Voting for the bracket-style, college basketball-inspired competition among the area’s restaurants starts today.
This year, there are twelve businesses, and so Jacksonville Main Street Executive Director Judy Tighe explains that they’ll have an open-round scramble to get into the “Elite Eight.” First round-voting lasts until March 17th. A “Final Four” and then a championship will follow.
This is the second year for the event. Last year, 16 eateries were involved.
Tighe says like last year, the restaurants will have some sort of specialty dish to help voters make their decision.
“I think a couple of them have come up with something that’s not necessarily a regular menu item, and they’re kind of trying it out, and if it goes over really well, they may consider adding it to regular menu lineup,” says Tighe.
Lonzerotti’s beat out The Frozen Penguin last year. They’re involved this year, along with 16 Plates at KJB’s Pinthaus, Annabel Lee’s Tea Room, Bahan’s Tavern, Charlie’s Coffee and Cones, Lahey’s, Leo’s Pizza, Norma’s North Star Café, On the Rox, Taco Gringo, and The Irish Toad.
Tighe says there are a lot of positives to this competition, which is why Jacksonville Main Street is running it again.
“Spend more time downtown; also, encouraging people to get in the habit of going online, going to Facebook, going to websites to get information,” she says. “All of these businesses have some form of online presence.”
You can vote at www.jacksonvillemainstreet.com. To be eligible, you have to first register.
New this year, customers can register at any of the locations for a $25 gift certificate drawing that’s good at all twelve spots.