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Scratch Pad: The 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards revealed …

Check out the winners, runners-up and honorable mentions — as voted by you!
Erick Bengel

Coast Weekend

Published on February 14, 2018 5:12PM

Last changed on February 15, 2018 4:05PM

Features Editor Erick Bengel

Danny Miller photo

Features Editor Erick Bengel


In the Feb. 15 special issue of Coast Weekend, we reveal the results of the 2017 Readers’ Choice Awards, our annual contest honoring excellence in Columbia-Pacific business, dining and activities — as chosen by you, our discerning readers.

More than 2,000 people voted online, while dozens upon dozens of folks turned in paper ballots.

A handful of first-place winners held onto their titles. Some victories, however, were utterly unexpected. Reach Break Brewing, for example, was voted Best Bar — and the Astoria watering hole opened in early 2017!

In our two new categories, the Illahee Apartments won Best Apartment Complex, and Dr. Angela Stock Narin, of Pacific Family Medicine, won Best Local Physician.

Although our online ballot drew a lot of eyeballs, sometimes the paper ballots made the biggest difference (and justified our decision not to go online-only this year). The people who took the time to cut out and mail in their ballots broke ties and, in several categories, flipped around first-, second- and third-place winners. They were a powerful force in this year’s Readers’ Choice.

While we celebrate the winners’ achievements, let’s keep in mind that such contests are inherently subjective, and that they frequently depend on voters’ routines and peer groups — factors that influence our tastes and voting habits. What does it mean, really, to say that one business or restaurant “beat” another, especially when so many nominees landed but a few votes apart? If a handful of people had chosen to vote, or not, we’d be looking at a very different list of winners. Anyone who finds the strength in this wackadoo world to get out of bed and put in a good-faith effort at improving their community … those people are winners, straight-up.

But, though Readers’ Choice participants cast their votes for personal reasons, these votes are not arbitrary. In the aggregate, they offer an objective look at what our region happens to prize at this moment in history. Like elections, these contests are snapshots of our values — social, economic, aesthetic, even spiritual.

And these Readers’ Choice special issues are time capsules, bearing out our imperative to gather news and report it to those who can use the information.

Here’s to the contest winners, the voters and our readers, who take first place in our hearts.

BUSINESS

Best Antique Store

1. Vintage Hardware, Astoria

2. Farmhouse Funk, Astoria

3. Commercial Street Antiques and Collectibles, Astoria

Best Apartment Complex

1. Illahee Apartments, Astoria

2. Gearhart by the Sea, Gearhart

3. Sunset Surf Apartments, Seaside

Best Art Gallery

1. RiverSea Gallery, Astoria

2. Creation Studio and Gallery, Astoria; Imogen Gallery, Astoria (tie)

3. Don Nisbett Art Gallery, Ilwaco

Best Automotive Shop

1. Jim Varner’s Automotive, Astoria

2. Lum’s Auto Center, Warrenton

3. Snook’s Auto Repair, Seaside

Best Barbershop

1. Eleventh Street Barber, Astoria

2. Frank’s Barber Shop, Astoria

3. Oly’s Barber Shop, Astoria

Best Bookstore

1. Lucy’s Books, Astoria

2. Beach Books, Seaside

3. Time Enough Books, Ilwaco

Best Car Dealership

1. Lum’s Auto Center, Warrenton

2. Ocean Crest Chevrolet Buick GMC, Warrenton

3. N/A

Best Customer Service

1. Frite & Scoop, Astoria

2. Shanghaied Tattoo Parlor, Astoria

3. Street 14 Cafe, Astoria

Best Dance Studio

1. Encore Dance Studio, Warrenton/Gearhart

2. Astoria Arts & Movement Center

3. Maddox Dance Studio, Warrenton

Best Day Spa

1. Malama Day Spa, Astoria

2. Cannery Pier Hotel & Spa, Astoria

3. Cannon Beach Spa

Best Florist

1. Bloomin’ Crazy Floral, Astoria

2. Erickson Floral Company, Astoria

3. Artistic Bouquets & More, Seaview

Best Garden Center

1. Brim’s Farm & Garden, Astoria

2. Basketcase Greenhouse, Long Beach

3. Dennis’ 7 Dees, Seaside

Best Gift Shop

1. Finn Ware, Astoria

2. A Gypsy’s Whimsy Herbal Apothecary, Astoria

3. Cargo, Astoria

Best Grocery Store

1. Astoria Co-op

2. Fred Meyer, Warrenton

3. Main Street Market, Warrenton

Best Gym

1. Astoria Aquatic Center

2. CrossFit, Astoria

3. Astoria Full Fitness Center; Fitness 1440, Warrenton (tie)

Best Hair Salon

1. Salon Boheme, Astoria

2. Hygge Hair Co., Astoria

3. Bellisima Salon & Boutique, Astoria

Best Home Improvement

1. City Lumber, Astoria

2. Home Depot, Warrenton

3. Oman & Son Builders Supply, Long Beach

Best Hotel

1. Cannery Pier Hotel, Astoria

2. Hotel Elliot, Astoria

3. Adrift Hotel, Long Beach

Best Live Theater

1. Liberty Theatre, Astoria

2. Astor Street Opry Company, Astoria

3. Coaster Theatre, Cannon Beach

Best Local Physician

1. Angela Stock Narin (Pacific Family Medicine)

2. Kevin J. Baxter (Columbia Memorial Hospital), Tracy Erfling (tie)

3. Astoria Women’s Health

Best Radio Station

1. Coast Community Radio

2. The Bridge, KRKZ Hits (tie)

3. Eagle Country

Best Real Estate Business

1. Pacific Pro Realty, Astoria

2. Lighthouse Realty, Long Beach

3. Area Properties, Astoria

Best Seafood Market

1. Warrenton Deep Sea Crab & Fishmarket, Warrenton

2. Northwest Wild Products, Astoria

3. OleBob’s Seafood Market and Galley, Ilwaco

Best Tech/Computer Repair

1. Mossy Tech, Astoria

2. Ben’s Computer Store, Inc., Warrenton

3. Astoria’s Best

Best Thrift Shop

1. Deja Vu, Astoria

2. Coast Rehabilitation Services Thrift Store, Astoria

3. Goodwill, Warrenton

Best Yoga

1. RiverZen Yoga, Astoria

2. Astoria Arts & Movement Center

3. Seaside Yoga

DINING

Best Asian Food

1. Nisa’s Thai Kitchen, Warrenton

2. Himani Indian Cuisine, Astoria

3. Golden Star Restaurant, Astoria

Best Bakery

1. Blue Scorcher Bakery & Cafe, Astoria

2. Naked Lemon, Astoria

3. Cottage Bakery, Long Beach

Best Bar

1. Reach Break Brewing, Astoria

2. Astoria Coffee House & Bistro

3. Carruthers, Astoria

Best Barista

1. Kristy Cross (The Rusty Cup, Astoria)

2. Casey Palmgren (Astoria Coffee House & Bistro)

3. Holly Snook (Dutch Bros. Coffee, Seaside)

Best Bartender

1. Jeany Birdeno (Merry Time Bar and Grill)

2. Logan Garner (Fort George Brewery)

3. Cory Teubner (Astoria Coffee House & Bistro)

Best Breakfast Spot

1. Astoria Coffee House & Bistro

2. Street 14 Cafe, Astoria

3. Osprey Cafe, Seaside

Best Brewpub

1. Fort George Brewery, Astoria

2. North Jetty Brewing, Seaview

3. Buoy Beer Co., Astoria

Best Burger

1. The Depot Restaurant, Seaview

2. Portway Tavern, Astoria

3. Fort George Brewery, Astoria

Best Catering

1. Astoria Coffee House & Bistro; Baked Alaska, Astoria (tie)

2. The Depot Restaurant, Seaview

4. The Cove Restaurant, Long Beach

Best Chef

1. Michael Lalewicz (The Depot Restaurant, Seaview)

2. Alec Evans (Astoria Coffee House & Bistro)

3. Dan Brownson (Carruthers, Astoria)

Best Clam Chowder

1. The Depot Restaurant, Seaview

2. Buoy Beer Co., Astoria

3. Fort George Brewery, Astoria

Best Coffee

1. Street 14 Cafe, Astoria

2. 3 Cups Coffee House, Astoria

3. The Rusty Cup, Astoria

Best Desserts

1. Frite & Scoop, Astoria

2. The Depot Restaurant, Seaview

3. T Paul’s Supper Club, Astoria

Best Fine Dining

1. The Depot Restaurant, Seaview

2. Carruthers, Astoria

3. T Paul’s Supper Club, Astoria

Best Fish and Chips

1. The Bow Picker, Astoria

2. Buoy Beer Co., Astoria

3. Clemente’s Cafe and Public House, Astoria

Best Happy Hour

1. Carruthers, Astoria; T Paul’s Supper Club, Astoria (tie)

2. Baked Alaska, Astoria

3. Silver Salmon, Astoria

Best Lunch Spot

1. T Paul’s Urban Cafe, Astoria

2. Astoria Coffee House & Bistro

3. The Cove Restaurant, Long Beach

Best Mexican Food

1. La Cabana Raya, Astoria

2. Tacos El Catrin, Warrenton

3. Plaza Jalisco, Astoria

Best Pizza

1. Fort George Brewery, Astoria

2. Fultano’s Pizza, Astoria/Warrenton

3. Baked Alaska, Astoria

Best Restaurant for Kids

1. Buoy Beer Co., Astoria

2. Frite & Scoop, Astoria

3. Lost Roo, Long Beach

Best Server

1. Kendall Padgett-McEuen (Carruthers, Astoria)

2. Heather Miller (Buoy Beer Co., Astoria)

3. Jasmine Swank (Astoria Coffee House & Bistro)

Best Wine Shop

1. The Wine Shack, Cannon Beach

2. WineKraft, Astoria

3. The Cellar on 10th, Astoria

ACTIVITIES

Best Birdwatching Site

1. Astoria Riverwalk

2. Fort Stevens State Park

3. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge

Best Cheap Date

1. The Beach

2. Columbian Theater, Astoria

3. Astoria Sunday Market

Best Farmers Market

1. Astoria Sunday Market

2. Saturday Market at Port of Ilwaco

3. River People Farmer’s Market, Astoria

Best Golf Course

1. Peninsula Golf Course, Long Beach

2. Astoria Golf & Country Club, Warrenton

3. Highlands Golf Club, Gearhart

Best Hiking Trail

1. Discovery Trail, Long Beach Peninsula

2. Fort to Sea Trail

3. Cape Disappointment State Park trails, Ilwaco

Best Local Festival

1. Astoria-Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival

2. Festival of Dark Arts, Astoria

3. Astoria Pride

Best Local Sports Team

1. Astoria High School Fishermen — football

2. Knappa High School Loggers — baseball; Ilwaco High School Fishermen — golf (tie)

3. Astoria High School Fishermen — baseball; Astoria High School Fishermen — Pizazz Dance Team; Ilwaco High School Fishermen — girls basketball (three-way tie)

Best Museum

1. Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria

2. Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Ilwaco

3. Fort Clatsop Visitors Center

Best Music Venue

1. Liberty Theatre, Astoria

2. Pickled Fish, Long Beach

3. Fort George Brewery, Astoria

Best Neighborhood Park

1. Tapiola Skate Park, Astoria

2. Fred Lindstrom Memorial Park (aka Peter Pan Park), Astoria

3. Shively Park, Astoria

Best Place to Walk

1. Astoria Riverwalk

2. The Beach

3. Long Beach Boardwalk

Best Tourist Attraction

1. Astoria Column

2. The Beach

3. Astoria’s breweries



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