Bygone Best


Best job in town

Some suggestions for prime employment were: manager of the new convention center or Fred Whiddon’s job as president of the University of South Alabama.

Best new product on the market

VCR code numbers

Worst news

Cholera discovered in Perdido Bay

Best new building

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, designed by Harvey Gandler, AIA

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Biggest eyesore

Sheraton Battle House on Royal Street

Worst historic preservation news

The Battle House dilemma continued. Also, as the year came to an end, more talk of demolition of the German Relief Hall mounted.


Best local monument

The Admiral Semmes statue, recommissioned to stand watch proudly at the foot of Government Street, won the hearts of most locals as best monument.

Worst thing to happen to local media

The new Mobile Register trying to print color

Worst news story of the year

Fire at the German Relief Hall

Best new venture

The convention center or anything Joe Bullard does

Best law passed that encourages business

Sunday beer sales

Best place to buy a gift



Best new restaurant

The newest, The Bakery was far and away the favorite.

Best produce market

Shop Easy, the spin-off enterprise of a former produce manager at the legendary B&H, where Sheriff Ray Bridges encouraged everybody to squeeze the melons, even on Sundays

Best local club band

Velvet Melon, closely followed by the reggae of Banana Republic

Best opera

“Tosca.” Anything the Mobile Opera produces is award-winning quality, but this production was a special crowd-pleaser.

Worst news for historic preservation

Burning of Leinkauf School

Most attractive debutante

Hallie Hollingsworth Editor’s Note: Now Hallie Hollingsworth Croom, the noted deb was honored this year as one of MB’s Forty Under 40.

Stupidest local law

No high heels downtown and cats on leashes


Best seafood

Although every seafood restaurant in two counties was mentioned, Nan Seas on the Western Shore (now gone) was the winner.

Best local dish

Readers voted that gumbo best expresses the diversity of Mobile. One reader who obviously misunderstood the category voted for WPMI weather woman Tammy Coburn.

Best place to find a date

Try the aisles of Delchamps.

Best use for the Battle House

Celia Wallace has the right idea: Restore the Battle House to its former grandeur as an elegant hotel with restaurants and shopping.


Best radio station

The new ZEW, 92.1 FM

Best news of the year

Truly good news for Mobile included a healthy economy, low interest rates and low unemployment.

Best concert

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince rocked the Civic Center with “1999, ” “Raspberry Beret” and more.

Best trend in Mobile

Downtown revitalization was the No. 1 response. Also worth mentioning: more inclusiveness, yoga and women wearing less makeup!


Best of Bay took a break this year, as worried MB editors devoted their time to planning a Y2K fallout shelter.


Best fashion trend

Capri pants (Other notable trends included school uniforms, casual Fridays and Billy Bob teeth, which haven’t made it to Spring Hill yet.)

Worst local trend

A drugstore on every corner


Worst new food trend

Sushi. Apparently, Mobilians couldn’t stomach artistically arranged raw fish. They preferred the decidedly funkier oyster.

Worst news of the year

Election recount (or, as one reader put it, “election interruptus.”)

Most colorful character

The peanut man


Best place for late-night, after-theater dinners

Watch out, Ruth’s Chris — after only 28 days of business, the new Café 615 on Dauphin Street made a respectable run for best overall restaurant, before settling to be named as Mobile’s best late-night hangout.

Best high school athlete

A tie between Matt Pierce (UMS-Wright) and Jamarcus Russell (Williamson High)

Most surprising political win

Steve Nodine over Charlie Waller for District 7 City Council seat

Best new politician

Connie Hudson


Best fishing hole

The Gulf of Mexico

Best new politician

Steve Nodine

Worst economic news

Paper mill closings


Best littleknown restaurant /Best-kept secret

Callaghan’s Irish Social Club

Best place for vegetarian food

It was surprising how many people not only left this category blank, but answered with a question mark. The best is served at Naturally Yours/Eats of Eden Café.

Best supermarket

The Fresh Market, still in its first year of operation in Mobile

Worst fashion trend

According to voters, piercings are the worst fashion faux pas. Other honorable mentions cited: mullets, tattoos, leggings, anything monogrammed and “half-dressed women.”


Best vegetarian restaurant

Those in the know said the best can be found at Jerusalem Café.

Best use of taxpayer money / Best economic news / Greatest expectation of the year

We liked what David Bronner and the RSA are doing in our city. The best use of taxpayer money and best economic news was the new cruise terminal.

Worst local news of the year

Ivan the terrible, the hurricane that hit in September. But at least it gave the younger generation some good hurricane stories to tell until the next big one hits.


Best local commercial

As he says in his commercials — which have featured everything from an elephant to Mary G. Montgomery cheerleaders — “Sandy Sansing can.”


Best place to meet singles

MB readers chose church as the choice spot to find someone special.


Best new building

The RSA Tower was the overwhelming winner.


Worst elected official

It’s a tie between Steve Nodine and Fred Richardson.

Worst use of taxpayer money

“Gigantic” MoonPies

Emmett Burnett

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