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Welcome to the Best of Cincinnati 2014

By Danny Cross and Maija Zummo · March 26th, 2014 · Best Of Cincinnati
Producing CityBeat’s annual Best of Cincinnati issue is a daunting task — months of managing online voting; weeks of soliciting ideas for the city’s best people, places and businesses to feature in our staff picks; and long hours editing, fact checking and analyzing the wealth of information about our town that ends up inside these pages each year.

That’s why during recent weeks if you happened to come across any of the dozens of staffers and contributors who helped make this issue happen, it likely wasn’t for very long and we apologize if we seemed a little paranoid. (Sometimes we’re actually afraid the illuminati are watching us, but during Best of Cincinnati season we’re typically just worried about tracking down a million photos or that Bill Cunningham might actually win the Best Activist category one year.)

Despite the hustle that goes into the project, the process is certainly not without its pleasures. Every year we — and CityBeat’s readers — receive a convincing reminder of how many local treasures we live among every day and the myriad innovative people and businesses shaping the direction of Cincinnati’s future.

It would take an extremely cynical and jaded individual to flip through this magazine only to plop it down on the coffee table and say, “Meh.” 

Our feature stories this year highlight a handful of locals whose work should make every Cincinnatian proud, from the folks over at Rhinegeist Brewery to Happen Inc.’s innovative programs for kids to Mick Cronin’s continued success on the hardwood. And this issue is the one time a year when you, our dear readers, get to offer your own commentary on who is doing what the best. The Reader Picks leading off each section offer rare citizen insight into what we value as a city — starting with arts and nightlife and working our way through food, shopping, sports and dozens of publicly viewable humans we might actually prefer to see less of (except for you, Sheila Gray!).

Along the way, some friendly readers felt compelled to lighten the mood a little, offering the following sarcastic write-in votes in their online ballots: 
  • Best LGBT Bar: Willie’s
  • Best Local Actor/Actress: John Cranley 
  • Best Comedy Club: The Bengals’ Front Office
  • Best Club/Party DJ: Pfft 
  • Best Place to Buy/Sell Gold: At the end of a rainbow
  • Best Health/Workout Club: My couch. 
It’s all fun and games until we get banned from our favorite watering holes because “ManBearPig” wins the Best Bartender award. (Don’t worry — he was DQ’d before happy hour even started.) 

So cheers to another year of living life in Cincinnati to the fullest, and thank you to the many people who have helped make this city the gem it is today. We hope you enjoy the Best of Cincinnati as much as we do.


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