Cheers Magazine Announces Winners of the 2010 Cheers Benchmark Awards

Mar 22, 2010, 10:00 ET from Cheers Magazine

NORWALK, Conn., March 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Cheers magazine, the premier on-premise beverage resource, announced the winners of its 2010 Cheers Benchmark Awards (Beverage Excellence Awards for non-chain hospitality establishments). Now in its fourth year, these awards were created to honor those independent establishments that are true drink destinations. The awards are presented in three categories: Best Wine Bar, Best Beer Bar and Best Cocktail Lounge.

To qualify, entrants must be independent operators, defined as concepts operating in no more than five locations and independently owned or part of a hotel or multi-concept restaurant company.

The winners of the 2010 Cheers Benchmark Awards are Best Wine Bar: BOKA Kitchen + Bar at the Hotel 1000, Seattle, Washington; Best Beer Bar: Belga Cafe, Washington D.C.; and Best Cocktail Lounge: Rickhouse, San Francisco. Each represents an outstanding independent operator who has been honored for a history of excellence in the beverage business.

Boka's impressive list spans international and Pacific Northwest wine offerings with great depth. Food and beverage director Jason Harris says he is proud his restaurant can "showcase wines that provide a mixture of local favorites, unique brands, and wines that we can offer at a tremendous value."  

Washington D.C.'s Belga Cafe offers an extensive list of beers from all around the world with a Belgian focus. Owner and chef Bart Vandaele explains that "diversity is what I want to show at my restaurant, Belga Cafe. Beer needs to be treated with respect. Every beer in its own glass, poured in the right way. I want to give a real beer-experience to my customers, something that is much more than a long list of names on your menu."

Rickhouse is the newest San Francisco bar from the Future Bars group of Bourbon & Branch fame. "Striving to thrill beyond our guests expectations of premium bar excellence in guest service and excellence in beverage service is what drives the Rickhouse team," says Rickhouse's general manager Erick Castro. "Rickhouse is purposefully non-glamorous in design and ambiance, but that earthy, downplayed, natural style is there to ensure the focus is what's in the glass."

For more information about Cheers magazine and the Cheers Benchmark Awards, contact Cheers Editor-in-Chief Liza Zimmerman at (415) 994-0130, or email or visit

SOURCE Cheers Magazine