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.
LAWYER/LEGAL MIMI MCCAIN Your top choice to contact and consult with on legal matters/services is veteran Atlanta lawyer Mimi McCain (www.title law.com/aboutus.asp?id=17). An attorney for Ganek Wright Minsk PC, McCain is a founder of the Stonewall Bar Association of Georgia and specializes in residential and commercial closings and builder/developer representation.
In second place is Kathleen Womack (www.kwomacklaw.com) and third place Randy Fry (www.thefrylawfirm.com/).
TANNING SALON ANSLEY BEACH Need a bronze body before hitting the beach, any day of the week? The winner here is Ansley Beach (www.ansleybeach.com), the longtime Midtown salon with tanning gear aplenty. Ansley Beach has been around for more than 30 years and aced this category last year as well.
In second is Palm Beach Tan (www.palmbeachtan.com) and in third Simply Sun (www.simplysuntan.com).
SPA BEAUTY BAR OF BUCKHEAD When it comes to Spa Services, Beauty Bar of Buckhead (www.beautybarofbuckhead.com) triumphs here in a tight race. With a complete array of services for hair, face and body, as well as bridal services and special events, it’s no wonder it takes the prize. Owner Heather Levine has succeeded quickly in making this a high-fashion inspired spa.
Urban Body (www.urbanbodyfitness.com) is second and Blue Med Spa (www.bluemedspa.com) third.
HAIR SALON BUBBLES The place Atlanta most likes for a trim is Bubbles (www.bubblesatlanta.com). Its convenient location, hours and accessible and pleasant staff—including six stylists—have not gone unnoticed. Walk-ins are welcome and the salon has both male and female clientele.
Helmet (www.helmethairworx.com) takes second place and Beauty Bar of Buckhead (www.beautybarofbuckhead.com) takes third.
GYM URBAN BODY Your favorite place to work out is Urban Body (www.urbanbodyfitness.com), which has a spa/salon and a studio in addition to its fitness center. Said fitness center has a large number of personal trainers and cardio equipment. And let’s be honest—your friends all work out there too!
Gravity Fitness (www.gravityatl.com) is your second fave and third is Fit Studio (www.fitstudioatlanta.com).
DERMATOLOGIST DR. FORNEY Making skin beautiful is the mission of Dr. Forney of Dermatology Affiliates (http://dermatologyaffiliates.com), your favorite in this field. With three offices in the metro Atlanta area and in-house options galore, it’s safe to say Dr. Forney and her specialists know the latest in skin services.
Second place went to Dr. Bandarkar of Emory Clinic (http://bhandarkar-emory.clinic007.com) and third place is Dr. Jodi Ganz, Olansky Dermatology (www.olanskydermatology.com).
REALTOR JUSTIN ZIEGLER Justin Ziegler, team leader of Common Ground Real Real Estate, (http://commongroundrealestate.com/justin-jz-ziegler) is tops when it comes to selling or looking for a new home. He’s affable, in the know—being a member of both the Atlanta Board and Dekalb Board of REALTORS®—and certainly well-connected in the community who also is known for his volunteer work, including as a board member of Lost-N-Found Youth.
Second place goes to Toby & Brandon of Keller Williams (www.tobyandbrandon.com) and third place to Team Ellis – Sotheby’s (www.teamellis.biz/Home.html).
PHARMACY PRIDE MEDICAL Pharmacies are pretty plentiful in the area but Pride Medical(www.pridemedical.com) is the favorite in this category. There’s something about visiting there for a doctor’s appointment and being able to use the onsite pharmacy that is both heavenly and customer friendly—and sensible.
Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) comes in second with Absolute Careplacing (www.absolutecarehealth.com) third.
CHIROPRACTOR DR. STEVEN ROFFERS OF PRIDE MEDICAL When Atlantans need an adjustment to get their bodies back moving the right way, the top choice is Pride Medical’s Dr. Steven Roffers (www.pridemedical.com) who can place patients on his table and make them almost feel like new. As part of Pride Medical, he’s a well-trusted commodity.
Rounding out the top three are Any Spine Chiropractic (www.anyspine.com) and Sandy Chiropractic (www.sandychiro.com).
BANK WELLS FARGO LGBT Atlantans adore their Wells Fargo (www.wellsfargo.com). It’s not just a banking establishment but also a company well known for its LGBT-friendly stance and customer support.
In second is BB&T(www.bbt.com) and third is State Bank & Trust /Midtown (www.statebt.com).
DENTIST DR. CHIP HILL Long-time Atlanta dentist Dr. Chip Hill (www.chiphilldds.com) is the winner here. He has worked on the teeth of thousands of patients over the years and keeps them coming back, for those seeking general dentistry needs and cosmetic ones.
Dr. Laura Mills(www.newfacedentistry.com) finishes in second place and Southern Smiles (www.southernsmilesga.com) in third.
FINANCIAL PLANNER LOUIS GARY OF AMERIPRISE Whether it’s retirement planning or domestic partner planning, Louis Gary of Ameriprise (www.ameripriseadvisors.com/louis.a.gary/profile) wins here. He’s the person you most want to steer you in the right direction when it comes to money decisions.
Second place is Lynn Pasqualetti-HLM Financial (www.hlmonestop.com) and third is Leslie Cook-Ameriprise (www.ameripriseadvisors.com/leslie.a.cook).
DOCTOR DR. DAVID MORRIS Dr. David Morris of Pride Medical (www.pridemedical.com) is the top vote-getter in this category. He’s board certified in Family Medicine and certified in HIV care and is an active member of the Piedmont Hospital medical staff. He also lectures and volunteers for the AIDS Alliance of Faith and Health and was a volunteer physician for the Peachtree Road Race for four years. At Pride Medical, he’s trusted, respected and treats patients like family.
In second is Absolute Care (www.absolutecarehealth.com) and in third is T. Douglas Gurley (www.tdouglas