Cheers erupted and noisemakers clanged loudly as a gaggle of employees and administration who had gathered inside Dad’s Restaurant in Wallingford final Thursday evening realized that Dad’s had been named Greatest Breakfast Restaurant within the 2020 version of the Report-Journal Readers’ Selection Awards.

The restaurant additionally took the highest spot in the identical class in 2019. 

Dad’s had additionally been nominated within the Greatest Pancake and Greatest Breakfast Sandwich classes. When a reporter remarked that he hadn’t but tried Dad’s breakfast sandwich, proprietor Chrissy Barton remarked with a smile, “Effectively, you need to.”

The occasion, which is historically held on the Aqua Turf Membership in Southington, was held in a digital format because of limits on massive public gatherings that had been enacted to decelerate the unfold of COVID-19. At some companies nominated for awards, homeowners, administration and workers selected to collect for small group viewing events. Late evening discuss present host James Corden was the occasion’s digital emcee, delivering snappy quips through the hour-long video-streamed occasion. Corden additionally delivered his personal homage to native companies.

“We’re excited to have one thing to have fun … We’re unhappy that we will’t be collectively, truthfully,” he mentioned. “Native companies are the lifeblood of America … native companies preserve our communities going, your nook eating places, your neighborhood shops, your favourite florist, these are the locations you stroll into and know you’re going to get the non-public service you recognize you deserve.”

Corden famous that the occasion acknowledges “the individuals who make a distinction in our lives each day.” 

He added, tongue-in-cheek, “Personally, I want to thank the individuals who make sweatpants, hand sanitizer, and individuals who ship something.”

Up the highway from Dad’s on South Broad Avenue in Meriden, one other viewing occasion was happening within the Report-Journal newsroom. A small group of Report-Journal employees members, together with the paper’s writer Liz White Notarangelo, who additionally serves as writer of The Cheshire Herald, clinked champagne glasses whereas honoring native institutions. 

“We’re unhappy we will’t be collectively,” White Notorangelo mentioned. “However it’s good to have the ability to have fun the companies … they deserve this recognition.” 

General, some 200 awards in classes starting from health and beauty, eating, buying, high employers, and extra, had been introduced from over 600 nominees. 

Dad’s employees members cheered and nodded in approval as a few of their favorites had been named winners in different classes, together with Colony Diner & Restaurant, which had earned readers’ nods for its early-bird specials.

Halfway by the occasion, musicians from “Tina: The Tina Turner Musical” on Broadway, carried out a hovering rendition of “The Greatest,” Turner’s traditional 1989 hit.

The occasion usually doesn’t embrace acceptance remarks after every award. Nonetheless, Barton was requested, if she had been to ship such a comment, what would she say?

“I’d say, particularly this yr, I’d say, thanks for all of the help. As a result of it’s been a tricky yr. It actually was,” Barton mentioned, noting how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted companies like hers. “We’ve been right here. We’ve stayed open for the entire thing, once we had been doing simply take out and supply. … Thanks to everybody for taking the time to vote.”

Barton described the everyday Readers’ Selection occasion as a tremendous evening. Thursday evening’s gathering was nonetheless an gratifying affair. 

“All people is having fun with it,” Barton mentioned. “It’s good. We’re all right here collectively.” 

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