Now that the Roll Call holiday gift and eating guide is out, it seems like as good a time as any to plug the Capitol Hill businesses, nonprofits and services that were recently honored at the Hilly Awards.
About 100 people milled about the Stars and Stripes Club on Nov. 16, drinking, snacking and chatting in a large room that overlooked Nationals Park from behind home plate.
"I love being part of this community. ... I love being the best damn hair salon on Capitol Hill," said Michael Anthony, whose eponymous salon won best the award for health and beauty service of the year.
Below is list of the 2013 winners followed by the runners-ups:
Best bar: Beuchert's Saloon. Runner-up: The Pug.
Best restaurant: Acqua Al 2. Runner-up: Belga Café.
Best retailer: Frager's Hardware. Runner-up: Hill's Kitchen.
Best health and beauty service: Michael Anthony Salon. Runner-up: Bubbles.
Best fitness service: Biker Barre. Runner-up: Results the Gym.
Best professional service: D.C. Access. Runner-up: National Capital Bank.
Best home and garden service: Frager's Garden Pad. Runner-up: Moody Landscape Architect.
Best arts organization: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital. Runner-up: Atlas Performing Arts Center.
Best nonprofit: Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Runner-up: Rural Dog Reserve.
Best cafe/coffee shop: Peregrine Espresso. Runner-up: Pound The Hill.
Best new restaurant: District Taco. Runner-up: Beuchert's Saloon.
Best new business: Hank's Oyster Bar. Runner-up: Beuchert's Saloon.
For the past four years, CHAMPS, which serves as Capitol Hill's own chamber of commerce, and its sponsors have celebrated the top local businesses in a event modeled after televised award shows.
After about two hours of socializing, the program got under way and the winners and runners-up in 12 categories collected their awards.
Recipients were allowed to give a small speech, but the awards portion of the night went quicker than expected with winners keeping it simple in their speeches.
The sentiment from the night was jovial, as winners thanked CHAMPS for the recognition and expressed gratitude to their staffs as well.
Most businesses also thanked Capitol Hill itself.
"We couldn't do it anywhere else other than Capitol Hill," quipped one winner.