Best of Atlanta: Retail


Gym: L.A. Fitness Ansley Mall

Anchoring the gayest outdoor malls in Atlanta, L.A. Fitness in Ansley Mall  ( continues its popularity with the workout set, garnering half the votes.  Located at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive and just a few miles from Piedmont Park, it continues to draw gays and girls.

Urban Body Fitness ( finished second, Gravity Fitness in third ( Work Out Anytime placed fourth (

Best of Atlanta categories:

Hair Salon: Helmet

Helmet Hairworx and Bodywerx ( opened up a new salon in West Midtown this year on its route to a first place finish, adding to its locations in Midtown, East Atlanta, Virginia Highlands and in Gravity Fitness.

Boys’ only Axiom Salon for Men ( finished second while Cortex Hair Studio ( made it to third place. Honorable mentions to Salon 2000 ( and Liberty Hair Studio.

Coffee Shop: Caribou Coffee

Sitting in the heart of the gay Midtown community at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, Caribou Coffee ( is our readers’ choice to grab a cup of caffeine. Everything from business meetings to hanging out happens at the shop that sits only a few hundred feet from Piedmont Park.

The always-crowded Starbucks ( in Ansley Mall finished second while San Francisco Coffee Roasters ( finished third.

Bookstore: Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse

With more than three-quarters of all the votes cast, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse ( was the dominant choice for Georgia Voice readers to pick up their latest reads or see their favorite author appear in person. Now in its 17th year, Outwrite continues to pull in A-List authors and has become an iconic part of Atlanta’s landscape.

Second place chain store Borders ( beat out the independent third place Brushstrokes (

Brushstrokes wins best Gift Store
Best Gift Shop: Brushstrokes (Photo by Bo Shell)

Gift Shop: Brushstrokes

Known for offering anything and everything gay-related, Brushstrokes ( led the voting for best gift shop. Run by Mark Jackson and Tom Schloeder, Brushstrokes has gained a sterling reputation as a longtime community business, and offers apparel, DVDs, books, collectibles, calendars, adult items and much, much more.

Decatur’s Heliotrope ( finished in second and Paper Affair ( was third.

Home Décor: Restoration Hardware

Restoration Hardware ( narrowly beat Traders Neighborhood Store ( for first place.

Third place went to Intaglia Home Collection (, with honorable mentions for Domestic Comfort ( and Lightnin’ Bugz (

Tanning Salon: Ansley Beach

Furthering Ansley Mall’s dominance with our readers, Ansley Beach won more than half of the votes for best tanning salon. A staple in that location, Ansley Beach has built up a strong following of bronze-skin seekers.

Circuit Tan ( was second and Palm Beach Tan ( finished third.

Day Spa: Blue Med Spa

Midtown’s Blue Med Spa ( dominated the voting for best day spa. Known for an always expanding range of services the spa effectively beckons those looking for a little pampering, whether you are looking for traditional spa services, clinical services like Botox or laser hair removal, or both. Only two votes separated second place Bliss ( and third place Spa Sydell (

Art Gallery: Young Blood Gallery & Boutique

Poncy-Highland’s Young Blood Gallery & Boutique ( was deemed best art gallery by Georgia Voice readers. The gallery’s owners try to showcase new artists with new showings each month.

Mason Murer ( and Bill Lowe Gallery ( finished second and third respectively.

Liquor Store: Ansley Wine Merchant

Chalking up another win for Ansley Mall, Ansley Wine Merchant ( takes first in this category. Ansley Wine Merchant offers a wide selection of wine from across the world.

Green’s Discount Beverages ( finished second and Tower Beer, Wine & Spirits ( was third.

Clothing Store for Men: Boy Next Door

Continuing its reputation as the place to shop for men, Boy Next Door ( near Piedmont Park won by a dominating margin.

Local chain Bill Hallman ( finished second and chain store Zara ( was third.

Clothing Store for Women: H&M

International fashion icon H&M ( was the choice of our female readers. Known for mixing fashion and affordability H&M offers something for the entire family.

Mitzi & Romano finished second and Bill Hallman ( came in third.