by RYAN LOUGHLIN

Well, Atlantic City did it again. For an entire calendar year America’s Playground kept your drinks well poured, your dance floors hopping and your weekends rowdy. There were megaclubs and corner bars, new casinos and exciting headliners all packing into this seaside town for one reason — to keep you entertained to have the time of your lives. To honor all those folks who made those wild nights possible, Atlantic City Weekly will host the 2019 Nightlife Awards Thursday, Feb. 21, at Boogie Nights at Tropicana Atlantic City.

We the critics, along with thousands of readers, cast votes for who is the best of the best when it comes to Atlantic City’s nightlife scene, and now the votes are in. Over 50 categories in total will be presented, with awards ranging from Best Tequila Bar to Nightclub of the Year. And each will be honored live onstage.

What else can you expect from the Nightlife Awards? A party like no other! The night will start at 7 p.m. with a private VIP hour featuring live entertainment by Shaun LaBoy and Stephen Vogt as well as Quasimodo’s Bride. General admission begins at 8 p.m. with the awards kicking off at 8:30. Throughout the night guests can expect an array of exciting live performances by such top- notch acts as the Dancing Under the Atlantic City Stars Dancers, cast members from Boogie Nights, Diva Royale, Miss’d America and more!

Want drink specials? We got em. Stoli and Red Bull, Cruzan Rum and Red Bull Coconut Berry and Bourbon Boogie cocktails can all be had for just $8, while Perfect Patron Margaritas are $10.

Wondering who the big winners are? OK here they are… well, most of them anyway. The winners of the biggest awards will be announced onstage at the Nightlife Awards, so you are just going to have to come down in person for those. As for the rest…

ENTERTAINMENT

(PRESENTED BY A.C. WEEKLY EDITOR PAMELA DOLLAK AND ASSOCIATE EDITOR RYAN LOUGHLIN)

Best casino lounge act: Readers’ Choice: Beth Tinnon; Critics’ Choice: Shaun LaBoy

Best casino lounge bar for live entertainment: Readers’ Choice: Bar One; Critics’ Choice: Lobby Bar at Hard Rock

Best club dancers: Readers’ Choice: Boogie Nights; Critics’ Choice: Premier

Best comedian: Readers’ Choice: Michelle Tomko; Critics’ Choice: Zachary Pickert

Best concert venue: Readers’ Choice: Dante Hall; Critics’ Choice: Mark G. Etess Arena, Hard Rock

Best dance floor: Readers’ Choice: Boogie Nights; Critics’ Choice: Eden Lounge

Best festival: Readers’ Choice: Elephants for Autism; Critics’ Choice: A.C. Beer & Music Fest

Best karaoke/open mic spot: Readers’ Choice: JD’s Pub; Critics’ Choice: Planet Rose

Best local band: Readers’ Choice: Quasimodo’s Bride; Critics’ Choice: LeCompt

Best bar/restaurant for live local entertainment: Readers’ Choice: Watering Hole; Critics’ Choice: Proud Mary’s

Best DJ: Readers’ Choice: Jerry Blavat

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

(PRESENTED BY PRESIDENT OF HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO, JOE LUPO)

ALLEN VALENTINE

Allen Valentine’s love of the stage began as a young boy in Long Island when his mother purchased a magic set for him. That would prove to be the spark that would set off a lifelong career in showbiz. Valentine spent years performing his magic act around Manhattan and went on to become the resident magician at the former Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, eventually producing and starring in his own production.

Today Valentine serves as head of Elite Casino Marketing Group and continues to produce casino shows such as “Motor City Live — A Motown Tribute” at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City as well as the “Burlesque Show” at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

FOOD & DRINK

(Presented by owner of STW Hospitality Lee Sanchez and owner of The Iron Room Mark Callazzo)

Best bartender: Readers’ Choice: Ryan Beane at Watering Hole; Critics’ Choice: Brian Zara at The Iron Room

Best beer list (casino): Readers’ Choice: Firewaters; Critics’ Choice: Chickie’s & Pete’s (Trop)

Best beer list (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall; Critics’ Choice: Wingcraft

Best cocktail bar (casino): Readers’ Choice: Margaritaville; Critics’ Choice: Wolfgang Puck American Grille

Best cocktail bar (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: The Iron Room; Critics’ Choice: MaDe Atlantic City Chocolate Bar

Best happy hour (casino): Readers’ Choice: Chart House; Critics’ Choice: Robert’s Steakhouse

Best happy hour (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Fred & Ethel’s; Critics’ Choice: The Taproom Bar and Grille at A.C. Country Club

Best late night munchies: Readers’ Choice: Hi Point Pub; Critics’ Choice: Tony’s Baltimore Grill

Best tequila bar: Readers’ Choice: Los Amigos; Critics’ Choice: Tacos el Tio

Best wine list (casino): Readers’ Choice: The Palm; Critics’ Choice: Il Verdi

Best wine list (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: The Iron Room; Critics’ Choice: Angeloni’s II

GUYS & GIRLS STUFF

(PRESENTED BY WOND ON-AIR PERSONALITY DAVID SPATZ AND SPECIAL GUEST)

Best girls’ night out (casino): Readers’ Choice: HQ2; Critics’ Choice: Cuba Libre

Best girls’ night out (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Maynard’s; Critics’ Choice: VÜE

Best guys’ night out (casino): Readers’ Choice: Scores; Critics’ Choice: Villain & Saint

Best guys’ night out (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Vagabond Kitchen & Tap House; Critics’ Choice: Bourre

Best place to pop the question: Readers’ Choice: Steve & Cookie’s by the Bay; Critics’ Choice: Sofia Restaurant

Best sports bar (casino): Readers’ Choice: Hooters; Critics’ Choice: DraftKings Sportsbook

Best sports bar (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Chickie’s & Pete’s (EHT); Critics’ Choice: Tailgaters

BARS & NIGHTCLUBS

(PRESENTED BY SEAN PATRICK of 103.7 WMGM ROCKS AND HEATHER DELUCA OF SOJO 104.9)

Best beach/pool bar: Readers’ Choice: Landshark Bar & Grill; Critics’ Choice: Laguna Grill & Rum Bar

Best bottle service: Readers’ Choice: HQ2; Critics’ Choice: The Pool After Dark

Best daylife: Readers’ Choice: HQ2

Best Irish bar: Readers’ Choice: Irish Pub; Critics’ Choice: Josie Kelly’s Public House

Best LGBTQ spot: Readers’ Choice: Maynard’s Critics’ Choice: Rainbow Room

Best local’s bar: Readers’ Choice: Riverside Tavern; Critics’ Choice: Charlie’s Bar & Restaurant

Best outdoor/deck bar: Readers’ Choice: The Deck at Golden Nuggwet; Critics’ Choice: Sweetwater Riverdeck

Best swanky bar/lounge: Readers’ Choice: Gypsy Bar; Critics’ Choice: Knife and Fork Inn

Best after hours spot (casino): Readers’ Choice: Bally’s Wild Wild West; Critics’ Choice: Anthem Lounge

Best after hours spot (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Hi Point Pub; Critics’ Choice: Ducktown Tavern

Best industry night: Readers’ Choice: The Pool After Dark; Critics’ Choice: Haven

ADULTS ONLY

(PRESENTED BY OWNER OF PENA PRODUCTIONS DAVE PENA AND DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AT SHORE MEDICAL CENTER BRIAN CAHILL)

Best dive bar: Readers’ Choice: Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall; Critics’ Choice: Bulldogs

Best hook-up bar (casino): Readers’ Choice: Mountain Bar/Party Pit; Critics’ Choice: Gypsy Bar

Best hook-up bar (non-casino): Readers’ Choice: Wonder Bar; Critics’ Choice: Caroline’s By The Bay

Best cougar club: Readers’ Choice: Boogie Nights; Critics’ Choice: Clancy’s By The Bay

Best strip club: Readers’ Choice: Centerfolds; Critics’ Choice: Bare Exposure

BEST OF THE BEST (to be announced at the event)

(PRESENTED BY CITY COUNCIL PRESIDENT MARTY SMALL, PUBLISHER OF PRESS OF A.C. MARK BLUM, RADIO PERSONALITY AND DIRECTOR OF ENTERTAINMENT PUBLICATIONS SCOTT CRONICK)

Best daylife nominees: The Deck, Bally’s Beach Bar, H20, Laguna Grill & Rum Bar, HQ2

Best DJ nominees: Paul Castro, Chris Devine, Johnny B, Patrice McBride, Vito G

Bar of the Year nominees: The Iron Room, The Deck at Golden Nugget, Ducktown Tavern, Gypsy Bar, Wingcraft

Local Legend nominees: Gregory’s, Charlie’s, Yesterday’s, Ventura’s Greenhouse

Nightclub of the Year nominees: Haven, Premier, Anthem Lounge, HQ2, The Pool, Boogie Nights

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