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2016 Index of Winners

Best place for a first date BOA Award Winner

What makes a place great for a first date? Engaging ambiance, strong drinks, and delicious food are clutch, and GAJA’s chill East Atlanta vibe covers all of the above. The raw industrial design scheme marked by concrete floors, elemental wood and stainless steel furnishings, and sparse décor keepmore...
What makes a place great for a first date? Engaging ambiance, strong drinks, and delicious food are clutch, and GAJA’s chill East Atlanta vibe covers all of the above. The raw industrial design scheme marked by concrete floors, elemental wood and stainless steel furnishings, and sparse décor keep the room from feeling too polished or precious. There are stylistic accents, such as vintage Korean film posters and food served on the quintessential Korean trays built to hold a plethora of small side dishes — or banchan. Gaja employs just enough Asian-hipster-foodie quirk to fuel conversation and ultimately foil any first-date awkwardness. Gaja’s playful East-meets-West dishes, such as a rice bowl topped with whatever veggies the kitchen has on hand, cucumber kimchi, and a hamburger patty proudly laced with M.S.G., and the addictive corn cheese (popcorn draped with shredded cheese) are conversation starters in their own right. Wash away any remaining nerves with shots of soju (potent Korean rice liquor) or a refreshing Hite beer imported from Seoul. less...

Best pop-up incubator BOA Award Winner

Quynh “Q” Trinh’s GLOBAL GRUB COLLECTIVE tucked in an East Atlanta Village nook is an international food hall bustling with aspiring restaurants in start-up mode. Trinh sees the collective as an homage to her parents, who came to the U.S. from Vietnam as refugees with their eight children. A youngmore...
Quynh “Q” Trinh’s GLOBAL GRUB COLLECTIVE tucked in an East Atlanta Village nook is an international food hall bustling with aspiring restaurants in start-up mode. Trinh sees the collective as an homage to her parents, who came to the U.S. from Vietnam as refugees with their eight children. A young couple in their mid-20s hosted the family of 10 until they were able to move into their own home a year later. By offering the pop-ups a base of operations, the collective helps the small-business owners hone their crafts and work out kinks as they grow. Trinh provides initial support so her partners have the infrastructure, capital, and experience to open their own successful brick-and-mortar restaurants one day. Currently, the Collective houses more than a dozen concepts, most of which flip daily or weekly. Among them are the Midnight Marauder, a late-night concept serving Spotted Trotter dogs; Mamoune’s home-style Haitian cuisine, featuring chicken or vegetables with rice and spicy cabbage; Chop Chop Next, which serves street food mashups like fusion dumplings and kabobs; and the Sunday-only Cuban rice bowl concept La Parada Cubana. Say good-bye to the days of fighting over where to eat; the Collective has just about everything. 479-B Flat Shoals Ave. S.E. 404-430-7613. www.wesukisuki.com. less...

Best restaurant trend BOA Award Winner

Farm to table

Best choreographer BOA Award Winner

Lauri Stallings

Best dance performance BOA Award Winner

TIE: Candybox Revue Burlesque AND MAYhem: Kissed

Best film made in Atlanta BOA Award Winner

Captain America: Civil War

Best fine art photographer BOA Award Winner

Bhargava Chiluveru

Best gallery for otherground art BOA Award Winner

In the last year NOTCH 8 has quietly emerged as one of the guaranteed spots to find the artists defining ATL’s otherground arts scene. From Paper Frank and Corey Davis to Artemus Jenkins and Dubelyoo, the artists embody an innovative, left-leaning aesthetic and Notch 8’s shows draw crowds well intomore...
In the last year NOTCH 8 has quietly emerged as one of the guaranteed spots to find the artists defining ATL’s otherground arts scene. From Paper Frank and Corey Davis to Artemus Jenkins and Dubelyoo, the artists embody an innovative, left-leaning aesthetic and Notch 8’s shows draw crowds well into the hundreds on opening nights. Co-founded by City of Ink’s Miya Bailey and Sharon Dennehy, Notch 8 is a place not only to view dope art, but to buy it. At least that’s the goal for Bailey, who has said his focus includes making collectors out of casual appreciators. At his March show, Before I’m Gone Vol. 1: The Art of Miya Bailey, works started at $100. With its vision and the cool to back it up, Notch 8 has surpassed gallery status to become ground zero for many of the city’s creatives. less...

Best Instagrammer BOA Award Winner

Cool Atlanta
Sarah Spear is the brains behind Instagram account COOL ATLANTA, which features artful snaps of everything from the hippest craft cocktails and brunch spots to hidden-gem murals, locally made wares, and more. After moving from Los Angeles to Atlanta in 2012, Spear started the account (and accompanyingmore...
Sarah Spear is the brains behind Instagram account COOL ATLANTA, which features artful snaps of everything from the hippest craft cocktails and brunch spots to hidden-gem murals, locally made wares, and more. After moving from Los Angeles to Atlanta in 2012, Spear started the account (and accompanying blog) to log her immersion into the city. Now, with a few years as a Southerner under her belt, and a gig as Paces Properties’ director of marketing, she’s helping more and more followers fall in love with Atlanta, one shot at a time. www.instagram.com/coolatlanta. less...

Best local designer BOA Award Winner

Karen Glass
True to form, KAREN GLASS wasted zero time laying a strong foundation for her ethically conscious avant-garde fashion line zerøwaste. This year, Glass showcased at Modern Atlanta and premiered an experimental retail concept at the Goat Farm Arts Center. She also has dreamy collaborations with localmore...
True to form, KAREN GLASS wasted zero time laying a strong foundation for her ethically conscious avant-garde fashion line zerøwaste. This year, Glass showcased at Modern Atlanta and premiered an experimental retail concept at the Goat Farm Arts Center. She also has dreamy collaborations with local institutions in the works. The zerøwaste line adheres to a minimalist, muted approach and palette. Garments include repurposed jeans, gowns, and upcycled blazers, all designed by Glass and made in her Goat Farm studio in collaboration with Beloved, a work-training program for women in recovery so they can make a living wage. www.zerowastekarenglass.com. less...

Best local playwright BOA Award Winner

Topher Payne

Best local residency BOA Award Winner

Hambidge Creative Residency Program

Best local zine BOA Award Winner

Dope Girls

Best museum that keeps bringing us back BOA Award Winner

The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART kept us Midtown-bound opening after opening over the last year. The November exhibition, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, marked the Dutch designer’s first North American show and the High’s fashion debut. The vast display included 45 outfits from 15 collections and revealedmore...
The HIGH MUSEUM OF ART kept us Midtown-bound opening after opening over the last year. The November exhibition, Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion, marked the Dutch designer’s first North American show and the High’s fashion debut. The vast display included 45 outfits from 15 collections and revealed van Herpen’s flair for marrying technology, unconventional materials such as umbrella ribs repurposed as wearable art, and couture. Two outdoor exhibitions, Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena’s Los Trompos and Jaime Hayon’s Tiovivo (up through Nov. 27), provided younger (and not so young) visitors the opportunity to interact with beautiful structures. Los Trompos translates to “spinning tops” and took the meaning literally with its playground-size playthings. Tiovivo planted large-scale sculptures in the piazza. With their hollow insides and attached stairs and slides, the cartoonish structures invited investigation. The museum attracted almost 1,700 people to the opening of The Rise of Sneaker Culture, a thorough collection that included about 160 pairs of shoes. Besides showcasing familiar footwear such as Run-DMC’s shell-toe Adidas, The Rise “highlighted the marriage between high fashion and street wear,” CL senior writer Rodney Carmichael wrote. In addition to pushing boundaries with fashion-forward and touch-friendly installations, the High slayed with the retrospective Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks, which presented pages from the late American artist’s journals and sketchbooks. What’s the High got planned next? Chances are, we’ll be there opening night. less...

Best performance venue BOA Award Winner

Best resource for dancers BOA Award Winner

What good is potential if an artist never has the time or resources to refine her craft? This thought weighed heavily on the mind of Atlanta dancer/choreographer Blake Beckham for years. Rather than leave town or quit dancing altogether, Beckham doubled down with her team at contemporary performancemore...
What good is potential if an artist never has the time or resources to refine her craft? This thought weighed heavily on the mind of Atlanta dancer/choreographer Blake Beckham for years. Rather than leave town or quit dancing altogether, Beckham doubled down with her team at contemporary performance company Lucky Penny and created the WORK ROOM. With a custom sprung dance floor and big beautiful windows, the Work Room offers a unique opportunity for resident artists to have 24/7 year-round space to train, experiment, and grow. less...

Best burlesque troupe BOA Award Winner

Blast Off Burlesque

Best leather show BOA Award Winner

ATLANTA EAGLE is the low-key leather daddy spot. Its black-walled mystique and fortress-like façade maintain an old-school Ponce flavor amid the rapidly gentrifying cityscape. Walk through the door and hear the pulse of cutting-edge techno playing in the house speakers. In 2016, the Eagle offers a much-neededmore...
ATLANTA EAGLE is the low-key leather daddy spot. Its black-walled mystique and fortress-like façade maintain an old-school Ponce flavor amid the rapidly gentrifying cityscape. Walk through the door and hear the pulse of cutting-edge techno playing in the house speakers. In 2016, the Eagle offers a much-needed respite from the mean streets of new Atlanta. less...

Best local classical music act BOA Award Winner

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Best local MC BOA Award Winner

Fort Knox

Best local overall music act BOA Award Winner

Yacht Rock Revue

Best new post-punk band BOA Award Winner

Maudlin
MAUDLIN has a decidedly throwback aesthetic, blending elements of classic ’80s goth and post-punk to carve out its own space amid Atlanta’s punk scene. The band’s members, Sara Slick (bass), Tony Kozera (guitar), Ryan Fetter (drums), and Jessica Knight (vocals), describe themselves as post-punk.more...
MAUDLIN has a decidedly throwback aesthetic, blending elements of classic ’80s goth and post-punk to carve out its own space amid Atlanta’s punk scene. The band’s members, Sara Slick (bass), Tony Kozera (guitar), Ryan Fetter (drums), and Jessica Knight (vocals), describe themselves as post-punk. But while many bands in Atlanta’s DIY scene wear that mark, none of them sound like Maudlin. The group embraces the gothic rock palette of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, and New Order, combined with a grind and dedication to lyricism akin to that of punk rock godmother Patti Smith. To put it plainly, they’re spooky and dope. It didn’t take long for movers in the scene to catch on — their second gig was opening for Wax Idols and King Woman at the Earl, and they subsequently went on tour with NYC goth-punks Pawns, all shortly after releasing their first self-titled EP. That’s no small feat. www.maudlinband.bandcamp.com. less...

Best outpost for adventurous music BOA Award Winner

Tucked away on South Broad Street in Downtown, THE MAMMAL GALLERY is a stronghold for obscure, challenging, and outsider music. The music programming in 2016 alone provided a crucial service for young and old alike in the experimental music scene. Mammal hosted a low-key potluck and open jam sessionmore...
Tucked away on South Broad Street in Downtown, THE MAMMAL GALLERY is a stronghold for obscure, challenging, and outsider music. The music programming in 2016 alone provided a crucial service for young and old alike in the experimental music scene. Mammal hosted a low-key potluck and open jam session with German krautrock legend Faust. The club also opened its stage to such wild jazz luminaries as saxophone player Joe McPhee and the group Universal Indians. Sun Ra Arkestra sax man Marshall Allen also found a stage there with his improv music and film outfit Cinema Soloriens. But in between these nights of skronking mania the stage has been taken over by the likes of New York songstress Shilpa Ray, Atlanta party-pop weirdos Salsa Chest, Club Morph’s genre bending queer-friendly club music nights, and trap music icon 2 Chainz and Sonny Digital on stage together. By providing a home for such a broad cross-section of underground music, legends are being born in a gritty, DIY spot far from the bustling nightlife scenes of East Atlanta and Edgewood Avenue. less...

Best performance space BOA Award Winner

JUNGLE ATLANTA is the spot for touring DJs and fabulous drag shows on a stage that’s fitted with a massive sound system and a light show that puts the Starship Enterprise to shame. This is more of a performance space, but definitely comfortable for solid night out of sensory overload. Between the club’smore...
JUNGLE ATLANTA is the spot for touring DJs and fabulous drag shows on a stage that’s fitted with a massive sound system and a light show that puts the Starship Enterprise to shame. This is more of a performance space, but definitely comfortable for solid night out of sensory overload. Between the club’s main room and the cabaret room, Jungle Atlanta makes 2016 look like the future. less...

Best rapper to push ATL’s buttons BOA Award Winner

Lil Yachty
Pitchfork gave LIL YACHTY’s Lil Boat mixtape a paltry 4.8/10, but this rapper will always score a solid 10 in our hearts. Curmudgeonly critics and old-school purists say he’s contributing to the “death of lyricism,” but as this rapper grows, he’s leaving traditional style conventions in themore...
Pitchfork gave LIL YACHTY’s Lil Boat mixtape a paltry 4.8/10, but this rapper will always score a solid 10 in our hearts. Curmudgeonly critics and old-school purists say he’s contributing to the “death of lyricism,” but as this rapper grows, he’s leaving traditional style conventions in the past. Young, imperfect, and fearless, he shines most when he combines lyrical eccentricity with catchy rhapsodic melodies, and diverges from the trap aesthetic his Atlanta forefathers mastered. The fact that he counts Quavo and Young Thug among past collaborators, however, shows that the scene believes in his potential. What do critics know, anyway? www.soundcloud.com/770rd. less...

Trophy Case BOA Award Winner

Mastodon
At the dawn of the 21st century, MASTODON was born of blood and thunder. Since then, the group has smashed eardrums one twisted metal opus after another. Grammy nominations come and go, but good music is timeless and Mastodon has left a gargantuan footprint on Atlanta’s music scene. The group is stillmore...
At the dawn of the 21st century, MASTODON was born of blood and thunder. Since then, the group has smashed eardrums one twisted metal opus after another. Grammy nominations come and go, but good music is timeless and Mastodon has left a gargantuan footprint on Atlanta’s music scene. The group is still basking in the glories of 2014’s sixth album, Once More ’Round the Sun. New material abounds as each member of the group embarks on his own journey. Guitarist Brent Hinds has worked with Alice in Chains’ William DuVall recording as Giraffe Tongue Orchestra. Singer/bassist Troy Sanders teamed up with Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen for Gone Is Gone. Drummer Brann Dailor was spotted sitting in with the house band on NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Closer to home, guitarist Bill Kelliher is building out Ember City, a new multi-room practice facility in the Capitol View neighborhood. All the while, Kelliher rolled out two new signature ESP guitars over the summer. Whew! Mastodon has earned our eternal respect. www.mastodonrocks.com. less...

Best child care center BOA Award Winner

And other metro Atlanta locations.

Best city view BOA Award Winner

Jackson Street Bridge

Best corner store success story BOA Award Winner

Along McDonough Boulevard and Jonesboro Road in south Atlanta, businesses tend to be fenced-off industrial operations and shops pushing lottery tickets or cigarettes. That’s why the year-old CARVER NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET is right when it calls itself an “oasis.” In a neighborhood that lacks placesmore...
Along McDonough Boulevard and Jonesboro Road in south Atlanta, businesses tend to be fenced-off industrial operations and shops pushing lottery tickets or cigarettes. That’s why the year-old CARVER NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET is right when it calls itself an “oasis.” In a neighborhood that lacks places to buy good food, the former thrift shop is an asparagus-to-zucchini grocery store that shares space with the Community Grounds Coffee Shop. Some of the groceries are local, and that’s as intentional as the healthy fresh inventory, the site’s inviting sunlit design, and the store’s new bike-delivery option for nearby residents. It’s the kind of place that would bring any neighborhood together, and that many places like south Atlanta sorely need. www.carvermarket.com. less...

Best critique on the urban bourgeois BOA Award Winner

"Honey, now we're urban"
If Rip Van Winkle passed out 30 years ago behind the Clermont Hotel and woke up this week, he’d likely have a heart attack upon seeing Ponce de Leon Avenue. He might find comfort in artist Chris Veal’s “HONEY, NOW WE’RE URBAN” mural along the wall of the former Marco’s Pita (and previousmore...
If Rip Van Winkle passed out 30 years ago behind the Clermont Hotel and woke up this week, he’d likely have a heart attack upon seeing Ponce de Leon Avenue. He might find comfort in artist Chris Veal’s “HONEY, NOW WE’RE URBAN” mural along the wall of the former Marco’s Pita (and previous home to the legendary Tortillas). Veal says the idea of the wealthy couple in the mural came to him with the “changing of faces in the area.” He said images such as “people leaving Ponce City Market then get upset they have to walk by the day laborers on Ponce” served as his inspiration for the project. We talk all the time about how the city is changing, and what is gained and lost. Sometimes we need a multicolored hit in the face. www.instagram.com/caveal. less...

Best internet radio BOA Award Winner

Album 88

Best local journalist BOA Award Winner

Dan Whisenhunt

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