June 14, 2012

2012 Audience Readers' Poll: The Winners

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20120530_Poll
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Best Place for Family Entertainment: International Cryptozoology Museum

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Best Take-Out Restaurant: The Buttered Biscuit

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Second place: Gritty McDuff's, Portland, Freeport and Auburn

Honorable mention: Sea Dog Brewing Co., South Portland, Bangor and Topsham

BEST TATTOO PARLOR

Pins & Needles

259 Saint John St., Portland, and 193 Main St., Biddeford

774-8282, 284-4828; pinsandneedlesportland.com

Two locations. If you get a tattoo of your girlfriend's name at the Biddeford location, you can think about what else she might like as part of the artwork -- maybe a dahlia or a puppy perhaps? -- as you drive back to Portland. Then you can go to the Portland location and get the extra work done.

Second place: Sanctuary Tattoo & Art Gallery, Portland 

BEST BOWLING ALLEY

Bayside Bowl

58 Alder St., Portland

791-2695; baysidebowl.com

Bayside Bowl is bowling for the social media/multi-tasking generation. There are bowling alleys, a bar, a restaurant and live music -- all in one spot. No more wasting time driving from the bar to the restaurant to the bowling alley to the club.

Second place: Vacationland Bowling Center, Saco

Honorable mention: Big 20 Bowling Center, Scarborough 

BEST DRIVE-IN

Saco Drive-In Theater

969 Portland Road (Route 1), Saco

284-1016; on.fb.me/LGfZJt

Thank goodness Maine has people who care enough to keep drive-in theaters open. In much of the country, they are extinct, but we've still got choices around here. If you've never sat in the open air experiencing a movie and munching popcorn, you really ought to try it.

Second place: Pride's Corner Drive-In, Westbrook

Honorable mention: Bridgton Twin Drive-In, Bridgton 

BEST PLACE FOR FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

International Cryptozoology Museum

11 Avon St., Portland

518-9496; cryptozoologymuseum.com

The world's only cryptozoology museum is right in downtown Portland. Learn about the search for Bigfoot and other beasts that may or may not exist.

Second place: Funtown Splashtown USA, Saco

Honorable mention: Joker's, Portland and Auburn

BEST LIVE MUSIC VENUE

State Theatre

609 Congress St., Portland

956-6000; statetheatreportland.com

It's hard to beat this restored 1929 movie palace as a place to see live music. Not to mention they bring in everybody from Snoop Dogg to Fiona Apple to play there.

Second place: Merrill Auditorium, Portland

Honorable mention: One Longfellow Square, Portland 

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Cinemagic

Locations in South Portland, Westbrook and Saco

cinemagicmovies.com

Cinemagic theaters around here are comfortable and have all the hottest flicks. Nickelodeon (second place) is nice because it's right downtown, and you can't say that about many movie theaters these days.

Second place: Nickelodeon, Portland

Honorable mention: Smitty's Cinema, Biddeford and Sanford 

BEST LIVE THEATER

Portland Stage

25A Forest Ave., Portland

774-0465; portlandstage.org

The largest professional theater in Maine, Portland Stage is constantly presenting new and interesting works. And it's been doing so since 1974.

Second place: Maine State Music Theatre, Brunswick

Honorable mention: Merrill Auditorium, Portland 

BEST RADIO STATION

99.9 The Wolf (WTHT and WBQQ, 99.9 and 99.3 FM)

477 Congress St., Portland

797-0780; 999thewolf.com

The Wolf is a country music station with a very lively morning show hosted by Dave Winsor and Michelle Taylor. Second-place MPBN is the state's public broadcaster with news and public affairs, while third-place Q97.9 is the hits station, also with a lively morning show. So I guess when it comes to radio, Mainers like a little bit of everything.

Second place: Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Honorable mention: Q97.9 (WJBQ, 97.9 FM), Portland 

-- Compiled by Ray Routhier, Staff Writer

 

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Additional Photos

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Best Live Music Venue: State Theatre

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Best Dine-In Restaurant: Fore Street

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Best Outdoor Dining, Best Lobster Roll: The Lobster Shack at Two Lights

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Best Live Theater: Portland Stage

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Best Bowling Alley: Bayside Bowl

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