Best of Springfield winners: Who’s best local restaurant, pizza, more

A ceremony this week will honor numerous small and local businesses who provide services to area residents ranging from fine dining to landscaping.

The Chamber of Greater Springfield’s annual Best of Springfield event is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 19, at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown. The event, now in its third year, will recognize businesses in more than 30 categories, said Chris Schutte, vice-president of destination marketing and communications for the chamber.

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The event primarily focused on restaurants and entertainment options when it started, Schutte said. But organizers have since tried to create new categories to allow a wider variety of local businesses to take part. This year, popular categories like best pizza and best fine dining remain. But categories such as best historic building, best contractor, best social media and best customer service were added.

“We’ve tried to rotate in and out some new categories over the past couple of years,” Schutte said. “We’re trying to widen the scope of the contest a little bit.”

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Voting was conducted online and allowed residents to suggest their own favorites instead of requiring them to pick from a list of finalists. The event has drawn more than 3,000 votes from individual residents in Clark County each year it has been offered, he said. The winners will be unveiled Thursday night.

Deborah Linz of ABC 22 in Dayton will serve as the master of ceremonies. Several of the finalists will also provide food stations during the ceremony. Outside the Hollenbeck Bayley Center, Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co. will provide a beer garden for guests.

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“We’re trying to create more of a social component,” Schutte said. “This is unlike a lot of other events you attend. We want people to get up, socialize and network with other people.”

A Best of Springfield magazine will also be available the night of the event.

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