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South Cape businesses get ready for SCHEA’s 16th annual event

By CJ HADDAD - | Jan 21, 2022

One of the South Cape’s most popular competitions takes place next weekend where attendees can sip on creative concoctions from local establishments.

The South Cape Hospitality & Entertainment Association’s 16th annual Best South Cape Martini Competition Trolley Event rolls out Jan. 29 from 7 to 11 p.m. and is SCHEA’s longest running annual event. It’s up to the public to decide which South Cape spot comes up with the most unique and palate-pleasing drink and dish.

“This event always sells out. The Martini Competition is our most popular event with attendees and participating locations. Each year the competition gets fiercer and fiercer,” said SCHEA President Shelly Walton. “Owners and managers work collaboratively with their bartenders making and testing martinis until they craft the perfect concoction. Who wouldn’t want to be the judge of that?”

Tickets include a special themed gift at check-in, a passport to all sampling locations, martini and appetizer samples, a voting ballot and access to win prizes at the official photo booth. Crawlers who get their passport stamped at each venue will be entered to win a gift bucket chock-full of martini-making goodies.

“The creative juices definitely get flowing and it’s a fun and friendly competition,” said SCHEA representative Shannon Quinn. “Every year we see and taste great concoctions that each location comes up with.”

Participating locations and their samples include:

* BackStreets Sports Bar – TBD

* Big8 BBQ – Big8 Bomb Martini & Pork Sliders

* Cruisers – Lemon Drop Martini & Meatballs

* The Dive – Real Dive Martini & Fried Mushroom

* Dixie Live – TBD

* Dixie Roadhouse – TBD

* Monkey Bar Steak & Seafood – Cosmo & Mac’n’cheese

* Rack’em Spirits & Times – Caramel Appletini & Mom’s Apple Cake

* Ralph’s Place – Bourbon Apple Martini & Swiss Brie Quiche

Rusty’s Raw Bar & Grill – Birthday Cake Martini & TBD

* Tiki Hut Bar & Grill – Sour Apple Martini & Coconut Shrimp

Festive garb is encouraged and can be rewarded at the official SCHEA photo booth at the South Cape Hub. Pictures that are posted publicly on Facebook with the tag #southcapemartini are entered to win four free tickets to the Mardi Gras Pub Crawl in February.

The event is also a great way for residents to familiarize themselves with the local nightlife scene and patron Cape establishments.

“People should support local business so we can continue to build and promote the community,” Quinn said. “When people come out to our events, they get to stop at places they may or may not have known about. Our participating locations love that. And often, they have returning customers from our events.”

Tickets can only be purchased online or at the South Cape Hub (909 S.E. 47th Terrace) and are $30 each or $25 for designated drivers. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.southcapeentertainment.com.

This is a 21-plus event and valid ID at check-in will be required.

Guests can check-in from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the South Cape Hub, and from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the hub and also Big John’s Plaza. Late check-in will take place at the hub until 10:30 p.m.

— Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj