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New contest wants to know which toilet spaces are the Bay Area’s best

A new contest created by two Napa Valley brothers wants to recognize Bay Area businesses for something that isn’t typically praised: the toilets.

Created by culinary students Jonathan and Justin Hoong, The Best Toilet Award of the Bay is asking residents to nominate public restrooms that are clean, accessible or even creative.

The awards have a dual purpose: increase awareness of the importance of hygiene and recognize hospitality workers tasked with keeping bathrooms clean, Justin Hoong said in an email.

The contest is requesting nominations in six categories — best cleanliness, best creativity, best family-friendly, best of five senses, best of positivity and best of Napa Valley — through Dec. 5. All nominees must be commercial businesses in San Francisco, Sonoma, Napa, Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano counties.

From there, a committee will select a dozen nominees to be entered into a voting round in which residents can choose one winner for each category.

All six winners will be announced Feb. 4, 2022, and will receive their awards on Feb. 18. Residents who nominated businesses or voted in the contest also will be eligible to win prizes provided by the contest’s sponsors, which have not yet been announced.

The Best Toilet Award of the Bay also benefits Open Restaurant Help Lives, an organization that the Hoongs launched to establish a restaurant that hires both students and retirees. They hope the contest will encourage people to donate to Open Restaurant Help Lives, and some of the funding from sponsors also will go toward the organization, Hoong said.

“We are working towards creating a professional, full-service restaurant where food industry retirees and students can work together — and earn salaries,” he said in an email. “We are excited to bring more people and opportunities into the culinary field, and ultimately to serve the community.”

For more information or to nominate a business, visit thetoilet.org.

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