Beth Larsen was all dolled up Wednesday night.
If she had only known, she might have worn shorts and running shoes.
The proprietor of The Net Result kept winning Best of the Vineyard awards, one after another.
Mrs. Larsen didn’t get off the stage until she had won four awards for excellence in her business.
Not that winning is a novelty for The Net Result. “We’ve won before, once we won three times,” she said, juggling four mounted awards presented by Martha’s Vineyard magazine editor Nicole Miller on behalf of more than 1,000 Islanders and visitors who voted for 72 things they like best about the Island.
The Net Result, Vineyard Haven’s fish emporium, won for best takeout, best fish market, best chowder and best fish and chips on the Island. Her favorite? “I’d say fish and chips. Louis really wanted to win that one” she said of Louis Larsen, her husband.
The annual Best of the Vineyard awards at Lola’s Southern Seafood restaurant in Oak Bluffs had that Oscar/Tony feel. The crowd was big, early and dressed to win. Several hundred of them, tinkling the ice cubes, grazing the finger food, listening to Jeremy Berlin and The Vineyard Sound, catching up with friends and competitors.
Maybe it was a last fling before the season goes full throttle. Maybe the luxury of getting recognition; Island service business people spend most of their time thinking about customers.
Some of it this year was the addition of new categories recognizing year-round Island businesses, like Sharky’s Cantina winning the best year-round restaurant to roaring applause and quietly, John Early as best Island contractor. “I appreciate their creating this award, and winning it will mean a lot to our people and our clients,” said the West Tisbury native.
“We added more categories focusing on year-round businesses, ” said Ms. Miller. “This is a community as well as a place for visitors.”
Several winners got that, bringing infants to the award table. Slightly older Max Potter, 5, marched with aplomb to receive his dad John’s award for The Skipper, voted best fishing charter boat. As Max explained afterwards, “This isn’t my first award. I have three now.”
New blood and Island icons were shoulder to shoulder. Black Dog won best T-shirt and Beetlebung Dry Goods was next. Outerland won best place to hear live music with Offshore Ale Co. as runner up.
In a thrilling race, The Flying Horses carousel in Oak Bluffs just nipped “going to the beach” — by fewer than five votes — as the best place to take kids. But on rainy days? “Going to the movies,” beat the merry go round — barely.
Analysis of the voting shows that Islanders take this voting seriously. For example, Bink’s Auto in Oak Bluffs and Courtesy Motors in Vineyard Haven ran a very close one and two for best auto repair shop, leaving one thinking “Well, I knew that, but I didn’t know everybody else did, too.”
Complete results can be found in the July edition of Martha’s Vineyard magazine, published by the Vineyard Gazette, on sale now.
Beth Larsen takes it seriously. Asked if she had room left in her shop for the new awards, she said, “Oh, don’t worry, we’ll find a place for these.”