Last night, the folks in charge of San Francisco's nightlife industry gathered at the Castro Theatre for the Nitey Awards -- their unrepentantly profane, leather-daddy-and-drag-queen-filled, heavily intoxicated version of the Oscars.
In an atmosphere thick with glossy dance music and heavy with the smell of buttered popcorn, the awards -- overseen by Entertainment Commissioners Jocelyn Kane, Audrey Joseph, and event producer Negar Siadatnejad, distributed awards in 23 categories for the awards' second annual edition. All of them were judged by "industry professionals" during visits to the nominated places. Hosts Michelle Meow of Swirl Radio and Liam Mayclem of CBS 5 introduced the awards in a ceremony that lasted more than two hours, in no small part due to the popularity of cocktail jokes among presenters. One highlight was hearing S.F. Police Chief Greg Suhr expound on his and his officers' love of Irish bars -- and tell Mayclem (an
Brit Irishman who speaks with an English accent) that his feigned actual (our mistake) Irishness was "bullshit." (Everyone cheered.)
By the end, when former Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin was honored as the Iconic Person of the Year, much of the audience had already decamped to the Beaux to resume cocktailing at the official afterparty. But here are the nominees, and here's who won, plus a few funny things that were said:
Best Hotel Bar: Chambers at the Phoenix Hotel
Best Happy Hour: Mars Bar and Restaurant
Best Venue for Sound: Audio Discotech
Best Gay Dance Club: Club OMG
"I'd have a lot of competition for the best wiener in this neighborhood" -- Sup. Scott Wiener.
Best Irish Bar: O'Reilly's
Best Neighborhood Bar: The Riptide
Best Sports Bar: Hi Tops
Best Late Night Food: Golden Boy Pizza
Best Beer: Mikkeller Bar
Best Cocktail Lounge: Trick Dog
Best Adult Entertainment: Hustler Club
Best Wine Bar: Bluxome Street Winery
Best New Venue: Tie: Wild Hare and Beaux
Best Club Promoters: Sunset Promotions
"Thank god we're not fucking Arizona!" -- Parker Gibbs, aka DJ Foodcourt
Best Drag Queen: Donna Sachet
Best Mixologist: Kate Bolton of Maven
Best Gay Bar: The Lookout
Best Variety of Offerings: Madrone Art Bar
Excellence in Philanthropy, Individual: Gary Virginia
Excellence in Philanthropy, Business: The Lookout
Best Small Dance Club: Monarch
Best Large Dance Club: Mighty
"I hate it when I hear the journalists say it's a little dead right now. Things are very much alive." -- Jay Siegan, owner of the Red Devil Lounge, which recently closed after 19 years.
Best Small Live Venue: Bottom of the Hill
Best Large Live Venue: The Regency Ballroom
Iconic Person Award: Joel Selvin, SF Chronicle
"... the last of the real music reporters..." -- from the video introducing Joel Selvin.