Best Of 2019

Sure, Micro Center is a chain with about 25 stores nationwide, but the electronics mega-superstore got its start in Columbus, Ohio in 1979. The “large format” layout, for which the store is known, began in 1982. Located on Mosteller Road in Sharonville, our local Center features free in-store clinics (upcoming events detail smartphones and tablets and wireless networking) and walk-in tech support. If it’s tech related, you can bet they’ll have it — an estimated inventory of over 30,000 items includes everything from the budget-minded student laptop to gizmos, doo-hickeys and interfaces that haven’t been seen since your neighborhood RadioShack liquidated its backroom inventory to sell phones. They are also an authorized Apple dealer and have plenty of refurbished iPhones, iPads and MacBooks on discount. Micro Center, 11755 Mosteller Road, Sharonville, microcenter.com.

Shops & Services


2. TriHealth Fitness & Health Pavilion

3. Tiny Needle Community Acupuncture

2. Wooden Nickel Antiques

3. Wild Things Antiques

Lynne & Lucille artist Kelli Fisher has been “making almost nothings into pretty somethings” since 2013. A transplant from Columbus, Ohio, Fisher specializes in jewelry crafted from the retired gear of local musicians. “I’ve always been a huge fan of music but have never been able to grasp the concept of actually playing it,” she says, “so making jewelry from recycled (and) unusable music materials and instruments is the way I have found to make my own version of music.” Check out her Etsy shop for necklaces and earrings made from shaped guitar strings and polished cymbal segments. She also utilizes hand-tooled leather and, occasionally, remains of the natural world: dig her popular rattlesnake vertebrae hoop earrings and African porcupine quill bar necklace. Lynne & Lucille, etsy.com/shop/lynneandlucille.

2. Cincinnati Art Museum

3. Silk Road Textiles

2. Michaels

3. Indigo Hippo

The fact that Continuum has held its own on Vine Street in OTR since 2015 is a prime example of the fact that Cincinnati is home to many humans who are interested in innovative, experimental and individual fashion. Shop owner Ericka Leighton is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning with a passion for embracing creativity and creating a space for others to explore their own, whether they’re makers or shoppers. Recently name-checked in Vogue, the shop’s entire vibe — from the neon pink logo to hanging plants and Vaporwave meets Art Nouveau eclecticism — meets the modern woman at the intersection of aspirational and attainable in style, silhouette and price point. Brands range from Paloma Wool and No 6 to Black Crane and Cold Picnic and run the gamut from boxy tops and 1980s jeans to cult mother apparel. Continuum also carries textiles, candles, jewelry, fragrances and artful publications to round out its lifestyle offerings. Continuum, 1407 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/continuumbazaar.

2. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

3. Kings Toyota

2. Courtesy Automotive

3. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

2. Donovan’s Auto & Tire Center

3. AAA | Bob Sumerel Tire & Service

2. Johnny’s Car Wash

3. AAA Auto Wash

The unmistakable scent of musty old books hits you like a brick wall the moment you set foot in Duttenhofer’s Books, and aesthetically, it’s like the personal library of a Mensa member with a hoarding problem. Tens of thousands of tomes, spanning nearly half a millennium, eclectically fill the space’s snuggly-fit shelves and spill over into various crates strewn about the floor. An impressive catalog of canonized classics, rare first editions and kooky finds — like 1961’s Let’s Have a Party: Gayer Parties with Paperware Decorations and Games — have made this used bookstore a destination for lovers of worn-out paperbacks and hardcovers with missing dust jackets for over 40 years. Amazon may have nearly wiped indie bookstores from public consciousness, but there’s still nothing like spending a lazy afternoon getting lost in a maze of coffee-stained, yellow-paged publications. Duttenhofer’s Books, 214 W. McMillan St., Clifton, duttenhofers.com.


2. Spanky & Co Barber Shop

3. Great Clips

2. Symphony Hotel

3. Gaslight Bed & Breakfast

Cory and Krystle Gaiser have a passion for sustainability and, by extension, bees, and operate Gaiser Bee Co. with the primary goal of educating the masses on the importance of the honeybee. Their urban farm is a home not only for bees, but also chickens, peacocks and goats; beginner beekeeping classes on their property — as well as their Host a Hive program — encourage members of the community to join them in their fight to save the bees. If that gets you motivated, nucs (the boxes bees are kept in) and packages of bees, complete with a queen, can be sold to anyone who wishes to make their own colony of pollinators. More everyday purchases such as fresh eggs and beeswax lip balm are also available, and don’t leave without a bottle of their sweet raw honey. Gaiser Bee Co. 3402 Kleeman Road, Monfort Heights, gaiserbeeco.com.

2. Bishop’s Bicycles

3. Reser Bicycle Outfitters

Reser Bicycle Outfitters is a specialty bike shop in Newport that carries everything from road and mountain bikes to electric varieties and even BMX. And if you need something to get yourself amped up before you take to Cincinnati’s streets, Reser is also home to Trailhead Coffee, a craft purveyor serving Wood Burl Coffee and assorted pastries from the likes of Allez Bakery and Marty’s Waffles. Sip a pourover while scouting for bike gear or after dropping off your ride for a tune-up; Reser also does repairs, including major overhauls. It’s an underrated Northern Kentucky gem worth checking out — for both their coffee and their bikes. Reser Bicycle Outfitters, 648 Monmouth St., Newport, reserbicycle.com.

2. The Christ Hospital

3. Bethesda North Hospital

2. Half Price Books

3. Barnes & Noble