On Monday, November 16, Eater will present the 2015 Eater Awards, our sixth annual celebration of all that's made the restaurant world run — and run wild — in the past 12 months or so. Winners will be selected on both the local and national levels in five major categories, and the voting begins right now. The polls are now closed for restaurant of the year and chef of the year. Next up? Bartender of the Year. Vote now for the man or woman who really stepped up behind the bar in 2015.
Here's a primer on the nominees: Sean Kenyon, who owns Williams & Graham and the new Occidental, is perhaps Denver's most influential bartender. He was named American Bartender of the Year at the Spirited Awards in 2014 and his LoHi speakeasy was named Best American Bar at the Spirited Awards this summer. Rob Corbari has been leading the bar program at the Populist since the RiNo restaurant opened in 2012. Corbari now also showcases his craft at the new and hot Bar Fausto. Stuart Jensen is the force behind the bar program at Mercantile Dining & Provision. Jensen's strength comes both from his drink-mixing skill and also from his ability to build a fantastic team around him. Allison Widdecombe's rise to bartending stardom has been the result of talent and drive to show off. Among the many competitions she has participated in was the Woodford Reserve where she brought home the national prize for the best Manhattan. Lastly, Mike Henderson is the man behind four of Denver's best cocktail programs - Root Down (LoHi plus the DIA location), Linger, and Ophelia's. No longer behind the bar on a nightly basis, Henderson's strong leadership comes through on each of the bar programs at these popular restaurants.
Here's how the voting works: Eater editors have named nominees in Denver for each of five major categories. Eater readers will vote, narrowing the nominees to three finalists. From those three finalists, the Eater editorial team will select a winner. Ready to play your part? This poll will be open for 24 hours; voting irregularities will be strictly policed.