Here are the winners who were selected by readers for SFGN's Best of Palm Beach County this year.

 

Best Restaurant & Best Kept Secret 
Click here for the winner! 

Best Artist/Musician - Rolando Chang Barrero

RolandoChangBarrero

Photo via Facebook.

Best Artist/Musician is another new award for SFGN. West Palm Beach artist and The Box Gallery owner Rolando Chang Barrero is the winner this year.

"It always feels very good when your community recognizes you for what you do", Barrero said.  "I think people are starting to recognize that art is powerful and that the title ‘artist’ is a way of living 100% of the time, and not only just in a studio. We paint, we draw, we create installations, but we also hit the streets, we petition, we protest, and create the change we want to see."

Barrero's art is seen on more than just canvases, he also displays his signature "Pajaro Bird" on merchandise like dresses, shoes, towels, and face masks.

He is more than an artist, Barrero is a bonafide trailblazer.

The pandemic hit Barrero's The Box Gallery hard and he was almost forced to shut down. In response the community rallied, raising thousands of dollars to keep the doors open.

– DCJ

Best Bar - H.G. Rooster’s

823 Belvedere Rd.

West Palm Beach 

RoostersWPB.com 

HGRoosters

Photo via Facebook.

H.G. Roosters have had a very tumultuous year. They not only survived a global pandemic, they also remained vigilant after an accidental fire May 19th that nearly jeopardized their business.

Roosters is the only LGBT bar in West Palm Beach. This year they celebrated 37 years of business.

During the pandemic, Rooster partnered with Penny's at the Duke for entertainment shows as well as participating in a voters registration event with Compass and The Box Gallery. The event also featured a guest appearance from reality show star Randy Fenoli.

Roosters won the same award in 2019. They have donated to various organizations that support the LGBT community, including Compass.

"Were honored to have been voted Best Bar by the SFGN readers,” said David Zen, longtime bar manager. “This year has been a difficult year for everyone, we're very much looking forward to rebuilding and reopening in 2021.”

Runner-Up: Penny's at the Duke

– DCJ 

Best Bartender - Phillip P.  

Rooster’s

823 Belvedere Rd

West Palm Beach

PhillipParksRoosters

Photo via Facebook.

This is Rooster’s barkeep Phillip Parks’ second consecutive year as Best Bartender. An achievement in its own right, it’s made more impressive since the bar was closed most of the year due to a fire and a pandemic.

He must have been doing something right to have such loyal clients.

“It feels so good to know that people are still thinking about me even though they haven’t seen me working in a little while. Luckily we’re doing a ‘Roosters at Penny’s’ night at Penny’s at the Duke on Saturday nights,” he said.“We’ll be back next year, and I’m super excited for everyone to see the “new and improved” Roosters! Until then, I’ll be at Penny’s every Saturday night looking forward to seeing all the faces I’ve been missing.”

Runner-Up: Rooster’s Bartender Rolf F.

– DC

Best Burger & Best LGBT Friendly Bar - Lilo's Street Food and Bar 

701 Lake Ave. 

Lake Worth Beach 

LilosStreetFoodAndBar.com

TheDreamyOneatLilosStreetfoodBar

Photo via Facebook.

This is Lilo Street Food and Bar’s first-ever win in SFGN’s Best Of contest, taking home the top prize for Best Burger and Best LGBT Friendly Straight Bar.

“We just promote a culture of openness. We’re not afraid to be that way. We are just open-minded. We embrace everybody. Everybody feels welcome,” said Joe Lipovich, an owner of the restaurant. “Over the years we’ve hosted a lot of events for different communities. We’ve hosted drag shows as well.”

Lipovich owns the restaurant with his daughter Lindsay.

And speaking of the food…

“The menu is very diverse and eclectic,” Joe said.

He described it as “crafted custom.”

“There’s a reason why things are made the way they are,” he explained. “We craft our food in its own specific way.”

He compared it to bars that serve craft cocktails.

“That’s the same way we make our food,” he said. “We don’t just throw toppings on it.”

While they may specialize in street tacos the readers voted for their burgers.

All the third-pound burgers are served on a Challah bun. Some of the specialty ones include The Dreamy One (mustard fried burger; sautéed onions, American cheese; lettuce; tomato; special sauce) and The Beyond Billy Goat One (fig jam; goat cheese; arugula; beyond vegan patty).

Runner-Up: BurgerFi for Best Burger.

- JEP 

Best Pizza - Downtown Pizza 

608 Lake Ave. 

Lake Worth Beach

DowntownPizza

Photo via Facebook.

 

Downtown Pizza is no stranger to winning Best Pizza, but it’s been a few years.

Perhaps what makes it unique is its menu. It offers a variety of pizzas such as Margarita, Buffalo Chicken, Meat Lovers, and White Spinach pizza. For vegans, it has Garden and Eggplant Florentine pizza.

Downtown Pizza doesn’t only serve pizza though. It serves different kinds of pasta, soups, hot and cold subs, calzones and strombolis. This way, customers can enjoy other dishes if they are not in the mood for pizza.

Runner-Up: Brick Oven

– KS

Best Politician NOT Named Lois Frankel - Andy Amoroso 

Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner 

701 N Dixie Hwy. 

Lake Worth Beach

AndyAmoroso

Photo via Facebook.

Andy Amoroso, Lake Worth Beach City Commissioner for District 3 was pleased to hear of his being named Best Politician.

For a long time Amoroso has been working to get SFGN to focus on local candidates.

“Lois has done a lot of good,” he said. “But a local paper should focus on local issues and people.”

Amoroso was born in Broward raised in South Florida settling in Lake Worth 32 years ago.  He has owned and operated a number of businesses including his newest, Tacky Tourist.

In November 2011 he launched a career in politics by winning a seat on the Lake Worth City Commission.  He initiated and supported many programs of import to LGBT residents.

Runner-Up: Omari Hardy, former city commissioner of Lake Worth Beach (recently elected as Florida House Representative for District 88)

– DCJ

Best Server - Velvet Lenore

VelvetLenore

Photo via Facebook.

Velvet Lenore, 48, was born and raised in Florida.  She moved to West Palm Beach 26 years ago and became an award-winning performer and female impersonator throughout South Florida and beyond.

She has a dance troupe called K-otic Force with 20 plus drag members and one young straight man, Tommy Cook, who loves to perform and who happens to be the boss’ godson.

Lenore raises money for a range of nonprofits with a special emphasis on Compass Community Center in Lake Worth.

She began transitioning from male to female five years ago. She’s married to Michael Cushman having been together for 13 years.

Lenore wears many hats and is known for many roles in the community but this year she’s being recognized for her serving abilities. You can catch her at Lips in Broward where she also deejays, emcees and entertains.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition,” she said.  “Thanks to all who voted for me.”

Runner-Up: Andy F. at Red Lobster

– DCJ

Best Non-Profit, Place to Workout & Social Group - Night Runners 

NightRunnersWPB.com 

NightrunnersinMarch

Photo via Facebook.

Established in December of 2016, Night Runners have definitely made a lasting impact in four short years. They are a non-profit with Rudolph Galindo serving as the organization's fearless leader.

Since being active, they have participated in the Chili Cook-off at Penny's at the Duke, and Compass's 5th Annual Women's Wellness Conference.

"We are extremely honored and humbled by the awards, [it’s] a testament to the hard work of our seven board members, and the overwhelming support from our community of runners, walkers, cheerleaders, and active sponsors," Galindo said. "Our intent is to end 2020 with a bang.”

This year they organized their first-ever 5k but the event was canceled when the pandemic hit. They relaunched it as a Virtual Pride 5k. The event will benefit Compass, and takes place Dec. 4-6.

Nowadays the group has virtual runs every Monday and Thursday. Their mission is to "enthusiastically promote health, diversity, and camaraderie through physical activity(running) and friendship for everyone.”

Runners-Up: For Best Non-Profit, Compass; for Best Place to Workout, ZOO Health Club in Lake Worth Beach; and for Best Social Group, BLAST.

– DCJ

Best Personal Trainer - Jaqueline Bish  

Zoo Health Club  

Lake Worth Beach  

ZOOgym.com/lakeworth

Bish

Courtesy of Jaqueline Bish.

When it comes to personal training Jaqueline Bish thinks of herself more than just a trainer but also “a friend, a motivator, a listener and a coach.”

Maybe that’s why she won Best Personal Trainer in a new reader chosen category this year.

“I’m so so excited to be selected as best of the best personal trainer; this is so amazing,” she said.

She’s clearly modest.

When asked what’s something special about her work she said, “there really isn’t anything that stands out besides that I really care about people, their well-being and that I help them meet their goals.”

Bish has worked at the ZOO Gym in downtown Lake Worth Beach.

“Come and say ‘hi!’”

– JEP

Best Neighborhood – Flamingo Park
Runner-Up: Mango Groves

 


To view the other winners, visit SFGN's Best of 2020 Winners page.

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