Store
1. Quest Outdoors
2. Dick’s Sporting Goods
3. Academy Sports

Best Pet Shop
1. Feeders Supply
2. Sandy’s Pet Shop
3. PetSmart

Best Head Shop
1. Electric LadyLand
2. Puff Puff Pass
3. Natural Mystic

Best Tobacco Store
1. Cox’s Smokers Outlet
2. J Shepherd Cigars
3. Liquor Barn

Best Vape Shop
1. One Love Hemp Dispensary
2. Vapor Lab
3. Derb E Cigs

Best Vintage Clothing Store
1. The Nitty Gritty
2. Vintage Banana
3. Dot Fox Clothing Culture

Best Place to Buy a Unique Gift
1. Work the Metal
2. Revelry Boutique Gallery
3. Regalo

Best Place to Buy CBD Products
1. 502 Hemp
2. One Love Hemp Dispensary
3. Louisville CBD Company

Best CDB Oil
1. 502 Hemp
2. Louisville CBD Company
3. One Love Hemp Dispensary

Services

Best Advertising Agency
1. Mightily
2. Scoppechio
3. RedTag.Digital

Best Apartment Complex
1. Main & Clay
2. Amp Apartments
3. Germantown Mill Lofts

Best Barbershop
1. Derby City Chop Shop
2. Handsome Fellows Barber Shop
3. Woody’s Barbershop(s)

Best Local Bank
1. Republic Bank
2. Stock Yards Bank and Trust
3. Central Bank

Best Caterer
1. Masterson’s Catering
2. LadyFingers Catering Inc.
3. Wiltshire Pantry

Best Credit Union
1. Park Community Credit Union
2. L&N Federal Credit Union
3. Commonwealth Credit Union

Best Furniture Store
1. Bliss Home
2. Furniture Dudes
3. Eyedia

Best Dry Cleaner
1. Highland Cleaners
2. Nu-Yale Cleaners
3. Holiday Cleaners

Best Grocery Store
1. Kroger
2. Trader Joe’s
3. Whole Foods

Best Gym/Fitness Club
1. Planet Fitness
2. YMCA of Greater Louisville
3. Louisville Athletic Club

Best Hair Salon
1. Z Salon
2. Under the Dryer
3. Cobalt Hair Lab

Best Hotel
1. Omni Louisville Hotel
2. 21c Museum Hotel
3. The Seelbach Hilton Louisville

Best Lawyer
1. Nick Neumann
2. Chauncey Hiestand
3. Gregory D. Simms

Best Doctor
1. Clayton Smith
2. Rachel Busse
3. Kathy Nieder

Best Local Pet Grooming
1. The Pet Station Salon and Boutique
2. See Spot Grooming & Daycare
3. Bark Avenue

Best Mechanic
1. Reece Service Center
2. Gates Automotive Service
3. McCormick MotorSports

Best PR Firm
1. Lemonade PR
2. Tandem
3. Boxcar PR

Best Travel Agency
1. My World Travel
2. AAA
3. Platinum Travel

Best Skate Shop
1. Home Skateshop
2. Tiny Sk8Shop

Best Tattoo Studio
1. Tattoo Charlie’s
2. Acme Ink
3. Mama Tried

Best Yoga Studio
1. Bend and Zen Hot Yoga
2. 502 Power Yoga
3. Yoga East

Best Roofer
1. Highland Roofing
2. Bone Dry Roofing
3. Carlon Roofing and Sheet Metal

Best Plumber
1. BC Plumbing
2. Tom Drexler Plumbing, Air and Electric
3. St. Matthews Plumbing

Best Vet Clinic
1. Shively Animal Clinic & Hospital
2. Middletown Animal Clinic
3. VCA Fairleigh Animal Hospital

Best Doggie Day Care
1. The Pet Station Country Club
2. The Paw Zone
3. Almost Home Boarding & Training

Food & Dining

Best Appetizers
1. LouVino
2. Bristol Bar & Grill
3. Havana Rumba

Best Bakery
1. Plehn’s Bakery
2. Nord’s Bakery
3. Blue Dog Bakery and Café

Best BBQ
1. Feast BBQ
2. Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ
3. F.A.B.D.

Best Breakfast
1. Wild Eggs
2. Highland Morning
3. Con Huevos

Best Boozy Brunch
1. Le Moo
2. Louvino
3. Wild Eggs

Best Burger
1. Mussel & Burger Bar
2. Grind Burger Kitchen
3. Le Moo

Best Burrito
1. New Wave Burritos
2. El Mundo
3. Bandido Taqueria Mexicana

Best Cajun
1. Couvillion
2. J. Gumbo’s
3. Selena’s at Willow Lake Tavern

Best Chef
1. Josh Moore, Volare Italian Ristorante
2. Edward Lee, Milkwood
3. John Varanese, Varanese

Best Chili
1. Skyline Chili
2. Check’s Cafe
3. The Village Anchor

Best Chinese Restaurant
1. Double Dragon
2. August Moon
3. Oriental House

Best Coffee Shop
1. Heine Brothers’
2. Quills Coffee
3. Sunergos Coffee

Best Cuban Restaurant
1. Havana Rumba
2. Mojito Tapas Restaurant
3. Habana Blues Tapas Restaurant

Best Deli/Sandwich Shop
1. Stevens & Stevens Deli
2. Morris Deli
3. Another Place Sandwich Shop

Best Delivery
1. Jimmy John’s
2. Postmates
3. New Wave Burritos

Best Fine Dining
1. Jack Fry’s
2. Le Moo
3. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse

Best Fish Sandwich
1. The Fish House
2. Mike Linnig’s Restaurant
3. The Village Anchor

Best Fried Chicken
1. Royals Hot Chicken
2. Joella’s Hot chicken
3. The Eagle

Best Food Truck/Cart
1. Traveling Kitchen
2. FlavaVille
3. V-Grits

Best Guacamole
1. Guaca Mole
2. El Mundo
3. Havana Rumba

Best Hot Dog
1. Red Top Gourmet Hotdogs
2. Lonnie’s Best Taste of Chicago
3. Dairy Kastle

Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt
1. Louisville Cream
2. The Comfy Cow
3. Graeter’s

Best Indian Restaurant
1. Kashmir Indian Restaurant
2. Shalimar Restaurant
3. Dakshin South Indian Restaurant

Best Italian Restaurant
1. Volare Italian Ristorante
2. Come Back Inn
3. Ciao Ristorante

Best Kids’ Restaurant
1. Chik-fil-A
2. McDonald’s
3. WW. Cousin’s

Best Korean Restaurant
1. Charim Korean Restaurant
2. Sarang
3. Lee’s Korean Restaurant

Best Late-Night Bite
1. The Back Door
2. White Castle
3. HIlltop Tavern

Best Latin Restaurant
1. Seviche, A Latin Restaurant
2. Havana Rumba
3. Mojito Tapas Restaurant

Best Lunch Spot
1. The Cafe
2. Taco Luchador
3. The Table

Best Mexican Restaurant
1. El Mundo
2. El Nopal
3. Taco Luchador

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant
1. Safier Mediterranean Deli
2. Shiraz
3. The Falafel House

Best New Restaurant
1. Noche Mexican BBQ
2. Biscuit Belly
3. V-Grits

Best Outdoor Dining
1. Captain’s Quarters
2. River House Restaurant Raw Bar
3. Mike Linnig’s Restaurant

Best Patio for Pets
1. Garage Bar
2. Double Dogs
3. Couvillion

Best Pho
1. Vietnam Kitchen
2. Pho Ba Luu
3. Pho Cafe

Best Pizza
1. The Post
2. Bearno’s
3. Impellizzeri’s Pizza

Best Place for a Romantic Dinner
1. Jack Fry’s
2. Volare italian Ristorante
3. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse

Best Ramen
1. Mirin
2. Chik’n & Mi
3. Ramen House

Best Raw Bar (that is not sushi)
1. River House Restaurant Raw Bar
2. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
3. Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse and Raw Bar

Best Restaurant to take a Large Party
1. River House Restaurant Raw Bar
2. Mesh
3. Bristol Bar & Grille

Best Restaurant: Butchertown
1. Butchertown Grocery
2. Butchertown Pizza Hall
3. Naive

Best Restaurant: Downtown
1. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
2. Proof on Main
3. Vincenzo’s

Best Restaurant: East Louisville
1. Grassa Gramma
2. The Village Anchor
3. Louvino

Best Restaurant: Germantown/Schnitzelburg
1. Eiderdown
2. The Post
3. Check’s Cafe

Best Restaurant: Clifton/Crescent Hill
1. Volare Italian Ristorante
2. El Mundo
3. The Irish Rover

Best Restaurant: Highlands
1. Jack Fry’s
2. Dragon King’s Daughter
3. Seviche, A Latin Restaurant

Best Restaurant: NuLu
1. The Mayan Cafe
2. Royals Hot Chicken
3. Feast BBQ

Best Restaurant: South Louisville
1. Vietnam Kitchen
2. Rubbies Southside Grill & Bar
3. Mike Linnig’s Restaraunt

Best Restaurant: St. Matthews
1. Simply Thai
2. Taco Luchador
3. Havana Rumba

Best Restaurant: West Louisville
1. The Table
2. Big Momma’s Soul Kitchen
3. Lucretia’s Kitchen

Best Salad
1. Green District
2. Volare italian ristorante
3. Decca

Best Steakhouse
1. Le Moo
2. Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse
3. Pat’s Steakhouse

Best Sushi
1. Sapporo Grill & Sushi
2. Dragon King’s Daughter
3. Sake Blue Japanese Bistro

Best Taco
1. Taco Luchador
2. Migo
3. El Mundo

Best TakeOut
1. Yang Kee Noodle
2. Simply Thai
3. The Joy Luck

Best Thai Restaurant
1. Simply Thai
2. Time 4 Thai
3. Mai’s Thai Restaurant

Best Vegetarian Restaurant
1. V-Grits
2. Heart & Soy
3. Half-Peach Bakery

Best Vietnamese Restaurant
1. Vietnam Kitchen
2. NamNam Cafe
3. Pho Ba Luu

Best Wings
1. Momma’s Mustard, Pickles & BBQ
2. Roosters
3. The Back Door

Drinks

Best Bartender
1. Eron Plevan, Alex&nder at Copper & Kings
2. Kenny Andreozzi, Commonwealth Tap
3. Travis Phelps, PLAY

Best Bar: Butchertown
1. The Butchertown Social
2. Lola at Butchertown Grocery
3. Odeon

Best Bar: Downtown
1. Hell or High Water
2. Proof on Main
3. 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen

Best Bar: East Louisville
1. Commonwealth Tap
2. Grassa Gramma
3. RecBar

Best Bar: Germantown/Schnitzelburg
1. The Pearl of Germantown
2. Nachbar
3. Check’s Cafe

Best Bar: Clifton/Crescent Hill
1. Hilltop Tavern
2. The Silver Dollar
3. Le Moo

Best Bar: Highlands
1. Highlands Taproom
2. Big Bar
3. Chill Bar

Best Bar: NuLu
1. Garage Bar
2. Taj Louisville
3. Galaxie

Best Bar: South Louisville
1. Rubbies Southside Grill & Bar
2. Hoops Grill & Sports Bar
3. New View Bar & Grill

Best Bar: St. Matthews
1. Gerstle’s Place
2. Tin Roof
3. Saint’s Pizza and Pub

Best Hotel Bar
1. Proof on Main (21c Museum Hotel)
2. Pin + Proof (Omni Louisville Hotel)
3. 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen (Hilton Garden inn)

Best Beer List
1. HopCat
2. Sergio’s World Beers
3. World of Beer

Best Bourbon List
1. Silver Dollar
2. Commonwealth Tap
3. Bourbons Bistro

Best Local Brewery
1. Gravely Brewing Co.
2. Against The Grain Brewery and Smokehouse
3. Mile Wide Beer Co.

Best Local Craft Beer
1. Gravely Brewing Co.
2. Against the Grain Brewery and Smokehouse
3. Mile Wide Beer Co.

Best Cocktail
1. Hell or High Water
2. Alex&nder at Copper & Kings
3. Commonwealth Tap

Best Local Distillery
1. Angel’s Envy
2. Copper & Kings American Brandy Co.
3. Old Forester Distillery

Best Dive Bar
1. The Back Door
2. Magnolia Bar
3. Third Street Dive

Best Wine List
1. Louvino
2. Commonwealth Tap
3. Nouvelle Bar & Bottle

Best Margarita
1. El Mundo
2. Havana Rumba
3. Taco Luchador

Nightlife

Best Bar
1. Play
2. Commonwealth Tap
3. The Back Door

Best Club DJ
1. Glittertitz DJZ
2. DJ S.Y.I.M.O.N.E
3. DJ Sam Sneed

Best Gay Bar/Club
1. Play
2. Nowhere Bar
3. Chill Bar

Best Happy Hour
1. Dragon King’s Daughter
2. Napa River Grill
3. Volare Italian Ristorante

Best Neighborhood Bar/Pub
1. Hilltop Tavern
2. Shenanigans Irish Grille
3. NachBar

Best New Bar/Club
1. The Merryweather
2. 21st Amendment Tavern
3. Trouble Bar

Best Place to Dance
1. Play
2. Nowhere Bar
3. Barbarella

Best Place to Find a Date
1. Play
2. Garage Bar
3. Nowhere Bar

Best Place to Shoot Pool
1. Diamond Pub & Billiards
2. The Back Door
3. Barret Bar

Best Strip Club
1. PT’s Showclub Louisville
2. Trixie’s Entertainment Complex
3. The Godfather

Media

Best Instagram
1. Kentucky Kingdom
2. Louisville Cream
3. (Tie) Instagrammers of Louisville Ky, The Kentucky Gent

Best Local Blog
1. Card Chronicle
2. Lou What Wear
3. (Tie) JCP Eats, The Kentucky Gent, The Bar Belle

Best Local Podcast
1. Crazy Zen Life
2. Strange Fruit
3. Bardstown

Best Local Publication
1. LEO Weekly
2. Louisville Magazine
3. The Courier Journal

Best Local Radio Personality
1. Ben Davis & Kelly K.
2. Terry Meiners
3. Laura Shine

Best Local Radio Station
1. 91.9 WFPK
2. 89.3 WFPL
3. 99.7 DJX

Best Local TV Personality
1. Dawne Gee
2. Angie Fenton
3. Candyce Clifft

Best Local TV Station
1. WDRB 41
2. WAVE 3
3. WHAS 11

Best Local Website
1. Do502.com
2. (Tie) LEOweekly.com, InsiderLouisville.com,
WDRB.com

Best Place to Pick up a LEO Weekly
1. Heine Brothers’
2. Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Markets
3. Please & Thank You

Best Twitter Feed
1. Card Chronicle
2. Gilda Wabbit
3. LMPD

Best Local Writer
1. (Tie) Kevin Gibson, Michael Rutherford
2. (Tie) Eric Crawford, Joe Sonka

Best Community Role Model
1. Dawne Gee
2. U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth
3. Mayor Greg Fischer

Best Place You Wish had Never Gone out of Business
1. ear X-tacy
2. Morels Cafe
3. Lynn’s Paradise Cafe

Best Place to Worship
1. Southeast Christian Church
2. Northeast Christian Church
3. Sojourn Church

Best Thing That’s Happened this Year
1. New Louisville City FC Stadium
2. Chris Mack’s First Season as UofL Basketball Coach
3. Waterfront Botanical Gardens Opening

Best Local Athlete
1. Lamar Jackson
2. Justin Thomas
3. Rajon Rondo