GRANDRABBIT’S TOY SHOPPE
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-0780 %u2028
Second Place: Into The Wind
Third Place: GameStop
Fourth Place: Karliquin’s Game Knight
Kids of all ages can come into Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe and find something they have to have, right now. Let the begging commence.
Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe offers a wide selection of collectables, educational and just plain joy-inducing toys, from arts and craft supplies to magic kits to train sets. Lynne Milot, founder of Grandrabbit’s, places top priority on offering high quality, aesthetically pleasing toys, and she understands the rigors of parenthood — Grandrabbit’s offers open play hours so parents can shop while their kids safely play.
Auto Dealer — New
FLATIRONS IMPORTS (ACURA & SUBARU)
5995 Arapahoe Ave., 888-650-6108%u2028
Second Place: Larry H. Miller Toyota
Third Place: Fisher Auto
Fourth Place: Gebhardt Automotive (BMW and VW)
Fifth Place: Audi Boulder
Let us be clear: There are many places to buy a new car and sometimes too many different makes and models from which to choose. Aside from buying a home, a new car is likely the largest and most important purchase an individual or family will make. Buying is not just about getting something shiny and new, it’s also about finding a car that fits your self-image and needs. It’s also about finding one that will keep you and yours safe when some knucklehead runs a red light or when two feet of snow hit the high country as you’re on your quest for fresh powder. Buying a new car is an important decision and our readers chose Flatirons Imports as the best place to help you get what you need and want when it comes to a new car. They’re also really nice folks.
Arts & Crafts Supplies
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-1822%u2028
Second Place: Michael’s
Third Place: Meininger Artist Materials
Fourth Place: Guiry’s Color Source
Fifth Place: Two Hands Paperie
Here’s a typical and true McGuckin Hardware story. So this guy wakes up one day and decides that what he really wants to give his gal for her birthday is a woodcarving made with his own hands. Great idea, except that he has never carved anything and doesn’t have any tools for the task beyond a cheap steak knife (that didn’t work). So what’s the lad to do? He heads to McGuckin because he has always heard they “have everything.” Once there, he asks one of those nice, informative employees clad in green if by chance the store might have a woodcarving tool. He is then shown to the woodcarving aisle where dozens of amazing and varied sets of carving tools await purchase. If only the dude in green could have taught the guy to carve. The moral of the story is that even if you don’t think they’ll have the art supply you need, drop on in because chances are, you’re wrong. After all, they “have everything.”
959 Walnut St., 303-443-2850
Second Place: Theatrical Costumes, Etc. & Trendy Boutique
Third Place: Candy’s Vintage Clothing & Costumes
Fourth Place: Goldmine Vintage
Fifth Place: Savers
You know how it is, every so often you’ve just got to act on that Gilligan and Ginger fantasy. Or is it Gilligan and Mary Ann? Whatever. There are just certain days in our lives when we want or need to dress up like somebody or something else. When our readers decide to celebrate National Potato Day by dressing as Mr. Potato Head or decide that walking down Pearl Street as a pirate only makes good sense, they tell us The Ritz is their favorite place for all their costume needs. And remember, you live in Boulder. You don’t need an excuse to put on a rainbow wig, wrap around a feather boa, strap on a pair of chaps and head out on the town. Live large and let The Ritz help make it a life to remember.
3100 28th St., 303-447-9274
Second Place: Details Plus
Third Place: Alpine Auto Detailing / Boulder Auto Detail (tie)
Fifth Place: The Details Shop of Boulder
So you climb into your ride and it suddenly dawns on you; this use to be a pretty nice car, but now it looks like a herd of cats have been holed up inside the thing for months living on remnants of fast food and candy bars. And it smells pretty much the same way. Well, you can do one of two things: Open the door, get out, walk away and never look back, or drive immediately to Puddle Carwash and let them restore your car to its former grandeur by way of the best detail job in town. We suggest the latter. Cars are expensive, but getting a great detail job is not.
Auto Dealer — Used
BLUE SPRUCE AUTO SALES
3200 28th St., #1, 303-938-0580%u2028
Second Place: Flatirons Imports
Third Place: Green Eyed Motors
Fourth Place: Smooth Motors
So you go through your wallet or purse and realize that it is best not to lay down too many of your hard-earned dollars on a brand new set of wheels. Don’t despair. There is an alternative for buying a car that will save you lots of money and prove that you’re thrifty in a cool way. It’s called “used” or “pre-owned” or “heretofore driven” or some other term that means the owner before you ate the rapid depreciation and you can now buy that car at great value. When it comes to buying a used car, the most important thing is to buy it from a dealer you can trust. Our readers have once again selected Blue Spruce Auto as the best place to buy a heretofore driven vehicle.
2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715
Second Place: Costco Wholesale
Third Place: Photo Craft Imaging
Fourth Place: Target
Fifth Place: Memories to Digital
Mike’s Camera has won this category many, many times. So, just how long has Mike’s been serving Boulder residents for all their camera needs? Lets put it this way, when Mike’s first opened its doors, the Rolling Stones were on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Boston Strangler had just been sentenced to life, Jimmy Hoffa was still vertical and guerrilla leader Che Guevara had just been captured in Bolivia. Yep, it’s been that long, 1967 to be exact. Congrats to the whole crew at Mike’s for winning again, and also for providing the gear and advice that has captured photos for a generation of memories for our readers.
2504 Spruce St., 303-449-6632
Second Place: Super Rupair
Third Place: Boulder Bump Shop
Fourth Place: Details Plus Auto Salon
Fifth Place: John’s Auto Care
When you’ve been winning this category as long as Hoshi Motors, you must know a heck of a lot about those dirty, greasy, bizarrely shaped chunks of metal and plastic that that are bolted into your car in all those areas nobody can see and you don’t want to see. These folks have been fixing area Hondas, Acuras, Subarus and Toyotas for nearly a quarter of a century. So next time your car sounds like 2,000- pound water buffalo flamenco dancing, take it to the friendly folks at Hoshi.
Bath & Body Shop
PHARMACA INTEGRATIVE PHARMACY
1647 Pearl St., 303-442-5164 645 South Broadway, 303-867-3400%u2028 2700 Broadway, 303-442-0589
Second Place: Lush Cosmetics
Third Place: Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply
Fourth Place: Bath & Body Works
Fifth Place: Sephora
As the list above clearly demonstrates, Boulder has a lot of great shops that can hook you up with fantastic body and bath products. What sets Pharmaca apart is its wild variety. If you had a mind to, you could do the entirety of your holiday shopping in Pharmaca and find just the right item for everyone; lavender sleep masks, a million great smelling lotions, fair-trade hand-woven scarves, chocolate, a cool pair of reading glasses. Heck, while you’re in there, you might even pick up the thing you came in for. Add that crazy variety to one of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staffs in the category and you have a winner.
BOULDER BOOK STORE
1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074%u2028
Second Place: Barnes & Noble
Third Place: The Bookworm
Fourth Place: Trident Booksellers and Café
Fifth Place: Red Letter Secondhand Books
Boulder Book Store has been keeping us happy, entertained, informed and connected for more than 40 years. It’s the place we go to meet and listen to the nation’s leading authors. It’s the place we go to buy our children and grandchildren their first books. It’s the place we stop into every time we have a spare half-hour to kill. Boulder Bookstore has survived and thrived while the giant chains that killed off so many independent booksellers have themselves gone largely by the wayside. Boulder Bookstore is wildly successful and our readers’ favorite bookstore because it is so much more than that. It is truly one of the unique places that pulls together our community and helps to preserve its unique character. And we have to say that it is especially heartening, as the list of winners above demonstrates, to see how much our readers appreciate the independent bookstores in our county.
Clothing Store — Used
1813 Pearl St., 303-938-1924%u2028
Second Place: Rags Consignments
Third Place: Savers
Fourth Place: Common Threads
Fifth Place: Plato’s Closet
The original Buffalo Exchange opened in Tucson in 1974. As far as anyone can tell, it was the first clothing consignment shop in the country. This helps to explain why our readers seem to consistently pick this store as their favorite for buying or selling previously owned clothing. BE has had 40 years to figure out just how to do it right. So shopping at Buffalo Exchange is always a good time. The friendly staff knows how to keep the store full of interesting items at good prices, which also means it’s a great place to sell the clothes you no longer need. Buffalo Exchange is the definition of win/win.
Computer — Retail
1755 29th St., 720-479-9451%u2028
Second Place: Best Buy
Third Place: Costco Wholesale
Fourth Place: The Mac Shack
Fifth Place: CU Bookstore
It would seem that Boulder was the perfect target market for those Apple ads wherein actor Justin Long played the always-cool Mac paired with the dysfunctional, less-than-cool PC. If you need further proof, just drop by the Apple Store any evening and fight your way in. You’ll find yourself standing shoulder to shoulder with a whole room full of Justin Longs. And that isn’t so bad. Apple has elevated computer shopping to something nearing an art form with its minimalist décor and product display coupled with its headset-wearing staff. Even if you’re not in the market for anything, it’s worth dropping by just for the experience. And once inside, you might just change your mind.
Clothing Store — Women’s
1805 29th St., #1118, 303-449-4575%u2028
Second Place: Nordstrom Rack
Third Place: prAna
Fourth Place: Urban Outfitters / Athleta (tie)If you tried to define the culture of Boulder in imagery, you might come up with something like old wood, stainless steel, mason jars and a Prius. So it’s no wonder that Anthropologie is our readers’ favorite place to go for women’s clothing. It’s like Boulder, a bit retro while remaining thoroughly modern in all the ways that matter, and comfortable above all else. From its clothes to the shop itself and the always creative displays, this place is built for the Boulder lifestyle.
Clothing Store — Children’s
3183 Walnut St., 303-442-2703%u2028
Second Place: Gymboree / Poppy / Rocky Mountain Kids (3-way tie)
Fifth Place: Gap KidsIt had to happen sooner or later: a three-way tie. So while our readers are divided equally on which kid’s clothing store is second best, they were clear about which store is the winner. For more than 30 years, Childish Things has been offering children’s clothes on consignment. This is a great environmentally responsible and economic way to keep your little tykes from running around the neighborhood naked. We may be in progressive Boulder County, but for the most part kids are expected to cover up and fig leaves are in short supply in these parts. Childish Things also donates a lot of badly needed clothes to local not-forprofits, and that helps make them our readers’ favorite. Dry Cleaners ART CLEANERS 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Suite 6, 303-447-8700 (Multiple locations in the area) Second Place: Boulder Cleaners Third Place: John’s Dry Cleaners Fourth Place: Dependable Cleaners Fifth Place: Environmental Cleaners
One thing that Art Cleaners isn’t; it’s not the new kid on the block. These folks have been keeping Boulder County’s clothes clean and crisp since 1921. But they also realize that it’s important to take care of the planet. So, according to their website, for more than a decade, the company has been using “the GreenEarth Cleaning System. A new, revolutionary cleaning system that is good for your family, your clothes and our environment.” Add the really friendly staff to the equation and its understandable how this business got the nod from BW readers.
MOUNTAIN MIST SPAS
1259 Ken Pratt Blvd., Longmont, 303-772-1125
Second Place: Mr. Pool
Third Place: Heat Wave Stove & Spa
Fourth Place: International Hot Tub Company
Fifth Place: Quality Pools and Spas
Mountain Mist Spas has been serving Northern Colorado’s relaxation needs for more than three decades. It seems that in Colorado, there are two kinds of people; the happy kind who just happen to own a hot tub and use it at every turn and the less happy kind who are still trying to figure out how to own a hot tub or at least sneak into their neighbor’s backyard on a regular basis. You know what we’re taking about, cold crisp air, flakes of snow gently falling on your face while your body floats aimlessly in 104 degrees of pure aqua heaven.
ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA
900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Second Place: Hotel Boulderado
Third Place: Athenaeum Hotel and Conference Center (at Chautauqua)
Fourth Place: Boulder Outlook Hotel & Suites
Fifth Place: Boulder Marriott
St Julien Hotel & Spa boasts worldclass accommodations and service that offers a balance of nature and nurture, simplicity and style, relaxation and renewal. It’s true and that’s why our readers tell us it’s their favorite hotel around. The St Julien is far more than a beautiful building with luxurious rooms. It is a destination for great food and great music in its own right. Don’t let the out-of-town crowd have all the fun, this is a great place for locals looking to get away from it all and relax as well. Truly a world-class hotel.
WAY TO GROW
6395 Gunpark Drive, 303-473-4769%u2028
Second Place: One Love Garden Supply
Third Place: Boulder Hydroponic & Organic Center
Fourth Place: GrowLife Hydroponics
Fifth Place: Victory Hydro Gardening
Want to make something grow? Way to Grow has got you covered.
These folks have everything needed to make even the plant-growing challenged among us successful in raising a crop that makes them smile. Need bat guano? They got it, along with organic compost teas, other fertilizers, water testers, all kinds of environmentally responsible stuff to control pests and disease and of course, one of the area’s best selections of lighting. And did we mention that these guys are the experts and our readers’ first choice for all things hydroponic?
ATLAS FLOORING, INC.
4920 28th St., 303-442-3221
Second Place: Carpet Exchange
Third Place: Go Green Flooring
Fourth Place: Boulder Stove & Flooring
Fifth Place: Carpet Mill Outlet Flooring Stores
For 56 years Atlas Flooring has been providing Boulderites with something to walk on, and not just any old thing to walk on. Our readers tell us that the good folks at Atlas have their favorite foot-friendly materials whether its carpet, tile or wood. One thing for sure, these guys wouldn’t keep being our readers’ favorite in this category if they didn’t have great service, fair prices and a big selection. The truth is, it takes something pretty special for any business to be around more than a half a century. Congrats Atlas, and Boulder’s feet thank you.
Clothing Store — Men’s
REI (RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC.)
1789 28th St., 303-583-9970%u2028
Second Place: Nordstrom Rack
Third Place: Patagonia
Fourth Place: Weekends
Fifth Place: Men’s Warehouse
Who else could have won this category?
REI winning best men’s clothing store says everything a person needs to know about both Boulder and REI. The Boulder way of life is green, lean and all about the outdoors. REI offers men’s clothing that has been made to be worn somewhere without a roof, preferably west and uphill from the cooperative’s Boulder store. REI gets Boulder. Walk in their store and all the clothes and gear have been positioned in a big circle that leaves the middle of the store as a gathering place for the outdoor community, a place full of guidebooks, maps and other information to help make your next usage of REI men’s clothing as good as it can get.
Computer — Repair
1755 29th St., 720-479-9451
Second Place: The Mac Shack
Third Place: Boulder Mac Repair
Fourth Place: Boulder PC
Fifth Place: ISupportU
So maybe next year we change the name of this category to iComputer — iRepair. Our readers chose the Apple Store as their favorite place to both buy a computer and to get one repaired. We’re not real sure exactly what that means other than to say that they really like this store whether they’re taking an iThingy home or bringing it back. So if your iPod, iPad, iPhone or iTunes needs a little iFixin, this is the place to go.
BART’S RECORD SHOP
1625 Folsom St., 303-444-1760
Second Place: Albums on the Hill
Third Place: Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo
Bart Stinchcomb has nine lives. He has been a beloved staple on the Boulder record store scene for decades. His Bart’s CD Cellar & Record Shop was a legendary shop in downtown Boulder for 20 years. Then as the industry went through upheaval, he downsized to the tiny 400-square-foot shop at 236 Pearl Street. Then the music-buying scene changed again. Vinyl is back in a big way. Sales in vintage LPs are growing by nearly 30 percent each year. So Bart was already planning to move to the larger space on Folsom Street when the 2013 flood hit his Pearl Street location. He had some losses but since he was already moving he was quickly able to get Bart’s Record Shop back on its feet, and our readers couldn’t be happier. This was a close vote as second place Albums on the Hill has an equally beloved reputation around these parts.
839 Pearl St., 303-444-4196%u2028
Second Place: Boulder Cycle Sport
Third Place: Full Cycle
Fourth Place: Bicycle Village
Fifth Place: Community Cycles
Come next year, University Bicycles will have been holding down the West End of Pearl Street for 30 years.
In a bikecrazy town that has seen its share of bicycle shops come and go, perhaps the best way to explain the success of University Bicycles is “passion.” What started as a little space in a basement where bikes were repaired and rented is now Boulder’s best bicycle shop and that is impressive. But it’s not a surprise to those who know Doug Emerson, the owner. Want to know what Doug is all about? Just drop by the shop or hit the website where Doug says, “You give me a world problem, and my answer is the bicycle. Air pollution, childhood obesity, congestion ... my solution is always the bicycle.”
Valmont Road and N. 75th Street, 415-298-1500
Second Place: Cure Organic Farm
Third Place: Isabelle Farm
Fourth Place: Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy
Fifth Place: Anderson Farms
We love Munson Farms. It’s sort of the way we keep track of the seasons. If the stand at 75th and Valmont is still closed, we know that it is still possible for a late season snow. When Munson finally opens, we know that summer has arrived and when the pumpkins turn the corner orange we know that fall is truly upon us. From its worldfamous sweet corn to its baskets full of squash and kidfriendly pumpkin patch, Munson’s is more than our readers’ favorite farm, it is truly a Boulder County tradition.
1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847
Second Place: Jacque Michelle
Third Place: Bliss
Fourth Place: Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery
Fifth Place: Momentum
We all eat. Therefore, we all could use a great gift from Peppercorn. This place is amazing; it’s an explosion of color in every shape imaginable. Where else can you find that special someone a giant purple and yellow cookie jar shaped like a rooster on a tricycle? You get the point. This Boulder staple has every book that tells you how to cook a great meal, every utensil and gadget you need to make that meal, every placemat, plate, salt and paper shaker, candelabra and setting of tableware you need to serve that meal and even a whole bunch of great ingredients to go into that meal. How many different sauces are there in the world? Go to Peppercorn and start counting. Everybody loves getting a gift from this place. Hint hint, BW staffers included.
GARD & BOND, LLC
2541 Spruce St., 303-499-3040
Second Place: Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP
Third Place: Hutchison Black and Cook, LLC
Fourth Place: Caplan and Earnest LLC
Fifth Place: Holland & Hart LLP
Nobody has a favorite law firm until they need a lawyer. It’s like asking people to pick their favorite cop or fireman. The answer is always going to be, “The one who pulled me out of the burning car,” or, “The one who saved me from the guy trying to rob me.” In this case, it’s the lawyer who kept you out of jail or helped you beat that unjustified suit your neighbor filed against you. What is interesting about our winners in this category is that none of them are ambulance chasers spending money on TV ads. So simple name recognition was not the reason why our readers chose them. It was word of mouth or personal experience.That leaves only quality and character as the deciding factors. And according to our readers, Gard & Bond is the best law firm around. But we still hope you never find out for yourself.