The Ballroom at Drexelbrook Catering & Special Event Center was abuzz with excitement July 26, when Main Line Today (MLT) magazine kicked off its 22nd annual “Best of The Main Line & Western Suburbs” party.

Over a thousand guests bought tickets and came to the party to sample some of the region’s best culinary and beverage offerings, dance to the live music of the award-winning party band Jellyroll, experience select services and shopping destinations and celebrate the 2018 “Best of” winners that came primarily from Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. I was lucky enough to be a party guest!

Every July, Main Line Today publishes the special Best of the Main Line issue, highlighting the finest in food, drinks, services and personalities, and celebrates the winners in what has become one of the area’s most highly anticipated parties of the summer. MLT magazine readers and editorial critics selected almost 400 winners this year. According to MLT, readers’ votes more than doubled this year compared to 2017.

I’ve been attending this big summer bash for longer than I can remember, and I look forward to it every year. It used to be held at QVC Studio Park in West Chester but then moved to Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill some years back, and that’s where it has remained ever since. I’ve yet to be disappointed in the party, which showcases businesses deemed by MLT readers to be “the best” in the area. Every year, I discover new restaurants, venues and services, which I previously knew nothing about … plus, where else can you eat and drink the finest in food and beverages from top Philly area restaurants all under one roof? And another bonus is that no one leaves the party without goodie bags overflowing with giveaways of everything from soap, hand sanitizer and face cream to packets of beef jerky, cookies, mints and candies. I enjoy the day after the party, too, when I look through all the little treasures in my bag.

It’s a tough job to keep up with all that’s new out there in the world. This party introduces guests to new places and businesses that they may have never known existed. Those who attend the party wear their party-best outfits, and I always get a kick out of seeing the women’s beautiful dresses and the men’s dapper evening attire. Another reason that I really like the event is that it draws many people so you never know whom you will know or bump into that night.

This year’s party, along with proceeds from a silent auction held during the party, benefit Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit organizations providing services, insight and leadership in the evolving field of behavioral health care.

NBC10 meterologist Bill Henley was the emcee of this year’s event, with special guests Matt Cord, host of BEN FM Morning Show, and NBC10’s Tracy Davidson. All of the special guests strolled the ballroom to meet and talk with guests.

Sponsors of the 22nd annual Main Line & Western Suburbs party included Cozzi Jewelers, NBC10, Closets by Design, BVT Live!, White Manor Country Club, Van Cleve, Republic Bank, 95.7 BEN FM, Dr. Jonathan Scharf and Drexelbrook Catering & Special Event Center.

The MLT “Best Of” party christened the newly refurbished ballroom at Drexelbrook, welcoming the first guests to view the venue’s new look. The popular destination was closed for four months after a fire in nearby offices inside the ballroom building necessitated the renovations. The ballroom looked stunning, as the Drexelbrook always does, but even more so than usual with the fresh renovations. I heard from a reliable source that the renovations only came to completion on the day before the MLT party. Great job, Drexelbrook!

This year’s Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party also featured an outdoor beer garden, as well as valet parking for all guests, unique photo ops, a visit by Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop and a variety of vendor raffles and giveaways. I’ll admit that I couldn’t resist the fun of having a photo taken posing with a cardboard cutout of Prince Harry.

Every year is different and exciting, and each vendor puts on a display that not only showcases its best offerings but makes guests want to hang around for more. I tasted everything from margaritas, liver pate and cold crab gazpacho to cake pops, limoncello, gourmet fish tacos and corn fritters. If you go next year, please go hungry. It is a foodie’s paradise — and that’s putting it mildly!

Some of the 2018 featured winners that participated in the July 26 party include Academy of Notre Dame deNamur, Al Pastor, Break Thru Beverage, Burlap and Bean, Cakes and Candies by Maryellen, Carlino’s, Cole Wellness Spa, Clay’s Bakery, Finley Catering, Eclat Chocolate, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, Educational Services, Firepoint Grill, Founding Farmers King of Prussia, Freedom Massage, Home Cooked, John Serock Catering, La Pina Cantina, Lucky’s Last Chance, Main Line Chamber of Commerce, Margaret Kuo’s, Market Fresh Flowers, Night Kitchen Bakery, Penn Medicine, Penns Woods Winery, Pour Richard’s Coffee, Prana Das Yoga, Prive Salon and Style Bar, Revivals Boutique, Saffron Indian Kitchen, Savona Restaurant, Teikoku, Savonna Restaurant, Suburban Restaurant and Beer Garden, The Argyle Bouquet, The Bakery House, The Gables at Chadds Ford, The Original Thunderbird, Thom’s Jerky, Ultimate Bake Shoppe, Verbena BYOB and Yanako.

Congratulations to all of the sponsors, 2018 winners and especially to MLT Publisher Joseph Breck, Editor in Chief Hobart Rowland, Director of Marketing Christa McLaughlin and all of the MLT staff and professionals who truly know how to throw a party! Thanks for adding to my special summer of 2018 nights to remember!

For a complete list of winners and to view photos and more information about this year’s party, visit

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