Each year, the local newspaper in Bloomington, Illinois (The Pantagraph) hosts a Readers’ Choice voting contest to let the community nominate, vote, and decide their top choices for a variety of businesses, products, and services. On September 17th, when the 2023 awards were announced, Flingers secured a record-setting 8 first place victories, and scored a clean sweep of the categories in which we were nominated.
Flingers has been named the Best Overall Restaurant in Bloomington, IL for the 4th year in a row. In a town known for its restaurants, there are a lot of great local spots (Epiphany Farms, Biaggis, Mystic Kitchen, Fort Jesse Café…just to name a few), and we’re humbled and honored to steward the top spot again in 2023 as Bloomington-Normal’s Best Restaurant.
Flingers has been named the Best Pizza in Bloomington, IL for 2023, which means we’ve now won first place in this category 6 out of the last 7 years. Pizza is the centerpiece of what we do, so it’s always extra special to win this award and be named the Best Pizza in Bloomington-Normal.
Flingers has been named the Best Bar in Bloomington, IL for the 7th year in a row. There are plenty of interesting bars in Bloomington-Normal, but Flingers has tried to be equal parts “craft beer bar” and “creative craft cocktail bar.” You won’t find taps devoted to domestic macrobrews at Flingers. Rather, each of our 27 taps pours craft beer (much of it local!). Similarly, you won’t find the traditional fully-stocked wall of liquor at Flingers. Rather, we stock a small variety of select spirits and make the most creative cocktails in town. In short, if you’re looking for a Coors Light draft or a Jack & Coke, Flingers isn’t your bar. But if you’re looking for craft beer and creative cocktails, Flingers is your bar. Our community knows we don’t have a traditional bar, and apparently likes our craft spin on it, since we’ve now been named Best Bar in Bloomington, IL for the 7th consecutive year.
Jules Miller has been named the Best Bartender in Bloomington, IL for the 2nd year in a row. Some bartenders have fantastic personalities, but most of the time, they’re just handing you a bottle of beer. Other bartenders are exceptionally skilled at making cocktails, but are always in a hurry and aren’t very personable. Jules, however, is the best of all worlds. She’s incredibly creative, coming up with most of the cocktails that appear in the Monthly Fling in a given year. Since the Flingers bar does both craft beer and craft cocktails, she’s versatile…meaning she knows her stuff about both beer and cocktails. She’s also super skilled, knowing how to make delicious drinks without watering them down, and how to pour a perfect beer without too much foam. And if you’ve ever sat at the bar when she’s bartending, her fun personality and attentive service are unmatched. Creativity, versatility, skill, personality, service…Jules is the best, and we’re thrilled she’s been named Best Bartender for the 2nd year in a row!
2023 was the inaugural year for two drink categories in the Pantagraph Readers’ Choice Awards: Best Specialty Drink (which is essentially ‘Best Cocktails’), and Best Non-Alcoholic Specialty Drink. Flingers won them both! The category didn’t allow voters to vote for a specific drink, so we’re interpreting it more as “the place that has the best menu of specialty drinks, both hard and N/A.” We’ve put a lot of work and creativity into our cocktail menu, and our non-alcoholic cocktail menu, so we’re grateful to win these awards for the Best Cocktails in Bloomington, IL, and the Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails (Mocktails) in Bloomington, IL.
2023 was also the first year that Flingers finally broke through and won each of these two categories! We’re thrilled to be named the Best Wings in Bloomington, IL, and the Best Salads in Bloomington, IL. Our salads are complete meals unto themselves, packed with toppings, crisp lettuce, and a variety of dressings. And our wings are apparently not the best kept secret in town anymore. We serve jumbo, extra meaty bone-in wings with creative sauces, and our boneless wings are fan favorites too. Thanks for naming Flingers the Best Salads and the Best Chicken Wings in Bloomington-Normal!
We’re humbled to win 8 first place trophies in 2023, including Best Pizza, Best Bar, Best Wings, and Best Overall Restaurant in Bloomington-Normal. We’ll do our best to keep earning it!