2023 Best of Augusta

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Best of

Augusta 2023 Photo courtesy of Craft & Vine/Facebook

by Dan Pearson








Photo courtesy of Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar/Facebook

From crack-of-dawn breakfast joints to late-night sips and snacks, we’ve got what your neighbors say are the best places for the good stuff. Here’s to the menu!

B R E A K FA S T When you’ve been dreaming of bacon & eggs and pancakes all night long — and who hasn’t done that? — the best thing you can do is go to Sunrise Grill and be there when their doors open at 6 a.m. If it’s a recurring dream, it’s nice to know they open at 6 a.m., roughly seven days a week. At Ruth’s Family Restaurant, “Ruth’s booths” are another time-tested and voter-approved place to start your day. Not to be overlooked, downtown’s The Brunch House may be rather small, but they are big on breakfast and they have the 5-star reviews to prove it.

BRUNCH What we like to do is go to The Brunch House of Augusta for breakfast and then transition directly into brunch mode. Same booth and everything. It’s a definite time saver. (They serve lunch, too, but that’s a story for another day.) Readers of Augusta magazine (and Consumer Reports) say First Watch is near-first on their brunch list. Rounding out your top three ways to amp up a mid-morning — or get a head start on lunch — readers give it up for Frog & the Hen Eatery & Coffee Bar.

LUNCH Speaking of lunch, it really takes a village, Village Deli Sub & Pub specifically, where Augusta has been doing lunch since 1988. You can’t be mediocre and still be #1 35 years later. Good job, village people. The SolFood Kitchen describes itself as “a wellness cafe,” so you might not want to ask for that side of pork rinds. But, as first runner-up, they prove that healthful and delicious are compatible adjectives. Broad Street’s Whiskey Bar Kitchen offers yet another choice lunchtime choice.

BUSINESS LUNCH Augustino’s Italian Eatery and Prime Steaks offers an upscale vibe, the perfect place to thank a valued client or impress a future one, say voters. Another worthy

place to break bread while building business is the perennially favorite French Market Grille. And Whiskey Bar Kitchen appears again, doing double duty as a business lunch destination.

A PPETIZER S They could have named the place Handcrafted & Vine — because that would be accurate — but they decided on the shorter version: Craft & Vine. And readers decided they like it enough to give it first place in the appetizers division of this competition. It’s a good place to start, if you catch our drift. Finch & Fifth, meanwhile (no relation other than the same middle name), is another very appetizing option, according to the ballots. Readers bestow a bronze medal upon the creative and delicious appetizer menu at Pineapple Ink Tavern.

BARBECUE We all know Fort Eisenhower, right? Well, Sconyers Bar-B-Que, your #1 purveyor of barbecue, has been piling their wares on platters even before there was such a thing as Fort Eisenhower. It’s true. In fact, they’ve been at it since Dwight Eisenhower himself was president of these United States. In pig years, that is probably up in the hundreds. Next is a restaurant that isn’t a restaurant: SmokeShow Southern Style BBQ. Like Canadian wildfires, they bring the smoke to you using a fleet of food trucks. Follow your nose or check online for their regular locations. Willie Jewell’s Old School BarB-Q earns a mouth-watering third place.

RIBS There is a rumor going around that the Justice Department is investigating Sconyers Bar-B-Que for having a monopoly on all things bar-b-que, including ribs. If it’s true, they’ll surely have to taste the evidence and, at that point, the monopoly will undoubtedly be approved. So no worries, people. And there are still enough rib lovers out there to keep Shane’s Rib Shack and SmokeShow Southern Style

BBQ fat and happy in second and third.

WINGS When it comes to primo wings, Wingstop is fly, as the kids used to say. Sadly, there are only two wings per chicken, but hopefully genetic engineering will soon bring us chickens sporting 10 or 20 wings each. What a great day that will be for Wingstop! Of course, they’ll be celebrating at TBonz Steakhouse, too, not to mention Southbound Smokehouse, your other top wing dingers.

SEAFOOD Every day before dawn, a crew from Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar sails off in a boat somewhere and harvests all the goodies they’ll serve for that day. It’s hard work, but the ballots say it’s worth the effort. Quite a distance away from Rhinehart’s on the fancy meter is Abel Brown Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar, your silver medalist. Like they don’t have bare concrete block walls or anything similarly Rhinehartian. Beck’s is another reader favorite.

SUSHI We know this lady named Sue She who sells sushi by the seashore, which is of no use to us here in Augusta. Fortunately, however, we have TakoSushi to conveniently serve up all the sushi our chopsticks can handle, saving us trips to the seashore. Thank you. Other fine local purveyors of sushi beloved by readers include Koi Japanese Hibachi & Sushi, and Solé.

STEAK In the opinion of our readers, the superb quality which is the trademark of TBonz Steakhouse suggests the place is far more than just a steakhouse. It’s really more of a steak home. LongHorn Steakhouse takes the silver medal. And for Best of Augusta newcomer, Brinkley’s Chop House of Riverside Village in North Augusta, is welcomed to the show. OCTOBER 2023


Cat fish Photo courtesy of Old McDonald Fish Camp/Facebook


C ATFISH Readers gave Old McDonald Fish Camp the coveted gold medal in this category, so maybe it really should be Old McDonald Fish Glamp, you know? Speaking of swanky, Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar comes in second, and WifeSaver wins third.

FR IED CHICKEN Readers are not chicken about selecting a non-non-binary winner: WifeSaver gets the crispy, hand-breaded, fried-toperfection gold! With 11 secret spices, no less. Kentucky Fried Chicken, as far as we know, is available in all 50 states (including Georgia and South Carolina), as well as several foreign countries, not just Kentucky. You heard it here first. Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen is so wildly popular it has been known to pop eyes.

SOUP Savannah River Region’s summertime weather is sometimes described as soupy. It’s not generally considered to be a good thing. California Dreaming, on the other



hand, is justly celebrated for its delicious soups. We have to say, however, the less soupy it is outside, the better their soups seem to taste. People were also bowled over by the soups at Panera Bread and at Olive Garden Italian Restaurant.

PIZZ A Flatten a pie crust, slather it with tomato sauce, then sprinkle it with bits of ham, pineapple, cheese and anchovies. Does that sound like a food innovation that would change the world? Indeed it does! Doubters are invited to sample the menu at Mellow Mushroom. If you’re still unconvinced — all four of you — head to The Pizza Joint and/or Pizza Central for additional evidence.

HOT DOG Readers say the hot dogs at Sno-Cap Drive-In are totally excellent. In other words, tubular, dude. Their next favorite is Sonic. Costco Wholesale comes next. Those Costco dogs are delicious, sure, but aren’t they also something like 29 cents apiece?

BURRITO Purists like to say the best burrito in town comes from Not Your Mother’s. Look, we understand the need to speak proper English, but sometimes you just have to let your hair down and order a burrito at Nacho Mama’s. Trust us on this, English teachers. The ballots also say nobody outburritos Diablo’s Southwest Grill (well, other than Nacho Mama’s). Taqueria El Rey is another big reader fave.

SA N DW ICH We love Knuckle Sandwiches as much as anybody. We really do. But here’s a word of advice: don’t go there the day before your cholesterol checkup, ok? Maybe give it a good week between your last Knuckle and that blood work. Elsewhere, Village Deli Sub & Pub has devised a two-part corporate structure to offer a complete dining experience: their sub division for sandwich production and a pub division to wash it all down. Readers say it seems to be working. Third place goes to Jersey Mike’s Subs.


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HAMBURGER Right here in the big city, Farmhaus Burger takes top honors, which probably means many of our thousands of local medical professionals make haus calls. Very cool. The hometown burger builders at Gary’s Hamburgers take second place, and downtown’s classic Sports Center keeps winning despite the loss earlier this year of its proprietor, affectionately known as Wild Bill. It’s not too late to raise a burger in remembrance.

FR ENCH FR IES Is there a better pairing than a burger and fries? Scientists have yet to find one, so how fortuitous that readers give this award to Farmhaus Burger, also home of our area’s best burgers! Ditto for second place, where Gary’s Hamburgers repeats as Gary’s French Fries. Whiskey Bar Kitchen takes the bronze, but in this category there are no losers, only winners.

SALAD Of course, there are always the french fry spoilsports who remind us to eat our salads. Well, if you’re going to go green, go with the best, which the ballots say is California Dreaming. For real. This is not a dream. Well, it is actually. Just taste these salads! Next up, it’s crunch time at Broad Street’s The Southern Salad, followed by Zaxby’s. Georgia’s own restaurant chain scores third.

DESSERT The Boll Weevil Cafe and Sweetery is a full service restaurant offering all the standard groceries — you know, appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, wine, etc. — but even so their decades-long claim to fame has been and is dessert. They might be named after a bug and located on a dead-end street, but gold medal desserts keep the faithful coming. Nearby (second place, in fact), Vance’s Bakery Bar is exactly as advertised:



it’s a combination bakery and bar. Whipped Creamery also satisfies many a pie hole from its Columbia County locations.

BA K ERY It’s a 3-way bake-off with Lil’ Dutch Bakery on top. Readers say they put the goods in baked goods. But name a bakery that doesn’t do that. Just writing this one entry we gained a pound and a half, and we wish it was more! Well, there’s always Sheila’s Baking Company for sweet seconds. But who says we can’t go for thirds at A Piece of Cake Bakery?

DONUTS Your top choice, Krispy Kreme, has asked us to make an announcement: they don’t mind if you eat donuts in their parking lot, but please don’t do donuts in their parking lot. Thank you for your cooperation. Haute Doughnuts, as the name clearly indicates, is fashionably elegant and high-class, and their designer donuts are available at locations listed on their website. Heroes Donuts, where the true heroes are the donuts, wins third.

ICE CR EAM Are you suffering from moderate to severe ice cream insufficiency? Doctors (and your fellow readers) recommend once daily (except for Mondays) Whipped Creamery. Of course, your results may vary, so double doses are always an option. Your other two top favorites, Pink Dipper and Cold Stone Creamery, are also available without a prescription.

COFFEE People drink coffee for that kick caffeine offers, so no wonder Goat Kick Coffee Co. takes the prize. And it’s worth noting, no animals are harmed during the brewing of their coffee. Rooted Coffeehouse takes second place, and Buona Caffe (and Buona Decaffe, if desired) wins third.

ICED TEA Over the years WifeSaver has probably served about a million gallons of iced tea, cooling off countless customers and in the process helping to fight global warming. We should all be grateful, and we are. Readers also raise a styrofoam cup to both McAlister’s Deli and McDonald’s.

WINE MERCHANT Switching gears ever so slightly, kids, we move on to adult beverages. By wine merchant we refer to what might be called wine take-out, and for that readers toast Toast Wine & Beverage as the best, followed by White Horse Wine & Spirits, then Beverage Outlet.

WINE MENU By contrast, the winner of “best wine menu” is where they service what they sell. Correction: serve what they sell. There is an implied connection with good food and great atmosphere, too. Within those parameters your top choice for this category is Cork & Flame. Other sterling options offered by readers are Frog Hollow Tavern and Craft & Vine.

BEER SELECTION It’s always five o’clock at Toast Wine & Beverage on Fury’s Ferry Road, and that’s where our readers go to get their favorite beer. They also head over to White Horse Wine & Spirits in Surrey Center, followed by Cheers Fine Wine & Spirits in Martinez.

BEER MENU If the hundreds of beer choices from around the world on the menu at World of Beer Bar & Kitchen don’t spell best, nothing does. That’s the clear message from the ballots, some of which clearly had circular beer bottle watermarks on them. It’s not easy to do voting online. Arsenal Taproom + Kitchen scores second place, and Lincolnton’s Back Paddle Brewing wins third.

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3830 Washington Rd #25 Martinez, GA | (762) 994-0483

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CR A FT COCKTA IL There are bartenders, and then there are mixologists. Readers say the latter is on the menu at Craft & Vine. Living up to the their name, they sometimes even go above and beyond using little paper umbrellas. That is true craftspersonship. Their ampersand twins over at Finch & Fifth win the silver, and The Indian Queen takes home the bronze.


H A PPY HOUR At a certain hour each day, the hour hand gets to a point where someone at Craft & Vine says “our hour has arrived” — meaning happy hour — and then for an hour or more hourglasses are filled with happy hour libations of the finest kind, according to our panel of experts. Also, “happy hour” should be alliterative, like Finch & Fifth. In third place, voters look up to Edgar’s Above Broad with great admiration.

C ATER ER Next, two categories that take their show on the road. We have mobile phones, why not mobile food? First, for special events, whether they be in the back yard or in the corporate realm, the votes say Tastefully Yours can be entrusted with the job. In other words, they will be tasteful both aesthetically and flavorly (that’s a word if we say it is). Fat Man’s Cafe & Catering and The Silver Palm Catering Company also come highly recommended.

FOOD TRUCK As for everyday movable feasts, SmokeShow Southern Style BBQ is at a location near you every Tuesday through Saturday with a rolling load of deliciousness. Visit them on Facebook @SmokeShowSouthernBBQ for each day’s locations. Don’t forget to ask for extra napkins. You can also cool down on hot days courtesy of the Whipped Creamery mobile unit. And did you know Villa Europa has a food truck? Check out their current whereabouts at villawagen.com.

Photo by John Antaki




Some say that if you don’t have butter dripping from your elbows when you’re eating seafood, you’re not doing it right. Well, that sort of thing would be perfectly acceptable at Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar. They are, after all, beyond casual, and probably even a little more casual on their patio. Solé doesn’t just serve up primo tapas,

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sushi and more — they have a sweet patio for dining al fresco. Edgar’s Above Broad, like a certain golf tournament we know, is a place like no other. Do check it out.

DOW N HOME COOK ING Remember going to Grandma’s house and she had that long buffet line and you would just slide your tray along and tell her what you wanted? Well, Goolsby’s has recreated that magical memory so anyone can enjoy it whenever wanted. And we certainly do. This category is just a two-horse race, and WifeSaver is the second banana, which reminds us — don’t forget the ’nana puddin’!

A SI A N R E STAU R A N T Your top pick, Koi Japanese Hibachi & Sushi is in a location that once upon a time was a Po’ Folks. The transformation from Po’ Folks to Koi could not possibly be more complete, more dramatic or more beautiful. And the food is pretty great, too. Mirin Fusion Kitchen, and Toki Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar round out your top three.

I N DI A N R E STAU R A N T True, you can’t order a burger and fries



at Taj of India, but isn’t that the whole point? To try something that might be new to you that could possibly be even better than burgers and fries? We know, it sounds impossible, but the people of India (and there’s a billion of them) can’t be wrong. Two other sterling options for getting your biryani on include Namaste Indian Street Food and Curry Hut.

MEDITER R ANEAN R E STAU R A N T We would vote for Laziza Mediterranean Grill based solely on the photo of their Broad Street location alone (see it on their website), but alas, voting is just for readers. We all seem to agree, however, and it’s not because of the photo. It’s all about the food, and mamma mia! It’s good. The ballots also install Ephesus Restaurant on the medals stand, as well as Pita Mediterranean Street Food.

M E X IC A N R E STAU R A N T Fittingly enough, Taqueria El Rey is Spanish for Taco Stand of the King, and readers respond by bestowing royal status upon it. Long live the taco! Monterrey Mexican Restaurant

(translation: “Monter of the King”) is the first runner-up, and next comes Poblano’s Mexican Bar and Grill.

I TA L I A N R E STAU R A N T Ever notice when you meet someone from Italy, they way they pronounce their country sounds like eat-aly? That is no accident, given the worldwide renown of Italian cuisine. You can savor the magic right here in Augusta, say your fellow readers, at Oliviana Ristorante. The ballots also nominate Luigi’s, Augusta’s family-owned 5th-generation Italian embassy (in the Dipartimento di Cucina). The top three wrap up with Carrabba’s Italian Grill.

DOW N TOW N R E STAU R A N T Augusta has an enviable dining district also known as downtown. Leading the pack, say readers, is Frog Hollow Tavern, where restaurant meets bar. It’s the best of both. That same duality is the essence of Whiskey Bar Kitchen, as you can readily see from its name. There seems to be no such duality in Solé, as you can readily see from its name.

NEIGHBOR HOOD R E STAU R A N T News flash: there are neighborhoods all over town and neighborhood restaurants to serve them. For instance, your top choice, Ironwood Tavern, is convenient to locales like Greenbrier and Windmill plantations. Next up in the election results, Beck’s offers fine dining within walking distance of all of Summerville, while Village Deli Sub & Pub also serves Summerville and Forest Hills. The rest of us can join in the fun, too. We’ll just have to drive.

HIDDEN GEM R E STAU R A N T Hidden gem is the very definition of Raes Coastal Cafe. Their website even suggests calling for directions first. Here’s what you need to know: it is on the north

shore (or coast) of Rae’s Creek. Hence the name, well, that plus the beach-inspired cuisine. Another place that’s easy to miss is Cadwalladers Cafe. But that’s only for those who have never been. Once they’ve tried it, people tend to come back again and again. You’re probably not going to drive past Back Paddle Brewing without realizing it. It’s a destination restaurant about 40 or so relaxing and scenic miles up the road in Lincolnton.

N E W R E STAU R A N T The finest of the freshman eateries in our fair city is Brinkley’s Chop House, nestled up against SRP Park, home of the GreenJackets. Congratulations, y’all! Next up is Tacocat in downtown Augusta, housed in a radically transformed tire shop. Don’t overlook a restaurant just

because it’s in a shopping center. Exhibit #3: Soca Vegan Kitchen, just a couple doors down from Sprouts Farmers Market. It’s the place with”Trinidad-Caribbean Cuisine” on the sign out front. It made the Best New Restaurant finals!

OV ER A L L R E STAU R A N T You might say this is the most elite category in the entire dining section, and it is claimed by Abel Brown Southern Kitchen & Oyster Bar, your selection from among every restaurant in town as the very best. It’s quite an honor, but then, Augustans are used to people named Mr. Brown who do exceptional things. The second winner (because every finalist in this category is a winner) is Frog Hollow Tavern. The final winner is Cork & Flame. Congratulations to all three.

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Arts & Entertainment For the best of live music and entertainment, here are a few people and places to put on your short list.



Local Art ist

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A visible visual artist is always a good thing, and appropriately enough, the art of Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman is all over town. Heck, even vegetarians like his stuff. The gorgeous April Henry King is another reader favorite, and watercolorist #1 Lucy Weigle adds a bronze medal to her already crowded trophy case.

Tyreon Williams, better known as a certain unnamed member of The Lady & The Gents (you have to guess which one), is your favorite female vocalist. Readers also extend their upraised thumbs in tribute to the singing career of Jaycie Ward, as well as Brooke Lundy.


As it turns out, there are gents who perform with the mysterious lady of The Lady & The Gents. All together they make beautiful R&B, say the people. The opening act is Funk You. Don’t miss these acts now that a little thing called a global pandemic has left the stage. These are the people the curtains are opening up for now.

People say Ryan Abel can sing better than any two people. Maybe that’s why he has two first names and one 1st Place trophy. In other news, it’s not considered cool to get people addicted to your artisanal pickles (Will’s Dills) and then pull the rug out from under them — Will McCranie, are you listening? — but readers were in a forgiving mood. Tom Reed, that Bodega Cat, scoops up third.




LOCAL JAZZ GROUP The Brownstown Gritty is definitely

quality entertainment. Go see them and be sure to take your ears when you go. You will not regret it. The Lady & The Gents compete with All That Jazz for the runner-up slots.

LOC A L COUNTRY BA ND Can any self-respecting country band have a name that doesn’t include the word whiskey? Of course not. Readers know this, of course, which is why they awarded Whiskey Run top honors. The Harlem Sons also dispense certified, authentic country music. As bodacious as they are, imagine if they were The Harlem Whiskey Sons. Wow. In third, The Mason Jars, and we all know what’s in those jars.

LOCAL C O N T E M P O R A R Y/ CHRISTIAN GROUP Readers say the music of Trey McLaughlin is positively celestial. The


sandaled feet of other readers are tapping to the heavenly sounds of the Rhett Walker Band. Readers complete the trio of top talent in this category with Dayz To Come.

the best performing arts group in the city. Bravo! Colton Ballet Company and Augusta Ballet finish as eminently deserving second and third.



As one fan wrote, Bodega Cat is the jamminest jam band ever. Look out Phish and all you Deadheads. She N She returns as a voter favorite this year, taking second place. Sweet Burrito scores third.

PER FOR MING A RTS GROUP Switching gears from the Augusta Prayers, your favorite here is The Augusta Players. No, no, not the players the first full week of April, nor the players of the week before. These are the players staging theater productions like Annie and Hello Dolly, and you have given them honors as



You’ll want to read what follows because no one wants to drive 100 miles to any bar, great or not. Local is good, and the ballots say it doesn’t get much localer (or gooder) than The Indian Queen. Stillwater Taproom and Metro Coffeehouse and Pub, a.k.a. “Metro,” also pass the bar. In other words, readers are more likely to go to those bars than pass them.

L AT E-N IG H T S P O T We have categories delivering suggestions for the best ways to start the day (like breakfast and brunch); this category offers ideas on the best places to end the day. If you go late enough, you could almost say The Indian Queen, your winner, offers breakfast hors

d’oeuvres (of the liquid variety). The Soul Bar and Metro Coffeehouse and Pub are also popular of late.

LI VE MUSIC BAR It’s a splendid thing to support live local music, and readers say there is no better place than Doc’s Porchside, whether in Grooveytown or on Washington Road. Don’t overlook the tip jar while you’re there. You tell us that Back Paddle Brewing and Stillwater Taproom also stage musical events of distinction.

SPORTS BAR You can’t just hang a bunch of big screens around a room and pull off a victory here. It also takes a mouth-watering menu, a great array of craft beers, and superb service … in short, exactly what readers say is offered at Manny’s Sports Off Broad. Sports Center, a timeless classic, wins second and Twin Peaks takes home third.

Photo courtesy of Doc’s Porchside/Facebook

Live Music Bar

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The following is not fake news. It’s the results of the media categories of our annual reader poll.



TELEV ISION STATION People say our grandparents would barely recognize today’s broadcast landscape. Kids have a tough time keeping up with it, too. But there is always WJBF News Channel 6, on the air since 1953. By our math that’s 70 years. Congratulations! Your next two besties are WRDW and WFXG. We need a split screen TV.

This WJBF Oreo starts with Jennie Montgomery as your #1 choice, followed in 3rd place by her WJBF colleague, Barclay Bishop. Sandwiched in the middle is Meredith Anderson of WRDW. Good job, ladies!

LOCAL T V ANCHOR MALE BREAKING NEWS! This group of persons finds Brad Means of WJBF as the lead story. Or is that lede story? Anyway, Richard Rogers of WRDW is next up, followed by Trent Butler of WFXG.

LOC A L T V W E ATHER ANCHOR Weather happens every day. In fact, if you go look outside your window (go ahead … we’ll wait) some may be happening right now. For this 24/7 beat, Jay Jefferies of WFXG is our city’s favorite weather reporter and prognosticator. Good going, Jay! Shiny new dad Riley Hale of WRDW wins the cloud with the silver lining, while Tim Miller of WJBF takes the bronze.

Photo courtesy of WRDW/Will Volk/Facebook


Local T V Reporter WILL VOLK

LOCAL T V MOR NING ANCHOR Mary Morrison not only gets the gold medal, but she also deserves the gold medal in this, her 35th year on the air at WJBF. Her morning co-anchor, Barclay Bishop, makes another appearance, since her previous showing was not a time-specific category. The lovely Zayna Haliburton wins third for WRDW.

LOCAL T V R EPORTER The reader favorite is WRDW’s Will Volk. Maybe it’s just us, but Will seems

like George Eskola Junior. They definitely have their similarities. (George is over at WJBF, as you know.) Shawn Cabbagestalk of WJBF wins third.

LOCAL MEDI A SPORTS R EPORTER You want to know who’s a good sport? Ashley Brown is, that’s who. Writing for The Augusta Press, Ashley knows his stuff. Want to know who led the Midwest Croquet League in wins during the 1927 season? Just ask Ashley. Brendan Robertson of WJBF scores second, and Nick Proto of WRDW wins third.



Local Morning Radio Show

LOC A L R A DIO STATION Probably a majority of votes in this category come from residents of Columbia County. After all, radio is largely an in-car medium, and Columbia County traffic jams are as bad as Atlanta’s, if not worse, so there you go. They vote for WAFJ (88.3 FM), which for the uninitiated is found at 88.3 on your FM dial. Kicks 99 comes next, and storied WBBQ (104.3 FM) follows.


LOCAL MOR NING R A DIO SHOW As you might suspect if you just read the previous category, The Kicks 99 Wake Up Krew takes the golden microphone. John & April, the waker-uppers at WAFJ, are your next faves, and Fattz & Cher at 96.3 Kiss-FM win third.

LOCA L TA LK R A DIO PER SONA LIT Y The first best top finest foremost #1 winner in this category is none other than Austin Rhodes of WGAC. Seriously, is there anybody else? Oh, wait, there’s a whole list here. It starts with a man who, like Prince, Adele, Sting, Cher, Pink, Bono, Slash, Seal, etc., needs only one name. In his case, it’s just 3 letters: Dub. Period. Just Dub, of The Kicks 99 Wake Up Krew fame. Mary Liz Nolan, a.k.a. Mary Fred, wins third.

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Print media is dead, they said. Nobody reads anymore, they said. The problem is nobody told Sylvia Cooper, or Charmain Brackett, or Susan McCord. This is a talented trio of intrepid Augusta reporters, and Augusta magazine readers are sending some love their way.

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Shopping & Leisure

In this era of online retail giants, supporting local businesses has never been more important. Here are some of the best picks.

boardroomaugusta.com OCTOBER 2023


Photo courtesy of The Swank Company/Facebook

Place to Buy Handbags THE SWANK COMPANY

MEN’S CLOTHING STOR E The well-dressed customers of Boardroom Clothing Company all look like chairpersons of the board, whether wearing 3-piece suits or golf shirts. That’s why they’re #1 in your book and in this magazine. They are followed in the rankings by Low Country Clothier and Lionel Smith Ltd.

WOM EN’ S BOU T IQU E NOTICE: You are about to enter the Swank Zone, where the aptly named boutique — The Swank Company — scores an impressive gold medal against high-quality competition. Such as SOHO. And the one-stop one-shop women’s clothing store named One.

P L AC E T O B U Y H A N D B AG S The Swank Zone continues here, with The Swank Company carrying away the



most first-place votes, and doing so in a designer handbag no less. Shoes at Surrey, despite their name, also sells handbags of distinction. Dillard’s completes the three best.

WOM EN’ S SHOE STOR E You are now leaving the Swank Zone (partially). Shoes at Surrey, as one might expect, takes top honors here, giving them major street cred — correction: streetlevel cred, you know, down at foot level — and then The Swank Company makes yet another appearance, this time in a supporting role. As above, Dillard’s supports that support.

F I T N E S S/OU T D O OR S STOR E As scientists now know, couches, recliners and big-screen TVs are magnetic. It’s not easy to break their powerful attraction, but

at the very appropriately named Escape Outdoors they employ a secret formula that somehow pulls people away so they can quite literally escape outdoors. The ballots say Half-Moon Outfitters and Academy Sports + Outdoors can also help their customers break the indoor spell.

CONSIGNMENT CLOTHING STOR E They say the value of a shirt depreciates as much as 10% the moment you drive it out of the store’s parking lot, and about 3% each time it’s worn thereafter (5% if it’s wrinkled). So really, why buy new? Especially with a place like Second Time Around Consignments just down the road. We can drive there in our everdepreciating cars and reap the savings. While you’re at it, check out the selections at Encore Boutique & Consignments and Goodwill Thrift Stores.

SUPER M A R K ET The votes tell us that “where shopping is a pleasure” is more than a mere slogan at Publix. It means that the actual experience of pushing a cart around their store and filling it up as you go is progressively filling pleasurable. Try it and see! Readers are also fond of The Fresh Market and they give Kroger the bronze.


PRODUCE When it comes to fresh produce, Augustans shop local. Good Earth Produce & Garden Center on Davis Road is the top pick. Publix and Sprouts Farmers Market take the second and third spots, respectively.

N U R S E R Y/G A R D E N STOR E Would you like to work at Bedford Greenhouses, your top choice? You’ll have first. But afterward, to attend nursery school first. you’ll have a satisfying career for many years to come. Of course, you can go as a customer without attending nursery school. The same is true of Good Earth Produce & Garden Center as well as Sanderlin Greenhouses.

GIFT SHOP Assuming you didn’t gift wrap an azalea for someone while visiting Bedford, Cudos2u is your best option. Given the

Nursey/ Garden Store

Photo courtesy of Bedford Greenhouses/Facebook

When you buy produce at Sprouts Farmers Market, suggest the ballots, natural foods are even naturaler. They may even be the naturalest since, after all, Sprouts Farmers Market came in at number one. And natural is good. The Fresh Market is another destination for seekers of organic groceries. Good option #3 is Good Earth Produce & Garden Center.


quality of their goodies, your gift will no doubt result in Cudos4u. Readers also love to shop for others at The Swank Company and they also enjoy Sweet Fig Market and Gifts.

PL ACE TO SHOP FOR HUSBANDS We should clarify that, although the primary focus here is husbands, Rivers & Glen Trading Co. has stuff that your dad, son, brother, nephew, father-in-law and officer (if he’s a guy) would also like. parole officer You could say it’s The Guy Store. Readers also say you’ll score points with him by shopping at Low Country Clothier and/or Escape Outdoors.

PL ACE TO SHOP FOR W I V ES Similarly, as you shop for your wife at Windsor Fine Jewelers, remember the influence of Miss wonderful and lasting influence Perkins, your 3rd-grade teacher. Doesn’t she deserve a diamond bracelet, too? Absolutely she does. Make a list and start shopping. The Swank Company and Cudos2u will also help you be the best giver you can be.

ANTIQUES Readers went old school with their votes in this category, just as we asked them to do. They chose Trends & Traditions Antiques Mall, purveyors of all that is old-fangled.


71 27

Fine Jewelery

Photo courtesy of Windsor Fine Jewelers





“Best fine jewelry” seems redundant, so we’ll say instead that the finest fine jewelry may be obtained at — drum roll — Windsor Fine Jewelers. Friedman’s Jewelers is another quite worthy option, and readers opted to think outside the little box for their 3rd place winner, North Augusta’s Stan Johnson Jewelers.

Order a delicious meal from your favorite restaurant’s menu — get this — without leaving home. Someone will bring it to you! No driving! No waiting for a table! No changing out of your pajamas! Thanks to Augusta To Go, you can stay home for the next five years if you wish. They and others you note, such as DoorDash and GrubHub, will bring your plate directly to your table, or your front door at least.

But if you do care to venture out from time to time for some delectable dining, you can still do that in your bunny slippers. The hot tip sent to us is that California Dreaming is best for curbside delivery. You roll up, they roll out, and moments later you’re at a red light taking that first delicious bite. Readers also say Farmhaus Burger and Chick-fil-A have great curb appeal.

COSTUME JEW ELRY Back in the day, the best costumer in town was probably Fat Man’s Forest. These days readers say it’s The Swank Company, probably because they sell the best costume jewelry and zero costumes. Cudos2u likewise lets you save money on your everyday jewels, so you’ve still got cash on hand to buy actual diamonds, rubies, emeralds, etc. Dillard’s also gets votes aplenty in third.



TA K E- OU T M E N U Ordering dinner in tonight? California Dreaming, on any given day, is the number one go-to for locals. Barbecue favorite, Sconyers takes second. With everyone’s favorite sushi, TakoSushi, coming in third.

LOCAL ONLINE SHOPPING Sure, The Swank Company has bricks and mortar, just like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Well, not exactly like them. But you can go to their stores or you can shop for their cool stuff online. The Lush Kiwi gets a second-place trophy delivered to their place. Southern Willow Market deserves a medal, too, and they get one.


4272 Washington Rd., Evans, GA 30809 (706) 504-4303

901 Broad St., Augusta, GA 30901 (706) 814-7710



Photo by Cotton Bro on Pexles

Services & Miscellaneous Here are some great places to support — to keep them great, and to keep them open and serving us all.




FLOR IST We’ve said it before and it’s still true: fresh flowers belong in our lives all the time, not just on infrequent special occasions. Call Flowers on Broad and you can actually change their name to Flowers on [your street]. Voters also blossomed for Charleston Street and Ladybug’s Flowers & Gifts

PHOTOGR A PHER You know what readers like about their top pick, Amy J. Owen Photography? She doesn’t use the camera on her phone. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the mark of a professional. The artiste known as Drake White wins second place, and Aurora Adeleigh, the in-camera name of photography teammates Justin and Calie, wins third.

BR I DA L SHOP According to the ballots, Elegant Bridals is best equipped for everything from the sweetest blushing bride to the most demanding bridezilla. They probably have some stories to tell. House of the Bride (and



really, aren’t they all?) wins second; Tiffinie Bleu Bridal Boutique finished out the top three.

BANK/FINANCI AL INSTITUTION The readers have spoken and crowned Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. as the best there is when it comes to safeguarding our money and other valuables. The other fine financial finalists are SouthState Bank and SRP Federal Credit Union.

R E A LT OR Apparently, dealing with Venus Morris Griffin, or simply V as we sometimes call her to save time, is a very moving experience. Ann Marie McManus has probably sold a couple hundred thousand houses, which is roughly how many votes she tallied in 2nd place. Elsewhere, people look around at the house they’ve outgrown and say, “It’s time to GO,” by which they mean Greg Oldham.

COLLEGE/UNI VERSIT Y The smart money is on Augusta University, a name that practically took an Act of Congress and rioting in the streets to acquire. Now that we have it, we’re saying it’s #1. The University of South Carolina Aiken — a.k.a. USC Aiken — scoops up the silver medal, and Augusta Technical College — a.k.a. Augusta Tech — takes the bronze. We have it on good authority that readers actually put on caps and gowns before entering their votes in this category.

C A R WA S H You definitely want sparkle in a car wash, and Sparkle Express Car Wash delivers exactly what you want. In second, Lulu’s Car Wash is a lulu of a car wash. But then, you knew that already. Tidal Wave Auto Spa is your next fave.

BAR BER SHOP Big City Cuts in the big city of Grovetown serves the massive population of Ivy Falls Plantation and beyond from its location on Columbia Road. V’s Barbershop, a coast-

Photo by Brittany Roberts Photography



to-coast chain, has enough locations in the Garden City to take second place. Durden’s Barber Shop, another one of those timeless classics, is in third.

LOCAL CHARITY Your choice for best is Golden Harvest Food Bank, as it should be. Well actually, every organization in this top three is eminently worthy of all the accolades (and donations) they receive. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta and SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center of Augusta likewise deserve your second and thirdplace vote totals. Well done to one and all. Thank you for your service.

SPECI A L EV ENT FAC I L I T Y You could book a gender-reveal party at Sacred Heart Cultural Center without using any explosives — in other words, boring — and it would still be a



most memorable event. A second venue of distinction is the Enterprise Mill Events Center. It’s got ambiance to spare. Looking for something completely different? Evans Towne Center Park, including the Lady A Pavilion.

TOU R IST AT T R ACT ION Well, first of all, is the one known the world over: the Masters Tournament. And somehow, even with next year being the 90th anniversary of the first Masters, it just keeps getting better and better. But if badges are an issue and it doesn’t happen to be that one week of the year, another cool place to visit is Savannah Rapids Park. Another place to show off what’s unique to the entire planet is the James Brown Statue.

HISTOR IC L ANDM AR K The hardest working man in show business also earns a gold record in this category as the James Brown Statue wins top

honors. Next, Sacred Heart Cultural Center, that beautiful palace on Greene Street, attained landmark status the day it was built in 1897, but it wasn’t added to the National Register of Historic Places until some 75 years later. It was worth the wait. The Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home rounds out the top three.

P L AC E YO U W I S H WA S STILL HERE Hello Usry family? How many times does Fat Man’s Forest have to win this category before you bring it back? We’re waiting! Alas, Fort Discovery was also indeed a pretty nifty place. And it’s safe to say that if third-place winner the Green Jacket Restaurant were still around, the National would have bought it already.

F I T N E S S C E N T E R /G Y M At Evans Fitness Club, little things are important. They can transform fitless into

Photo courtesy of Golden Harvest Food Bank/Facebook

Local Charity


fitness if you just give them the chance. They know that one letter makes a world of difference. Planet Fitness can take that planetary shape of yours — round — and sculpt it like you wouldn’t believe. The Family YMCA definitely works out for third.

pampering? Rosewater Spa & Wellness also gets special treatment from readers, and Retreat Spa & Salon completes the short list of winners.

if you had the Augusta Aquatics Center in the office pool, good choice.



You say Paris Nails and Spa is the best, and even better, they’re on Washington Road next to Outback. That means you don’t have to fly to Paris every time you want their superb service. That could get old in a hurry. Ocean Nails & Spa, likewise, is in Evans, so no trips to the ocean are necessary. And Morning Lavender Nail Butik is conveniently located in Surrey Center.

Looking for a great place to get in a few strokes that don’t involve swimming? The Forest Hills Golf Course may be just the ticket. If you don’t believe us, just ask Bobby Jones. It was one of his favorite places. Bartram Trail Golf Club and The River Golf Club complete your 54-hole total.

There is a great salon near you just about anywhere you happen to find yourself in the Savannah River Region. Summerville hosts your #1 pick, Bliss Salon and Spa. Dahlia Salon & Spa is “not your average Evans salon,” yet ironically, they are in Evans. And in downtown Augusta, Undertone Salon & Co. also finds a spot in the top three.

DAY S PA Readers say they wish Tuscany, A Classic Italian Spa wasn’t just a day spa — because what hour of the day or the night do there exist people who don’t need a little



PL ACE TO S W I M The Family YMCA is taking a victory lap in response to the big splash they made in voting. Another good place to get in a few strokes (other than a golf course) is the Salvation Army Kroc Center of Augusta; and


TENNIS COURTS The votes enthrone Newman Tennis Center as the best, which we suppose makes it a royal court with all the trappings of such an office. For instance, you don’t pay a fee to play there. You pay royalties. Petersburg Tennis (formerly known as Petersburg Racquet Club) and Patriots Park, while part of the royal family, too, will have to be heirs to the throne for now. Maybe next year.

Photo courtesy of Forest Hills Golf Course

Golf Course



1432 MONTE SANO AUGUSTA, GA 30904 706.305.1696

MAKE MEMORIES LAST A LIFETIME AT B E A C H E S R E S O R T S At Beaches Resorts, you will discover wholesome fun for everyone in the beauty of Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. Indulge in limitless dining at up to 21 restaurants per resort. Every day and night, entertainment reigns supreme with amazing shows for every age. Have a splash at pristine white-sand beaches or in Pirates Island Waterpark, a vast waterpark with winding mega-slides, a meandering lazy river and more. The thrills don’t stop there with unlimited land and water sports. When the adults want time for themselves, certified nannies take the lead with Kids Programs and tailor-made fun for your little ones. Plus, elevate your stay with exclusive butler service and Beaches Concierge assistance. With every detail in place, Beaches offers boundless adventure in paradise for all.


Contact your local Beaches experts at Vacations To Remember at 706.869.8355 or visit their website at VacationsToRemember.com

*Visit www.beaches.com/disclaimers/8100 or call 1-800-BEACHES for important terms and conditions. Sandals® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is an affiliate of Unique Travel Corp., the worldwide representative of Sandals Resorts. 8100/0822

YO G A ST U DIO Get active. Get limber. Get tranquil. What’s not to like about yoga? Whether you’re a diehard yogi or completely non-yogic (so far), Space Yoga Studios is the recommended place to make your position known. Oxygen Fitness Studio also got plenty of votes, as did GVO Studios of North Augusta.

P L AC E T O WA L K YOU R D O G If you accept the advice of your fellow readers and head for the Augusta Canal, the only question will be, who is going to enjoy the experience more, you or Fido? Also, if your dog really is named Fido, it’s probably the only one in North America so named. Another great choice for making the term “a dog’s life” good instead of negative: North Augusta Greeneway. Every dog who has that day will be glad. Finally, note that all the visitors at the dog park at Evans Towne Center Park are wagging their tails.

L O C A L F E S T I VA L We do love the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival. And tens of thousands of people around the Southeast and beyond do, too. The Augusta Greek Festival also gets high marks. Another event not to be missed is North Augusta’s Jack-O-Lantern Jubilee.

Stylin’ for a cause heads the pack in this category: Wine, Women & Shoes. Yes, all three benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta. Waiting in the wings is Fake It To Make It, SafeHomes Domestic Violence Center of Augusta’s ultra-fun lip-sync challenge. And the Cookin’ For Kids Oyster Roast benefits Child Enrichment.

Photo by winewomenandshoes.com


Fundraising Event WINE, WOMEN & SHOES






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We accept clothing and accessories for the entire family as well as furniture and fine home decor. Thank you so much for voting us the best consignment store in the Augusta Magazine.

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Bath Supply Showroom

Photo courtesy of Landrum Supply Co.


A PPLI A NCE STOR E We’ve come a long way since the icebox, haven’t we? Remember when you first heard about microwave ovens? It sounded like science fiction. These days Kelley Appliance Center has all the latest kitchen and laundry wizardry and is the reader favorite. Also, plenty of votes for Davis Appliance & Furniture as well as Dave’s Appliance Warehouse. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s plug and play.

B AT H S U PPLY SHOW ROOM Landrum Supply Co. Kitchen & Bath Showroom hereby marks 10 straight years as #1 in this category. It’s like somebody turned on the vote faucet and can’t shut it off. Hmm … must have bought it someplace else. Not to brag, but W. A. Bragg & Co., with eight locations around Georgia and one in Aiken, was founded right here in Augusta



in 1953. Hats off to them in second place. Lowe’s, if you’ve heard of them, takes third.



They put on quite the floor show at Merit Flooring, Kitchen and Bath the new and improved version of The Carpet Shop. Don’t be fooled by their middle name. They do residential, too, plus every variety of commercial: office, church, school, healthcare, industrial, food service, fitness … basically if a place happens to have floors, Merit’s got them covered. A&D Carpets & Hardwoods is on the 2nd floor, and Hardwood Floors & More is on the 3rd floor.

Quality shutters definitely add class to a room, something they know all about at Summerville Shutter Company (as do readers), and when they’re custombuilt right here in town that’s even better. Plantation Shutter Tyme earns the silver shutter award, and Lowe’s reappears again for the bronze.

CABINET MAKER It takes special skills to build quality cabinetry, and readers salute Looper Cabinet Company Inc. as the best in town. People say their workshop is kind of a dovetail joint. The ballots also recognize the great woodwork at Crawford Cabinets as well as Martinez Cabinet & Millworks.

CA R PET CLE A NING C O M PA N Y Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the Stanley Motor Carriage Company, whose steam-powered cars were affectionately known as Stanley Steamers. Carrying on the name (or a variation of it anyway), Stanley Steemer is your choice

when the carpets need cleaning. Universal Carpet Cleaning wins second place, although we suspect they only clean carpeting on earth, the Savannah River Region in particular. Duraclean CSRA wins third.

C O U N T E R T O P C O M PA N Y You’ve contracted with the best cabinetmaker, and now it’s time to surface the countertops. Readers highly recommend CounterSync, and not just for countertops — they also do shower installs. Augusta Granite Company and StoneWorks of Augusta also harvest granite from faraway granite farms — that is where granite comes from, right? — and then install it in your home.

Readers’ frame of mind on this one leads to top billing for Art on Broad. In three words you know what they do and where they’re located. Your next favorite hangout is The Beveled Edge in downtown North Augusta. For a frame of reference, that puts them just ahead of The Frame Shoppe.

DECOR ATOR FA B R I C S T O R E According to the needle and thread-wielding balloteers out there, Curtain Call Fabrics & Interiors is cut from the finest cloth, followed by Decorator’s Outlet & Interiors, and in all caps, JOANN Fabric and Crafts.

E L E C T R IC I A N/ ELECTR ICAL CON T R ACTOR Rob Zapata’s Electric, Inc. takes first place. It really helps when your name starts with ZAP, like he was wired from birth to be an electrician. Ditto for Mr. Electric of Augusta in third and sandwiched in the middle is BZ Electrical.



Photo by Mark Albertin


Cust om Art Frame Shop ART ON BROAD

FUR NITUR E STOR E If you’re looking for something to lie on, sit on, serve meals on, or put your feet up on — and aren’t we all? — your best destination, say readers, is Weinberger’s Furniture. The vote totals also say good things about Merry’s Home Furnishings and Rooms To Go.

F E N C E C O M PA N Y What is the singular version of fence? Fent. Of course, over time fents became fence, something they know all about at your top pick, East Georgia Fence. Good fences make good neighbors, and East Georgia’s next-door neighbors (figuratively speaking) are Augusta Fence and Maner Fence & Specialties.

G A R AGE DOOR C O M PA N Y Overhead Door Company is well into its second century in business, and Augusta Overhead Door is not far behind. Somehow their doors are overhead even when they’re closed. Weird how they can do that. Precision Garage Door of Augusta places second and Lowe’s wins third.

HE ATING A ND A IR C O M PA N Y When it’s hot outside we want it cool inside, and when it’s cold outside we want it warm inside. That’s the challenge facing every HVAC company — dealing with a fickle public. Well, you say Busby’s Heating and Air Conditioning isn’t fazed by fickle. They

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thrive on fickle. They fight fickle face-to-face every day of the year to keep us comfortable. Sig Cox Heating & Air Conditioning is your next-favorite heating & air company, followed by Westside Heating & Air Inc.

Gallery. They slide in ahead of previous medalists Landrum Supply Co. Kitchen & Bath Showroom and W. A. Bragg & Co.


Your top pick, Pebble Creek, does a lot more than just cut grass. They can completely transform that weed patch of yours into a lush oasis with a putting green and driving range — assuming your neighbors don’t mind you using their yards, too. Other near winners: Southern Landscaping Garden & Gifts and Master Lawns, LLC.

If you’ve got floor plans, there’s someone who would like to meet you. But judging by the vote totals, you’ve already met. Who? Hardwood Floors & More. How much more? Well, there’s furniture, lighting, wallpaper … all kinds of more. Kirkland’s Flooring, and A&D Carpets & Hardwoods round out your favorite flooring stores.

K I T C H E N S U PPLY SHOW ROOM We’ve seen some of these names before in these listings, but not this gold medal winner: Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting


BEST LIGHTING C O M PA N Y We can plainly see that Southern Lighting Gallery is your top choice thanks to the nifty lamps we got there last week. Light is a good thing for sure. As we have said previously, the more

portion of Hardwood Floors & More includes the most enlightening products, and customers of Ferrell Lighting and Design, Inc. also find them to be very illuminating.

BEST LUMBER C O M PA N Y Readers rushed right out to vote for Maner Builders Supply. In other words, they didn’t lumber their way to the polls. Or the poles, the ones they bought at Maner. Other board-certified lumber yards include Howard Lumber Company and Mulherin Lumber Company.

MORTG AGE/ LENDING INSTITUTION In this all-important category for homes and homeowners, the ballots place Queensborough National Bank & Trust Co. in first place. SouthState Bank

Light ing Company

Photo courtesy of Southern Lighting Gallery




and Silverton Mortgage also score big. Just not big enough to unseat the Queen, no doubt out of respect.

BEST HOME ACCE SSOR I E S STOR E To make the jump from that sterile and impersonal hotel room look to the stamp of your personality, the favorite destination for accessorizing seems to be Design Images & Gifts. Signature Interiors & Gifts and Savvy Home, according to readers, also offer lots of very cool and unique accent pieces of all kinds.


Photo courtesy of Casual Furniture

It just occurred to us that you can’t accessorize a home unless you have one. To rectify that situation, get thee to Ivey Homes pronto! Some people caution others to not build their hopes up; Ivey Homes says the whole reason they exist is to build your hopes up. So, there’s that. Herbert Homes Inc. also channels their inner Bob the Builder, as does DPM Construction Services.


OUTDOOR FUR NITUR E STOR E Let’s face facts: nobody likes stiff, formal outdoor furniture. Thankfully, Casual Furniture of Augusta recognized that fact and opened their store decades ago to provide what the people want. Now, will someone bring us a mimosa, please? Lowe’s scoops up second place, followed by Weinberger’s Furniture.

PA I N T S T O R E Your favorite paint destination is Gerald Robinson’s Paint & Decorating Center, and we’re not surprised: rumor has it that Gerald knows Benjamin Moore personally. The bronze-colored medal (it’s only paint) goes to Sherwin Williams (note: not Sherman Williams; that’s Sherwin’s second cousin. People have been getting the two mixed up since middle school), and Home Depot is your next favorite.

P E S T C O N T R O L C O M PA N Y It might be true that bugs tremble at the

Casual Furniture



sound of their name — Horne’s Pest Control Company Inc., that is — but people tremble at the sound and sight of bugs. Here’s a tip: don’t bother saying “Horne’s Pest Control” out loud around your bugs. You’ve got to have a voice like David Horne to make them tremble. Bug House Pest Control and Arrow Exterminators are your other top picks for critter control.

P O O L C O M PA N Y Your favorite pool company is Pete Alewine Pool & Spa, and just so you know, they fill their pools and spas with water. Not ale. Not wine. Water. Hefner Pools and Peachtree Pools also take top honors in second and third.

PLUMBER It’s a wonderful thing that there is such a thing as plumbers. Maybe you don’t want to be one personally, but when water is cascading down your spiral staircase, what a splendid thing it is that people at Universal Plumbing have chosen plumbing as their craft. Long may they

plumb. Similar high praise goes to Hardy Plumbing Co. and Liberty Plumbing of Augusta from your votes.


I N S U R A N C E C O M PA N Y Insurance is really all about faceless billion-dollar corporations, but they become personal on the local level when our own agents give us the help we need. That is no doubt what readers had in mind when they named Blanchard and Calhoun Insurance Agency as their top pick. After that it’s State Farm and Allstate, no doubt a combination of votes for the local agent as well as the parent company.

R E A L E S T A T E C O M PA N Y There is no category more basic to best of home than the realtors who navigate the market and close the deal for us when we find the home of our dreams. For that assignment, readers turn first to Meybohm Real Estate as their agents in residence. Quite an honor. And in the position of first runner-up is Blanchard and Calhoun Real Estate.

R E M O D E L I N G C O M PA N Y What’s the latest? More kids on the way? Need a bigger front porch or back deck? Want a kitchen makeover? The results are in, and Prescott & Sons Construction is your remodeler of choice. They don’t work from home. They work at home. Your home,

Interior Designer

Photo by Natalie Thompson/TSG

When it’s finally time to jettison those ancient family heirlooms and go all-IKEA, take the outbound furnishings to a place like Savvy Home, where they will lovingly place them with a good family. And they’ll give you a commission on the sale, too. Consign Design and Second Time Around Consignments will also find step-parents for your soon-to-be former treasures.


that is. Robertson Restoration and Lacher Construction are your top alternates.

R O O F I N G C O M PA N Y Overall, Southpaw Roofing is your top best roofer. See what we did there? Lovelace Roofing Company and Crosby Roofing & Seamless Gutters also have a plethora of satisfied customers.

SECUR IT Y SYSTEM C O M PA N Y All year long — not just during baseball season — people are safe at home thanks to Estroff Protective Services Inc., your top pick. It’s a good feeling. ADT and Georgia Carolina Security also sell peace of mind, a product which, let’s be honest, sometimes has supply chain issues. They all help make sure it’s as plentiful as possible.

T I L E C O M PA N Y For more than 60 years, Tile Center has been picking ‘em up and laying ‘em down

all over the region. They are the reader fave. Traditions in Tile & Stone and Maven Tile & Stone have also done miles of tiles all over and rank at the top even though people literally walk all over their work.

INTER IOR DESIGNER/ DECOR ATOR If superb interior design was easy, everyone would do it. The pros — people like Alice Salley at Design Images & Gifts — make it look effortless when it’s anything but. Readers also recognize Sue Neal at Persnickety Interiors and Katy King at King Interior Designs for their excellence.

A SSISTED LI V ING/ SENIOR LI VING COMMUNIT Y Brandon Wilde is one of those rare places that make you wish you were older — or alternately glad you’re old enough to live there. Either way, readers give it senior status in this category. Thrive at Augusta and St. John Towers are also worthy destinations.



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