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2014ReadersEntertainment

Best Bartender
Dennis Gobis, Drink.Well

It’s no surprise that Drink.Well’s Dennis Gobis won “Bartender of the Year” at Domaine de Canton’s bartender competition with his cocktail, “The One." Originally from Germany, Gobis’ background as a certified cicerone and brewer made him into the cocktail crafter of our dreams. This guy’s poised and careful tending skills have sent him to the top of every competition he’s entered, but we bet our readers are more smitten with his laid-back personality and delicious drinks.

Drink.Well, 207 E. 53rd, 512/614-6683, www.drinkwellaustin.com

Best Burlesque/Cabaret Show
Jigglewatts

Jigglewatt? Jiggle … who? If you’ve gotta ask, then it’s time to get educated about Austin’s sexiest and sauciest burlesque troupe. These (literal) movers and shakers have been shimmying the bawdy all over town since 2006, leaving a trail of enthralled Stage Door Johnnys and Janeys in their wake ever since. Now, with regular residencies (Maggie Mae’s Gibson Lounge for a current example), awed Austinites can journey back to vaudeville days gone by each and every week thanks to this talented troupe of brazen broads.

Best Club Night/Theme Night
Tuezgayz

7pm: Wake up in the afternoon, got to look fresh, got to go Downtown. It's Tuesday, got to get down at Tuezgayz. Everybody's looking forward to the weekend, but homos and their bros in the know, know that Tuesday is the day to dance the night away with the help of musical fruit, the Glitoris and his ratchet rainbow of tunes to make you shake, rattle, and roll.

The Glitoris, www.theglitoris.com

Best Cocktails
Drink.Well

Cool, quaint, and casual, American pub Drink.Well makes its first appearance in our readers' "Best of" list. The cocktail menu is creative, fun, and approachable. From the popular St. Charles Streetcar to the creamy Show Pony, this pub has a drink for every palate. Oh, and for those lamenting the end of summer, Drink.Well hosts Tiki Tuesdays complete with a whole new oasis-inspired cocktail menu. May we recommend topping off your happy hour with a house-made Twinkie du jour (or two or three)?

Drink.Well, 207 E. 53rd, 512/614-6683, www.drinkwellaustin.com

Best Drag Show
Poo Poo Platter

Need a little danger in your drag? Since 2012, the femmes fatales of Poo Poo Platter bring the filth and fury one Friday every month at Elysium. More than just dudes in dresses, the dirty divas aren't just here to joke but to provoke as well. A tassel here and a strut there, Poo Poo Platter is the place where they say "Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side." Are you ready poots? Start walkin'.

Best Film Programming
Alamo

It's now common to hear "curate" thrown around – like your friend, Sasha, who "curated" the perfect dinner party. Sasha didn't curate shit, she just invited people she liked. And while the same could be true of the Alamo Drafthouse – that they're only playing movies they like – their programming is simply a wonder to behold: From scrappy, beer-soaked cinematheque to multiple-markets Kaiju, we've watched the League empire grow, and grow, and grow. Now that everyone from Anaheim to Yonkers knows about the Alamo, we're starting to see an influx of faux franchises. And now Austinites have their beloved South Lamar location back – which we bet will be well-curated.

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, 409-B Colorado, 512/476-1320, www.originalalamo.com

Alamo Drafthouse Village, 2700 W. Anderson, 512/861-7030, drafthouse.com

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/861-7040, drafthouse.com

3 more locations

Best Jukebox
TIE: Casino El Camino; Deep Eddy Cabaret

Casino's carried this category since they first swept it away from Deep Eddy in 1996. This year, Deep Eddy's back. We couldn't think of two more Austin-y institutions to share the title, as the Cabaret has been Austin's watering hole by the watering hole since 1951, an authentic, old-school Texas dive time-capsule with tunes to match (Vaughan, Clark Jr., Gilmore, etc.), while Casino el Camino offers bitchin' burgers and a psychobilly-acid-trip-through-Mexico decor with an appropriately schizo soundtrack – some Celia, some Stones, some Sir Doug. Both businesses are standouts in the Austin-before-bougification realm as well, and we will gladly return to both with plenty of quarters at the ready.

Deep Eddy Cabaret, 2315 Lake Austin Blvd., 512/472-0961, www.deepeddybar.com

Casino el Camino, 517 E. Sixth, 512/469-9330, www.casinoelcamino.net

Best Karaoke
Ego's

BOSS: I need you to complete these forms and get them back to my desk in an hour.
EMPLOYEE: (in barely audible whisper) Right. Sure thing.
BOSS: What happened to your voice?
EMPLOYEE: I left it at Ego's.
(Fade-in: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" as flashback sequence begins…)

Ego's, 510 S. Congress, 512/474-7091, www.fb.com/egos.bar

Best LGBTQ Hangout
Cheer Up Charlie's

How can a venue win Best LGBTQ Hangout for its fifth year in a row, yet somehow take home Best New Venue? By leapfrogging to a new location, of course, and what a location it is! Once the home of the pioneering lesbian bar named Chances, the formerly blacked-out Club de Ville has been completely transformed into a new and improved version of the retired East Sixth Street haunt. Nearly every feature survived intact, from the cat burglar mural to the AstroTurf loungers to the fresh juices and kombucha cocktails, and the clientele naturally followed suit. Austin's quirky, creative community continues to party down in its fabulous new home.

Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River, 512/431-2133, www.cheerupcharlies.com

Best Live DJ
DJ Mel

We dare those who claim to dislike hip-hop, reggae, soul, dub, or Eighties to not lock in and get down to DJ Mel's irresistible beats. He's a technical master, a genre-hopping chameleon, and his skills at reading the crowd are the best in the industry. He's hosted a weekly at Nasty's since the mid-Nineties, played at multiple Democratic National Conventions, and even spun at President Obama's inaugural ball. Mel has been sending Austin crowds into a frenzy since 1995, and though it's tempting to say that practice makes perfect, he's been sending out perfection for just as long.

Best Local Brewery
Austin Beerworks

In a city full of excellent craft beers, it takes a special approach to stand out. "A.B. Dubs," as the kids call it, is taking a proactive approach. They love beer and are eager to share their love of brewing (and drinking), and they open their brewery every weekend to share a few pints. They won't let you watch them milk the unicorn, but hey, every business gets to have a few trade secrets.

Austin Beerworks, 3009 Industrial Terrace, 512/821-2494, www.austinbeerworks.com

Best Local Filmmaker
Richard Linklater

Richard Linklater's carefully planted seeds are bearing fruit of considerable heft this year, most notably Boyhood, which, along with the Before trilogy, is garnering him praise as a director of the longue durée. This hometown hero is not just a success story, but a voice of the zeitgeist.

Richard Linklater, www.detourfilm.com

Best Lounge
Sahara Lounge

"I'll have my drink … on the rocks." This is an example of something you might say if you were cool. And if you were really cool, you'd probably say it at the Sahara Lounge while ordering a Bloody Devil (it's like a Bloody Mary, but it kills you). Though housed in our very own Eastside, it's got the slow saunter you'd otherwise only find in the back-alley hangouts of a city like Timbuktu, where the hot sun necessitates chilling this hard. That's not to say it doesn't heat up though – there's something going on just about every night. Be it an Afropsych-funk show or the "Lesbian Wedding Sunday T-dance," there's always something happening that will hit a groove. Personally, we love the free buffet dinner they do every Saturday.

The Sahara Lounge, 1413 Webberville Rd., 512/927-0700, www.saharalounge.com

Best Movie Theatre
Alamo

It's now common to hear "curate" thrown around – like your friend, Sasha, who "curated" the perfect dinner party. Sasha didn't curate shit, she just invited people she liked. And while the same could be true of the Alamo Drafthouse – that they're only playing movies they like – their programming is simply a wonder to behold: From scrappy, beer-soaked cinematheque to multiple-markets Kaiju, we've watched the League empire grow, and grow, and grow. Now that everyone from Anaheim to Yonkers knows about the Alamo, we're starting to see an influx of faux franchises. And now Austinites have their beloved South Lamar location back – which we bet will be well-curated.

Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, 409-B Colorado, 512/476-1320, www.originalalamo.com

Alamo Drafthouse Village, 2700 W. Anderson, 512/861-7030, drafthouse.com

Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, 1120 S. Lamar, 512/861-7040, drafthouse.com

3 more locations

Best New Bar
Radio Coffee & Beer

Though only open a few months, Radio Coffee & Beer has already amassed a loyal and vocal fan base. Perhaps it's due to the affability of owner/singer/songwriter Jack Wilson, or maybe it’s the 24 craft beer taps and live music. Either way, this little spot is more than just a beer-and-coffee joint – it’s a full-on spiritual experience.

Radio Coffee & Beer, 4204 Manchaca Rd., 512/394-7844, www.radiocoffeeandbeer.com

Best New Club
Cheer Up Charlie's

How can a venue win Best LGBTQ Hangout for its fifth year in a row, yet somehow take home Best New Venue? By leapfrogging to a new location, of course, and what a location it is! Once the home of the pioneering lesbian bar named Chances, the formerly blacked-out Club de Ville has been completely transformed into a new and improved version of the retired East Sixth Street haunt. Nearly every feature survived intact, from the cat burglar mural to the AstroTurf loungers to the fresh juices and kombucha cocktails, and the clientele naturally followed suit. Austin's quirky, creative community continues to party down in its fabulous new home.

Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River, 512/431-2133, www.cheerupcharlies.com

Best Party of the Year
SXSW

Only Austin's definition of "party" denotes weeks of music, film, and techie goodness. This longstanding event puts even professionals prone to the occasional lamp-shade-on-the-head-moment into complete overdrive. There have never been so many great bands, films, panels, or parties pulling you in a million directions, and consequently, never enough hours in the day (or night).

South by Southwest, 400 Bowie, 512/467-7979, www.sxsw.com

Best Place to Dance
Barbarella

Looking for a place to do the hokey pokey and maybe get some hanky panky? Whatever style of dance you're into, Barb's, the new classic, has got the beat for you. Every night of the week they mix up the diverse themes so you can get into your groove on the double dance floors and patio.

Barbarella, 615 Red River, 512/476-7766, www.fb.com

Best Scenester/Mover and Shaker
Maggie Lea

It's not that Maggie Lea has her finger on the pulse; it's that she’s part of what makes that pulse beat. Whether she’s booking bands and throwing events at her beloved Cheer Up Charlie’s, or hosting regular movie screenings at Cinema East (which she co-founded five summers ago), Maggie is at the helm of all things cool here in ATX. Her talent lies in creating melting pots for party goers, music lovers, film fanatics, and all breeds of artists. Oh, and her hair’s pretty awesome, too.

Cheer Up Charlies, 900 Red River, 512/431-2133, www.cheerupcharlies.com

Best Trivia Night/Pub Quiz
Geeks Who Drink, Pluckers

For a certain (large) portion of the Austin populace, nothing says "let your hair down" like chomping on hot wings and/or answering a spate of trivia questions on all manner of arcane subjects. Fans of both franchises (Pluckers and Geeks Who Drink) can find a quiz night practically any day of the week, proving that our readers like to be smart while getting stoopid.

Geeks Who Drink, www.geekswhodrink.com

Pluckers Wing Bar, 2222 Rio Grande, 512/469-9464, www.pluckers.com

Pluckers Wing Bar, 9070 Research Ste. 201-C, 512/533-9464, www.pluckers.com

3 more locations

Best Video Game Studio/Developer
Rooster Teeth

Wait, how can Rooster Teeth be the best video game developer when they haven't released a game yet? Because they get gamers. The machinima maniacs became cult favorites with their Halo-derived video series Red vs. Blue, and now have become the go-to culture mavens for all things console. Now they're getting their code on, with a high-scything shoot-'em-up based on their hit anime RWBY due soon.

Rooster Teeth, 512/684-5980, www.roosterteeth.com

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