Welcome to our biggest issue of the year: the Best of Tucson®.
While I have a lot more about the issue to say in the official BOT intro, I wanted to use this space to again thank you, the Best of Tucson® voters, for understanding that valuing local businesses is important.
The businesses you voted into the top spots are, with very few exceptions, local businesses. Check out the Comida section: In the dozen categories, 11 winners are local. In Restaurants, 17 of 19 winners are local. (And one of the other two is an Arizona-based chain, at least.)
Haters gonna hate, and they'll focus on the wins by Rubio's and Fleming's. They won't note the fact that you can count all of the nonlocal businesses that even placed in those sections, combined, on two hands—and have a couple of fingers to spare.
"Best Of" issues in other cities aren't like this. I see a fair number of "Best Of" publications from other communities, done by both dailies and alternative newsweeklies, and chains finish first quite often. But not in this "Best Of" issue. You get it. That's a good thing.
And now, I have a challenge: If there's a business spotlighted in this issue that you like, but have not patronized recently, make a point to go there. It always pains me when I have to type in "no longer in business" instead of an address, or compile the "R.I.P." votes (as I had to do for J Bar and Grill this year). Prove that you don't just value local businesses; show that you actually support them.
Anyway, here's the Best of Tucson® 26. Enjoy.