Last updated: April 24. 2013 12:12AM - 9614 Views
By Weekender Staff

Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

There's nothing more important to The Weekender than our readers. You're the reason we are, and will continue to be, here.

Every Wednesday, we strive to bring you the absolute best from our local arts and entertainment scene, and this week is no exception. With your input, we've gathered what you have deemed to be the best in a little over 100 categories that shine the spotlight on local people and businesses.

The votes are in, the people have spoken – and we can finally present to you the winners of the 2013 Reader's Choice Awards!

Best bar

Arena Bar & Grill

Runner-up: R Bar and Grill

Best new bar

Thirst T's Bar & Grill

Runner-up: Bottlenecks Saloon & Eatery

“When you open up a new business, especially only being open for four months, it always runs through your mind, 'Are you doing the right thing? Are people happy?' This gives us validation to know that we're going in the right direction.”

-Tom Tell, owner of Thirst T's Bar and Grill, voted Best New Bar

Best corner bar

R Bar and Grill

Runner-up: Andy Gavin's Eatery & Pub

Best college bar

Senunas' Bar & Grill

Runner-up: Beer Boys

Best club

Evolution Nightclub, inside The Woodlands Inn & Resort

Runner-up: Twist

Best karaoke night

Ole Tyme Charley's

Runner-up: The V-Spot

Best bike night

Outsiders Saloon

Runner-up: Quaker Steak & Lube

Best Irish bar

Kildare's Irish Pub

Runner-up: Flaherty's Drinking Establishment

Best sports bar

Lucky's Sporthouse

Runner-up: Beer Boys

Best alternative lifestyle bar


Runner-up: 12 Penny Saloon

Best restaurant

Canteen 900

Runner-up: AuRants

“We've been working towards an award like this. We are so excited about it and so honored.”

-Abby Singh, owner of Canteen 900, voted Best Restaurant, Best Restaurant Service, Best Deli/Lunch

Best new restaurant

Maer's BBQ

Runner-up: Bottlenecks Saloon & Eatery

Best chef

Dave Ciminelli, AuRants

Runner-up: Gene Philbin, Peculiar Culinary Co.

Best restaurant service

Canteen 900

Runner-up: Maer's BBQ

Best patio/deck

River Grille

Runner-up: Arena Bar & Grill

Best food truck

What the Fork

Runner-up: The Magic Bus Café

Best deli/lunch

Canteen 900

Runner-up: Circles on the Square

Best ice cream

The Lands at Hillside Farms

Runner-up: Curly Cream Soft Ice Cream

Best bakery

Sanitary Bakery

Runner-up: Bakery Delite

Best hoagies

Vino's Deli

Runner-up: Philly Subs

Best burgers

The Rattler

Runner-up: Red Robin

Best hot dogs

Abe's Hot Dogs, South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre

Runner-up: The Original Coney Island

Best fries

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

Runner-up: Abe's Hot Dogs, Kingston

Best diner

Eddie's Place

Runner-up: Avenue Diner

Best desserts

Ollie's, An American Restaurant

Runner-up: Ah! Some Chocolates Café and Chocolate Bar

Best vegetarian-friendly restaurant

Eden, A Vegan Café

Runner-up: Canteen 900

Best fine dining

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Runner-up: Kevin's Bar & Restaurant

Best chain restaurant

T.G.I. Friday's

Runner-up: Olive Garden

Best Chinese restaurant

Peking Chef

Runner-up: Asian Café

Best Italian restaurant

Café Toscana

Runner-up: Leggio's Italian Ristorante

Best Japanese/sushi restaurant


Runner-up: Katana

Best Mexican restaurant

La Tolteca

Runner-up: La Tonelteca

Best seafood restaurant

J J Banko's

Runner-up: Coopers Seafood

Best steakhouse

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Runner-up: LongHorn Steakhouse

Best pizza

Angelo's Pizzeria

Runner-up: Pizza Perfect

Best wings

R Bar and Grill

Runner-up: The Anthracite Café

Best local brewery

The Lion Brewery

Runner-up: Susquehanna Brewing Co.

Best locally brewed beer

Lionshead, The Lion Brewery

Runner-up: Goldencold Lager, Susquehanna Brewing Co.

Best martini selection

Arena Bar & Grill

Runner-up: Billy B's

Best wine selection

Ruth's Chris Steak House

Runner-up: AV Lounge

Best beer selection, bar/restaurant

Arena Bar & Grill

Runner-up: Beer Boys

Best beer selection, non-bar/restaurant

Krugel's Georgetown Deli & Beer

Runner-up: Goldstein's Deli

Best unique menu


Runner-up: Canteen 900

Best strip club

Gentlemen's Club 10

Runner-up: The Diamond Club

Best jukebox

The Bog

Runner-up: Thirst T's Bar & Grill

Best Happy Hour

Beer Boys

Runner-up: Arena Bar & Grill

Best coffee shop

Dunkin Donuts, downtown Wilkes-Barre

Runner-up: Northern Light Espresso Bar

Best hookah lounge

Crimson Lion Hookah Lounge

Runner-up: Exhale Hookah Lounge & Kabob Grill

Best original band

Graces Downfall

Runner-up: The Curse of Sorrow

“It feels amazing to win. We're absolutely honored and surprised. With bands like The Push, Whiteandgrey, Farley, The Menzingers, The Curse of Sorrow, Nowhere Slow, Stardog Champion, OurAfter, Behind the Grey, and Ashfall, you kind of have to be surprised. They're all incredibly talented bands with great followings in the NEPA scene. It's awesome to be in such cool company with past winners, too. We've been around since 2005, man. It feels great to feel like you're at the top of an incredible music scene. Thank you to the best friends and fans for voting us Best Original Band in this year! We truly appreciate it.”

-Kenneth Norton, vocalist for Graces Downfall, voted Best Original Band

Best cover band

The Chatter

Runner-up: Mr. Echo

Best solo musician/duo

Ronnie Williams

Runner-up: Mike Miz

Best rapper

Gino Lispi

Runner-up: Kohner Rice

Best local DJ

DJ Hersh

Runner-up: DJ MC

Best large music venue

Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Runner-up: F.M. Kirby Center

Best club-sized music venue

River Street Jazz Café

Runner-up: Brews Brothers West

Best open-mic night

River Street Jazz Café

Runner-up: The Rattler

Best comedian

James “The Wingman” Holeva

Runner-up: Lamonze Parker

Best TV anchor

Candice Kelly, WBRE

Runner-up: Scott Schaffer, WNEP

Best TV weatherperson

Joe Snedeker, WNEP

Runner-up: Tom Clark, WNEP

Best radio station

98.5 KRZ

Runner-up: Froggy 101

Best radio personality

Jumpin' Jeff Walker, 98.5 KRZ

Runner-up: Freddie Fabbri, 102.3 The Mountain

Best college radio station

88.5 WRKC, King's College

Runner-up: 90.7 WCLH, Wilkes University

“We like to think we're very consumer friendly and that we play a variety, but not exactly what you'd hear on mainstream radio. We want to thank our continuous listeners.”

-Ashlee Jacobs, news director of 88.5 WRKC King's Radio, voted Best College Radio Station

Best columnist/writer

Melissa Hughes, The Weekender

Runner-up: Justin Brown, The Weekender

Best local athlete

Matt McGloin

Runner-up: Jimy Hettes

Best female bartender

Lauren Maga, R Bar & Grill

Runner-up: Heather Smith, The Rattler

Best male bartender

Jimmy Finn, Huns' Café 99 and Huns' West Side Café

Runner-up: Mark Mason, Hops & Barleys

Best bouncer

Eric Tomkins, Kildare's Irish Pub

Runner-up: Matt Sobeski, Bones Bar

Best local blog


Runner-up: NEPA Blogs

Best movie theater


Runner-up: R/C Movies 14

Best visual artist

Benjamin Adcroft

Runner-up: Amanda Hrycyna

Best photographer

Bridget Banik, Top of the Mountain Photography

Runner-up: Jessica Standish Photography

Best video production

TwentyFiveEight Studios

Runner-up: JVW Inc.

Best tattoo artist

Austina Obscure, Holier Than Thou

Runner-up: Rhi Wallace, A Psychic Unicorn

Best piercer

John Holena, Holier Than Thou

Runner-up: Michael “Woody” Wodock, The Electric City Tattoo Gallery

Best art gallery

AFA Gallery

Runner-up: New Visions Studio & Gallery

Best theater group

Little Theatre of Wilkes-Barre

Runner-up: The Music Box Players

Best bookstore

Barnes & Noble, South Main Street, Wilkes-Barre

Runner-up: Books-A-Million

Best college

King's College

Runner-up: Wilkes University

Best hotel

The Woodlands Inn & Resort

Runner-up: Radisson Lackawanna Station Hotel

Best wedding venue

Genetti's Hotel & Conference Center

Runner-up: The Woodlands Inn & Resort

Best place to work


Runner-up: Valley Chevrolet

Best ski resort

Montage Mountain

Runner-up: Elk Mountain Ski Resort

Best golf course

Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club

Runner-up: Fox Hill Country Club

Best gym

Planet Fitness

Runner-up: Leverage Fitness Studio

Best trainer

Tim Hlivia, Leverage Fitness Studio

Runner-up: Jessica Sands, S.W.E.A.T. Fitness

Best yoga/pilates/zumba studio

Melt Hot Yoga

Runner-up: Balance Yoga & Wellness

Best bowling alley

Chacko's Family Bowling Center

Runner-up: Stanton Lanes

Best exotic dancer

Payton, Pleasure Dome

Runner-up: Jezebel, Gentlemen's Club 10

Best auto sales, new


Runner-up: Valley Chevrolet

Best auto sales, used

Nationwide Car Sales

Runner-up: Pierce Street Motors

Best motorcycle shop

Electric City Harley-Davidson

Runner-up: Noto's Harley-Davidson Shop

Best jeweler

Rainbow Jewelers

Runner-up: Kay Jewelers

Best florist

McCarthy Flowers

Runner-up: Robin Hill

Best garden center

Dundee Gardens

Runner-up: Corky's Garden Path Greenhouses

Best eco-friendly business

Fanciful Fox

Runner-up: Eden, A Vegan Café

Best record store

Joe Nardone's Gallery of Sound

Runner-up: Embassy Vinyl

Best gaming/comic store

Comics on the Green

Runner-up: Gamestop

“I'm surprised and honored to win this award because it's from all the terrific customers who support us day in and day out. We're proud to be the pop cultural center of Scranton for the past 21 years.”

-David Romeo, owner of Comics on the Green, voted Best Gaming/Comic Store

Best musical instrument store

Guitar Center

Runner-up: Music Go Round

Best place to buy a pipe


Runner-up: Headdies

Best day spa

Woodhouse Day Spa

Runner-up: The Sapphire Salon

Best hair salon

Sakari Salon

Runner-up: Pure Lavi Salon

“I'm so proud of my team, and we strive for excellence.”

-Nancy Medico, owner of Sakari Salon, voted Best Hair Salon

Best hair stylist

Anita Switzer, J. Madison Wellness Spa

Runner-up: Maggie Triano, Luna Hair Studio

Best barber

Brian Nardella, Loyalty Barber Shop & Shave Parlor

Runner-up: Brian Lyons, Lyons Barber Shop

Best nail salon

Bruno's Hair & Nail Boutique

Runner-up: Sakari Salon

Best tanning salon

Tanfastic Tan Center

Runner-up: Premiere Tanning, Edwardsville

Best tattoo/piercing parlor

Marc's Tattooing

Runner-up: Holier Than Thou

Best clothing boutique

Bratty Natty's Boutique

Runner-up: Showroom 56

“I feel grateful and honored to be recognized among so many great businesses in the area, and I'm thankful for all the customers who voted for us.”

-Natalie Bush, co-owner and founder of Bratty Natty's Boutique, voted Best Clothing Boutique

Best place to buy accessories

Charming Charlie

Runner-up: Bratty Natty's Boutique

Best vintage store

The Salvation Army, Wilkes-Barre

Runner-up: My Sister's Closet

Best pet store


Runner-up: Petco

Best place to buy lingerie

Mr. Fashions

Runner-up: Mirage Lingerie

Best adult store

Adult World

Runner-up: Mr. Fashions

All user comments are subject to our Terms of Service. Users may flag inappropriate comments.
comments powered by Disqus

Featured Businesses


Info Minute

Gas Prices

Wilkes-Barre Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com