By Veronica Mackey
On October 18, the mystery of who would be crowned winners of the Best of Inglewood contest was finally revealed. Scores of Inglewood business owners and well wishers came to the newly refurbished Miracle Theatre, 226 W. Market Street, to see who would take home bragging rights. Over a 4-week period, Inglewood Today readers cast votes for their favorite businesses in more than 20 categories. While top businesses were named in contest promotions, names of final winners were keep secret until the awards ceremony.
The night began with Mistress of Ceremony Linda Coleman-Willis introducing the man behind Best of Inglewood, Inglewood Today Publisher Willie Brown. With a big smile, Brown welcomed the lively crowd and talked about how exciting it is to have the city rally around Inglewood’s business community.
“The Best of Inglewood is about you,” he told business owners. “The people of Inglewood thought so highly of you that they voted your business among the top in Inglewood, and you need to know that.” Brown then called Mayor James Butts to the stage, who was obviously pleased by the turnout.
Mayor Butts congratulated all of the nominees and said he appreciates what entrepreneurs have to endure to succeed in business. “The closest that I or council members come to running a business is when it’s time for re-election. Then we go to work, we have to sell you on our record for the past 4 years.”
Councilmen George Dotson, Alex Padilla and Eloy Morales also congratulated Inglewood Today and business owners.
"We are all fortunate to live in Inglewood and our city could not be the same without our great businesses. So many of these businesses touch us daily and never get the recognition they deserve,” Councilman Morales said.
Councilman Alex Padilla commented on how the Best of Inglewood promotion brought a new level of excitement to the city. “It allows us to showcase the different cultures represented in our city. I can’t wait to try the food at the different restaurants and shop at the stores,” he said.
“I want to thank everyone who came out tonight,” said Councilman George Dotson. “This is a great turnout and next year it’s going to be even better.”
Brandon Stansell from the Office of Assemblywoman Autumn Burke was present, along with Hamilton Cloud and Dr. Nicole J. Robinson from the Office of Congresswoman Maxine Waters.
Coming into the theatre, attendees were met by delicious cuisine from Dulan’s Soul Food and cocktails by Lavender Blue. Music filled the house from start to finish, thanks to the Jacques Lesure Quartet. The versatile band played music to reflect virtually every award given, like “Smile” for the best dentist category, and a bar of blues for the best soul food.
With remarks made, Coleman-Willis began reading names of voters and called them on the stage. Each received either $100, free pizza for a year by Papa John’s or Metro LA pre-loaded TAP cards.
Award nominees were the next group to be recognized. Before lining up for a group photo, each was given a $75 off coupon for a future ad in Inglewood Today.
Then came the moment that everyone had waited for—the big reveal! Winners in each category were given certificates—one from Inglewood Today and one from the Office of Assemblywoman Autumn Burke—and a $150 off coupon for a future ad in Inglewood Today. Additionally, overall top vote getters were given full one-year memberships in the Inglewood Airport Area Chamber of Commerce.
And the Best of Inglewood winners are…Orleans & York Deli, Best Overall Restaurant; Woody’s Barbecue, Best Barbecue; Ms. Ruby’s, Best Fast Food; Car Max, Best Car Dealership; The Savoy, Best Bar & Grill; Bourbon Street Fish, Best Seafood; Wok on the Wild Side, Best Asian Food; Verizon, Best Mobile Phone; Inglewood Car Wash, Best Car Wash; Jamz, Best Ice Cream or Yogurt; Fiesta Martin Bar & Grill, Best Mexican Food; Little Belize, Best Caribbean Food; The Lounge, Best Barber Shop; Bizzie Bee, Best Child Care; Dulan’s Soul Food, Best Soul Food; Tumby’s Pizza, Best Pizza; Inglewood Tire & Auto, Best Automotive Repair; New Image Dental, Best Dental Clinic, Spa 313, Best Beauty Salon; and Lisa’s Beauty Salon, Best Nail Salon. Top overall vote getters are Dulan’s Soul Food and Fiesta Martin Bar & Grill.
And there you have it—the Best of Inglewood. Whether named the overall winner, top vote-getter in their category or nominee, they’re all winners and deserving of our support. Actually, everyone in the city is a winner because we’re on the receiving end of the best businesses around.
Inglewood Today would like to thank our sponsors, the best corporate citizens ever: L.A. Metro, Papa John’s Pizza, Hollywood Park Casino, Centinela Hospital and Marvin Engineering for their generous support. Thanks also to Mayor James Butts, Members of the Inglewood City Council, Inglewood Airport Chamber of Commerce President Erick Holly, Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. A big thanks to Owen Smith, owner of the Miracle Theatre.