Best of the Bay lowdown: How the beverage bizes are doing

CL's BOTB Readers Poll ends soon, but here's how it's lookin' for the liquids.

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click to enlarge Guests at last year's Loafies awards party check out the BOTB issue. -
Guests at last year's Loafies awards party check out the BOTB issue.

There are three days left to vote in this year's CL Best of the Bay Readers Poll. Around 9 a.m. Thursday, 3,879 BOTB voters submitted their surveys.

This reporter gave readers the rundown on how restaurants measured up at the beginning of the week, but the area's beverage purveyors are important, too. Now's the time to finalize last-minute votes for these drink-centric categories.

Best Hotel Bar is headed by The Hollander with 73 votes. The Independent holds the top spot for Hillsborough County's Best Neighborhood Bar, while Old Northeast Tavern leads the category in Pinellas. Georgie's Alibi was picked the most for Best Gay/Lesbian Bar.

Buddy Brew Coffee has 149 votes for Best Coffee Shop. However, with more than 250 votes, Kahwa Coffee (Kawha, Kahwah, Kashiwa...?) may take the title again. Jet City Espresso's leading Best New Coffee Shop at 54 votes, but Community Cafe follows close behind with 39.

The Ale and the Witch trumps others for Best Draft Selection, and Cigar City is ahead in Best Local Brewery. Cigar City also ranks the highest for Best Local Beer.

Awarding the bar 41 votes, readers say the Best Cocktails come from The Mandarin Hide. The Bends or Oystercatchers could also take the category. Although The Bends heads Best Happy Hour at 22 votes, Applebee's (yeah) and Bella Brava aren't too far behind. 

Here's a look at which drink businesses are leading other BOTB categories:

Best Cuban Coffee
Bodega on Central - 53 votes

Best Barista Staff
Kahwa Coffee - 56

Best Tea Shop 
The Hooker Tea Company - 147

Best Boba Tea Shop
La V - 32

Best Juice/Smoothie Bar
Squeeze Juice Works - 94

Best Kava Bar
Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Tea Bar - 66

Best Sports Bar 
Ferg's - 99

Best Margarita
Red Mesa Cantina - 49

Best Martini
Oystercatchers - 32

Best Beach Bar
Undertow - 40

Best Wine Bar
Cru Cellars - 53

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