FLASHBACK: A Look Back at Best-Of Readers’ Polls of the Past

Metroland’s annual readers’ poll was published on Thursday (April 10). Capital Region Living has recently published its annual readers’ poll. And The Times Union is currently asking you to weigh in on their 2014 readers’ poll.

After scrutinizing them, there are just two things we can say:

1.) The more things change, the more they stay the same. Last year, The Times Union printed a round-up of 28 winners – everything from Best Hot Dog (Gus’s, Troy) to Best Ski Resort (Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, Hancock) – that have won their categories for five consecutive years.

2.) The more things change, the more things change. From the ever-evolving business landscape to fickle allegiances, it seems as though the Nippertown scene is in a constant state of flux.

So we thought it might be fun to dig into the archives to take a peek at a few randomly selected categories of Local 518 readers’ polls from years past.

Here’s some of what we found:

Best Live Music Venue (Small): GE Theatre at Proctors, Schenectady
Best Movie Theater: Regal Colonie Center Stadium 13, Colonie
Best Band: Hair of the Dog
Best Print Journalist: Kristi Gustafson Barlette, The Times Union
Best Radio Station: WFLY-FM
Best Pizza: Kay’s Pizza, Averill Park
Best Shopping Mall: Colonie Center
Best Book Store: Barnes and Noble, Colonie Center
Best Local Grocery Store: Price Chopper
Best Family Restaurant: Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In, Scotia

Best Chicken Wings: The Ale House, Troy
Best Ice Cream Stand: Kurver Kreme, Albany
Best Band: Hair of the Dog
Best Concert Hall: Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy
Best Used Book Store: Bookbarn, Latham
Best Gift Shop: Wit’s End Giftique, Clifton Park
Beast Karaoke: Dunzy’s Place, Rotterdam
Best Music Store: Last Vestige Music Shop, Albany
Best Chocolate Shop: Uncle Sam’s All American Chocolate Factory, Schenectady
Best Pub: Brown’s Brewing Co., Troy

Best Diner: Miss Albany
Best Beer Selection: Mahar’s
Best Local Visual Artist: Val Tran
Best Open Mic: Tess’ Lark Tavern
Best Local Blues/R&B Band: Ernie Williams
Best Local Rock Band: Super 400
Best Local Radio DJ: Ralph Renna
Best Public Official: Jerry Jennings
Best Live Music Venue: Revolution Hall
Best Local Solo Musician: Erin Harkes

Best Brew Pub for the Beer: The Big House, Albany
Best Place to Eat Outside: Cranberry Bog, Albany
Best Annual Festival: Tulip Festival
Best Cheap Date: Cine 10, Albany
Best Pick-Up Joint: Fender’s, Colonie
Best Radio Host: Mason & Sheehan
Best Band: The Refrigerators
Best TV Anchor: Chris Kapostasy
Best Comfortable Movie Theater: Spectrum 4, Albany
Best Men’s Clothing Store: Spector’s, Albany

Best Local Band: Ernie Williams & the Wildcats
Best Art Gallery: Lulu, Albany
Best Local Radio DJ: Mason & Sheehan
Best Local Sports Team: Albany River Rats
Best Dance Club: QE2
Best Hamburger: Sutter’s Mill & Mining Co.
Best Used Record Store: Media Play at Crossgates Mall
Best Video Rental Store: Blockbuster Video
Best Musical Instrument Store: Drome Sound
Best Vegetarian Restaurant: Mother Earth’s Cafe, Albany

NOTE: There’s still time to vote in The Times Union’s 2014 Readers’ Poll. Paper ballots are due today (Friday, April 11), but online voting continues through the deadline of 12noon on Thursday, April 24.

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