The issue of the readers, by the readers, for the readers

 

It’s that time of year again — a time when we let you, the reader, determine the best our fair city has to offer, from all-you-can-eat deals and fine dining to church picnics and strip clubs. We welcome your votes, even when we seriously disagree, and we present the winners in these pages without interference, aside from correcting the occasional mangled word (it turns out very few people can spell Muhammad Ali or Peter Berkowitz correctly).

But did you honestly think we would be willing to relinquish all editorial control? Of course not. And so this year, LEO writers weigh in as well, presenting our own picks in some rather unorthodox categories. After all, where else are you going to learn about the best places to take a romantic stroll and watch drunken frat boys vomit?

Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to our readers for caring enough about Louisville to log on and vote.

And now for the winners …

 

ARTS &

ENTERTAINMENT

Best Annual Festival

1) Kentucky Derby Festival

2) St. James Art Fair

3) Forecastle

Best Art Gallery

1) 21c Museum Hotel

2) Speed Art Museum

3) Tim Faulkner Gallery

Best Blues Band

1) Lamont Gillispie & the 100 Proof Blues Band

2) Hellfish

3) Da Mudcats

Best Bowling Alley

1) Kingpin Lanes

2) Vernon Lanes

3) Ten Pin Lanes

Best Charitable Event

1) Crusade for Children

2) Cabo Wabo

3) The Taste of the Grapevine

Best Church Picnic

1) St. Joseph Orphan’s Picnic

2) St. Agnes

3) St. Rita

Best Comedian

1) Kent Carney

2) Andrew Bailey

3) Jacob Williams

Best Country/Western Band

1) Olivia Henken Band

2) Johnny Berry & the Outliers

3) Black Mudd

Best Cover Band

1) Eight Inch Elvis

2) Olivia Henken Band

3) Rocktimus Prime

Best Film Festival

1) Flyover Film Festival

2) Derby City Film Festival

3) 48 Hour Film Project

Best Hip-Hop Artist/Group

1) Villebillies

2) Nappy Roots

3) Code Red

Best Jazz Artist

1) Harry Pickens

2) Dick Sisto

3) Craig Wagner

Best Live Music Venue

1) Louisville Palace

2) Headliners

3) Zanzabar

Best Live Theater

1) Actors Theatre

2) Louisville Palace

3) Alley Theater

Best Movie Theater

1) Baxter Avenue Theatres

2) Rave Motion Pictures Stonybrook

3) Tinseltown

Best Museum

1) Speed Art Museum

2) Frazier International
History Museum

3) Louisville Science Center

Best Music Festival

1) Forecastle

2) HullabaLOU

3) Abbey Road on the River

Best Original Band

1) Wax Fang

2) My Morning Jacket

3) Cougar Express

Best Performing Arts Group

1) Actors Theatre

2) Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble

3) Louisville Ballet

Best Promoter

1) Production Simple

2) Terry Harper

3) Mr. and Mrs. Smith PR

Best Public Mural

1) Louisville Palace Lobby Bar

2) Muhammad Ali Center

3) Highlands Mural at Wick’s

Best Public Sculpture

1) Abraham Lincoln

2) The Thinker at U of L

3) York at the Belvedere

Best Rock Band

1) Eight Inch Elvis

2) Cougar Express

3) Wax Fang

Best Singer-Songwriter

1) Brigid Kaelin

2) Justin Lewis

3) Andrea Davidson

Best Theater Production

1) “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” at Alley Theater

2) “Dracula” at Actors Theatre

3) “Jersey Boys” at Kentucky Center for the Arts

Best Theater Troupe

1) Le Petomane

2) Pandora

3) Actors Theatre

Best Visual Artist

1) Douglas Miller

2) Ken Hardy

3) Kathleen Lolley

DINING

Best All-You-Can-Eat Deal

1) Sitar

2) Shalimar

3) Dynasty Buffet

Best Bakery

1) Phlen’s

2) Nord’s

3) Cake Flour

Best BBQ

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

2) Mark’s Feed Store

3) Smoketown USA

Best Beer List

1) Sergio’s World of Beers

2) New Albanian Brewing Co.

3) Nachbar

Best Breakfast/Brunch

1) Wild Eggs

2) Toast

3) North End Café

Best Burger

1) W.W. Cousins

2) Bristol

3) Jack Fry’s

Best Cajun/Creole Restaurant

1) J. Gumbo’s

2) Joe’s OK Bayou

3) Café Lou Lou

Best Chef

1) Anthony Lamas

2) John Varanese

3) Laurent Geroli

Best Chinese Restaurant

1) Café Mimosa

2) August Moon

3) Double Dragon

Best Coffee Shop

1) Heine Brothers

2) Sunergos

3) Java Brewing Co.

Best Deli

1) Stevens and Stevens

2) Morris’

3) Joe Davola’s

Best Delivery

1) Soup ByCycle

2) Café Lou Lou

3) Joe Davola’s

Best Dessert

1) Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

2) Sweet Surrender

3) Cake Flour

Best Dinner Roll

1) Buckhead Mountain Grill

2) Bristol

3) KT’s

Best Fine Dining

1) Jack Fry’s

2) Corbett’s

3) Jeff Ruby’s

Best Fish Sandwich

1) Stan’s Fish Sandwich

2) Mike Linnig’s

3) Fish House

Best French Fries

1) The Blind Pig

2) Caffé Classico

3) Village Anchor Pub

Best Happy Hour

1) Napa River Grill

2) Maido

3) BoomBozz Pizza

Best Ice Cream Shop

1) The Comfy Cow

2) Graeter’s

3) Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen

Best Indian Restaurant

1) Sitar

2) Shalimar

3) Kashmir

Best Italian Restaurant

1) Le Gallo Rosso

2) Comeback Inn

3) Vincenzo’s

Best Japanese Restaurant

1) Sapporo

2) Osaka

3) Shogun

Best Late-Night Bite

1) Ramsi’s

2) Bristol

3) Spinelli’s

Best Mexican Restaurant

1) El Mundo

2) La Rosita

3) Santa Fe

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

1) Shiraz

2) Safier

3) The Grape Leaf

Best New Restaurant

1) Village Anchor Pub

2) The Blind Pig

3) The Bard’s Town

Best Outdoor Dining

1) Captain’s Quarters

2) Avalon

3) Village Anchor Pub

Best Pizza

1) Wick’s Pizza

2) BoomBozz Pizza

3) Papalinos NY Pizzaria

Best Place for a Cheap Date

1) Ramsi’s

2) Papalinos NY Pizzaria

3) Dragon King’s Daughter

Best Place for a Romantic Dinner

1) English Grill

2) Jack Fry’s

3) Le Relais

Best Produce

1) Paul’s Fruit Market

2) Creation Gardens

3) Bardstown Road Farmers Market

Best Pub Grub

1) Zeppelin Café

2) Zanzabar

3) Cumberland Brewery

Best Quick Lunch

1) City Café

2) Joe Davola’s

3) Annie Café

Best Restaurant (Louisville)

1) Jack Fry’s

2) English Grill

3) Seviche

Best Restaurant (Southern Indiana)

1) La Rosita

2) Rocky’s Italian Grill

3) Bank Street Brewhouse

Best Restaurant Décor

1) Lynn’s Paradise Café

2) Village Anchor Pub

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

3) Smoketown USA

Best Seafood Restaurant

1) Z’s Fusion

2) Mike Linnig’s

3) KingFish

Best Steakhouse

1) Pat’s Steak House

2) Jeff Ruby’s

3) Jack Fry’s

Best Sushi

1) Sapporo

2) Oishii

3) Osaka

Best Takeout

1) Café Mimosa

2) August Moon

3) Annie Café

Best Thai Restaurant

1) Simply Thai

2) La Que

3) Thai Orchids

Best Vegetarian Food

1) Zen Garden

2) Swan Dive

3) Ramsi’s

Best Vietnamese Restaurant

1) Vietnam Kitchen

2) Annie Café

3) Basa Modern Vietnamese

Best Waitstaff

1) The Blind Pig

2) North End Café

3) Jeff Ruby’s

Best Wine List

1) L&N Wine Bar and Bistro

2) The Blind Pig

3) Napa River Grill

Best Wings

1) Rumors

2) Shack in the Back BBQ

3) Spring Street Bar & Grill

GOODS & SERVICES

Best Adult/Erotic Store

1) Cirilla’s

2) Love Boutique

3) Metro Station

Best Antique Store

1) Goss Avenue Antiques

2) Joe Ley Antiques

3) Crazy Daisy

3) East Broadway Home Store

Best Attorney

1) Armand Judah

2) David Crittenden

3) Darryl Issacs

Best Auto Dealer

1) Sam Swope

2) Bob Hook Chevrolet

3) Tafel Motor Co.

Best Bank

1) Republic Bank

2) Stock Yards Bank & Trust

3) PNC

Best Bicycle Shop

1) Bicycle Sport

2) Bike Couriers Bike Shop

3) Scheller’s Fitness and Cycling

Best Clothing Boutique

1) Dot Fox

2) The Nitty Gritty

3) Dressing Room

Best Comic Book Shop

1) The Great Escape

2) The Zone

3) Role of the Die

Best Consignment Store

1) Margaret’s

2) Rosie’s Consignment Boutique

3) Sassy Fox

Best Contractor

1) Esposito Ellery Construction

2) Kevin Kelton

3) Rick Hall

Best Daycare

1) Cornerstone Child Development

2) Highland Community Ministries

3) KinderCare

Best Dentist

1) Mortenson Family Dental

2) Dr. David Schaefer

3) Dr. John Sisk

Best Dry Cleaner

1) Highland Cleaners

2) Nu Yale

3) Parrot Cleaners

Best Farmers Market

1) Bardstown Road Farmers Market

2) St. Matthews Farmers Market at Beargrass Christian Church

3) Gray Street Farmers Market

Best Florist

1) Nanz & Kraft

2) Colonial Designs

3) Broadway Florist

Best Gift Boutique

1) Regalo

2) WHY Louisville

3) Scout

Best Golf Course

1) Valhalla

2) Cherokee

3) Shawnee

Best Gym

1) YMCA

2) Baptist East Milestone

3) Fitness 19

Best Hair Salon

1) Gregory Michaels

2) Z Salon & Spa

3) Joseph’s Salon & Spa

Best Health Food Store

1) Rainbow Blossom

2) Amazing Grace

3) Paul’s Fruit Market

Best Hospital

1) Baptist East

2) Norton Healthcare

3) Jewish Hospital East

Best House of Worship

1) Sojourn Community Church

2) Unity of Louisville

3) Southeast Christian

Best Instrument Shop

1) Doo Wop Shop

2) Guitar Emporium

3) Mom’s Music

Best Jewelry Store

1) Davis Jewelers

2) Royal Fine Jewelers

3) Aesthetics in Jewelry

Best Law Office

1) De Renzo Durrett

2) Frost Brown Todd

3) Judah Law Offices

Best Liquor Store

1) Old Town Wine and Spirits

2) Liquor Barn

3) Westport Whiskey and Wine

Best Local Bookstore

1) Carmichael’s

2) Book & Music Exchange

3) A Reader’s Corner

Best Local Pet Grooming

1) Pretty Paws

2) Stacey’s Grooming Emporium

3) Connie’s Groom Room

Best Local Shoe Store

1) 2nd Step Shoes

2) Swag’s Sport Shoes

3) Footworks

Best Luxury Auto Dealer

1) Bluegrass Motorsports

2) Sam Swope BMW

3) Lexus of Louisville

Best Luxury Hotel

1) 21c Museum Hotel

2) The Brown Hotel

3) The Seelbach Hotel

Best Massage

1) A Therapeutic Touch

2) Z Salon & Spa

3) Elements Therapeutic Massage

Best Mechanic

1) McCormick Motorsports

2) Bill’s Automotive

3) Volksdoktor

Best Pediatrician

1) Dr. Bernie Speevack

2) East Louisville Pediatrics

3) Dr. Moises Dreszer

Best Place for a Wedding Reception

1) The Brown Hotel

2) The Olmsted

3) Mellwood Arts Center

Best Place to Adopt a Pet

1) Kentucky Humane Society

2) Shamrock Foundation

3) Louisville Metro Animal Services

Best Place to Buy a Unique Gift

1) WHY Louisville

2) Regalo

3) Ultra Pop

Best Place to Buy Vinyl

1) ear X-tacy

2) Underground Sounds

3) The Great Escape

Best Place to Take Kids
When It’s Raining

1) Louisville Science Center

2) Art Sparks Interactive Gallery

3) Incredible Dave’s

Best Plastic Surgeon

1) Dr. Thomas Haas

2) Dr. Alex Digenis

3) Dr. Bradley Calobrace

Best Playground

1) Waterfront Park

2) Tyler Park

3) Iroquois Park

Best Plumber

1) BC Plumbing

2) United Plumbing

3) Tom Drexler

Best Public Restroom

1) 21c Museum Hotel

2) Rivue

3) Greenwood Boat Dock

Best Real Estate Company

1) Keller Williams Realty

2) Re/Max

3) Semonin Realtors

Best Record Store

1) ear X-tacy

2) Underground Sounds

3) The Great Escape

Best Roofer

1) Ray Nolan Roofing

2) Highland Roofing

3) Frederick Roofing

Best Running Store

1) Swag’s Sport Shoes

2) Fleet Feet

3) Ken Comb’s

Best Screen Printer

1) Monkey Drive

2) Kopilot

3) Mad Pixel Art and Design

Best Spa

1) Z’s Salon & Spa

2) Imaage Medical Spa

3) Joseph’s Salon & Spa

Best Tattoo Parlor

1) Acme Ink

2) Tattoo Charlie’s

3) Twisted Images

Best Tobacco Store

1) J. Shepherd Cigar Boutique

2) Cox’s Smokers Outlet

3) Bardstown Road Smoking Shop

Best Veterinarian

1) Dr. Elizabeth Bond
(Plantation Animal Clinic)

2) Dr. Lynn Horrar
(Highlands Animal Clinic)

3) Dr. Joe Deck

Best Video Store

1) Wild and Woolly

2) Book & Music Exchange

3) Louisville Free Public Library

Best Vintage Clothing Store

1) The Nitty Gritty

2) Cherry Bomb

3) Hey Tiger

Best Yoga Class

1) Yoga on Baxter

2) Yoga East

3) Infinite Bliss

MEDIA

Best Local Arts Writer

1) Erin Keane

2) Peter Berkowitz

3) Jo Anne Triplett

Best Local Blog

1) Backseat Sandbar

2) Consuming Louisville

3) Peter Berkowitz

Best Local Columnist

1) Pam Swisher

2) Peter Berkowitz

3) Rick Bozich

Best Local Feature Writer

1) Peter Berkowitz

2) Steve Shaw

3) Dana McMahan

Best Local Media Celebrity You Love to Hate

1) Terry Meiners

2) Karen Sypher

3) Dawne Gee

Best Local Music Writer

1) Hunter Embry

2) Mat Herron

3) Jeffrey Lee Puckett

Best Local News Writer

1) Andrew Wolfson

2) Phillip M. Bailey

3) Jonathan Meador

Best Local Publication

1) LEO Weekly

2) Underwired

3) The Courier-Journal

Best Local Radio Personality

1) Terry Meiners

2) Laura Shine

3) Kelly K

Best Local Radio Station

1) 89.3 WFPL

2) 102.3 WXMA

3) 91.9 WFPK

Best Local TV Meteorologist

1) John Belski

2) Kevin Harned

3) Mark Weinberg

Best Local TV News Anchor

1) Dawne Gee

2) Rachel Platt

3) John Boel

Best Local TV Station

1) WAVE-3

2) WHAS-11

3) WLKY-32

Best Local Website

1) backseatsandbar.com

2) louisvillehardcore.com

3) kentuckianaweddings.com

Best Place to Pick Up LEO Weekly

1) Heine Brothers

2) ear X-tacy

3) City Café

Best Reason to Read LEO Weekly

1) It makes you smarter

2) In-depth arts, music and
news coverage

3) It’s not Velocity

Best Reason to Use Social Networking

1) Bored at work

2) Professional networking

3) Hooking up

Best Scandal of the Year

1) Karen Sypher/Rick Pitino scandal

2) Rand Paul and the Aqua
Buddha debacle

3) Louisville Metro Animal Services

Best Social Networking Site

1) Facebook

2) Twitter

3) LinkedIn

Best TV Disaster Graphics

1) WLKY-32

2) WAVE-3

3) WHAS-11

Best TV Morning Show

1) “FOX in the Morning”

2) “Good Morning Kentuckiana”

3) “WAVE 3 Sunrise”

NIGHTLIFE

Best (Strongest) Mixed Drink

1) The Back Door

2) Cahoots

3) ZaZoo’s

Best Bar Bathroom

1) Proof/21c

2) Louisville Beer Store

3) Zanzabar

Best Bar to Nurse a Hangover

1) Highland Taproom

2) Outlook Inn

3) Monkey Wrench

Best Bar to People Watch

1) The Back Door

2) Highland Taproom

3) Nachbar

Best Bartender

1) Quinn Mueller at ZaZoo’s

2) Kenny Kaelin at Zeppelin Café

3) Jeremy Johnson at The Blind Pig

Best Bloody Mary

1) Outlook Inn

2) Lynn’s Paradise Café

3) The Blind Pig

Best Blues Bar

1) Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar

2) Zeppelin Café

3) The Lounge

Best Club DJ

1) DJ Prism

2) DJ Glitter Titz

3) OK Deejays

Best Comedy Club

1) Comedy Caravan

2) The Improv

Best Country/Western Bar

1) Electric Cowboy

2) Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium

2) Saddle Ridge

Best Dive Bar

1) Nachbar

2) Magnolia Bar and Grill

3) Third Street Dive

Best Gay Bar

1) The Connection

2) Starbase Q

3) Tryangles

Best Gentlemen’s Club

1) PT’s

2) Déjà Vu

3) Rustic Frog

Best Karaoke Bar

1) Akiko’s

2) Highland Taproom

3) Tink’s Pub

Best Local Brewery

1) Bluegrass Brewing Company

2) New Albanian
Brewing Company

3) Cumberland Brewery

Best Margarita

1) El Mundo

2) El Rodeo

3) El Nopal

Best Martini

1) 732 Social

2) 60 West Bistro

3) Martini Italian Bistro

Best Neighborhood Bar/Pub

1) Nachbar

2) Monkey Wrench

3) Zanzabar

Best New Bar/Club

1) Zanzabar

2) Louisville Beer Store

3) Patrick O’Shea’s

Best Original Cocktail

1) Proof on Main

2) 732 Social

3) The Blind Pig

Best Place to Dance

1) The Connection

2) Jim Porter’s Good Time Emporium

3) VFW Post 1181

Best Place to Hear Jazz

1) Nachbar

2) The Seelbach Hotel

3) Stevie Ray’s Blues Bar

Best Place to Shoot Pool

1) The Back Door

2) Diamond Pub and Billiards

3) Darkstar Tavern

Best Singles Bar

1) O’Shea’s

2) Phoenix Hill Tavern

3) Magnolia Bar and Grill

Best Smoking Area

1) Monkey Wrench

2) Nachbar

3) The Back Door

Best Sports Bar

1) BoomBozz Pizza

2) Big Blue Country

3) Zanzabar

Best Trivia Night

1) Zanzabar

2) Molly Malone’s

3) Wick’s Pizza

Best U of L Bar

1) Granville Inn

2) Monkey Wrench

3) Zanzabar

Best UK Bar

1) Big Blue Country

2) Highland Taproom

3) Dundee Tavern

Best Wine Bar

1) L&N Wine Bar and Bistro

2) The Blind Pig

3) Brix Wine Bar

OTHER STUFF

Best Business to Have as
a Facebook Friend

1) ear X-tacy

2) Liposuction Institute of Louisville

3) Gigi’s Cupcakes

Best Category We Forgot

1) Best Barber Shop

2) Best Performer

3) Best Drummer

Best Community Role Model

1) Tom Owen

2) Scott Carney

3) David Wicks

Best Excuse to Leave Town for a Day

1) Kentucky Derby

2) Mint Julep Tours

3) Bourbon Trail

Best Eyesore

1) House next to Genny’s Diner

2) 800 Building

3) Colonial Gardens

Best Local Attorney Gimmick

1) Heavy Hitter

2) Ask Gary

3) Son in Jail? Call Waddell

Best Local Celebrity

1) Muhammad Ali

2) Dawne Gee

3) John Yarmuth

Best Local Landmark

1) Churchill Downs

2) Louisville Slugger Bat

3) Conrad-Caldwell House

Best Local Politician

1) John Yarmuth

2) Jerry Abramson

3) Kimberly Greenwell

Best Local Urban Legend

1) Pope Lick Monster

2) Fairdale Bigfoot

3) Goat Man

Best Month to be in Town

1) May

2) October

3) April

Best Neighborhood

1) Highlands

2) Germantown

3) Crescent Hill

Best Nonprofit

1) Fairness Campaign

2) No Kill Louisville

3) Home of the Innocents

Best Person to Have
Their Face on a Building

1) Muhammad Ali

2) Diane Sawyer

3) John Yarmuth

Best Place to Get a
Parking Ticket

1) Anywhere Downtown

2) Bardstown Road

3) University of
Louisville

Best Place to Make a Public Spectacle of Yourself

1) Fourth Street Live

2) Bardstown Road

3) Louisville Sub Rosa:
The Gypsie Courtyard

Best Place to Ride Your Bike

1) Cherokee Park

2) River Road

3) Waterfront Park

Best Place to See Christmas Décor

1) Lake Forest

2) Old Louisville

3) Downtown

Best Place to Take Your Dog

1) Cherokee Park

2) Dog Hill

3) Cochran Hill Dog Run

Best Place You Wish Had Never Gone Out of Business

1) Hawley-Cooke Booksellers

2) Art Ecology

3) Bacon’s

Best Politician You Love to Hate

1) Mitch McConnell

2) David Williams

3) Rand Paul

Best Question for John Yarmuth

1) Can you fix Washington and
make Congress work?

2) Who is Todd Lally?

3) Would you agree to be cloned?

Best Question for Mitch McConnell

1) How do you tolerate Nancy Pelosi?

2) When are you going to retire?

3) How much did you get
for your soul?

Best Reason to Get In the Ohio River

1) None

2) To Avoid Tolls

3) Ironman

Best Thing That’s Changed
Here in the Last Year

1) Main Street

2) New Arena

3) More Bike Lanes

Best Thing to Do with Your Used LEO Weekly

1) Recycle it

2) Pass it on

3) Leave in waiting rooms

Best U of L Basketball Player

1) Darrell Griffith

2) Peyton Siva

3) Kyle Kuric