The Brick House early success garners seven Best of the Best Awards; Bistro 163’s unique menu, volunteers earn Best Non-Profit

Dec 5, 2023 | Featured, Business | 0 comments

From left, Lori Kokinda, Diane Kokinda and Rich Kokinda co-own The Brick House with fellow Port Clinton High School graduates. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

This year’s The Beacon’s Best of the Best awards highlighted some of the area’s most impactful residents and businesses. The awards are tangible proof that Ottawa County has a strong foundation of business excellence and a dedication to community service.

The Beacon staff congratulates all of the winners and expresses our gratitude to everyone who works hard to make Ottawa County a great place to live, work and visit.

Among the big winners was The Brick House, which earned seven Best of the Best awards this year, including First Place awards in Best Pizza and Best Local or Specialty Item for their Bloody Mary. The Brick House, 111 Madison St., Port Clinton — co-owned by longtime friends and Port Clinton High School graduates — is dedicated to providing a year-round, downtown Port Clinton restaurant for local residents.

From left, Alaina Schultz, Kristen Prewitt and Adrianna Cogar are part of the team that helped The Brick House earn seven The Beacon Best of the Best awards. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

Managing partner, Lori Kokinda, said the restaurant’s excellent staff is the reason The Brick House took home seven awards.

“We have a fabulous staff. They’re hardworking, they care about the business, and they love our customers,” Lori said. “They are the reason we won seven Best of the Best awards.”

Bistro 163 is quite an anomaly, in that its success is a combination of creating gourmet breakfasts and lunches and as a non-profit pay-it-forward community eatery in a strip mall at 1848 E Perry St #10, Port Clinton.

Bistro 163 was named Best of the Best for being the Best Non-Profit. In its seventh year, it has been voted a Best of the Best every year.

Bistro 163 recently celebrating its 7th anniversary, has been named every year among the Best of the Best among the area’s non-profit businesses. Helping make that happen are, left to right, Board Members and avid volunteers Mary Caracci, Rob Holley, Rich Ryan, Gerri Polo and Sharon Snider. (Photo by D’Arcy Patrick Egan)

“Don’t forget our free community meals that we serve twice a month, both carryout and delivery,” said Babette “Babs” Klacik, who took over as general manager and cook in March 2019.

Bistro 163 averages 250 carryout dinners and delivers another 180 dinners, all free. That requires a lot of volunteers, Klacik admits.

“It’s amazing how we’ve become an integral part of the community, and how willing the people here are willing to donate. A lot of movers and shakers around town are our biggest supporters.”

Ryan Medina serves jello shots to a packed crowd during the Nov. 25 OSU vs. Michigan game at The Brick House. (Photo by Sheri Trusty)

There are regular winners in the Best of the Best Awards. East Harbor State Park has a monopoly on the Best Beach, while Salon 53 is a fixture for the Best Salon & Spa Services. Alex Morgan Johnson has dominated the Best Real Estate honors, Huntington Bank is a mainstay on the Best Bank list, as is Trish McCartney of State Farm Port Clinton as Best Insurance Agency, and Ala Carte Cafe for the Best Breakfast.

The Best Burger — a mainstay for the area — has long been Slaters Food & Spirits; and The Walleye Festival for Best Festival or Event.

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