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It's hard work being the best. 

It’s not luck, it’s not chance, and it’s not easy. It takes rolling up your sleeves and getting a little dirty. It takes energy, time, money, and sometimes blood. It takes drive, commitment, focus, and passion. It takes belief. It takes talent. And it takes support.The businesses, organizations, and people who appear in the pages of New Times’ 23rd annual readers poll didn’t just happen to get in. They put in the effort, and they were rewarded with votes of confidence, appreciation, and love from the community. Find out how success tastes with Dining Out [8]. End a hard day with some After Hours fun [28]. Locals show off their crafts in Arts Scene [40]. Spend some well-earned cash in Burnin’ Money [46]. Learn what’s going on somewhere About Town [52]. Leave the tools behind for a while and Get Out [62].And keep your eyes open for Community Watch [68]. Putting this special publication together takes hard work, too, so thank the next writer, reader, photographer, voter, editor, graphic designer, sales rep, ballot counter, advertiser, delivery driver, publisher, or printer you see. Finally, if you want to know more about our hard-working models and their shops:

Ben Riddering (Cover, Dining Out, After Hours) makes custom furniture and doors pri-marily from local reclaimed materials: benrid-dering.wordpress.com

West Fletcher (Arts Scene): westzoom@yahoo.com

Nathan Balent (Burnin’ Money, Community Watch): rerunproductions.com

Ben Brigham (About Town): benbrigham.com

J.R. Jennings (Get Out): retired farrier of 51 years

—Ryan Miller, editor

Click to enjoy our BEST OF SLO COUNTY virtual publication.

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