Best Of 2020

At the end of 2019, local nonprofit Queen City Bulldog Rescue opened a dog food pantry at its headquarters in Bellevue to offer assistance to anyone who might need help feeding their four-legged family member — and not just bully breeds. Following the closing of the Norwood-based Cincinnati Pet Food Pantry in the summer of 2018, it’s also the only pantry of its kind in Northern Kentucky. QCBR founder Chelsea Muenzer says the decision to add a pet food pantry was an organic one. With each passing week, she says turnout grows both in terms of people actually utilizing the pantry and for incoming donations. It’s also drawn more awareness of their first-and-foremost mission. Founded in 2017, the foster-based rescue has placed over 300 English and French bulldogs in their forever homes and have over 200 volunteers in their ranks. Currently, the pantry is operating on a no-questions-asked honor system: For those who need help getting fido food, all they need to do is simply show up during open hours — every other Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or reach out to make an appointment. If they have what you need, it’s yours. Muenzer says they have yet to run out of kibble, but they’re also hoping that they keep getting more food to keep supply up as word spreads. Find a link to donate affordable food via an Amazon wishlist on their Facebook page. Queen City Bulldog Rescue, 707 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue,

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