Recognizes best people, places in Key West
Wow — 4, 796 people voted for the Bubba’s Key West People’s Choice Awards online this year proclaiming businesses and people the ‘best’ in their category. A crowd of about 250 people attended the July 25 event at The Studios of Key West. Ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle and silent auction benefitted the Bahama Village Music Program and raised $9,620. That’s $1,000 more than last year!
Silent auction donors were Abigail White, Alexander Palms Guest House, All Animal Clinic, Isle Style, Blue Heaven, Love in Bloom, Sargasso, Blue, Prank Spa Grand Vin, Fausto’s Food Palace, Ralph DePalma and Larry Baeder.
The Square Grouper, Roostica, Two Friend’s Patio Restaurant, Dante’s and Prime 951 provided food. From best Key lime pie to best law firm, many locals weighed in … but the overall winner was Bahama Village Music Program that can continue its mission of music education to more than 160 kids every year.
Best Bar, Wine Selection, Beer Selection and Bartender
The Porch took the prize in four categories, making it hands down the best bar in Key West. Get served by actor and mixologist Landon Bradbary (voted the best bartender in town) and choose from the best beer and wine selection. Not sure if the Star Wars theme or Victorian architecture was the deciding factor in the best bar vote, but it’s probably best to check out for yourself.
There are loads of seafood restaurants in town but one has a flavor so pronounced it won the “The Bubbas Key West People’s Choice Awards” despite its location on Cudjoe Key, 22 miles from Key West. Square Grouper took the prize because the restaurant packs unbeatable quality and flavor into every dish. Restaurant owner and chef Lynn Bell holds the trophy with pride.
The accounting firm Oropeza and Parks was voted the best accounting firm in town. The team are more than accountants; they are involved in almost every facet of the community supporting events and community clubs. The Oropeza and Parks team understand that playing an active role strengthens and enriches the island.
Best Local Celebrity
Radio personalities Bill Hoebee from WAIL 99.5 and Jack and Kim from Pirate Radio 101.7 and 96.7 were runners up for best local celebrity, but musician Howard Livingston took the prize by a landslide. Livingston has a strong presence throughout the Keys for his work at charity events and fundraisers for a good cause. Congratulations, Howard; Key West and the Lower Keys love you!
First State Bank or “State Bank,” as locals call it ,was voted the best bank of Key West. People chose it for its excellent customer service, community involvement and local ownership. First State Bank is always sponsoring community events for a good cause including The Bubbas.
They know how to make a mojito over at Hot Tin Roof, where it won the Bubbas award for best mojito in Key West. Locals and tourists alike consistently recognize the Hot Tin Roof restaurant of Ocean Key Resort & Spa. It’s the perfect perch for spectacular sunsets overlooking the Sunset Pier at the end of Mallory Square.
Taking the 2014 Bubbas crown from Fantasy Fest, the best event in town is the Zombie Bike Ride, according to the people of Key West. The weekend event prior to Fantasy Fest is growing by leaps and bounds. Tens of thousands of participants take part in a zombie apocalypse that oozes on two wheels from East Martello to Duval Street. The effort that goes into costumes and props is unbelievable.
One of Key West’s homegrown musicians, Caffeine Carl, took the prize at the Bubbas this year. He is known for his ability to shred the guitar like no other and his original songs inspired by his life in Key West.
Best Overall Restaurant
Santiago’s Bodega won best overall restaurant for the second year in a row. The tapas style restaurant perched on Petronia Street is a unique dining experience. Choose among thirty-plus small plates raging from savory bites to delicious soup to tasty salads, all served in a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
Best Tourist Attraction
Nestled in the heart of Old Town, is the Hemingway Home. Ernest Hemingway lived and wrote there for more than ten years. Today, visitors get a peek inside the restored home with many original details of the great author’s life. They also learn about his love affair with Key West and the surrounding waters.