Real Scoop, with its old fashioned theme and checkerboard, claimed Best Shop in the ninth annual Taste of Downtown, greeting customers at the door with a gentleman in a tuxedo and passing out free smoothies and ice cream cones.
Word spread like wildfire about Molly's Gourmet Catering and Cooking school, which took Best Discovery honors during Saturday's event, according to Lisa Lee, executive director of Advocates to End Domestic Violence.
"I knew about Molly's before I ever got to that end of town," Lee said. "Molly's almost took every category."
Word of mouth was spreading like wildfire among trolley riders about Molly's and of the gift baskets being given out by Garibaldi's, Lee said.
The annual Taste of Downtown benefits Advocates to help pay for a 51-bed shelter as well as domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs. This year the event brought in about $27,000.
"It will help get us through the cold winter that's coming," Lee said. "You can't believe it on a hot day, but the snow will be falling."
Advocates to End Domestic Violence is a nonprofit organization. Volunteers staff crisis hotlines 24 hours a day. They also operate a thrift shop, support groups, legal aid, children's groups, parenting classes, peer counseling, individual counseling and help coordinate referrals.
Comma Coffee won Best Atmosphere out of the nearly 21 restaurants and more than 20 downtown shops, and B'Sghetti's took the award for Best Overall. Crazy Burrito landed Best Taste and the Mile High Jazz Band was dubbed Best Band.
Lee said in addition to the 1,500 ticket holders, another 3,000 residents and visitors joined in.
"People show up to listen to the bands," she said. "Visitors driving through town stopped to see what was going on. It makes it a downtown street festival.
"It's really good for all the businesses down there; it helps pull people in. You'd never believe how many people have lived here their entire life and never been to Heiss' (Steak and Seafood House).
"My son walked away telling me it was the best steak he'd ever had and that it was better than mine. He said, 'Mom it just melted in my mouth.' Now he wants to go there for his birthday.
"This was the Crazy Burrito's first year. They did really well. He was really happy. My husband's had lunch twice there this week. He's hooked on their tacos now."
Comma Coffee, 312 S. Carson St.
318 N. Carson St.
Molly's Gourmet Catering and Cooking School
220 W. John St.
1217 S. Carson St.
933 Woodside Drive
Mile High Jazz Band