Mekong, a nondescript Vietnamese restaurant on West Broad Street, was named the best beer bar in the United States by voters on CraftBeer.com, a website run by the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association.
Mekong owner An Bui said that he was happy to get the recognition and that the news has already spread.
“Everybody is excited,” he said. “We have a lot of people in the restaurant right now.”
The restaurant, which has been open for 17 years, is known across town for its beer selection. Mekong’s website boasts more than 100 beers ranging from $3 for domestics to $16 for a more obscure Belgian. And the restaurant has T-shirts and a facebook page that say, “Mekong is for beer lovers.”
Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com, said about 30,000 people voted in the site’s first Great American Beer Bars contest.
“We’re still surprised by the incredible groundswell of support,” Herz said. “Not just from your community, but anyone who was aware of the reputation of the bar was voting and put it over the top.
“It’s really become a destination now. I’m serious — I want to go check it out now.”
Voting ran from Sept. 13 through Sept. 20, Herz said. More than 3,000 bars were nominated, and the field was whittled to 200 based on votes. Mekong beat out the other 199 bars in the final round to take the top honors. Hopcat in Grand Rapids, Mich., took second place; the Thirsty Monk in Asheville, N.C., took third.
Herz said the site plans to make the contest an annual event.