The Gaslamp Quarter serves locals and visitors 365 days a year, abundant with restaurants, bars, shops and community events to entertain through the seasons. Every fall, the Gaslamp Quarter Association (GQA) presents an awards ceremony to honor the businesses that make our city great.
The 18th Annual Lamplighter Awards took place on Tuesday, November 13 at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter. San Diego’s usual casual style was upgraded for black tie swagger, as downtown’s entrepreneurs of all avenues dressed up and gathered together to celebrate the district’s continued success with a cocktail reception, sit-down dinner, awards ceremony and live auction.
Representatives from GQA member businesses selected the winners from a public-nominated roster. In addition to ‘Best of’ titles for every entertainment genre from steakhouse to nightclub, five honorary awards were presented to stand-out individuals and organizations. The San Diego Padres received the GQA President’s Award, while Mayor Jerry Sanders was awarded special recognition for Commitment to San Diego & the Gaslamp Quarter. Café Sevilla received the Milestone Award for 25 years of excellence in the Gaslamp Quarter, and Chris Cramer of Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and Michael B. Kelly of Young’s Market Company received special recognition for community leadership and commitment to the Gaslamp Quarter, respectively.
Antonio Friscia of Gaijin Noodle + Sake House, and formerly of The Restaurant at Stingaree, received the award for Chef of the Year. (pictured) As a bonus, Friscia’s restaurant Gaijin also took home the award for Favorite Asian Cuisine. More foodie winners were La Puerta for Favorite Mexican, Oceanaire for Favorite Seafood and Donovan’s for Favorite Steakhouse.
During the Lamplighter Awards, the spotlight is on new arrivals to the Gaslamp scene. The Verant Group’s barleymash came out on top with Best New Venue, while Tease Boutique was awarded Best New Retailer. Another newcomer The American Comedy Co. took home Favorite Venue for Live Music or Comedy.
FLUXX was a big winner, awarded with Favorite Nightclub for the third year in a row. (pictured) More nightlife award winners included Side Bar for Favorite Lounge, Analog for Favorite Bar and DJhere for Favorite Nightclub Promoter. And for hospitality, the Hard Rock Hotel won Favorite Gaslamp Hotel.
Congratulations to all the 2012 Lamplighter Awards winners!
View more photos in our gallery of 2012 Lamplighter Awards photos.