Time to read: 2.5 days with no meal breaks
A hearty shout-out to all my Richmonders, Henricoans, Chesterfielders, Goochlandians, Short Pumpers, Oregon Hill Cats, Bumtowners, River Rats, rogue EMTs and “Solid Gold” 804 dancers. Two of those actually are boy gangs from the Civil War-era, did you spot them? (Hint: It's so easy, there is no acceptable prize.)
In TikTok-like accordance with the visual, pop-up book culture of memes starting to dominate our adult communication, we'll begin by asking you to imagine a backward waterfall of yellow, heart-clutching emojis, with sincere thanks to all who voted in our Best of Richmond readers’ poll this year. Allow us to be the first to offer a congratulatory firework animation (with that sparkly sound) to each of the first-place winners, which you'll find linked by section below.
Among the multiple winners this year: Mama J's won for best local Southern food and best Black-owned restaurant. Babes of Carytown took home best gay bar and best place to dance. And Maymont scored three first place wins for best local park, best place to take out-of-towners, and best place to take kids.
For those of you still reading, a little background: Over the past eight months, during the re-launch of Style as an online publication, we've been rebuilding a stable of local freelance writers while revisiting our annual “signature” issues to see how well they work online. It's an ongoing process.
This year's Best of Richmond feature, glowing before your possibly strained eyes right now, is streamlined compared to previous years. We've added online maps to all the winners at the end of each section, we dropped a significant number of categories so voting would take less time, and we simply listed the first-place winners without any updates or editorial picks of our own (for now). In other words, it's a straight-up, no-frills readers’ poll, just like it sounds.
Looking ahead, we hope to update and improve our website at styleweekly.com and our mobile app, which should provide more options for features like this, in addition we plan to add more efficient ways to deliver weekly content directly to you, the readers. Especially after hearing from recent in-person focus groups that, yes, they would like to see Style newsletters return to their inbox.
There will likely be more changes to the Best Of Richmond feature next year, including the return of our sassy, highly debatable editorial picks. We almost included them this year but too many freelancers were on vacation (Props to Peter M. though, for sending a pair from his trip to Ireland. We'll use them, don't worry!) There are also plans to reexamine the voting process.
If you have input or ideas for how we can evolve any of our signature issues within this brave new online media world, which let's face it, can feel like it's in a constant state of chasing fickle, hastily accepted and discarded trends, we'd love to hear 'em. Email email@example.com.
For now, congrats to all the 2022 Best Of winners! Cheers!