Readers' Choice Awards 2016: SERVICES

Oct 5, 2016 at 12:14 pm
Best Tattoo Studio: Tattoo Charlies
Best Tattoo Studio: Tattoo Charlies

Best Barbershop Derby City Chop Shop I’ve tried getting my haircut at a chain before because it was convenient, and every time I’ve ended up coming home and shaving off all of my hair, because it just looked god-awful. Haircuts can either make or break your look, and Derby City Chop Shop knows that. The lines can be long, but that’s because the barbers don’t rush anything, and they take their time cutting everyone’s hair until it’s just right. —Ethan Smith #2. Market St. Barbers #3. Underground Classic Cuts

Best Local Bank Republic Bank They were once there for you yesterday, here for you today and there for you tomorrow … now it’s just easier here. Republic Bank is one of Louisville’s great homegrown businesses. While big banks were cheating the system in New York, Republic was banking the responsible, ethical way. It was a leader in mobile banking before it was cool, and it continues working to find ways to make your banking experience easier. I mean, how could LEO bank anywhere else? —Aaron Yarmuth #2. Stockyard Bank & Trust #3. PNC Bank

Best Bicycle Shop Parkside Bikes The folks at Parkside Bikes care about what they do. Superficially, they have a nice looking shop and stock it with solid stuff. Behind the scenes, they compensate their people well, because they want them to stick around and think about the relationships that they make. And this is all real talk. When owner Ben Botkins read a concern I had mentioned about a previous mention (read on Facebook), he reached out to me and took ownership of the problem, while explaining the situation; they care enough to reach out to individuals and want to be the best neighbor in your community that they can. They love bikes and the people that ride them, which is how they’ve managed to expand their franchise to a second location. —Syd Bishop #2. Scheller’s Fitness & Cycling #3. Middletown Cycling

Best Caterer Wiltshire Pantry Wiltshire isn’t just a great restaurant in NuLu, or a one of Louisville’s great bakeries … it is both of those things. But Wiltshire Pantry has been catering Louisville’s event and hospitality needs since 1989. Whatever your special occasion entails, be it a wedding, corporate retreat or private dinner party, founder and owner Susan Hershberg will make it happen, and you will not be disappointed. —Aaron Yarmuth #2. Mastersons’ Catering #3. Ladyfingers Catering

Best Dry Cleaner Holiday Cleaners Holiday Cleaners and Laundry offer same-day service that is done in house. It has longer hours to accommodate busy schedules and those of us who work 9-5. The people at Holiday Cleaners tell us they try to do everything in their power to help their customers, even the ones who come in late on Saturdays. And they have been doing it for more than 18 years. —Aleeza Gardner #2. Highland Cleaners #3. Nu-Yale Cleaners

Best Gym/Fitness Club YMCA of greater louisville When it comes to keeping yourself healthy and in shape, you just can’t beat the Y. Sure, there are cheaper gyms, more specialized gyms and gyms that offer you pizza on Fridays. But if I have learned anything in my time exercising, variety is the key to keeping you going to the gym. And the Y has it in mass. You can lift weights, work on your cardio, swim in the pool, do some yoga or pretty much anything that involves staying fit. —Ethan Smith #2. Derby City CrossFit #3. Orange Theory Fitness

Best Hair Salon Z Salon & Spa Z knows hair. During my consultation there, my stylist talked me through the cut and answered my questions about how a certain style would look. And you know what? She was right. Two locations in Louisville provide clients with multiple hair care options, from cuts to color and more. They have models come in to show that real women can rock edgy haircuts, and their master stylists have the training to provide just that. The staff is friendly and willing to hear out thoughts about styles and colors. —Aleeza Gardner #2. Joseph’s Salon/Spa #3. Under the Dryer Salon

Best Hotel 21c Museum Hotel While the colorful penguins are multiplying all across the country, the original will always be 21c Louisville. The hotel/art gallery/event space/restaurant sits in the heart of Louisville’s museum row, and within walking distance of other attractions including the Kentucky Center for the Arts, KFC Yum! Center and Fourth Street Live! Maybe it’s symbolic that the 30-foot statue of David stands guard over the cultural heart of the city. The revolving art exhibits always are a must-see. What truly makes 21c special, and a local favorite, is that the gallery is open and welcoming to everyone, not just hotel guests. And the same goes for the restaurant, Proof. It’s not just great food, but great atmosphere, and designed to attract locals, not just remain an amenity or perk for guests. It’s truly a must-eat-at for visitors, whether they’re staying at the hotel or not, as well as for Louisvillians. —Aaron Yarmuth #2. The Seelbach Hilton Louisville #3. Galt House Hotel

Best Local Pet Grooming The Pet Station Salon and Boutique The Pet Station prides itself on taking extra-special care of customers’ pets, which sounds like your usual sales pitch for any retailer or business, but, in this case, it’s extremely important. Because you can’t trust your beloved pets to just anyone, since a bad groomer could potentially traumatize your furry friend. One Facebook reviewer said about a particular groomer there: “She was very patient with my late Samoyed when he became blind and frail.” —Ethan Smith #2. See Spot Grooming & Daycare #3. Connie’s Groom Room

Best Massage/Spa Z Salon & Spa Not only will Z whip your hair into shape, but the staff will make your skin look and feel refreshed. Spa amenities include massages, waxes, facials and makeup. Ranging in price, there’s a little something for everyone. It offers an array of massages, including a full-body deep massage and a 15-minute chair massage. Offering more than massages and facials, makeup lessons and makeup for special occasions are available. Let’s be honest, we all should be pampered from time to time. —Aleeza Gardner #2. Massage Envy #3. Elements Salon

Best Mechanic McCormick Motorsports At 16 years old, Matt McCormick was working at the former Azalea Restaurant under John Varanese and had big aspirations of becoming a chef — until he was cheated by a mechanic working on his car. The experience drove McCormick to learn how to fix cars and break the stereotype of the untrustworthy mechanic. Now in its 12th year, his Old Louisville business has evolved from feeding his passion for fabrication and building off-road vehicles (hence, the name, McCormick Motorsports) to providing quality service and client relations — at a better price than you might expect elsewhere. —Taylor Springelmeyer #2. Reece Service Center #3. Conn’s Auto Services

Best Car Dealer Sam Swope Auto Group Last summer, when I was looking desperately for a car, I hit Sam Swope’s, unsure whether it could match my annoyingly specific needs. The sales people did. When I found the car I wanted, but not in just the right color, they quickly looked through inventory at other dealerships, found what I wanted and even offered to bring me the car. What more could a girl ask for, the perfect car brought right to me? Yes, please. —Aleeza Gardner #2. Bachman Auto Group #3. CarMax

Best Place to Adopt a Pet Kentucky Humane Society Let me first say that any place that lets you adopt pets (as opposed to purchasing them) is the best. But a special kudos goes to the Kentucky Humane Society, which is the largest organization in the state that works toward making sure that every dog and cat (young and old) finds its forever home. —Ethan Smith #2. Feeders Supply #3. Shamrock Pet Foundation

Best Tattoo Studio Tattoo Charlie’s I never seriously considered getting a tattoo, but I talked with the owner of Tattoo Charlies for last year’s Readers’ Choice (this isn’t their first rodeo), and he told me about his focus on hiring artists of all styles, his love for the art of tattooing, how he collects antique tattoo equipment and his involvement in their annual Tattoos Against Cancer benefit. Now, he has me seriously considering getting one. —Ethan Smith #2. Twisted Images #3. Acme Ink Tattoos

Best Yoga Studio Bend & Zen The yogis of Louisville have spoken: At just over a year old, Bend and Zen Hot Yoga is helping us achieve our best bodies and minds in Westport Village with various levels and yoga practices.  Offering a range of styles — from traditional Bikram yoga (you know, that mega-hot room) to restorative yoga options for all skill levels — it seems to be all about the details for Bend and Zen. Upon entering its beautifully-crafted space, whether you are new to yoga or a bendable veteran, you’ll be greeted with warmth kindness from owner Meredith Conroy, or a talented member of her staff.  When you’ve finished your practice, you’ll be lying peacefully in savasana and handed an icy towel drizzled in essential oils. Simply delightful. —Kelsey Westbrook #2. 502 Power Yoga #3. Yoga on Baxter

Best Roofer Commonwealth Roofing Corp. One of my pet peeves is calling a place and having to push a bunch of buttons to get to the person who then redirects me to the person I want to talk to. When you call Commonwealth Roofers, you get a real person immediately, not an automated system. That saved me a lot of hair from being pulled out, and it might do the same for you. Commonwealth has been around for 35 years, and they told me it has no intentions of going anywhere soon. —Aleeza Gardner #2. HKC Roofing & Construction #3. Highland Roofing

Best Plumber BC Plumbing Company According to our records, BC Plumbing is closing in on at least a 10-peat of LEO’s Readers’ Choice for Louisville’s best plumber. Going back to at least 2008, BC Plumbing has run the table. Owner and master plumber Bruce Cohen makes sure his entire staff lives up to the reputation and are prepared to tackle any challenge — whether that be updating the efficiency, green plumbing and water conservation for new buildings, or repairing and maintaining the look and feel of older homes, like the Victorians of Old Louisville. They do it all — they’ll even rent out a larger-than-life toilet for a parade (you have to see it to believe it). —Aaron Yarmuth #2. Tom Drexler Plumbing #3. Maeser Plumbing