Monday, February 22, 2016

Weekend Recap: Best Bars At Bartender's Ball 2016 (Photos)

I miss the old Bartender's Ball. When I first attended the annual drunkfest, it was held in what is now the Blake Hotel. It was a grand event with couples dressed in cocktail attire and themed ballrooms. It was an event, a spectacle.

Last night, I went to my first Bartender's Ball in years. It wasn't the same. These things never are. It was fun, but it didn't feel much like a ball. It felt like any other multi-bar event that I've attended at the EpiCentre. This year's Bartender's Ball was at 210 Rooftop, and the theme was Game Night.

Each participating bar had a table and featured a special drink for the evening. I was on the panel of judges this year. I loved the creativity of several bars. Most adhered to the theme, except Bakersfield. The bartender said the Bakersfield didn't participate in the game night theme because "We like to do our own thing." Thankfully, everyone else wasn't so cool.

The winning themed bars were Best Bars, Fitzgerald's and Strike City. There was a Monopoly bar at RiRa, a magician at Crave and a Jumanji game among other concepts.