Wow, what a year.
(...Is it only July?)
In March, we stopped leaving home almost entirely as the state went on COVID-19 lockdown. In May, we exploded from our shelters, taking to the streets to protest the murder of George Floyd and igniting a global reckoning with systemic racism. Our daily reality now would have been unrecognizable six months ago.
All of which is to say: Not all categories in this year’s Best of the Twin Cities issue are exactly relevant. Some of them might never be again! How do we approach “Best Service” when for many, eating inside a restaurant is a source of anxiety and conflict? Both our divey “Best New Bar” and classy “Best Fine Dining” winners pivoted to hot dogs over the past few months... why differentiate between the two?
Well, because all of this year’s winners achieved a lot as they were. That shouldn’t—and didn’t—go unacknowledged.
Due to COVID-19, the uprising, or the uncertainty in the aftermath of both, we’ve lost plenty of beloved businesses—for now or forever—that might otherwise be here today. Many are receiving posthumous awards, and in cases where we know they’s gone for good, we’ve noted as much. (But please, call or go online for the most up-to-date information. Not being able to go inside means we haven’t fact-checked some of this since March, and a lot has changed since then.)
These are strange and challenging times. But we still have plenty to celebrate. Let’s do so as we work to build a better and more just future together.