2011 Readers’ Choice

Cheers to the winners

We here at LEO Weekly have a reputation for being a cynical lot. After all, it’s our job as journalists to bring you the truth, and more often than not, the truth hurts. But it’s not all doom and gloom and scandal — there’s much to love about Louisville. And so once a year, as is tradition, we suspend our surly commentary and toast the city through our annual Readers’ Choice Issue.

This year, our readers cast more than a quarter-million votes, choosing their favorites in a long list of categories. We are grateful for your votes, even when we disagree, and we present the people, places and things you deem the best of the best in the pages that follow.

But not so fast — as much as we value democracy, did you really think we could refrain from having a say? Ha! To that end, we bring you a slightly more eccentric list that ranges from “Best Duck Fat Popcorn” to “Best Use of Baby Oil in Louisville.”

Now raise a glass — water, wine or anything in-between will do — and join us in toasting the winners.

 

ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

Best Annual Festival?

1) Kentucky Derby Festival

2) Mighty Kindness Earth Day Hootenanny

3) St. James Court Art Show

Best Art Fair

1) St. James Court Art Show

2) Cherokee Triangle Art Fair

3) UnFair

 

Best Art Gallery?

1) Revelry

2) 21c

3) The 930 Art Center

 

Best Bowling Alley?

1) Vernon Lanes

2) Ten Pin Lanes

3) Kingpin Lanes

 

Best Charitable Event?

1) Cabo Wabo

2) WHAS Crusade for Children

3) Walk for Lupus Now

 

Best Church Picnic?

1) St Joseph Children’s Home

2) St. Agnes

3) Holy Family

 

Best Cover Band?

1) Eight Inch Elvis

2) Lizzyz Revenge

3) Rocktimus Prime

 

Best Film Festival?

1) Fright Night Film Fest

2) Flyover Film Festival

3) 48 Hour Film Project

 

Best Live Music Venue?

1) Headliners Music Hall

2) Louisville Palace

3) Wick’s Pizza

 

Best Live Theater?

1) Actors Theatre

2) Louisville Palace

3) Alley Theater

 

Best Local Author

1) D.A. Madigan

2) Wendell Berry

3) Heather Adkins

 

Best Local Band

1) My Morning Jacket

2) Cougar Express

3) Troubadours of Divine Bliss

 

Best Local Comedian?

1) Kent Carney

2) Tom Mabe

3) Damaged Goods

Best Movie Theater?

1) Baxter Avenue Theatres

2) Cinemark Tinseltown

3) Rave Motion Pictures Stonybrook

 

Best Museum?

1) Speed Art Museum

2) 21c

3) Frazier History Museum

 

Best Music Festival?

1) Forecastle

2) Abbey Road on the River

3) Hullabalou

 

Best Performing Arts Group?

1) Louisville Ballet

2) Actors Theatre

3) Damaged Goods

 

Best Promoter?

1) Terry Harper

2) Production Simple

3) Hunter Embry

 

Best Public Mural?

1) Hunter S. Thompson at The Monkey Wrench

2) Louisville Zoo

3) Highlands at Wick’s

 

Best Public Sculpture?

1) Abraham Lincoln at Waterfront Park

2) The Thinker at U of L

3) Beerwolf at WHY Louisville

 

Best Singer-Songwriter?

1) Troubadours of Divine Bliss

2) Brigid Kaelin

3) Justin Lewis

 

Best Theater Production?

1) “Dracula” at Actors Theatre

2) “Point Break Live” at Alley Theater

3) “Chasing Ophelia” at The Bard’s Town

Best Theater Troupe?

1) Le Petomane

2) Actors Theatre

3) Pandora Productions

 

Best Visual Artist

1) Douglas Miller

2) Sloan Showalter

3) Eric Schultz

 

GOODS AND SERVICES

Best Adult/Erotic Store?

1) Cirilla’s

2) Love Boutique

3) Adam & Eve

Best Antique Store?

1) Goss Avenue Antiques

2) Joe Ley Antiques

3) Crazy Daisy

 

Best Attorney?

1) David E. Crittenden

2) Mark Mulloy

3) Rachelle Howell

 

Best Auto Dealer?

1) Sam Swope Auto Group

2) Neil Huffman Automotive Group

3) Bob Hook Chevrolet

 

Best Bicycle Shop?

1) Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling

2) Parkside Bike Boutique

3) On Your Left Cycles

 

Best Clothing Boutique?

1) Dressing Room

2) Dot Fox

3) Cherry Bomb

 

Best Comic Book Shop?

1) The Great Escape

2) The Zone Comics

3) Comic Book World

Best Consignment Store?

1) Margaret’s Consignment

2) Sassy Fox

3) Urban Attic

 

Best Contractor?

1) Shine Contracting

2) United Plumbing

3) Esposito Construction

 

Best Daycare?

1) Holy Spirit Child Care

2) Kayfield Academy

3) Kindercare

 

Best Dentist?

1) Dr. Tony Zangari

2) Mortenson Family Dental

3) Dr. David Schaefer

Best Dry Cleaner?

1) Highland Cleaners

2) NuYale

3) Sam Meyers

Best Farmer

1) Ivor Chodkowski

2) Foxhollow Farms

3) Adam Barr of Barr Farms

 

Best Farmers Market?

1) Bardstown Road in the Highlands

2) St. Matthews

3) Jeffersontown

 

Best Florist?

1) Nanz & Kraft

2) Schultz’s Florist

3) Broadway Florist

 

Best Gift Boutique?

1) Revelry

2) Regalo

3) Scout

 

Best Golf Course?

1) Valhalla

2) Quail Chase

3) Seneca

 

Best Gym?

1) YMCA

2) Louisville Athletic Club

3) Urban Active

 

Best Hair Salon?

1) 360 Salon & Spa

2) Gregory Michaels

3) Salon 146

 

Best Health Food Store?

1) Rainbow Blossom

2) Whole Foods

3) The Fresh Market

 

Best Hospital?

1) Baptist East

2) Norton

3) Jewish

 

Best House of Worship?

1) Southeast Christian

2) Unity of Louisville

3) Sojourn Community

 

Best Instrument Shop?

1) Willis Music

2) Doo Wop Shop

3) Guitar Emporium

 

Best Jewelry Store?

1) Shane Co.

2) Davis Jewelers

3) Benton Fine Jewelry

 

Best Law Office?

1) Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs

2) De Renzo Durrett

3) O’Bryan Law Offices

 

Best Liquor Store?

1) Old Town Wine and Spirits

2) Liquor Barn

3) The Wine Rack

 

Best Local Bank?

1) Republic

2) Stockyards

3) Old National

 

Best Local Bookstore?

1) Carmichael’s

2) A Reader’s Corner

3) Second Story Books

 

Best Local Grocery

1) ValuMarket

2) Rainbow Blossom

3) Burger’s Market

 

Best Local Pet Grooming?

1) The Pet Station

2) Pretty Paws

3) Connie’s Groom Room

 

Best Local Record Store?

1) ear X-tacy

2) Underground Sounds

3) Better Days

 

Best Local Shoe Store?

1) Fleet Feet Sports

2) Swag’s Sport Shoes

3) 2nd Step Shoes

 

Best Luxury Hotel?

1) 21c

2) Seelbach Hotel

3) The Brown

 

Best Massage?

1) Apex Massage

2) Elements Therapeutic

3) Massage Envy St. Matthews

 

Best Mechanic?

1) McCormick Motor

2) Tachyon Performance

3) Volksdoktor

 

Best Pediatrician?

1) Dr. Moises Dreszer

2) Dr. Gerald Sturgeon

3) Dr. Jeffrey Wampler

 

Best Place for a Wedding Reception?

1) Conrad-Caldwell House

2) Clifton Center

3) Mellwood Art Center

 

Best Place to Adopt a Pet?

1) Kentucky Humane Society

2) Shamrock Foundation

3) Animal Care Society

Best Place to Buy a Unique Gift?

1) WHY Louisville

2) Regalo

3) Just Creations

 

Best Place to Buy Vinyl?

1) ear X-tacy

2) Underground Sounds

3) Please & Thank You

 

Best Place to Take Kids When It’s Raining?

1) Louisville Science Center

2) Art Sparks at Speed

3) All About Kids

 

Best Plastic Surgeon?

1) Dr. Thomas Haas

2) Dr. Alex Digenis

3) Dr. Sean Maguire

 

Best Playground?

1) Waterfront Park

2) Cherokee Park

3) Iroquois Park

 

Best Plumber?

1) United Plumbing

2) BC Plumbing

3) Tom Drexler

 

Best Public Restroom?

1) 21c

2) Von Maur

3) 32 Degrees A Yogurt Bar

 

Best Real Estate Company?

1) RayCo Real Estate

2) Keller Williams

3) Semonin Realtors

 

Best Roofer?

1) Highland Roofing

2) American Roofing

3) Ray Nolan

 

Best Scooter Shop

1) NuLu Scooters

2) Highland Motorsport

3) Tachyon Performance

 

Best Screen Printer?

1) Monkey Drive

2) WHY Louisville

3) Dirty Tease

 

Best Spa

1) Imaage Medical Spa

2) Z’s Salon & Spa

3) Joseph’s Salon & Spa

 

Best Sporting Goods Store?

1) Dick’s Sporting Goods

2) Fleet Feet Sports

3) Quest Outdoors

 

Best Tattoo Parlor?

1) Acme Ink

2) Tattoo Charlie’s

3) Twisted Images

 

Best Tobacco Store?

1) J. Shepherd Cigars

2) Cox’s Smokers Outlet

3) Kremer’s Smoke Shoppe

 

Best Veterinarian?

1) Dr. Joe Deck

2) Shively Animal Clinic

3) Fairleigh Pet Center

 

Best Video Store?

1) Wild and Woolly

2) Redbox

3) Blockbuster

 

Best Vintage Clothing Store?

1) Nitty Gritty

2) Cherry Bomb

3) Elizabeth’s Timeless Attire

Best Yoga Class

1) Yoga on Baxter

2) Betsy’s Hot Yoga

3) Yoga East

 

DINING

Best All-You-Can-Eat Deal?

1) Golden Corral

2) Ramsi’s Sunday Brunch

3) Bristol Sunday Brunch

 

Best Bakery?

1) Plehn’s Bakery

2) Heitzman Bakery

3) Nord’s Bakery

 

Best BBQ?

1) Mark’s Feed Store

2) F.A.B.D. (Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot)

3) Smoketown USA

 

Best Beer List?

1) New Albanian Brewing Co.

2) Holy Grale

3) Sergio’s World Beers

 

Best Breakfast/Brunch?

1) Wild Eggs

2) Toast

3) North End Café

 

Best Burger?

1) Dish on Market

2) W.W. Cousins

3) The Blind Pig

Best Cajun/Creole Restaurant?

1) J. Gumbo’s

2) Joe’s OK Bayou

3) Selena’s

 

Best Chef?

1) Edward Lee at 610 Magnolia

2) Joe Frase at The Blind Pig

3) Anthony Lamas at Seviche

 

Best Chinese Restaurant?

1) Annie Café

2) August Moon

3) Café Mimosa

 

Best Coffee Shop?

1) Sunergos Coffee

2) Heine Brothers

3) Highland Coffee

 

Best Deli?

1) Stevens & Stevens

2) Jason’s Deli

3) Joe Davola’s

 

Best Delivery?

1) Jimmy John’s

2) Joe Davola’s

3) Cafe Lou Lou

 

Best Dessert?

1) Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

2) Sweet Surrender

3) DaLat’s

 

Best Dinner Roll?

1) Texas Roadhouse

2) Red Lobster

3) O’Charley’s

 

Best Fine Dining?

1) Jack Fry’s

2) The Blind Pig

3) Seviche

 

Best Fish Sandwich?

1) Mike Linnig’s

2) The Fishery

3) Fish House

 

Best Food Truck

1) Morels

2) Lil Cheezers

3) Holy Mole

 

Best French Fries?

1) The Blind Pig

2) McDonald’s

3) Hammerheads

 

Best Happy Hour?

1) Asiatique

2) The Back Door

3) Maido

3) Napa River Grill

 

Best Ice Cream Shop?

1) The Comfy Cow

2) Graeter’s

3) Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

 

Best Indian Restaurant?

1) Kashmir

2) Shalimar

3) Dakshin

 

Best Italian Restaurant?

1) Vincenzo’s

2) Le Gallo Rosso

3) Volare Italian Ristorante

 

Best Japanese Restaurant?

1) Sapporo

2) Sake Blue

3) Asahi Japanese

 

Best Late-Night Bite?

1) White Castle

2) Ramsi’s

3) Spinelli’s

 

Best Mexican Restaurant?

1) El Nopal

2) El Mundo

3) Santa Fe Grill

 

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant?

1) Shiraz

2) Safier

3) The Grape Leaf

 

Best New Restaurant?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Dish on Market

3) Harvest

 

Best Outdoor Dining?

1) Captain’s Quarters

2) Avalon

3) Mike Linnig’s

 

Best Pizza?

1) Papalinos

2) Wick’s Pizza

3) Clifton’s Pizza

 

Best Place for a Cheap Date?

1) Annie Café

2) Coals Artisan Pizza

3) White Castle

 

Best Place for a Romantic Dinner?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Jack Fry’s

3) Bistro Le Relais

 

Best Pub Grub?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Irish Rover

3) The Back Door

 

Best Quick Lunch?

1) Annie Café

2) Joe Davola’s

3) Jimmy John’s

 

Best Restaurant (Louisville)?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Jack Fry’s

3) Seviche

 

Best Restaurant (Southern Indiana)?

1) New Albanian Brewing Co.

2) Rocky’s Italian Grill

3) La Rosita

 

Best Restaurant Decor?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Lynn’s Paradise Café

3) Proof on Main

 

Best Restaurant on the River?

1) Captain’s Quarters

2) Rocky’s Italian Grill

3) Tumbleweed

 

Best Ribs?

1) Mark’s Feed Store

2) Doc Crow’s

3) Hammerheads

 

Best Seafood Restaurant?

1) Mike Linnig’s

2) Mitchell’s Fish Market

3) Red Lobster

 

Best Steakhouse?

1) Jeff Ruby’s

2) Pat’s Steakhouse

3) Ruth’s Chris

 

Best Sushi?

1) Sapporo

2) Oishii Sushi

3) Sake Blue

 

Best Takeout?

1) Annie Café

2) August Moon

3) Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

 

Best Thai Restaurant?

1) Simply Thai

2) Mai’s Thai

3) Thai Siam

 

Best Vegetarian Food?

1) Annie Café

2) Zen Garden

3) Ramsi’s

 

Best Vietnamese Restaurant?

1) Annie Café

2) Vietnam Kitchen

3) Nam Nam Cafe

 

Best Waitstaff?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

3) Coals Artisan Pizza

 

Best Wine List?

1) The Blind Pig

2) L & N Wine Bar and Bistro

3) Huber’s Winery

 

Best Wings

1) Buffalo Wild Wings

2) Hooters

3) Roosters

 

NIGHTLIFE

Best Bar Bathroom?

1) Proof on Main

2) Zanzabar

3) Phoenix Hill Tavern

Best Bar to Nurse a Hangover?

1) Outlook Inn

2) Zanzabar

3) The Back Door

 

Best Bar to People Watch

1) The Back Door

2) Zanzabar

3) Phoenix Hill Tavern

 

Best Bartender?

1) Jeremy Johnson at The Blind Pig

2) Bethany Gantz at Dish on Market

3) Becky Cooper at Coals Artisan Pizza

 

Best Bloody Mary?

1) The Blind Pig

2) Monkey Wrench

3) Outlook Inn

 

Best Blues Bar?

1) Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar

2) Zeppelin Café

3) Howl at the Moon

 

Best Club DJ?

1) DJ Prism

2) DJ Joe Dubb

3) DJ Fluid

 

Best Comedy Club?

1) Comedy Caravan

2) The Improv

3) The Bard’s Town

 

Best Country/Western Bar?

1) Saddle Ridge

2) Electric Cowboy

3) Spectators

 

Best Dive Bar?

1) Magnolia Bar and Grill

2) Nachbar

3) The Back Door

 

Best Gay Bar?

1) The Connection

2) Tink’s

3) Teddy Bears

 

Best Gentlemen’s Club?

1) PT’s Showclub

2) Trixie’s

3) Rustic Frog

 

Best Karaoke Bar?

1) Tink’s

2) Akiko’s

3) Highlands Taproom

 

Best Local Beer

1) New Albanian Brewing Co. Hoptimus

2) Bluegrass Brewing Co. APA

3) Bluegrass Brewing Co. Bourbon Barrel Stout

 

Best Local Brewery?

1) Bluegrass Brewing Co.

2) New Albanian Brewing Co.

3) Cumberland Brews

 

Best Margarita?

1) El Nopal

2) El Mundo

3) Tumbleweed

 

Best Martini?

1) The Blind Pig

2) 60 West Bistro

3) Proof on Main

 

Best Mixed Drink

1) The Back Door

2) 732 Social

3) Zanzabar

 

Best Neighborhood Bar/Pub?

1) Nachbar

2) Shenanigan’s

3) Zanzabar

 

Best New Bar/Club?

1) Drake’s St. Matthews

2) Garage Bar

3) Holy Grale

 

Best Original Cocktail?

1) Bacon Manhattan at The Blind Pig

2) Chapter 11 at 732 Social

3) Bloke’s Blonde at Doc Crow’s

 

Best Place to Dance?

1) Zanzabar

2) The Connection

3) Hotel Nightclub

 

Best Place to Hear Jazz?

1) Nachbar

2) Seelbach Hotel

3) Jazzyblu

 

Best Place to Shoot Pool?

1) The Back Door

2) Diamond Pub & Billiards

3) Oliver’s Billiards

 

Best Singles Bar?

1) Sully’s

2) Drake’s St. Matthews

3) Zanzabar

 

Best Smoking Area?

1) Zanzabar

2) Nachbar

3) Phoenix Hill Tavern

 

Best Sports Bar?

1) Big Blue Country

2) Buffalo Wild Wings

3) The Granville Inn

 

Best Trivia Night?

1) Zanzabar

2) Molly Malone’s

3) The Granville Inn

 

Best U of L Bar?

1) The Granville Inn

2) Zanzabar

3) Tailgaters

 

Best UK Bar?

1) Big Blue Country

2) Highlands Taproom

3) The Granville Inn

 

Best Wine Bar

1) The Blind Pig

2) L & N Wine Bar and Bistro

3) Huber’s Winery

 

MEDIA

Best Laid-Off Gannett Employee

1) Erin Keane

2) Tamara Ikenberg

3) Joseph Lord

 

Best Local Arts Writer?

1) Erin Keane

2) Elizabeth Kramer

3) Peter Berkowitz

 

Best Local Blog?

1) LouisvilleKy.com

2) ConsumingLouisville.com

3) BrokenSidewalk.com

 

Best Local Columnist?

1) Sara Havens

2) Eric Crawford

3) Joe Manning

 

Best Local Feature Writer?

1) Rick Redding

2) Cindy Lamb

3) Anne Marshall

Best Local Media Celebrity You Love to Hate

1) Terry Meiners

2) Dawne Gee

3) Mark Weinberg

 

Best Local Music Writer?

1) Jeffrey Lee Puckett

2) Peter Berkowitz

3) Hunter Embry

 

Best Local News Writer?

1) Phillip M. Bailey

2) Jonathan Meador

3) Jason Riley

3) Gabe Bullard

3) Dan Klepal

 

Best Local Publication?

1) LEO Weekly

2) The Paper

3) Louisville Magazine

 

Best Local Radio Personality?

1) Terry Meiners

2) Laura Shine

3) Mandy Connell

 

Best Local Radio Station?

1) 91.9 WFPK

2) Crescent Hill Radio AM 1650

3) 89.3 WFPL

 

Best Local TV Meteorologist?

1) Kevin Harned

2) Marc Weinberg

3) Brian Goode

 

Best Local TV News Anchor?

1) Dawne Gee

2) Scott Reynolds

3) Melissa Swan

 

Best Local TV Station?

1) WAVE 3

2) WHAS 11

3) WLKY 32

 

Best Local Website?

1) LouisvilleKy.com

2) Louisville.com

3) ConsumingLouisville.com

 

Best Place to Pick Up LEO Weekly?

1) Heine Brothers

2) Qdoba

3) ear X-tacy

 

Best Reason to Read LEO Weekly?

1) News of the Weird

2) Upcoming shows/events

3) Local music updates

 

Best Scandal?

1) Councilwoman Judy Green

2) Louisville Metro Animal Services

3) Karen Sypher and Rick Pitino

 

Best TV Disaster Graphics?

1) WAVE 3

2) WLKY 32

3) WHAS 11

 

Best TV Morning Show

1) “FOX in the Morning”

2) “WAVE 3 Sunrise”

3) “Good Morning America”

 

OTHER STUFF

Best Attorney Gimmick?

1) The Heavy Hitter

2) Cara Stigger The Tiger

3) Son in Jail? Call Waddell

Best Business to Have as a Facebook Friend

1) Alliance Cost Containment

2) ear X-tacy

3) NuLu Scooters

Best Category We Forgot?

1) Local Improv Troupe

2) Chiropractor

3) Barbershop

 

Best Community Role Model?

1) Lark Phillips, Save Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion Co-Chair

2) Dawne Gee, WAVE 3 Newscaster

3) Lee Fetzer, Local Musician

 

Best Excuse to Leave Town for a Day?

1) Kentucky Derby

2) Thunder Over Louisville

3) Weather

 

Best Local Celebrity?

1) Muhammad Ali

2) Diane Sawyer

3) John Wells

 

Best Local Landmark?

1) Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion

2) Conrad-Caldwell House

3) Churchill Downs

 

Best Local Politician?

1) Kimberly Greenwell

2) Jerry Abramson

3) Mayor Greg Fischer

 

Best Month to be in Town?

1) May

2) October

3) April

 

Best Neighborhood?

1) Highlands

2) Crescent Hill

3) Germantown

 

Best Nonprofit?

1) Fairness Campaign

2) Save Hogan’s Fountain Pavilion

3) No Kill Louisville

 

Best Person to Have Their Face on a Building

1) Diane Sawyer

2) Muhammad Ali

3) Hunter S. Thompson

 

Best Place to Make a Public Spectacle of Yourself

1) Fourth Street Live

2) Derby Infield

3) Bardstown Road

 

Best Place to Ride Your Bike?

1) Cherokee Park

2) Waterfront Park

3) Riverwalk

 

Best Place to See Christmas Decor?

1) Lake Forest

2) Mega Cavern

3) Downtown Louisville

 

Best Place to Take Your Dog?

1) Cherokee Park

2) Tom Sawyer Dog Park

3) Waterfront Park

 

Best Place You Wish Had Never Gone Out of Business

1) Hawley-Cooke Booksellers

2) Borders Books and Music

3) Doll’s Market

 

Best Politician You Love to Hate?

1) Mitch McConnell

2) Rand Paul

3) John Yarmuth

 

Best Question for John Yarmuth?

1) Why are you so awesome?

2) Where are all the jobs?

3) How do you not go crazy dealing with these crazy people?

 

Best Question for Mitch McConnell?

1) When will you retire?

2) How do you sleep at night?

3) WTF?

 

Best Reason to Get in the Ohio River?

1) Fire

2) Polar Bear Plunge

3) No Good Reason

 

Best Thing That’s Changed Here in the Last Year

1) New Mayor

2) KFC Yum! Center

3) East Market/NuLu District

 

Best Thing to do With Your Used LEO Weekly

1) Recycle

2) Birdcage Liner

3) Gift Wrap

 

Best UK Basketball Player

1) John Wall

2) Terrence Jones

3) Darius Miller

 

Best U of L Basketball Player?

1) Peyton Siva

2) Kyle Kuric

3) Darrell Griffith

 

Comments