new port richey businesses

New Port Richey Businesses win 39 Best of the Best Tampa Bay Awards in 2022

By Diane Bedard Posted on October 12, 2022

The City of New Port Richey is a riverfront community located in southwest Pasco County. It is home to about 16,000 people and encompasses about four-and-a-half square miles. In recent years, New Port Richey has really grown the small business community in its historic downtown district.

The City has worked tirelessly to create a walkable downtown, recently completing a multi-storied parking garage on US 19 at Main Street and providing an electric trolley service from the parking garage to the historic downtown on half-hour schedules.

There is a state-of-the art Recreation Center and an award-winning library also.

An influx of mid- to upscale restaurants, craft breweries, and artisan boutiques has created an attractive and vibrant weekend destination.

Downtown New Port Richey is one of my favorite Nature Coast downtowns. The beautiful Pithlachascotee (“Cotee”) River winds through its residential and commercial districts and Sims Park offers a great outdoor event venue as well as an adaptive playground for all children.

The Hacienda Hotel was refurbished over the last few years and reopened in September. It is a beautiful, historic property with rates that easily compare to the chains and a lot more charm. There is a lovely Mediterranean restaurant on site offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.

hacienda hotel new port richey
The Hacienda Hotel opened in September 2022 after complete renovations. Image courtesy of the City of New Port Richey.

Events are held year-round, usually in and around Sims Park. The Cotee River Bike Fest was October 7-9, and it was a rousing success with thousands visiting this iconic city that was once planned to be the “Hollywood of the East”. Murals adorn several historic downtown buildings, and the 1920s architecture of the Richey Suncoast Theatre and Grand Avenue is balanced with modern waterfront residential options.

Small Businesses are Thriving in Downtown New Port Richey

No matter how many accolades you give a city, however, it is the strength of its downtown core businesses that support the community’s residents, a symbiotic relationship of sorts. New Port Richey seems to have found the “magic formula” for helping to grow and nurture small retail and service establishments, drawing locals and visitors from nearby Tampa Bay and the Nature Coast.

the dented keg ale house
Small businesses are the core of New Port Richey’s community. With the retail Palm District, west of the Cotee River Bridge, and the historic district, emanating from the intersection of Main Street and Grand Blvd., offering goods and services, as well as dining and entertainment to residents and visitors. Image by Diane Bedard.

Each year, the Tampa Bay Times holds The Best of the Best awards to celebrate businesses and organizations in nearly 200 categories, with the top three vote-getters in each category receiving the valuable title, “Best of the Best.” Each category has a gold, silver and bronze award, and New Port Richey businesses received 39 of them!

Being named one of the “Best” is an honor, and with more than 130,000 votes received from the of the entire Tampa Bay area, more than 30 businesses in New Port Richey received these coveted awards.

Because the public votes for each winner, it is a remarkable display of the love and support this community has for its local businesses.

bryan and kelly hackman
Bryan and Kelly Hackman own three businesses in downtown New Port Richey. Image by Jacob Freid.

The White Heron Tea and Gifts received Gold for Best Tea Room. Kelly Maki Hackman, owner of The White Heron Tea and Gifts, said, “We love our downtown. Having grown up in New Port Richey, it is important to me to continue to build and strengthen the best of what this City offers, while offering opportunities for residents to work and play here. We have guests to the tea visit from all over Tampa Bay, as well as the Nature Coast and throughout the State. It is still a thrill to be voted the Best in Tampa Bay!” She and her husband, Bryan own two other downtown businesses, including the Cotee River Brewing Company and the Coastal Salt Room on Main Street.

Award-Winning Craft Brew Scene shines in New Port Richey

In fact, New Port Richey has quite a craft brew scene, which you can read about here. It has expanded since the story was written, with the relocation of Infusion Brewery moving to downtown New Port Richey from Trinity.

Dented Keg Ale Works won the Gold for Best Brew Pub and silver for Best Neighborhood Bar, while Cotee River Brewing Company won bronze.

native american dancer at chasco fiesta
Chasco Fiesta, an annual festival that celebrated its 100th year in 2022 won the Best of the Best Tampa Bay festival. Image by Jacob Freid.

Over 30 New Port Richey Businesses are voted Best of the Best Tampa Bay for 2022

The Cotee River Creamery won three Best of the Best awards – best gelato, best desserts, and best ice cream shop! Owners, George and Shelley were thrilled! Apparently there wasn’t a category for adult ice cream, because their alcohol infused flavors, like Baileys Irish Cream and PB Whiskey may have won their own category.

Chasco Fiesta took home the Gold in Best Festival for the entire Tampa Bay area!

US19 Arts beat out the Salvador Dali Museum.

The New Port Richey hospital, Morton Plant North, won the gold for Baycare Urgent Care, beating out Tampa General and Saint Joseph’s, two much larger hospitals.

While I could go on for a while because so many New Port Richey businesses and organizations won Best of the Best Tampa Bay awards, here is the complete list in alphabetic order by business name and category:

Best Juice BarAdapt Freshness
Best Bicycle ShopAstro Cycles
Best FloristAvril’s Flowers
Best Nail SalonBack Room Beauty
Best Urgent CareBayCare Urgent Care
Best Cosmetology SchoolBene’s Career Academy
Best Live Music BarBourbon On Main
Best Coffee ShopBruce Brother’s Beanery
Best FestivalChasco Fiesta
Best Brewery/BrewpubCotee River Brewing Company
Best DessertsCotee River Creamery & Desserts
Best GelatoCotee River Creamery & Desserts
Best Ice Cream ShopCotee River Creamery & Desserts
Best Brewery/BrewpubDented Keg Ale Works
Best Neighborhood BarDented Keg Ale Works
Best Hair SalonDowntown Hair Lounge
Best Irish BarFitzgerald’s Irish Tavern
Best Shoe StoreFour Corners Footwear
Best New Car DealershipFriendly Kia
Best Sandwich/Sub ShopHeros Downtown Subs & Salads
Best Used Car DealershipJulian’s Auto Showcase
Best Sushi RestaurantKazu’s Sushi
Best Margarita BarLos Magueyes Mexican Grill
Best Metaphysical ShopMerry Meet Boutique
Best Guitar StoreMichael Allman’s Half Eaten Peach
Best Musical Instrument StoreMichael Allman’s Half Eaten Peach
Best Emergency RoomMorton Plant North Bay Hospital
Best Coffee ShopNEAT Coffee Bar
Best BakeryRailroad Square Bakery
Best PlumberRoman Plumbing Inc.
Best Pizza RestaurantSecond City Eats
Best Meat MarketThe Butcher’s Block
Best Rooftop RestaurantThe Social NPR
Best Tea RoomThe White Heron Tea & Gifts
Best Metaphysical ShopThree Quartz Moon
Best Art GalleryUS19Arts
Best Health Food StoreWright’s Natural Market & Cafe
new port richey parking garage and trolley
The City of New Port Richey had a multi-level parking garage constructed at US 19 and Main Street. An electric trolley offers rides from the garage to several locations throughout the downtown area on a half-hour schedule. Image courtesy of the City of New Port Richey.

A Celebration to Honor New Port Richey’s Best of the Best

Meanwhile, Economic Development Director Barbara Carr, M.P.A and M.N.M., Mayor Rob Marlowe, City Manager Debbie Manns, and the City Council hosted an event August 30 to honor and recognize the community members and business leaders who the Tampa Bay Times readers voted as the “Best of the Best” in the Tampa Bay Region.

“The sense of community and goodwill toward the business community was a wonderful experience. Local small business owners included their families, their dogs, and their friends at the event. It was joyful and filled with applause and gratitude for another successful business year in New Port Richey,” Barbara commented.

Sims Park New Port Richey waterfront
Be sure to visit New Port Richey and enjoy its walkable downtown, as well as its award-winning businesses! Image courtesy of the City of New Port Richey.

Be Sure to Visit New Port Richey

Now that there is a downtown overnight option with the Hacienda Hotel, perhaps a visit to New Port Richey for a staycation should be in your plans. The walkable downtown offers a lot of options for recreation and relaxation. Who knows? Maybe you will want to open a business there also.



Joe says

Some of these I agree with, but others do not deserve to win.

Like the best Ice Cream Shop? Sorry but that belongs to the one right on Main street. Also, Wright’s Market sold me expired food, so I’m not sure it is the best of Tampa honestly.

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