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Best of Atlanta 2008 Consumer Culture

 

Best Of Atlanta 2008 Consumer Culture Large


Consumer Culture

Imagine footwear boutique Sole engaged in good old-fashioned shoe-leather campaigning. Or Criminal Records mastering the art of retail politics. Or picture Inserection adult novelty store kissing babies. No, on second thought, scratch that image. Whatever the strategy, the votes are tallied and these and other Consumer Culture candidates have topped the Best of Atlanta critics' list. (Of course, they're joined on the rostrum by the many winners of CL's Readers Picks; think of them as the loyal opposition.) And we say, to the victors go the spoils. We expect strong turnout for the winners, from such veteran public servants as Stefan's Vintage Clothing to newcomers like B Chic consignment store. That said, we could hardly make sense of our own exit-poll data (why are mustard-stained hipsters attracted to comic books?), but that didn't stop us from going all Zogby. So keep reading and prepare to be pandered to.

– Scott Henry

Best Antique-Browsing Experience BOA Award Winner

Kudzu Antiques
Somewhere between the pre-WWII Chinese tourism posters and the 19th-century bridal trunk, it becomes clear that KUDZU ANTIQUES has a hard time saying no. This packrat's paradise covers about 25,000 square feet and hosts an average of 100 dealers in its Decatur warehouse. Looking for high-quality vintagemore...
Somewhere between the pre-WWII Chinese tourism posters and the 19th-century bridal trunk, it becomes clear that KUDZU ANTIQUES has a hard time saying no. This packrat's paradise covers about 25,000 square feet and hosts an average of 100 dealers in its Decatur warehouse. Looking for high-quality vintage clothes and shoes, primitive furniture, or such kitschy LPs as Music for Tired Golfers? Kudzu's got it. The staff is laid-back, yet eager to answer questions. Plan on spending a couple of hours browsing when you go, and bring a compass – you could get lost in there and end up for sale in one of the booths a few years from now. less...

Best Women's Shoes BOA Award Winner

Sole
Our shoe obsession may not be on the Carrie Bradshaw level, but whenever we feel the urge to decorate our feet with a new strappy number, we head over to SOLE in the Edgewood Retail District. It offers a more unique and varied selection than your average department store, complete with name-drops suchmore...
Our shoe obsession may not be on the Carrie Bradshaw level, but whenever we feel the urge to decorate our feet with a new strappy number, we head over to SOLE in the Edgewood Retail District. It offers a more unique and varied selection than your average department store, complete with name-drops such as Jeffrey Campbell, Tsubo and MC & Power. Whether you're looking for a classic pump or a trendy pair of sandals, the knowledgeable and friendly staff at Sole can outfit your feet. less...

Best Person For Waxing Your Junk BOA Award Winner

Tamara Townsend at Natural Body Midtown
Those of us who take our beauty seriously enough to let someone put us in a compromising position while ripping out our short hairs know that waxing is indeed a delicate art. Comfort (physical and emotional) and effectiveness are paramount, and the skill of estheticians (even at the same spa) can varymore...
Those of us who take our beauty seriously enough to let someone put us in a compromising position while ripping out our short hairs know that waxing is indeed a delicate art. Comfort (physical and emotional) and effectiveness are paramount, and the skill of estheticians (even at the same spa) can vary – there's nothing worse than paying good money to have someone torture you and leave you red and bumpy. But TAMARA TOWNSEND at Natural Body Midtown is a true expert. Townsend's friendly demeanor and easy-going yet professional vibe will make you feel comfortable and relaxed, and she knows all the tricks for reducing pain and getting rid of every last pesky hair. less...

Best Place For Old-School Ink BOA Award Winner

When Dirk Hays opened EAST ATLANTA TATTOO in 2001, his was the only tattoo parlor on the stretch of Glenwood Avenue that led hipsters into the East Atlanta Village. And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, so is encroachment: At least two new tattoo shops have moved within inking distance frommore...
When Dirk Hays opened EAST ATLANTA TATTOO in 2001, his was the only tattoo parlor on the stretch of Glenwood Avenue that led hipsters into the East Atlanta Village. And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, so is encroachment: At least two new tattoo shops have moved within inking distance from EAT within the past year or so. Hays' tattoos embody his fondness for lowbrow culture, one of the reasons he opened up the Gallery at East Atlanta Tattoo next door last fall, making him a strong supporter of the local lowbrow scene with continually growing art shows. He's turning the power of his ink back onto canvas, and his paintings are a reflection of his tattoos. Here's to Hays not entirely giving up one art form for the other. less...

Best Yoga Guru BOA Award Winner

Doug Eifrid
Behind any serious yogi lies a beloved instructor, which makes picking the city's best yoga instructor a little like picking best mom. That said, there's something about Yoga Samadhi owner DOUG EIFRID that makes him stand out. At his sunny Inman Park studio, Eifrid inspires students to find harmony beyondmore...
Behind any serious yogi lies a beloved instructor, which makes picking the city's best yoga instructor a little like picking best mom. That said, there's something about Yoga Samadhi owner DOUG EIFRID that makes him stand out. At his sunny Inman Park studio, Eifrid inspires students to find harmony beyond their yoga practice. Just as important, though, is his attempt to make yoga more accessible by setting affordable prices and maintaining a low-key vibe. He and his 10 instructors teach 25 classes per week (including Eifrid's packed all-levels class on Saturdays at noon), and they lead each class with humor and humility. Eifrid also hosts an annual yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, as well as the occasional couples yoga workshop, meditation class and free Friday-night kirtan, or chanting, session. Best of all, Eifrid's workshops start at a mere $20, and he offers unlimited yoga for $98 per month. less...

Best Indie Jewelry Crafter BOA Award Winner

Jen Boaz

Best Non-Chaotic Consignment Shop BOA Award Winner

While some shoppers relish the chance to pore over rack after rack of second-hand jackets in search of just the right find (read: the one without moth holes), we can't claim to have that much patience. That's why B CHIC is our favorite consignment shop. Where, in other consignment stores, you must searchmore...
While some shoppers relish the chance to pore over rack after rack of second-hand jackets in search of just the right find (read: the one without moth holes), we can't claim to have that much patience. That's why B CHIC is our favorite consignment shop. Where, in other consignment stores, you must search through picked-over stuff to score the perfect discount threads, this small, neat shop's inventory is selective: good-as-new Nanette Lepore, Trina Turk, Tory Burch, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Nicole Miller. There's even the occasional pair of bargain-priced Manolos. A recent trip revealed a deeply discounted, ballet-pink shrug with gauze and feathers from Alberta Ferretti for just $50. There's no crazy, bleeding-edge couture here, but the goods strike just the right balance between trendy and classic without veering into fuddy-duddy territory. less...

Best Place For a Mani/Pedi BOA Award Winner

Highland Nails
Part of the reason why HIGHLAND NAILS has remained a secret for so long is its location. Tucked in a nook behind San Francisco Coffee in Morningside, it's hard to spot – even from the alley where the entrance sits. Upon entering, the first thing you notice is the smell: sweet and clean. Andmore...
Part of the reason why HIGHLAND NAILS has remained a secret for so long is its location. Tucked in a nook behind San Francisco Coffee in Morningside, it's hard to spot – even from the alley where the entrance sits. Upon entering, the first thing you notice is the smell: sweet and clean. And the space itself, though minimal on frills, is spotless. The shop's meticulous hygiene (the most important attribute in a nail salon) carries over to the nail techs' stations, too. There are a half-dozen each for manicures and pedicures, the latter of which are outfitted with comfy – and surprisingly effective – massage chairs. The Asian English-speaking staff is cheerful and attentive, and their work is spot-on. The best part: A pedicure is $20 – cheap for a shop not in a suburban strip mall – and a mani/pedi combo will set you back just $28. less...

FAVORITE SON: Best Way to Dress Like You Live in Another Era BOA Award Winner

Stefan's Vintage Clothing

Best High-Fashion, Low 'Tude Hair Salon BOA Award Winner

Mariemarie Hair Salon
Finding a stylish but unpretentious salon in Atlanta ain't easy. Some spots are so snooty, they may as well have a velvet rope outside. Others start out quiet and cozy, then end up overrun and overbooked. Thankfully, as of this writing, neither scenario could be found at MARIEMARIE HAIR SALON. The newmore...
Finding a stylish but unpretentious salon in Atlanta ain't easy. Some spots are so snooty, they may as well have a velvet rope outside. Others start out quiet and cozy, then end up overrun and overbooked. Thankfully, as of this writing, neither scenario could be found at MARIEMARIE HAIR SALON. The new cuttery in Kirkwood – owned by pixie-cute Marie Hansen, formerly with Van Michael – is tiny, quiet and comfortable. Hansen is the perfect coiffure conversationalist, friendly and nonintimidating, never jabbering on and on while absentmindedly chopping off inch after inch. She's a coloring expert. And instead of giving you the usual noncommittal shrug, she has ideas when you ask, "What do you think I should do with my hair?" less...

Best Non-Mad Dog Wine Deals BOA Award Winner

Bordeaux junkies need look no further. SHERLOCK'S WINE MERCHANT sends reps to the French wine-making region every year to hang out at chateaus and buy wine at the source. The result is one of the Southeast's largest selections of Bordeaux wines at some of the lowest prices. A few months back we boughtmore...
Bordeaux junkies need look no further. SHERLOCK'S WINE MERCHANT sends reps to the French wine-making region every year to hang out at chateaus and buy wine at the source. The result is one of the Southeast's largest selections of Bordeaux wines at some of the lowest prices. A few months back we bought a smooth and rich 1995 Chateau Simard St. Emilion for $25. But enough about the French. Sherlock's also has tons of Spanish and Italian reds, a surprising variety of German wines, especially Rieslings, and a couple of curveballs, too, such as Silvaner. Show up at the Decatur or Brookhaven location from 3-5 p.m. on a Saturday, and you'll be treated to a free wine tasting. less...

Best Source For Funny Books BOA Award Winner

No comic-book store in the Atlanta area has the quantity of new titles of comics and graphic novels, or breadth of geek-centric merchandise, as the large-yet-crammed OXFORD COMICS & GAMES. The last remnant of the beloved local Oxford Book Store chain, Oxford Comics not only provides a place to pick upmore...
No comic-book store in the Atlanta area has the quantity of new titles of comics and graphic novels, or breadth of geek-centric merchandise, as the large-yet-crammed OXFORD COMICS & GAMES. The last remnant of the beloved local Oxford Book Store chain, Oxford Comics not only provides a place to pick up the week's latest sleek superhero and/or scruffy indie comics (they'll put them aside for you on request), it's also a convenient stop for, say, Hellboy lunch boxes, obscure anime movies on DVD or action figures for decorating your office space. less...

Best South-Of-The-Border Food Store BOA Award Winner

Supermercado Chicago
Buford Highway is full of places that transport you to another country. If Mexico is your preferred destination, take a trip to SUPERMERCADO CHICAGO, where the tastes, smells and clientele are as authentic as it gets. There's a good array of Mexican groceries and a wide selection at the meat counter,more...
Buford Highway is full of places that transport you to another country. If Mexico is your preferred destination, take a trip to SUPERMERCADO CHICAGO, where the tastes, smells and clientele are as authentic as it gets. There's a good array of Mexican groceries and a wide selection at the meat counter, and the taqueria in back serves up delicious tacos on house-made tortillas. You can even buy fresh masa by the pound for your own homemade tamales. less...

Best Store For Finicky Stationery Enthusiasts BOA Award Winner

Artlite
OfficeMax is fine for those who like to buy their notepads or ballpoint pens in bulk, but for those who prize quality over quantity, only ARTLITE will do. Possibly the city's last surviving old-school office-supply store, Artlite carries full lines of French, Italian and Japanese notebooks, memo pads,more...
OfficeMax is fine for those who like to buy their notepads or ballpoint pens in bulk, but for those who prize quality over quantity, only ARTLITE will do. Possibly the city's last surviving old-school office-supply store, Artlite carries full lines of French, Italian and Japanese notebooks, memo pads, tablets, and journals from such high-end stationers as Rhodia, Clairefontaine and Moleskine – in addition to all the binders, staplers and envelopes you'd expect to find. On the other side of the store is Atlanta's best selection of fine pens: Montblanc, S.T. Dupont, Pelikan, Omas, Waterman and more. less...

Best DVD/Video Rental For Film Snobs BOA Award Winner

A video store with thousands of titles isn't worth much if it doesn't have anything you want to see – or if you have to sort through loads of straight-to-video crap to find the good stuff. That's why VIDEODROME is such a treasure. It's got the latest indie, Euro, documentary, TV series, Hongmore...
A video store with thousands of titles isn't worth much if it doesn't have anything you want to see – or if you have to sort through loads of straight-to-video crap to find the good stuff. That's why VIDEODROME is such a treasure. It's got the latest indie, Euro, documentary, TV series, Hong Kong, anime and underground releases and re-releases. But the real value of the shop is in its carefully curated back catalog, broken down into sections for schlock, gay, Danish, martial arts, cult, etc., with a healthy dose of Criterion films – and without the usual Adam Sandler and teen rom-com dreck. You've got to respect any video store that gives equal treatment to Frank Capra and Lucio Fulci. less...

Best Heaven On Earth For Fresh-Food Lovers BOA Award Winner

Alon's Park Place
We've always loved the original Alon's, but the shiny new ALON'S PARK PLACE has what the original lacks: space. And that space allows for more – more wonderful cheeses overseen by expert Tim Gaddis, more fantastic and eclectic wines (and a wine bar!), and more great packaged goods and giftymore...
We've always loved the original Alon's, but the shiny new ALON'S PARK PLACE has what the original lacks: space. And that space allows for more – more wonderful cheeses overseen by expert Tim Gaddis, more fantastic and eclectic wines (and a wine bar!), and more great packaged goods and gifty housewares. And Alon's signature baked goods, sandwiches and prepared foods are just as exacting and tasty at this northside outpost as they are in Morningside. less...

Best Independent Bookstore BOA Award Winner

When OUTWRITE BOOKSTORE & COFFEEHOUSE opened in 1993, it filled a major void in Atlanta's independent book scene. Outwrite didn't just have a gay/lesbian section – the entire store was dedicated to books aimed at those readers. Even now, the Outwrite top 10 bears little resemblance to the Newmore...
When OUTWRITE BOOKSTORE & COFFEEHOUSE opened in 1993, it filled a major void in Atlanta's independent book scene. Outwrite didn't just have a gay/lesbian section – the entire store was dedicated to books aimed at those readers. Even now, the Outwrite top 10 bears little resemblance to the New York Times list of best-selling books. When the shop moved to its current location 12 years ago, it became a center for the LGBT community, and the host of frequent author signings. Outwrite is uniquely Atlantan and an outstanding example of why independent bookstores still matter. less...

Best Place To Encounter a New Booze BOA Award Winner

The best liquor store is usually the one that's closest. But if you're looking for a wider selection or savvy staff recommendations – or if you just want to browse through dozens of unfamiliar bottles waiting for a spirit to call your name – then PEARSON'S WINE OF ATLANTA is the place.more...
The best liquor store is usually the one that's closest. But if you're looking for a wider selection or savvy staff recommendations – or if you just want to browse through dozens of unfamiliar bottles waiting for a spirit to call your name – then PEARSON'S WINE OF ATLANTA is the place. From rotgut to vintage rye, Pearson's carries a dizzying array of small-batch bourbons, single-malt scotches, boutique vodkas, exotic tequilas and a world tour of foreign liqueurs. The windowless walls of this venerable Buckhead landmark are lined with distilled beverages both familiar and obscure, making it easy to imagine you're raiding a rich uncle's liquor stash. And isn't that a delicious thought? less...

Best Reason To Become a Danish Modernist BOA Award Winner

Relocated from Buckhead to Inman Park, CITY ISSUE has evolved into a sanctum of midcentury furniture design. The store offers sectional sofas, sleek dining tables, curvaceous teak chairs, cocktail cabinets and space-age lamps from the '50s, '60s and '70s – either in mint condition or meticulouslymore...
Relocated from Buckhead to Inman Park, CITY ISSUE has evolved into a sanctum of midcentury furniture design. The store offers sectional sofas, sleek dining tables, curvaceous teak chairs, cocktail cabinets and space-age lamps from the '50s, '60s and '70s – either in mint condition or meticulously restored to all their vintage glory. Decorating flourishes include abstract original paintings, metallic wall hangings, Lucite sculptures and a selection of Floraline planters. Browsing in City Issue is the next best thing to having a time machine. less...

Best Resource For Would-Be Rock Stars BOA Award Winner

Guitar Center
There are many fine independent music stores across Atlanta, but for sheer inventory none of them can match GUITAR CENTER. The store is a guitar player's paradise, walls covered with all types of electric guitars and basses, and a mind-numbing array of amplifiers and effects boxes. There's a room formore...
There are many fine independent music stores across Atlanta, but for sheer inventory none of them can match GUITAR CENTER. The store is a guitar player's paradise, walls covered with all types of electric guitars and basses, and a mind-numbing array of amplifiers and effects boxes. There's a room for acoustic guitars, and separate areas with keyboards, drum gear and pro audio. Looking for a 1958 Stratocaster? There's space set aside for rare guitars. The customer service is excellent and we just go ga-ga over all those Fenders and Gibsons. less...

Best Barbershop BOA Award Winner

Rooster's

Best Bike Shop BOA Award Winner

Outback Bikes

Best Bikini Wax BOA Award Winner

Natural Body Spa & Shoppe

Best Computer Repair BOA Award Winner

Geek Squad

Best Florist BOA Award Winner

Candler Park Flower Market

Best Furniture on a Budget BOA Award Winner

IKEA

Best Health Club BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Independent Bookstore BOA Award Winner

Bound to be Read Books

Best Liquor Store BOA Award Winner

Green's Liquor

Best Massage Therapist BOA Award Winner

Dale Grados (Attune Massage)

Best Pet Store BOA Award Winner

Park Pet Supply

Best Used Bookstore BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Women's Shoes BOA Award Winner

DSW
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Adult Videos BOA Award Winner

Southern Nights

Best Art Supplies BOA Award Winner

Sam Flax Art and Design Store

Best Budget Menswear BOA Award Winner

H&M

Best Caterer BOA Award Winner

Bold American Catering

Best Cookware Store BOA Award Winner

The Cook's Warehouse
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Electronics Store BOA Award Winner

Best Buy
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Garden Shop BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Jewelry BOA Award Winner

Worthmore Jewelers

Best Local Clothing Designer BOA Award Winner

Bill Hallman

Best Spa BOA Award Winner

Best Sporting Goods BOA Award Winner

Dick's Sporting Goods

Best Toy Store BOA Award Winner

Toys 'R' Us
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Wine Shop BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Asian Food Market BOA Award Winner

Super H Mart

Best Gamers Shop BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.
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Best Antique-Browsing Experience BOA Award Winner

Kudzu Antiques
Somewhere between the pre-WWII Chinese tourism posters and the 19th-century bridal trunk, it becomes clear that KUDZU ANTIQUES has a hard time saying no. This packrat's paradise covers about 25,000 square feet and hosts an average of 100 dealers in its Decatur warehouse. Looking for high-quality vintagemore...
Somewhere between the pre-WWII Chinese tourism posters and the 19th-century bridal trunk, it becomes clear that KUDZU ANTIQUES has a hard time saying no. This packrat's paradise covers about 25,000 square feet and hosts an average of 100 dealers in its Decatur warehouse. Looking for high-quality vintage clothes and shoes, primitive furniture, or such kitschy LPs as Music for Tired Golfers? Kudzu's got it. The staff is laid-back, yet eager to answer questions. Plan on spending a couple of hours browsing when you go, and bring a compass – you could get lost in there and end up for sale in one of the booths a few years from now. less...

Best Barbershop BOA Award Winner

Rooster's

Best Bike Shop BOA Award Winner

Outback Bikes

Best Bikini Wax BOA Award Winner

Natural Body Spa & Shoppe

Best Computer Repair BOA Award Winner

Geek Squad

Best Florist BOA Award Winner

Candler Park Flower Market

Best Furniture on a Budget BOA Award Winner

IKEA

Best Health Club BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Independent Bookstore BOA Award Winner

Bound to be Read Books

Best Liquor Store BOA Award Winner

Green's Liquor

Best Massage Therapist BOA Award Winner

Dale Grados (Attune Massage)

Best Pet Store BOA Award Winner

Park Pet Supply

Best Used Bookstore BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Women's Shoes BOA Award Winner

Sole
Our shoe obsession may not be on the Carrie Bradshaw level, but whenever we feel the urge to decorate our feet with a new strappy number, we head over to SOLE in the Edgewood Retail District. It offers a more unique and varied selection than your average department store, complete with name-drops suchmore...
Our shoe obsession may not be on the Carrie Bradshaw level, but whenever we feel the urge to decorate our feet with a new strappy number, we head over to SOLE in the Edgewood Retail District. It offers a more unique and varied selection than your average department store, complete with name-drops such as Jeffrey Campbell, Tsubo and MC & Power. Whether you're looking for a classic pump or a trendy pair of sandals, the knowledgeable and friendly staff at Sole can outfit your feet. less...

Best Women's Shoes BOA Award Winner

DSW
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Adult Videos BOA Award Winner

Southern Nights

Best Art Supplies BOA Award Winner

Sam Flax Art and Design Store

Best Budget Menswear BOA Award Winner

H&M

Best Caterer BOA Award Winner

Bold American Catering

Best Cookware Store BOA Award Winner

The Cook's Warehouse
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Electronics Store BOA Award Winner

Best Buy
And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Garden Shop BOA Award Winner

And multiple metro Atlanta locations.

Best Jewelry BOA Award Winner

Worthmore Jewelers

Best Local Clothing Designer BOA Award Winner

Bill Hallman

Best Person For Waxing Your Junk BOA Award Winner

Tamara Townsend at Natural Body Midtown
Those of us who take our beauty seriously enough to let someone put us in a compromising position while ripping out our short hairs know that waxing is indeed a delicate art. Comfort (physical and emotional) and effectiveness are paramount, and the skill of estheticians (even at the same spa) can varymore...
Those of us who take our beauty seriously enough to let someone put us in a compromising position while ripping out our short hairs know that waxing is indeed a delicate art. Comfort (physical and emotional) and effectiveness are paramount, and the skill of estheticians (even at the same spa) can vary – there's nothing worse than paying good money to have someone torture you and leave you red and bumpy. But TAMARA TOWNSEND at Natural Body Midtown is a true expert. Townsend's friendly demeanor and easy-going yet professional vibe will make you feel comfortable and relaxed, and she knows all the tricks for reducing pain and getting rid of every last pesky hair. less...

Best Place For Old-School Ink BOA Award Winner

When Dirk Hays opened EAST ATLANTA TATTOO in 2001, his was the only tattoo parlor on the stretch of Glenwood Avenue that led hipsters into the East Atlanta Village. And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, so is encroachment: At least two new tattoo shops have moved within inking distance frommore...
When Dirk Hays opened EAST ATLANTA TATTOO in 2001, his was the only tattoo parlor on the stretch of Glenwood Avenue that led hipsters into the East Atlanta Village. And if imitation is the highest form of flattery, so is encroachment: At least two new tattoo shops have moved within inking distance from EAT within the past year or so. Hays' tattoos embody his fondness for lowbrow culture, one of the reasons he opened up the Gallery at East Atlanta Tattoo next door last fall, making him a strong supporter of the local lowbrow scene with continually growing art shows. He's turning the power of his ink back onto canvas, and his paintings are a reflection of his tattoos. Here's to Hays not entirely giving up one art form for the other. less...

Best Spa BOA Award Winner

Best Sporting Goods BOA Award Winner

Dick's Sporting Goods

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