Readers’ Choice 2018: The choice was yours

News Flash: Spring is almost here. Six days for those who are counting. The closed sign at the neighborhood water ice stands will soon switch to open. Call it the spring chill, any of us will take over a nor’easter.

This week’s issue serves as your advance planner for the season, featuring an expanded events calendar of concerts, theater and special events taking place around the area. Of course the Phillies will be returning from Clearwater, and fans will soon hear the home plate umpire shout “Play Ball!” at Citizens Bank Park. The home opener is Thursday, April 5, at 3:05 p.m. against the Miami Marlins. We will save the talk of the Phillies chances of making the playoffs for another issue later this month.

But the events guide is just one part of this exciting, jam-packed issue. This week’s issue also includes the results from the Readers’ Choice poll that appeared in the paper and online over the last couple months. Each of the local businesses were excited to hear the news, and were appreciative that you, the loyal readers of The South Philly Review, helped them get to №1. Many are repeat winners while others are first-timers to the Readers’ Choice winners list. It doesn’t matter what the business is, these places would not make the cut without the support of local residents.

Some of the categories were extremely tight in which one or two votes made the difference. It was like watching a sudden death shootout between the Flyers and Penguins. Others blew away the competition in their field. So many other places received votes, but did not crack the top three in their respective category, The important thing is the South Philadelphia community is made of so many successful businesses that it’s impossible to feature them all in one issue. Think of it like the Oscars in which 10 outstanding films compete for one prestigious crown — Best Picture.

The Readers’ Choice issue is just a way way of getting the community involved and giving their favorites from the south side of Philly a well-deserved pat on the back. Some are new, like Best New Restaurant, while others are long-standing places that some may consider South Philly institutions. Each of them has a winning story to share.

Enough with the introductions. Time for the 2018 Readers’ Choice winners to say a few words.

-By Bill Gelman