Best Of Arts & Entertainment
Best Sports Bar
Bokamper's Sports Bar & Grill
Sports bars should have two things: drinks and TVs. Bokamper's has both in spades. Owned by and named after Dolphins defensive lineman Kim "Bo" Bokamper from the team's glory years, his fifth and newest location in Fort Lauderdale is the most overwhelming yet. A full bar includes craft beers and...
Best New Bar
Bar Stache 1920's Drinking Den
This party enclave caters to the hip: the chic, live-music lovers and those looking for a serious cocktail and a sexy time. The 5,000-square-foot space opened in fall 2013 and boasts gorgeous décor throughout the three-level club. Revelers are treated to two bars, plush couches, a fireplace area, and a...
Best Neighborhood Bar, North Broward
JByrd's Muddy Waters
The best part about a neighborhood joint is that you make it what it is. With Muddy Waters, you can make it a mental vacation to Key West or a detour to a nautical bar on your way home from the office. The place is decorated like a pirate ship,...
Best Neighborhood Bar; Central Broward
The Black Pearl Tavern
When the Black Pearl Tavern shuttered last summer, a huge pained chorus of Boston-accented sighs shook through South Florida. Since 1995, the Pearl, a storefront bar crammed into a strip mall on East Commercial, was the go-to spot for Boston sports fans living in South Florida. Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics,...
Best Neighborhood Bar; South Broward
Walsh's Irish Pub
You could sop up suds in bars across the land, and you'll never find It — that ineffable quality that the bards sing hymns to and bar hoppers sniff out like hounds hunting game. It — the perfect balance of down-home drinking, affordable prices, and friendly faces. It — what...
Best Neighborhood Bar, Palm Beach
Bull Bar Inc.
Neighborhood bars are something special. There is nothing quite like a lack of tourist families and selfish snowbirds to know you have found your spot. Delray Beach is a place that gets down for big events but also has the comfort of offering weekly goodness that will satisfy your urge...
Best Gay Bar
Like a bunker in the Interzone — gay icon William Burroughs' comic/lurid dreamscape of lost leather boys — the squat bland box with glass brick windows that is Fort Dix sits amid the grit and dust of the Georgia Avenue industrial strip just west of the tracks in West Palm...
Best Lesbian Bar
It may be considered South Florida's queer mecca, but Wilton Manors tends to swing in favor of those with something swinging between their legs. (After all, you can't spell "manor" without "man.") And while a gal can throw down at Georgie's Alibi with the best of the boys, Wilton Drive...
Best Biker Bar
Cafe 27 embodies what every biker bar should be: It's far removed from civilian life, a little rough around the edges, and absolutely massive. To find it, follow Griffin Road west until it winds down to one lane and your eyes are filled with all sky and no scrapers. Drive...
Best Beach Bar
Sandbar Grille at the Sun Tower Hotel
There's a time in all of our lives when we gracefully mature from picking up strangers with three-for-ones at Capone's to actually taking someone out on this heretofore-unfamiliar thing called a date. After the kids come along, the partying doesn't end; it just moves away from YOLO. Fort Lauderdale's soccer...
Best Poolside Bar
Wet at the W Hotel
You know what's better than drinking in any old swimming pool? Drinking in a swimming pool while checking out the wavy Atlantic after spending a long day with skilled paws massaging your neck at the W's Bliss Spa. You'll smell of lemon and sage as you dip your toesies in...
Kristal Fletcher, Sunset Grill
Just a few steps beyond the automated glass doors that exit the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek rests the tiki-bar-themed Sunset Grill, a much-appreciated breath of fresh air when one is looking to escape the bells, whistles, lights, loud announcements, and smoke-filled rooms that come with the usual casino experience. Here,...
Best Happy Hour
Two Georges at the Cove
Happy Hour used to mean something. It was a refuge, a place you could hide from the pressures of the outside world. A place you could get away from the wife, the husband, the kid, the boss, the dog... the world. But somewhere along the way, that all went to...
Adam Foster expertly weaves together the finest deep house to beat its way through BroCo, and thus, he's also one of the busiest dudes in town. You could call him the king of the Las Olas dance scene. He's the overlord of sounds (i.e., entertainment director) for the Restaurant People...
Black Rose Irish Pub
Boston has watering holes inspired by Irish drinkers, and Boca has a bar based on the boozing of Bostonians in the Black Rose Irish Pub. The place has the brick, it's got the green on St. Paddy's Day, it's got the wooden bar, it's got the name. It's a frat...
Best Live Band
You'd hope the band that plays songs titled "Negrodamus and His White Devils," "Crack Rock 'n' Roll," and "Headless Body Topless Bar" would bring some action to the stage. And you would be correct. Sandratz sweats out the filth of punk and smooths it over with the lighthearted strut of...
Best Live Music Venue
There's just something about the Culture Room that feels like home. It's not a particularly tiny venue, but it feels intimate whether the place is packed to the rafters or there are only 20 diehards out for a less popular show. But let's be real: When's the last time you...
Best New Music Venue
To call Monterey Club the Best New Venue sounds asinine, right? The place is hardly new to Fort Lauderdale. But since it closed at the turn of 2012 and the lounge space adjacent to Kreepy Tiki Tattoos morphed into 5 Points Lounge and then that closed, Monterey, like Christ, has...
Best Dance Club
The Pawn Shop Lounge
The news that Miami's famed Pawn Shop club was reopening on Clematis Street got the blood of jealous 305 folk boiling but planted pleasant party smiles on the faces of folks in West Palm Beach. Trying to re-create a club that was actually in a pawn shop with an indoor...
Best Pool Hall
Pools halls are usually found in out-of-the-way locales. That corner slot in the strip mall? Billiards hall. Back room of that Mexican place? Pool hall. Space above tarot card parlor? A cue shooter's paradise. But breaking the trend, it's impossible to miss Mis-cue. The building in Oakland Park shouts out...
Best Bowling Alley
No matter how many times you see The Big Lebowski, the classic comedy always leaves you with two urges. One of those desires you will have to travel to Washington, Colorado, or Amsterdam to fulfill, but in order to bowl, you need look no further than Davie. Sparez has a...
Best Place to Meet Single Men
The lights are bright at the Broward County Convention Center, and the sexual tension is high. Just about anything goes, at least for the three days the Exxxotica Expo hits town. The atmosphere is surprisingly chill and not at all creepy, even though the event features some of the biggest...
Best Place to Meet Single Women
Finding a compatible, cool partner is about as hard as finding something DIY you'd actually want to buy. At Art Rock, though, the annual DIY indie marketplace in West Palm Beach, you may have less trouble finding either of those two things than you'd ever imagined. Art Rock will be...
Best Drag Queen
Had a rough day? Commute depressing you? The printer jamming up again? There is not a better way to remove yourself from your daily dose of bullshit than transporting yourself to an alternative universe — any event hosted by Misty Eyez. The 11-year veteran drag queen reigns supreme over a...
Best Weekly Party
Monday Night Reggae with Spred the Dub
Drink specials, a packed house, and an ear full of reggae music... Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays! There are few times that the party is 100 percent guaranteed, which is what makes E.R. Bradley's weekly reggae throwdown so danged important to our collective well-being. Gracing the...
Best Local Music Festival
From shore to shore, the inaugural Coastline Festival made its way from Tampa to West Palm Beach's Cruzan Amphitheatre, bringing with it enough electro pop to please absolutely everyone born from 1987 to 1995. The lineup included WPB natives Surfer Blood, who — with lead singer John Paul Pitts half...
You're driving down to South Beach for the night to catch Steve Aoki smash cake in someone's face and press mad buttons, when you press play yourself, but on your iPod. West Palm Beach native Will Brennan's Prodigal Son release comes up first. And lo and behold, Brennan's also heading...
Duct Tape Your Mouth
West Palm Beach's New Coke released a frenetic three-song EP this February that's packed with negativity and punk hysteria, and we love it. It's hypnotic, and yeah, it makes you want to sort of barf. But in a totally good way. The Slovenly Recordings recording can be downloaded online, or...
Best Music Video By A Local Band
"Say Yes to Me"
West Palm Beach's beloved Surfer Blood gives us the warm and fuzzies. The band made us proud on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. They made us proud touring with the Pixies. But what we really love is how the band has stuck to its roots; the band members' sunny, palm-tree-laden...
Best Rock Band
Lake Worth's Wake Up is riding high on a big old indie awesome wave. The band is hot right now, and yet it's also as cool as can be. It's on tour with Surfer Blood, played CMJ, and hasn't even put out a full-length album yet. It does, however, have...
Best Metal Band
If you don't appreciate Devalued, chances are good you're an asshole. It's like all those people who didn't like Little Miss Sunshine. They're awful people. Straight up. The three guys from Broward who compose this D-beat band are absolutely charming. The music they make is as heavy as it gets,...
Best Folk Band
When you think folk music, it's easy to go right to James Taylor daydreams or rewatch A Mighty Wind. There's a whole lot more folk than these sensitive classics, and it swims through genres in ways you have to feel to believe. When it comes to folk music in South...
Best Bluegrass Band
The Short Straw Pickers
It's all about the string. In an area where reggae reigns and indie bands rule the night, it's been incredible to watch the rise of string music in South Florida. The true bluegrass sound being emitted by banjos, upright basses, and fiddles throughout our bubble has been startling in the...
Best Jam Band
The Heavy Pets
Not all local jam bands are created equal. Some seem to run laps between the Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery and the Funky Biscuit, which is solid. We need them — they make the scene what it is. But some local jam bands break through and travel the country delivering...
Best Country Act
Move over, Taylor Swift, in a totally not-Kanye way. There is a newer, younger, fresher, potentially more motivated country singer/songwriter making power moves. Fiddle prodigy Maggie Baugh is slowly but surely taking over the local country scene. A mainstay at festivals and events, Baugh picked up her first violin at...
Best Reggae Band
Spin around and point — did you find a reggae band? Tends to be the case on the live music scene in South Florida. And while we embrace everyone from the Sublime cover bands to 4/20-friendly acoustic solo artists as part of our beloved scene, some bands find a way...
Best Hip-Hop Artist
Coffee makes the world go 'round. The little red berry contains a bean ripe for roasting that can animate even the most sleep-deprived. This brewed delight is also what motivates and inspires unusual hip-hop guy Eric Biddines. He's unique in that he's got a cool Andre 3000-type voice, and his...
Best Electronica Artist
Millionyoung eased off the emotional gas and amped up the groove for its side project, Chévere. The downtempo new collabo by Mike Diaz and Kristof Ryan is still chill but not chillwave like their other avenue for sound creation. Though Diaz is kind of the founder of Millionyoung, the Fort...
Best Strip Club
Lady goes through a rough breakup. Where does she take her girls? To Cheetah, for a divorce party. Rough day at work. Where do bros go to vent? Cheetah. Dennis Rodman comes back from North Korea, gets swarmed by annoying media types. Where does he duck for cover? Thazz right...
To a true gambler, the best casino is the one where you win. A dirty back alley where you roll only sevens will always have a fond place in your heart, and if you go bust in a luxurious palace, you will never wish to return no matter how fine...
Best Kava Bar
Mystic Water Kava Bar
This hideaway in Hollywood would also win Likeliest Place to Spy a Hobbit. With its décor that emulates Middle Earth with the faux trees, dark lighting, and heavy tables, one could easily expect Frodo or Gandalf to sit next to you. Perhaps after a shot of the earthy-tasting house-brewed kava...
Best Farmers' Market
Yellow-Green Farmers Market
You'd think with our year-round growing season, there would be year-round farmers' markets, but many Florida markets are seasonal. Yellow-Green Farmers Market is one of the few permanent, year-round markets. It even has the added benefit of being under a roof, for those rainy or too, too sunny summer days...
Flow Fest Three
Third time was a charm for Cas Tannenbaum's annual movement arts extravaganza and open-air carnival. Grounded in a philosophy that seeks the state of "flow" — defined as "an exhilarating transcendent way of being in which effortless control and peak skill seem to erase a sense of time" — this...
Best Sun Sentinel Writer
Since 1990, Sun Sentinel sports columnist Dave Hyde has seen you through the good and bad of South Florida sports. From the births of the Florida Marlins and the Florida Panthers in the early '90s to the Miami Heat's back-to-back championships, sure as the sun rises, Hyde has been there...
Best TV News Reporter
You need your South Florida news, and you need it from a reliable source. So when co-anchor Jawan Strader dispatches teases for his morning newscast on Twitter, you pay attention. "Fans waiting for Justin Bieber to show up in a Miami courtroom in case against his security guard," he alerts...
Best AM Radio Personality
Jon "Stugotz" Weiner, 790 The Ticket
The admittedly worse half of 790 The Ticket's Dan LeBatard Show — Jon "Stugotz" Weiner — grows on you, mainly because he is you. Weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m., Stugotz perfectly plays the yin to Dan LeBatard's yang, consistently countering his well-spoken cohost's thought-provoking views on various subjects with...
Best AM Radio Breakout Star
Joy Taylor has had one hell of a year. After being added to 790-AM The Ticket and the 104.3-FM Zaslow Show radio show as a producer, Taylor moved into a more prominent cohost spot when Marc Hochman left for 560 WQAM — the moved has turned out to be a...
Best FM Radio Personality
Doc Reno, Big 105.9
Some FM personalities like the sound of their own voices a bit too much. Others try too hard to be funny. And yet others are constantly talking over your favorite song. But then there's a guy like Doc Reno, who spins the black circle at Big 105.9 in the afternoons...
Best AM Radio Producer
Brendan Tobin; 790 The Ticket
Brendan Tobin is the hardest-working man in AM radio; it's not even close. Tobin produces The Zaslow Show on 790-AM/104.3-FM The Ticket on weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. as well as hosts his own radio shows that cover golf and UFC/boxing on the weekends, so yeah, he's pretty busy...
Fat Girl Hedonist
Food — it's kind of a big deal in Broward and Palm Beach. One even might say the food scene is the heart of the cultural scene. Around here, people will drive 30 to 40 minutes to try a new restaurant. Or a weird new concept. Or an old favorite...
Best Twitter Feed
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a local hero! They say you can't be everywhere at all times, but the exception is @aGuyonClematis. The Twitter superstar seems to be on a constant stroll down every snapshot-worthy inch of Clematis Street, the main drag of downtown West Palm Beach. No...
State Rep. Mark Pafford
A nice Jewish boy from Miami Beach, now settled in Palm Beach County, State Rep. Pafford's firm, calm manner makes his unrepentantly progressive public-policy positions seem like the only reasonable choice a sane voter could make. Thankfully, there appear to be enough sane voters in his district to assure a...
Best Political Hoax
Scott Maxwell Fake Twitter Account
In Lake Worth, politics is bitter; the pleasant little burg sure does breed some venom. But out of this toxic soil comes a sprout with some wit: @smaxwell2014 — a fake Twitter account for three-time commissioner Scott Maxwell. Riffing on Maxwell's history of fierce rhetoric about undocumented immigrants, @smaxwell2014 touts...
William Gelin of JAA Blog
Lawyers love to gab. If they're not throwing jurisprudence around at judges or juries, they're talking among themselves. Gossip and rumor, bragging rights and boasts — outside of high school girls, you won't find people who whisper more about their peers than the ladies and gentlemen of the court. William...
Best Publicity Stunt
Chaz Stevens' Festivus Pole
There's a long tradition of separation of church and state in America, but sometimes, elected officials need to be publicly embarrassed to be reminded of it. A more polite passerby might have let a city building set up a manger at Christmastime without complaint, but longtime gadfly Chaz Stevens preferred...
Best Local Boy Gone Bad
Pop-punk seems to have arisen from the minds of suburban teens too scared for the filthy pit of a real punk show. So it must be very strange to age if you got famous making this kind of kid-friendly music. You're the oldest guy at the show and you're onstage...
Best Local Girl Gone Bad
An attractive 20-something teacher from Boca Raton, Olivia Sprauer made headlines after she was canned for moonlighting as a lingerie model. Sprauer, who was the teacher we clearly never had when we were growing up, was called into the office of her Martin County elementary school one afternoon. The school...
Best Local Boy Gone Good
Hollywood, Florida, native Josh Gad had always dreamed of being an entertainer. As a young man, he moved west and trained with the famous improvisational troupe the Groundlings. From there, he was able to use his talent as a comedic actor to land roles on the short-lived 2007 Kelsey Grammer...
Best Local Girl Gone Good
At last count, the New York Times had 11.8 million Twitter followers. LeBron James had slightly more, 12.8 million. CNN also nudged him out with 12.8 million. But 20-year-old Ariana Grande beat them all with 15.2 million and counting. In terms of Twitter reach, this makes her the 41st most...
Best Blog for Moms
By day, Kristen Hewitt is a sports producer, editor, and reporter. By night, she is Mom to two ridiculously adorable daughters. So basically, she's a superhero. You may know her best from her work as a Sun Sports reporter during Miami Heat telecasts, and she also works as coordinating producer...
Scary Mary Santa
Are you depressed? Is your desk job getting you down? Kids a huge pain? Husband lazing on the couch? Old lady burning your ass about a bunch of yard work? Are you existentially shaky after watching the True Detective finale? Well, you could beeline for the shrink and spill your...
Best Fighters for a Noble Cause
Cal Deal, Jessica Kross, and Chris Brennan
Everybody loves a good locals-versus-developer matchup. In Fort Lauderdale over the past year, the heavyweight bout has been between flashy developer Asi Cymbal's 960-unit Marina Lofts project and a vocal opposition. The main issue: The project threatens to uproot the six-story-high, 100-year-old rain tree sitting smack in the middle of...
If their pockets weren't stuffed with cash from fat cats, their paths not cleared by national political party machines, Rick Scott and Charlie Crist would be worried about Nan Rich. That's because the Weston Democrat is about the cleanest pol trying to make a grab for the governor's office, saddled...
Todd Allen Durkin
The Maltz Jupiter Theatre's production of Dial M for Murder — a mothballed murder mystery that was made into an unlikely 3-D movie by Alfred Hitchcock — was impeccably handsome. But it was also hopelessly embalmed in another time, with many of the actors failing to transcend 1950s mannequins. But...
Kim Ehly's Fort Lauderdale-based Kutumba Theatre Project is just two productions into its existence, but it has established a niche brand as a voice for the lesbian-American experience. Theatergoers have already witnessed growth from its first production, the pulp throwback The Beebo Brinker Chronicles, to its second, Julie Johnson, about...
Best Supporting Actor
If you're a dog person — and if you're not, you should be — the most affecting character in Palm Beach Dramaworks' Of Mice and Men was not Brendan Titley's Lennie Small, the mentally challenged migrant worker, nor John Leonard Thompson's George Milton, his long-suffering partner. It was Dennis Creaghan's...
Best Supporting Actress
Kim Ostrenko and Betsy Graver
The dysfunctional family, an overdone theater chestnut if ever there was one, received a refreshingly offbeat treatment from playwright Deborah Zoe Laufer and the team at Boca-based Parade Productions this year. The Last Schwartz chronicled a tumultuous weekend in the ancestral home of the Schwartz siblings, who gathered to honor...
Parade; Slow Burn Theatre Company
Parade, Jason Robert Brown's fact-based 1998 show about the wrongful rape and murder conviction of a Jewish factory owner in the anti-Semitic Atlanta of 1913, received a landmark production from the company that has become South Florida's edgiest purveyor of musical theater. On a set that resembled a rural, rickety...
Best Set Design
The Timekeepers, Island City Stage
The "wow" factor of many set designs lies in their enviable resplendency — their evocation of worlds in which most of us wouldn't mind spending the rest of our days. The Maltz Jupiter Theatre's Annie and Other Desert Cities come to mind, with their lush and livable milieus of money...
Best Theater for the Arts
Slow Burn at the West Boca Performing Arts Theatre
Over the past year, Slow Burn Theatre Company has proved that sometimes the best theater can originate from the unlikeliest places: in this case, a high school in the boondocks of West Boca Raton, an area so remote that you're likely to pass tumbleweeds on your way to the parking...
It was just the second production from Fort Lauderdale company Island City Stage, but The Timekeepers became the year's underdog success story when it won all six of its nominated categories, including Best Production of a Play, at the Carbonell Awards. Why? First, it's a brilliantly written play, by Dan...
When South Florida's theater critics attended Slow Burn Theatre's Next to Normal in October, most of them had seen the same show a year and a half earlier at Actors' Playhouse in Coral Gables, in a production that was nominated for some of the highest honors in the community. But...
Best New Work
The Longing and the Short of It
When it comes to writing concept albums, John Darnielle of indie-rock cult heroes the Mountain Goats once said, "I write songs, and they begin to sort of hang together, sort of like a crowd gathering in a public space." That's basically what happened with The Longing and the Short of...
Best Public Art
Henning Haupt's The Tunnel
Earlier this year, Fort Lauderdale got aesthetically lucky when artist and Florida Atlantic University assistant professor of architecture Henning Haupt took his class outside to get to work. There, he and his crew used paint rollers to beautify "the tunnel" inside the city parking garage located between First and Second...
Best Visual Artist
LoCastro's work is badass. In recent years, the lowbrow artist grew up, from curating hip shows in Wynwood to staying in and focusing on his work full-time. Good thing he did. Last year, the Italian-German artist impressed the art world when he launched his "Geometry" series. The vivid abstract works...
Best Street Artist
Trying to catch up with Ubiera is nearly impossible. He's usually out burning up hours spray-painting walls. The Dominican-born street artist has painted murals inside the International Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport, inside the Evernia Parking Garage in West Palm Beach, at Delray's El Camino Cocina and Tequila Bar, and at Miami's...
Nowadays, anyone with an Instagram account can claim to be a photographer. But Samantha Salzinger goes beyond using slick editing filters when snapping photographs. She actually constructs the environments she shoots. The Yale MFA graduate and associate professor of art at Palm Beach State College makes large-scale dioramas with her...
Jill Slaughter, curator of special projects in Pembroke Pines
Jill Slaughter, a San Francisco Art Institute-schooled and Whitney Museum-awarded scholar, brings a creative vision to suburban Pembroke Pines. As the city's curator of special projects, she puts on shows year-round at Studio 18. Many of these have serious themes — in "Which Way Out," she explored LGBT coming out...
Best Patrons of the Arts
Elayne Marvin Mordes
There's plenty of money around these parts, and damned little of it makes its way into the hands of local artists. That's the bottom line on patronage. But no one around here makes more scrilla trickle down to our peeps than Elayne and Marvin Mordes, collectors of avant-garde work. Passionately...
Best Alternative Art Space
If you have your eyes open on a semiregular basis, you probably know that Lake Worth has become a mecca for local shows and music festivals. One man behind one venue is doing his due diligence to maintain the esoteric identity of Lake Worth while creating his own scene within...
Best Art Exhibition
It wasn't the biggest or the glitziest art exhibit last year — and "big" or "glitzy" would have been completely out of place in the industrial Boynton Beach Arts District anyway — but "(Un)Common Traces," featuring the work of four members of art collective Dwelling Projects, was far and away...
Best Art Gallery
Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
Every few months, curator Jane Hart presents a new show, and every time, she hits the mark in quality. This past year, we saw "Rugs," a series of large tapestries hand-sewn from pieces of teddy bears by Miami artist Agustina Woodgate. Francesco Lo Castro showed his genius with "Advent," a...
Stonewall National Museum and Archive
Thank the queer deities for South Florida! There are few spots on this Earth where two dudes or two ladies starting a life together is about as everyday as a man and a woman getting hitched and subsequently divorced — and southeastern Florida, friends, is one of them. That's why...
Best Art Event
"The Love Burn"
When Maker's Square opened its doors late last year, Fort Lauderdale got its coolest tool shop. The venue doubles as a social club for would-be "makers," a movement of DIY artisans who adore tools. Memberships follow a gym business model: Sign up and use any tool from the $100,000 collection...
Best Art Walk
FAT Village Art Walk
Just a few short years ago, the area now known as FAT Village — short for Flagler Arts and Technology — was a no-man's-land just east of Maguire's Irish Pub. There wasn't much to see and even less to do. Sure, there were some artists toiling in little warehouse studios...
Best Dive Bar
Lamp Post Lounge
Dive. Noun. [dahyv]. Origin: 1880-85; 1. A well-worn drinking establishment, popular among regulars and thirsty travelers alike. 2. Location along a busy thoroughfare, for example on North Federal Highway in Hollywood. 3. A dank and gloomy establishment, with the only natural light streaming in through picture windows up front. 4...