Best Art Gallery in the Triangle

201 East Davie Street, Raleigh

Finalists: The Carrack Modern Art, Pleiades Arts, Lump

Best Barback / Busboy in the Triangle

Corey Horne
330 West Hargett Street, Raleigh

Finalists: Dylan (Person Street Bar), Ian Grice (Brewery Bhavana), Will Travato (Foundation), Travis Wisk (Bittersweet)

Best Barista in Durham County

Dave Chapman
Bean Traders
105 West N.C. 54 Hwy #249, Durham

Finalists: Benjamin Tarlton (Joe Van Gogh), Arielle Bryant (Monuts), Tori Partin (Kaffeinate)

Best Barista in Orange / Chatham County

Haley Vaughan
403 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Finalists: Jillian Hamrick (Joe Van Gogh), Bobby Lewis (Cup a Joe), Shaw (Gray Squirrel Coffee)

Best Barista in Wake County

Julian Dalton
A Place at the Table
300 West Hargett Street ,#50, Raleigh

Finalists: Klay Misenheimer (Bittersweet), Stephanie Caronna, Ethan (Stewart’s Bistro)

Best Bartender in Durham County

Daniel Sartain
Bar Virgile
105 South Mangum Street, Durham

Finalists: Stefan Isaza (Growler Grlz), Katy Creech (The Glass Jug Beer Lab), Jannell (The House)

Best Bartender in Orange / Chatham County

Ari Sanders
Mystery Brewing Public House
230 South Nash Street, Hillsborough

Finalists: Richard (Orange County Social Club), Zach White (Belltree), Sam Newby (Country Fried Duck), Stirling Little (Belltree)

Best Bartender in Wake County

Alison Williams
227 South Wilmington Street, Raleigh

Finalists: Kirstin Mulqueeny (City Limits Saloon), Moe Ricks (Pelagic Beer & Wine and Brewery Bhavana), Sara Buxton (Pelagic Beer & Wine)

Best Comedy Club in the Triangle

Goodnight’s Comedy Club
861 West Morgan Street, Raleigh

Finalists: ComedyWorx, Improv at the Varsity

Best Community Event in the Triangle

Durham Farmers Market
501 Foster Street, Durham

Finalists: Beaver Queen Pageant, Blondes vs. Brunettes Raleigh Game Day, Flash Chorus (Durham)

Best Farm in the Triangle

Maple View Farm
6900 Rocky Ridge Road, Hillsborough

Finalists: Funny Girl Farm, Raleigh City Farm, Hux Family Farm

Best Gay or Lesbian Bar in the Triangle

117 West Main Street, Durham

Finalists: Ruby Deluxe, Legends Nightclub, The Green Monkey, The Bar Durham

Best Karaoke in the Triangle

2 South West Street, Raleigh

Finalists: Pinhook, Krafty’s Burgers and Brews, The Bar Durham

Best Local Art Exhibit of the Year

Art in Bloom, NCMA
2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

Finalists: Truth to Power at Pleiades Arts (Durham), The Carrack Community Art Show, Shades of Goldfish at Spectre Arts

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Best Local Art Exhibit of the Year
You Are Here, NCMA
Indy: For Larry Wheeler’s final exhibit as the director of the North Carolina Museum of Art, the institution decided to go big. The result is You Are Here, a stunning collection of large-scale works that play with light and sound. The centerpiece is one of Yayoi Kusama’s famed infinity rooms, which is now a part of the museum’s permanent collection. But the exhibit’s other piecesa forty-speaker sound installation, a stylized sitting room, a dense curtain of LEDsare no less stunning. Rarely has an art exhibit incited such delighted curiosity among people all over the Triangle. You Are Here is an adventurous, ambitious effort from the museum that reminds us that our relationship with art can be far more complex than staring at a painting on a wall. Allison Hussey

Best Local DJ

DJ Uniq

Finalists: DJ Luxe Posh, K Stones, DJ Triple B

Best Local Fiction Author

David Sedaris

Finalists: Lee Smith, Sarah Dessen, Monica Byrne

Best Local Filmmaker

Saleem Reshamwala / KidEthnic

Finalists: StoryDriven, Alexis Bravos, D.L. Anderson, Jasper Lee

Best Local Music Series

NCMA Summer Concerts
2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

Finalists: American Tobacco Music Series, Pinecone, Music in the Gardens by Duke Performances

Best Local NonFiction Author

Timothy B. Tyson

Finalists: Barry Yeoman, Kendra Leonard, Adam Sobsey

Best Local Podcast


Finalists: SPORTSRAP, Intelligently Ratchet, Free Lunch

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Best Local Podcast
Artist Soapbox
Indy: Especially if you’re new to the area, the Triangle’s local arts scenebuzzing away in so many niches throughout so many cities and townsmight seem like a tough nut to crack. Is this show supposed to be dance, theater, or what? What’s this place, some warehouse? If you like to learn in podcast form, Artist Soapbox is a crash course in who’s who and what they do. Host and creator Tamara Kissane, a Durham-based playwright, director, and actor, has thirty-one episodes and counting of knowledgeable one-on-one interviews with everyone from Bull City Black Theater Festival founder JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell and veteran choreographer Killian Manning to Women’s Theatre Festival production manager Katy Koop, developing a full picture of a regional arts community marked by the strong leadership of women and an openness to rethinking old ways of doing things. Brian Howe

Best Local Visual Artist

Sara Buxton – Oak City Revival

Finalists: Tedd Anderson, Gnarley Nick, Sean Kernick

Best Museum in the Triangle

North Carolina Museum of Art
2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh

Finalists: Museum of Life and Science, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Nasher Museum of Art

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Best Museum in the Triangle
Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Indy: In addition to our readers’ uniformly worthy picks for where to get you some culture, might we suggest also making time to swing by the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at N.C. State? If it’s been awhile, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Last summer, the museum reopened in a building twice the size of the old one, in a renovated historic chancellor’s residence prominently located on Hillsborough Street, and the proper space has unleashed curatorial ambition. Now’s the perfect time to see what the museum can dothrough the first of July, it remains dominated by Bob Trotman’s absurdist, larger-than-life animatronic sculptures of bureaucrats and workers. Welcome to the new Gregg. Brian Howe

Best Neighborhood Bar in Durham County

Accordion Club
316 West Geer Street, Durham

Finalists: Blue Note Grill, The Glass Jug Beer Lab, The Bar Durham

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Best Neighborhood Bar in Durham County
The Federal
Indy: When I lived in Philly, there was this bar at the end of my string of rowhouses that was basically my second home. It had good drinks, a terrific beer selection, solid grub, cool people, friendly bartenders, a baseball game on the televisionall of life’s basic food groups. I was there nearly every day, a regular not just because it was convenient, but because it was convenient, affordable, and a great vibe. Just about every neighborhood in Philly had one of those, sometimes two, sometimes a half-dozen. Here, though, these neighborhood bars of character aren’t so easy to come by.
The closest I’ve found in Durham is The Fed, a laid-back West Main Street hang with (arguably) the best nachos in town, a wide and interesting collection of beers on tap, quality drinks, and reasonable prices. It’s simple, and I like that. (Also worthy of a neighborhood-bar mention for the downtown kids: 106 Main.) Jeffrey C. Billman

Best Neighborhood Bar in Orange / Chatham County

The Kraken
2823 N.C. Highway 54 West, Chapel Hill

Finalists: The Wooden Nickel Pub, Mystery Brewing Public House, Orange County Social Club

Best Neighborhood Bar in Wake County

Person Street Bar
805 North Person Street, Raleigh

Finalists: The Green Monkey, Crosstown Pub & Grill, William & Company

Best Open Mic Night in the Triangle

Carolina Waves Open Mic

Finalists: Blue Note Grill, Deep South Bar, City Soul (Noir)

Best Outdoor Music Venue in the Triangle

Red Hat Amphitheater
500 South McDowell Street, Raleigh

Finalists: North Carolina Museum of Art, Booth Amphitheatre, Walnut Creek, Duke Gardens

Best Place for Dancing in the Triangle

Ruby Deluxe
414 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh

Finalists: Coglin’s Raleigh, Blue Note Grill, The Bar Durham

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Best Place for Dancing in the Triangle
Arcana’s Super Secret Dance Parties
Indy: Sounds pretty elite right? But don’t let the cheeky billing fool you; Arcana’s recurring Third Friday dance party is defined by inclusion, not exclusion. Some dance parties are elevated by superior sound systems or a killer floorspace, but no one would claim Arcana has either of those. What it has is a diverse group of attendees united less by age or race or gender or musical style than a desire to get down hard in a close, dark, sweaty, loose, but safe and all-welcoming space. Deejays Rang and Forge keep their varied selections changing fast, both propelling and responding to the collective organism that forms on the floor. It’s not really super secret, but you do have to look a little to find it, and the dedicated crowd that has is a reminder that the most important thing about a good dance party is always the people who make it up. Brian Howe

Best Place for Indoor Fun in the Triangle

Museum of Life & Science
433 West Murray Avenue, Durham

Finalists: Tic Toc Escapes, Bull City Escape, Raleigh Room Escapes

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Best Place for Indoor Fun in the Triangle
Wheels Fun Park
Indy: An old-school roller rink complete with arcade and concession stand, DJ booth and disco ball, with mini-golf and go-karts outside? One that periodically transforms into a nocturnal haven for Disco Sweat, in which the fine folks from Nightlight in Chapel Hill unleash the friendly mayhem of their dance parties on wheels at Wheels (with beer)? Don’t you love living in the Triangle? (Bonus rec: We all tend to do hot things when it’s hot and cold things when it’s cold, because humans are funny like that, but on days too blistering for the beach, don’t forget, we’ve got an indoor ice-skating rink at the Orange County Sportsplex in Hillsborough.) Brian Howe

Best Place to Get Specialty Cocktails in Durham County

Alley Twenty Six
320 East Chapel Hill Street, Durham

Finalists: Bar Virgile, The Durham Hotel, Arcana

Best Place to Get Specialty Cocktails in Orange / Chatham County

The Crunkleton
320 West Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Finalists: Lantern, LaPlace Louisiana Cookery, Belltree, BowBarr

Best Place to Get Specialty Cocktails in Wake County

213 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh

Finalists: Watts & Ward, Bittersweet, William & Company

Best Place to Hear Bluegrass in the Triangle

Wide Open BlueGrass

Finalists: Blue Note Grill, Pinecone, Community Church Concert Series

Best Place to Hear Blues in the Triangle

Blue Note Grill
709 Washington Street, Durham

Finalists: The Carolina Theatre, The Kraken, PineCone

Best Place to Hear Hip-Hop or Soul in the Triangle

Cat’s Cradle
300 East Main Street, Carrboro

Finalists: Beyú Caffé, Pinhook, The DURM Cypher, The House

Best Place to Hear Jazz in the Triangle

Beyú Caffé
341 West Main Street, Durham

Finalists: C Grace, Sharp 9 Gallery, Mystery Brewing Public House, Watts & Ward

Best Place to Hear Noise /Electronic music in the Triangle

Nightlight Bar & Club
405 1/2 West Rosemary Street, Chapel Hill

Finalists: Pinhook, Kings/Neptunes, Ruby Deluxe, Wicked Witch

Best Place to Hear Rock’n’Roll in the Triangle

Cat’s Cradle
300 East Main Street, Carrboro

Finalists: Slim’s, The Kraken, Blue Note Grill

Best Place to Hear World or International Music in the Triangle

Duke Performances
2010 Campus Drive, Durham

Finalists: Motorco Music Hall / Parts & Labor, The ArtsCenter, The Fruit

Best Place to Shoot Pool in the Triangle

The Green Room
1108 Broad Street, Durham

Finalists: Circa, Player’s Retreat, Zogs Pool, Sharkys

Best Strip Club in the Triangle

Capital Cabaret
6713 Mount Herman Road, Morrisville

Finalists: Pure Gold of Raleigh, Teaser’s Mens Club, Diamond Girls

Best Theater Company in the Triangle

Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue Street, Raleigh

Finalists: PlayMakers Repertory Company, Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern, NC Theatre

Best Theater to see an Indie Film in the Triangle

The Carolina Theatre
309 West Morgan Street, Durham

Finalists: Chelsea Theatre, Rialto, The Cary Theater, Silverspot, Alamo Drafthouse

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Best Theater to See an Indie Film in the Triangle
Alamo Drafthouse
Indy: Raleigh’s new Alamo Drafthouse just opened at the end of April, but it’s already earned its spot as one of our favorite area theaters. Sure, it offers a luxury viewing experience for fresh blockbusters and a full food-and-drink menu, but its Triangle-specific offerings make it extra special. The theater’s Video Vortex is an almost-old-school video-rental emporium, where you can borrow a DVD or VHS for free. (No VHS player? No problemAlamo will rent you one of those, too.) The Vortex’s vast selection appeals to super-nerds, families, and casual movie fans alike. Special one-off screenings and its weekly Terror Tuesdays and Weird Wednesdays add extra (and often cheap) incentives to swing by, too. What could’ve been just another chain parachuting in has so far established itself as a friendly new hub for Triangle movie-lovers, which merits its own round of applause. Allison Hussey

Best Theater Venue in the Triangle

Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian Street, Durham

Finalists: The Carolina Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre’s Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

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Best Theater Venue in the Triangle
The Fruit
Indy: We’re fine on venues for big-ticket professional theater, from DPAC and Progress Energy Center to PlayMakers and Memorial Hall. But what about spaces scaled and priced for local, independent theater? Raleigh’s got it the best, with Sonorous Road, NRACT, and others. But Chapel Hill’s never had much, and Durham’s in decline, losing Common Ground last year and Manbites Dog Theater soon. The most likely candidate to pick up the slack is still relatively new: The Fruit, and its twenty-two thousand square feet of “eclectic industrial textures,” as the venue aptly describes itself. The cavernous, labyrinthine warehousewhich really did used to house fruitis a grungy theatrical funhouse, full of endless possibilities for Durham’s boundary-pushing artists, many of whom were kind of over black boxes anyway. The Fruit has already been used to wonderful effect by groups like Little Green Pig and DIDA, and you can expect many more to follow suit. It’s as open-ended and fluctuating as the city surrounding it, and it has that most chimerical Durham dream: copious free parking on nights and weekends. Brian Howe

Best Trivia Night in Durham County

Growler Grlz
4810 Hope Valley Road, #110, Durham

Finalists: Tomato Jake’s Pizzeria, Pinhook, The House

Best Trivia Night in Orange / Chatham County

Mystery Brewing Public House
230 South Nash Street, Hillsborough

Finalists: Linda’s Bar & Grill, The Northside District, Carolina Coffee Shop

Best Trivia Night in Wake County

Kings Dining and Entertainment
141 Park at North Hills Street, Raleigh

Finalists: Hammered Trivia, The Stag’s Head, Krafty’s Burgers and Brews