Best Of 2020

When Lindsey Estes started her laser woodcutting workshop Lucca in 2014, she was 24 years old with a single laser cutter, no backstock and a dwindling bank account. In 2015 she opened her first brick and mortar on Main Street in Over-the-Rhine before hopping on over to a new, 2,500-square-foot Findlay Market shop and workspace to house her flourishing business last spring. Six years into entrepreneurship, Estes’ gorgeous, millennial-minded laser cut creations can be found in homes and storefronts across the city, as well as the custom work created for the likes of Union Terminal, Hotel Covington, Boomtown Biscuits & Whiskey, Music Hall, Rhinegeist Brewery and the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Lucca’s stock holds plenty of homegoods and gifts like Midcentury Modern mirrors, minimalistic planters, holiday ornaments and real wood greeting cards, but the brand’s kitchenware is a surefire way to upgrade simple basics and dinner party centerpieces alike. Bamboo scrub brushes with geometric engraved handles and Brazilian walnut soap dishes make for pretty, sustainable switches for plastic sink essentials; floral-patterned cutting boards, spoon rests and serving utensils add a special touch to meal prep; and glass and marble accented creations add everyday elegance to decanters, teapots, coasters, spice jars and the coolest serving trays for the tastiest of charcuterie. Lucca, 126 W. Elder St., Over-the-Rhine,

Shops & Services
Illustration: Taylor Speed

2. Tiny Needle Community Acupuncture

3. Hamilton Health Associates          

2. Dusty Flynt Sexy Gifts                    

3. High on the Hill

So, you qualified for medical marijuana in Ohio: Great, and sorry for what ails ya’. Ohio law currently allows those with certain medical conditions (cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, chronic pain and many more) to sign up as a patient, after being approved by a licensed physician, with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry and Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Your physician will approve you to use a 90-day supply of certain forms of marijuana for your specific condition — oils, tinctures, edibles, vapes. And once you’re approved, you have to go to a licensed dispensary to purchase your medication. There are only a few in the Cincinnati area: Verilife, kind of by Pleasant Ridge; Have a Heart Cincy, co-founded by Rev. Damon Lynch III and located in Hartwell, which is the only dispensary to open so far technically within city limits; and Verdant Creations in Columbia Township, kind of by Target and across from the original little MadTree taproom. (There’s also About Wellness Ohio in Lebanon.) But Verdant Creations seems to be a card-carrying favorite because it has affordable price points and offers frequent discounts. After checking in with your medical marijuana card and ID, you’ll head to the Verdant Creations waiting room to peruse a menu of the current offerings. The menu is divided by form (edible, flower, tincture, etc.) as well as brand and strain (indica, sativa). And if you have no idea what any of that means, the helpful “budtenders” will teach you about the different applications as they relate to your specific ailment, especially if you weren’t or haven’t been a big pot smoker/vaper/eater/tincture-er up until his point. Note: These budtenders aren’t pharmacists, they just know a lot about pot. (They’re also very helpful if you’re confused about what constitutes a “90-day supply” limit.) After you make your selection, it’s filled in a back room and delivered through a window with a prescription label and sealed in a bag with a staple. You have to pay in cash (they have an ATM) or some weird digital payment. But it doesn’t really matter, because prices here are reasonable. And they usually have sales, special deals and promotions. Like they offered 29 percent off their entire inventory on Leap Day (there was a line out the door and an hours-long wait). Sign up for text alerts for discount notifications. Verdant Creations, 5149 Kennedy Ave., Columbia Township,

2. Florence Antique Mall                  

3. Wooden Nickel Antiques   

2. Clifton Cultural Arts Center

3. Brazee Street Studios        

2. Michaels                

3. Cappel’s     

2. Beechmont Subaru            

3. Walt Sweeney Ford

2. Courtesy Automotive                     

3. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

2. CarZmedics            

3. Carriage House Car Wash