Best Of 2017

3. Little Miami Tree Service

Shops & Services
Photo: Phil Valois


2. Alliance Integrative Medicine

3. Arwa Atwan, Future Life Now

2. Wooden Nickel Antiques

3. Florence Antique Mall

2. Baker Hunt Art & Cultural Center

3. Brazee Street Studios

2. Michaels

3. Indigo Hippo

2. Kings Toyota

3. Joseph Toyota

2. CarMax

3. Beechmont Subaru

2. AAA | Bob Sumerel Tire & Service

3. Donovan’s Auto & Tire Center

2. Johnny’s Car Wash

3. AAA Auto Wash

2. PNC Bank

3. U.S. Bank

2. Bang Bang Salon

3.  Northside Chop Shop (TIE)

3.  Sports Clips (TIE)

2. The Clifton House Bed & Breakfast

3. Symphony Hotel

Best All-Purpose Gift Shop

Fresh out of gift ideas? Pomegranate & Lime has you covered. The cozy Mariemont boutique is overflowing with unique finds for basically anyone in your life: men, women, babies, significant others, parents — the list goes on. Throw rugs, stuffed animals, dessert toppings, jewelry, silverware sets, picture frames… It might actually be impossible to leave this place empty-handed. 6804 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, 513-271-1012, facebook.com/pomegranateandlime.

Best Antiquing In Burlington

The antiques and vintage-only collectibles Burlington Antique Market features more than 200 dealers hawking everything from giant metal letters and vintage postcards to industrial lighting, old globes, 1960s Fiestaware and more. Held third Sundays from April to October, the first fair of the season signals the approach of spring. It’s generally pretty crowded, so if you’re a real hunter, aim for early-bird admission. Burlington Fairgrounds, 5819 Idlewild Road, Burlington, Ky., 513-922-6847, burlingtonantiqueshow.comBest Wrought Iron Railer According to the city code, exterior stairs with more than four risers require a handrail. And for a lot of homes in Cincinnati, that means a hideous pipe and flange railing with flaking paint. With a collection of historic homes in neighborhoods like Northside, Mount Lookout, Clifton and Columbia Tusculum, the choices for finding a replacement railing that matches the character of your home are limited to Google and praying that Home Depot’s online inventory has a pre-fab selection that doesn’t look like it came from Nana’s 1970s ranch. Enter Elsmere Ironworks, a family-run business in operation since 1958. These expert iron fabricators blend old-world techniques with modern materials to weld custom gates, fencing, balconies, security doors and, yes, exterior railings. The team has a lookbook and gallery of styles you can replicate for your home, or you can request a custom design. Up your curb appeal; Elsmere provides free estimates. Elsmere Ironworks, 600 Lytle Ave., Elsmere, Ky., 859-727-2505, elsmereironworks.com.

Best Baby Bump

A light bulb went off for entrepreneur and owner of OTR’s Sloane boutique, Duru Armagan, when she was navigating the waters of pregnancy, approaching motherhood and celebrating five years in business. Inspired by her infant daughter (and outfitting her in cute clothes) she undertook new venture sloanebaby. With borrowed square footage from the existing Sloane space, Armagan created a one-stop shop for fashionable mamas and their chic mini-mes. Her adorable new inventory includes onesies, T-shirts, moccasins and teethers, all in a surprisingly affordable price range. However, if you really feel like splurging on mommy-and-me matching outfits, Sloane does carry the cutest baby leather jacket from Veda for a hair over $500. (Unfortunately, mommy’s is a little more expensive.) Sloane Boutique, 1216 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, sloaneboutique.com. 

Best Beautification Of Four-Letter Words

Looking for a way display your hatred of people or your foul vocabulary? Look no further than Northside’s The Hoop & Needle, where owner Sarah Fisher offers a modern line of cross-stitching patterns, kits and completed pieces. Although designs featuring four-letter words are the store’s best-sellers — popular phrases include “nature is bullshit” and “Thomas Kinkade can suck my dick” — you’ll also find an array of pop culture references like “treat yo self” and “riding dirty.” The Hoop & Needle also holds classes for crafters of all skill levels, including a Color Wheel Sampler that covers the basics of cross-stitching. The Hoop & Needle, 4019 Hamilton Ave., Northside, 330-715-6064, thehoopandneedle.com.

Best Bird In A Frame Shop

Helmed by a rag-tag collection of good-looking dudes and craftsmen, frameshop specializes in modern framing applications for unique artwork and prints to display your favorite pieces to their best effects. With multiple locations full of wall-hanging oddities and a new Hyde Park storefront, the custom framery’s unofficial head of customer service is Yellow-Naped Amazon parrot Jamie. Re-homed after her previous owners became ill, the more than 30-year-old Jamie was adopted by the folks at frameshop through the Northern Kentucky Parrot Rescue. Generally manning her station at the OTR location, Jamie’s wings aren’t clipped — she has full flight capabilities, which means her customer service role sometimes expands into crime fighter, like during a comical incident where she flew after a police officer who was giving chase to a suspect down Main Street. “There I was chasing a bird, who was chasing a police officer, who was chasing a suspect,” says frameshop co-owner Jake Gerth. frameshop, 1317 Main St., Over-the-Rhine; 2707 Observatory Ave., Hyde Park; 1275 Budd St., Queensgate, frameshopusa.com.

Best Blooms For A Cause

Gia and the Blooms owner Yuliya Bui’s love for animals goes beyond the name of her shop, which refers to her pitbull Gia: A portion of the store’s proceeds are donated to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, from which Gia was adopted. Burlap-wrapped bouquets begin at $35, and delivery is free within the Cincinnati metro area. Gia and the Blooms, 114 E. 13th St., Over-the-Rhine, 513-487-0915, giablooms.com.

Best Bookstore Making Kids Want To Read

Between cellphones, computers and tablets, getting your kids to reach for a book is getting harder and harder. But Blue Manatee Bookstore changes up that equation, fostering a cozy and colorful space that promotes creativity and offers an expansive selection of titles alongside a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Frequently held activities — ranging from arts and crafts to meet-and-greets with popular authors — add extra dimensions to kids’ favorite titles. Later this spring, the store is moving to a new, more intimate space up the road at 3094 Madison Ave., promising “a truly unique, magical space for children and their grownups.” The Blue Manatee, 3054 Madison Ave., Oakley, 513-731-2665, bluemanateebooks.com.

Best Brews/Books Tagteam

Roebling Point Books & Coffee doesn’t skimp on either of its namesakes. Its brews are some of the best Cincinnati has to offer, and its extensive collection of titles is enough to keep caffeinated customers browsing for hours. Owner Richard Hunt hand-picks titles ranging from best-sellers to pieces by local authors. With a bit of a bohemian spirit, its exterior chalkboard wall on Greenup Street boasts constantly rotating quotes from authors and philosophers. Bonus: It’s dog-friendly. Roebling Point Books & Coffee, 306 Greenup St., Covington, Ky., 859-815-7204, facebook.com/roeblingpointbooksandcoffee.