After two months of online balloting and tens of thousands of votes cast, we present to you your favorites in dozens of categories in our fifth annual Best of Atlanta awards.
Many people like to say these awards are nothing but a popularity contest. We don’t deny that at all, because in the end, the winners are decided by one thing only: your votes.
Our first round of voting took place in May and we gave readers a chance to nominate their favorites in categories of Community, People, Places, Shopping, Eats, Arts & Entertainment, Nightlife, Pets and Services. In most cases, the top three vote-getters (or more if there was a tie) were named finalists and moved on to the second stage of multiple-choice voting, which lasted through the end of June.
Many organizations, people and businesses let their fates be determined unprompted. Others mounted organized campaigns, usually through Facebook and Twitter, to convince fans and to garner votes from fans and friends and others. Both approaches are valuable and any group or business that has a devoted fan base willing to vote every day is worth checking out.
Be sure to congratulate the winners. And if your favorite didn’t make it to the finals, plan on doing something about that next year by nominating and voting early and often.
The best part of this issue is the party we throw for it, a party for the winners, finalists and for everyone who makes this community a great place to live, work and play.
We hope to see you there on July 17 at the Georgian Terrace. We couldn’t throw the party without the kindness and generosity of the gorgeous Midtown hotel as well as Green’s Liquor and Barefoot Wine, Henry’s Midtown, Campagnolo Restaurant & Bar, Green Ginger, Southern Sweets, our emcee Ian Aber of A Bear Comedy Show and DJ Vicki Powell.
Congratulations to all our winners, and thank you to all of our communities who share their stories with us and therefore empower all of us.
BARK IN THE PARK
Bark in the Park (braves.com/bark) lapped up first place this year for its annual baring of the canines at Turner Field. The dogs-allowed Braves game is hugely popular with Atlanta dogs and their human friends. Attendees each receive a Braves dog leash! Tickets are available for this year’s installment on Aug. 17, when the Braves face the Oakland A’s.
- Close on its tail in second place was Angels Among Us Pet Rescue (www.angelsrescue.org), which rescues dogs and cats from high-kill shelters and places them in foster care. Pet Cotillion (www.palsatlanta.org/2014voting.htm) caught the third-place Frisbee disc.
THE PET SET
Runaway favorite for first place, The Pet Set (www.thepetset.com) has been grooming and bathing Atlanta’s cats and dogs since 1982. It’s open in two locations seven days each week, and the well-trained staff knows just how to please its furry customers and their owners.
- Piedmont Bark (www.piedmontbark.com) snapped up second place, with Furside Lounge getting table scraps for third.
DOGGIE DAY CARE
Centrally located on Amsterdam Avenue, Piedmont Bark (www.piedmontbark.com) took first place for its multiple
award-winning services, including several kennel sizes, a variety of social events like “Yappy Hour” and high customer
- Second place praise went to The Pet Set (www.thepetset.com), with Wag-A-Lot (www.wagalot.com) sniffing its rear in third.
THE PET SET
Scoring another win this year, The Pet Set (www.thepetset.com) outran the competition with its retail sales of dog and cat food, supplies, treats, toys and other products.
- Wag-A-Lot (www.wagalot.com) placed second and Intown Healthy Hound (www.intownhealthyhound.com) fetched third.
VILLAGE VETS OF DECATUR
First place in a walk this year was Village Vets of Decatur (www.thevillagevets.com), just off the Square. An institution for over a decade, it has racked up many awards over the years for its wide range of care, emergency services and associations with many animal rescues and shelters around the city.
- North Dekalb Veterinary Clinic (www.northdekalbvet.com) chased behind in second place, and Ormewood Animal Hospital (www.ormewoodanimal.com) heeled at third.