LINCOLN PARK — There's a new top place for tippling in Lincoln Park, literally.
The J. Parker, the rooftop bar at the Hotel Lincoln, was named Best Place to Drink in the inaugural Lincoln Park Top 10 Awards Monday night, in stiff competition over Frank's Bar, the Galway Arms, Knife & Tine and Marquee Lounge.
Tough competition typified a number of categories in the awards, sponsored by the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce.
Molly's Cupcakes won Best Place for Coffee & Sweets over Floriole Cafe & Bakery, Next Door Chicago, Sweet Mandy B's and Vanille Patisserie.
"It makes me feel really good," said Molly's owner Wolfy. "We've been here a really, really long time, and it's nice to still be appreciated. It's a great feeling, really."
Summer House Santa Monica was named Best Place to Dine over Geja's Cafe, Knife & Tine, Riccardo Trattoria and Stock Cafe at Local Foods.
Nookies won Best Place to Brunch over Knife & Tine, Orange Restaurant, Summer House Santa Monica and Toast.
In perhaps the most competitive category of all, Lincoln Park Zoo was named Best Place for Arts & Culture, topping the Chicago History Museum, Kingston Mines, Steppenwolf Theatre and Victory Gardens Biograph Theater.
The award ceremony, planned to become an annual event, took place at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted St., with WGN-AM's Patti Vasquez acting as master of ceremonies.
Green City Market was named a Neighborhood Champion as "a nonprofit organization, business or cause that has made a positive impact within the Lincoln Park community."
Kenneth Dotson, president of the Lincoln Central Association, was likewise named Neighborhood Champion as "a resident within the Lincoln Park neighborhood who has made a positive impact."
"So many people deserve it more than I did," Dotson said. "They all had other things to do tonight."
Dotson credited former 43rd Ward Ald. Vi Daley with actually getting him seriously and formally involved in Lincoln Park issues.
"People told me I had to know you!" Daley said in response. "We needed someone who cared, and you were the guy."
Other merchants were recognized as well. Westend Dental was named Best Neighborhood Service Provider over BankFinancial, Deljo Heating & Cooling, Seder Orthodontics and Vesta.
Dirk's Fish & Gourmet Shop was named Best Place to Shop over Akira, Art Effect, Climate Home and Local Foods.
And Natural Elements Salon was named Best Place to Get Fit & Refreshed, topping Chicago Chiropractic & Sports Injury Center, Kovo Salon, Roots Family Chiropractic and Teez'd Hair Salon.
Winners were determined in online voting from finalists selected by the chamber's Awards Committee.
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