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THANK YOU FOR

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING Business & Shopping .......................................13

HEALTH & BEAUTY Health & Beauty ............................................. 32

FOOD, DRINK & ENTERTAINMENT Food & Drink................................................... 38 Entertainment................................................ 45

Readers’ Choice is a special advertising section of The Billings Gazette. PUBLISHER Dave Worstell SENIOR EDITOR Charity Dewing ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Ryan Brosseau ADVERTISING MANAGER Arcadea Scott CONTENT CONTRIBUTION Amy Joyner CONTENT DESIGNER Eli Quinn COVER DESIGNER Nadine Bittner Access Readers’ Choice at www.billingsgazette.com/specialsections

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OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

READERS’ CHOICE: What it means to be

BILLINGS’

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By CHARITY DEWING cdewing@billingsgazette.com

hile writing and editing the Reader’s Choice editorials this year, I was humbled and proud to see so many local businesses and owners I hold near and dear to my heart take the win for “Billings’ Best.” That sentiment, I am sure, is extended through to our readers and of course, our winners. Some have earned nearly solidified wins in their chosen categories – and yet, every year, when they receive the call that they have, again, won the Reader’s Choice award, their reaction is that of the fi rst win: they are grateful, honored, and surprised by the community love and support. First time winners are always the best: they cry with joy, acceptance and validation. It’s like handing someone a golden ticket. It is extraordinary in that way – to see the love and commitment come full circle: from the many hands that work tirelessly to create a product, place, environment, business and/or service, to those customers bringing that devotion back by voting for the people and places that enhance their lives. To those businesses, to the people Billings voted as “The Best of,” we thank you. It is often convenience that helps make our busy lives easier – when we don’t have time to cook, when we need a place to host a party, or help select and wrap a gift for us.

Skypoint in downtown Billings.

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

Those acts, as trite or unnecessary as they may seem, help us manage our daily lives. I can’t tell you how many times I have come home from a long day at work with every intention on cooking, but ordered pizza because it was easy, delicious and I needed that help. And that is what Billings is really all about – we help one another. Which is why many of our Reader’s Choice winners gave much of the credit to taking care of their customers, embracing them as family, and giving back to the community. In that way, this award goes beyond the veiled “Best.” Beyond a plaque or title – it is a clear demonstration of goodwill. To be the best means providing the best: in quality, generosity, capability and commitment. I am proud of this fi ne community, the businesses and people that show time and again, Billings really is the Magic City.

BILLINGSGAZETTE.COM/READERSCHOICE


Thank you Billings!

PEOPLE

1030 S. 24th Street W. Lisa Woods can happily say she has built a successful business. And, she admits her success did not come without additional help. First, she credits her husband, Kevin Woods, and their two young sons, as well as a great support staff and outside businesses. “I have always liked numbers, and I’ve always worked in an accounting field during any job I have held,” she said Helping clients, especially during stressful tax season, keeps Woods levelheaded and happy to assist. “I tell them, ‘we can do this,’” said Woods. Woods received her accounting education at Miles City Community College and online. She holds the status of an Enrolled Agent. She has also received additional training this year for filing individual, business or corporate tax returns, which is likely to be more stressful due to recent federal changes in the tax law. That specific training mainly came from other accounting firms operating in and training in other states.

Finalists Colleen Black – Colleen Black & Company, P.C., 1925 Central Ave. Roger Huebner – Eide Bailly, 401 N. 31st St. #1120

ATTORNEY Shane Colton - The Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton Shane Colton has found his place practicing Personal Injury Litigation in Billings for the decade. After earning his law degree from the University Of Montana School Of Law in 1991, Colton returned to his home base of Central Montana. After joining a law firm in 1999, he joined a Billings law firm that

Corbin Howard – Corbin Howard, Attorney at Law, 100 N. 27th St. #250 Jeff Oven – Crowley Fleck, 490 N 31st St.

CHIROPRACTOR Meier Family Chiropractic 3419 Central Ave. Ste. C 2908 2nd Ave. N.

Finalists Chiropractic Health Associates – Chris Johnson, 1407 Wyoming Ave. #2 Picard Chiropractic – Beau Picard 1690 Rimrock Rd # G

FINANCIAL ADVISOR Adam Gross - Retirement Solutions

Thank you Billings for trusting us to take care of you and your vehicle since 1985. We are honored to be voted Best Body Shop in Billings!

178 S 32nd St. West, Suite 1 With a degree in graphic design and a background in sales, it was his learned problem-solving skills that lured Adam Gross into the financial advisor career. When people think of a financial advisor’s clientele, they often associate the term with individuals with a large annual income. Gross says that is just a myth. “My role is to help you, wherever you are financially. You do not need a pile of money,” said Gross. “My job is to put the pieces together and find the solution.” While it can be a lot of work and emotionally challenging, Gross says he paints a picture, makes a timeline and sets up a plan that allows people to find financial stability. “Budgeting is the biggest issue people face. You can make $30,000 or $100,000, but if you are living beyond your means, you get into trouble,” said Gross. Gross deals with medium-income families and individuals, especially those struggling to pay off debt, plan for retirement or budget. “Budgeting is easy when you have the tools to do the job,” said Gross. For many, financial burdens can cause severe emotional stress. Gross knows that. “I am in one of the few professions where clients leave my office and hug me. The stress has been lifted and they know we have a plan and everything is going to be okay,” said Gross.

Celebrating over a decade of practice in Billings, the staff at Meier Chiropractic is the husband and wife team of Dr. Kimberly and Dr. Jeffrey Meier, as well as Dr. Donnie Smith. This year they are most excited to announce the addition of their downtown location, a block away from Skypoint, at 2908 2nd Ave. N. “Our goal has always been to educate people about their choices that will allow them to enjoy a full and active life, pain-free and energized. This second location makes Finalists it easier for the community to make their health and wellness a priority.” Isaac Orth – First Financial Equity CorporaProviding care for patients rangtion, 550 N. 31st St. #500 ing in age from newborns to the el- Steve Walton – Ameriprise Financial Serderly and everyone in between, Meivices, Inc., 303 N. Broadway #300 er Family Chiropractic truly serves

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the entire family. “We each offer our own niche specialty, whether it’s children’s chiropractic, prenatal or sports-focused,” Jeff said.

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ACCOUNTANT Lisa Woods Woods Accounting

later became The Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton. Today, he is a managing partner at The Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton, were you primarily focuses on personal injury law. “It is a good fit for me to be representing those people who have been hurt by no fault of their own. Plus, I’ve never wanted to do anything but personal injury litigation,” he said. For the past two decades he has worked statewide representing Montanans against insurance companies. He is admitted to practice in front of Montana State and Federal Courts. He is a member of the American Association for Justice, the Montana Trial Lawyers Association, and perhaps more interestingly, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. An avid outdoorsman who enjoys fly fishing, archery and bird hunting, Colton is a committed conservationist, having served ten years on Montana’s Fish and Wildlife Commission. Shane and his wife, Gina, a clinical social worker, volunteer their time on the boards of Montana Land Reliance, Tumbleweed and CASA of Yellowstone County.

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PEOPLE INSURANCE AGENT Roger Daniel - Roger L. Daniel Insurance Agency

MASSAGE THERAPIST Jessica Grunst Sanctuary Spa & Salon

108 N. Broadway

2025 Broadwater Ave.

1504 24th St. W.

When the nominations first came out for these Readers’ Choice Awards, hairstylist Katryna Erb was sporting a modern, short-fade hair style with a slight pastel tinge. Erb has been with Bishops Cuts & Colors for about 1 1/2 years, since it opened in late 2017. Before Bishops, she worked as a cosmetologist for 10 years in Billings, building a large clientele that seeks her finesse with every color procedure from Balayage, Ombres and vibrant splashes. Of course, she will also take on cuts and styles. In her off hours, she uses her talents as a freelancer applying makeup for special events, especially weddings. The 32-year-old cosmetologist serves an average of 40 to 50 clients each week. “I’d much rather be very busy than twiddling my thumbs,” she joked, adding, “This is a lifelong hobby that makes me money.” Because her industry is always changing, she is happy that she doesn’t have to get set in her ways. “I have always loved doing people’s hair – even my Barbie when I was little. It makes me genuinely happy to make other people feel great. I like playing with different colors, from blocks to crazy rainbow colors. More creativity means more fun for everybody,” Erb said.

Roger Daniel is more than an insurance agent, which could be why readers voted him as Billings’ Best Insurance Agent. Daniel explained, “We’ve developed a good reputation based on our people and how we deliver our products and services. We provide great value price wise and in our customer service.” He knows that much of the community may still think of his office as a Farmers Insurance Agency, but, he said, “We are only half that. We do a lot of Medicare planning and investment work with clients. We’re able to help with more than auto, home and business policies. We also help with Health and Financial protection for a lot of our clients.” Daniel has worked for 17 years in the family business that his grandfather, Peter Wallinder, started in 1952. Keeping with the family vision, Daniel’s office works to identify the insurance coverages that works best for each individual customer. “We are local and can explain firsthand the available plans, from A to Z. We become an advocate for each client and provide a lot of value to our Medicare clients.”

Since obtaining her education from a certification program in Costa Rica, Jessica Grunst has been a celebrated and popular massage therapist in Billings. “When I was looking through things, I was still in college and this (overseas) program popped up online. I thought it was too good to be true,” Grunst said. Grunst was attending college at Montana State University Billings, seeking her bachelor’s degree in physiological health and biological studies. The fourmonth program in Costa Rica made sense for her. “I wanted to be a massage therapist since I was about seven. My first memory of it was after my grandfather had a stroke and was paralyzed on one side. I would massage his arm and hand to make it feel warm again. I saw him smile and thought, I want to make everyone feel that happy.” Treating between 18 and 21 patients each week, using a variety of modalities, she sees a lot of smiles from those she works with. Her favorite work is in prenatal massage. Mothers are placed on their sides throughout most of the session, and are often the most grateful for the massage at its end.

Finalists Andrea Roane – Point of Hue Salon, 1211 N. 24th St. W. Ste. 4 Ashley Balajadia – Sanctuary Spa & Salon, 1504 24th St. W.

Finalists Angela Stiller – Farmers Insurance, 2646 Grand Ave. #9 Karen Lahey – Jackson and Iverson, 2619 St. Johns Ave., Suite C

Thank You For Voting Us Best Computer Repair Shop!

406-534-9565 2341 Broadwater Ave., Billings, MT 59102 www.BillingsTechGuys.com

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OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

118 N 29th St. Downtown Billings ToadNWillow, an award-winning, locally owned fine home furnishings and accessories store has more than 75 years of combined design experience and helps create solutions ensuring that any client’s space will meet their needs for years to come. “We can do your entire design package from the beginning, moving walls to interior design. We do new builds as well as remodels,” said owner Laura Mettler. Mettler began her career as an apparel designer, working for firms such as Nike. While in Oregon, she went further and received an undergraduate degree in interior design. At ToadNWillow, the show room features quality furniture and accessories from Scandia Home, Stickley Furniture and King Hickory Furniture. “We love working with people and seeing their reactions to what a change we can make in their home. Our job is to help them make their house beautiful, and we achieved that goal keeping their personal taste in mind.”

Finalists Kibler & Kirch, 104 N. Broadway #201 Carpet One Designers, 505 S. 24th St. W.

Finalists Breanne (Hartman) Principe – Longevity Massage & Wellness, 2702 Montana Ave. Suite #201A Theresa Vondra – The Massage Company, 511 N. 30th St

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INTERIOR DECORATOR Toad N Willow

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PEOPLE MORTGAGE LOAN OFFICER DeDe Stoner - Guild Mortgage

NAIL TECHNICIAN Kinzie Rutschke - Polished Salon

3127 Central Ave. #4

115 Shiloh Road, Suite #8

PHOTOGRAPHER – PORTRAIT Tracy Moore -Tracy Moore Photographers 2702 2nd Ave. N.

With a bachelor’s degree in finance from Montana State University Billings, DeDe Stoner has been in the finance industry for 25 years. Beginning as a teller and working her way up through banking institutions, Stoner takes her experience and education handin-hand to provide the best knowledge for her clients. Stoner’s mortgage background includes processing and underwriting. “Having the underwriting background helps. I know what they are looking for,” said Stoner Stoner invests in each client, taking their application for homeownership personally. “They are not just a file to me. They rely on me and I don’t want to let them down. I want to fulfill their expectations, their wants and needs,” Stoner said. With several buying programs already existing and developing for homebuyers, Stoner believes that there is a home loan out there for everyone. “Every homebuyer situation is unlike the one before. It takes time to find the right loan for each client. I remember when I bought my first home and having no knowledge. I want my clients to understand the process,” said Stoner. “It is so great when we get to the closing table and your clients achieve a goal they never thought they would.”

Finalists Belinda Osborne – Keystone Mortgage Co., 2442 1st Ave. N. Kelly Duray – Western Security Bank, 2675 King Ave. W.

At Polished Salon on Shiloh Road, Kinzie Rutschke has built her successful business using her talents and the best products available when completing artistic manicures and pedicures for her average 140 client appointments each month. “Not every artist uses a canvas and a paint brush; some artists use a variation of gel polish, colored acrylic, and a ton of glitter! Details do matter – after all, that’s what turns the nails into a masterpiece,” said Rutschke. She has worked for 11 years as a nail technician, specializing in colored acrylic, gel polish manicures or spa pedicures, and a wide variety of nail art. At Polished Salon, Rutschke is one of the independent professionals who hold a fulltime lease for one of the 10 private suites within the overall space, where they each operate their business a nail technicians and/or hairstylists. Within Polished Salon, Rutschke said her suite, like others, “is completely private and relaxing. Everyone has their own suite that they can personalize the way they want, and clients are thoroughly enjoying having their very own luxurious pedicure chair and sink in the room.” Her work on nails has been published in the health section of a professional nails magazine and she also won the Gazette’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Pedicurist in 2015.

Finalists Elaina Sikveland - Knock Out Beauty Hannah Wollenberg - Sanctuary Spa and Salon

THANK YOU

Dr. Robyn Clausen owns the West End optometry practice and retail eyewear store with husband Dr. David Bauer. The husband and wife team of optometrists work alongside optometrists Dr. Jessica Forsch and Dr. Matt Dooper. As an experienced, highly-trained optometrist, Dr. Clausen works hand-in-hand with each patient to preserve vision, reduce eye strain and fatigue, as well as diagnose and manage eye diseases. “I love connecting with people and problem solving with each of them. The best solution for a patient’s eyes is not the same for everyone. I work with a diagnosis and educate the patient on what’s available to them. It is fun to see someone come back year after year. Seeing kids grow up, it is great that we get to do ongoing care with our patients,” Clausen said.

Finalists Dr. Brad Kimball – Heights Eyecare, 430 Lake Elmo Dr. Dr. Ceara Steiner – McBride & McBride, 2120 Grand Ave.

Finalists Clark Marten Photography, 2606 Montana Ave. Jana Graham Photography, 2301 Montana Ave.

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100 Brookshire Blvd.

Voted Best Steak!

Billings for Voting us Best Sandwich 6 Years In A Row! Call us at 406-702-7212 for pick up orders and catering trays for your next event.

OPTOMETRIST Robyn Clausen - Bauer and Clausen Optometry

As the sole owner of Tracy Moore Photographers, the young female entrepreneurial owner is as committed to the basics of photography as she is reaching into a new division of her business that is beginning to serve more clients. “Most of my subjects are women; I connect with my subjects by going on fun adventures, exploring. The more I hear their story, we are going to have great pictures,” Moore said. Moore employs a studio manager and a typography assistant who have been with her for almost a decade. For the past eight years, she has been working on the niche of “branding” photography that helps a business person sell themselves with personality hardly seen in the custom headshot photograph. “These are behind-the-scenes photos that show personality,” Moore said. “High school senior girls are still my focus, but I’ve grown more into working with many other female entrepreneurs. I am a female entrepreneur myself, so I want my work to also empower more women in general.” Upon realizing many high school senior girls didn’t have the clothes they wanted to wear in photos, Moore started Tracy’s Closet, a resource for girls to choose outfits for their portraits. “A confident woman can take over the world, you know?” she said.

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1849 Majestic Lane | 406-839-9200 | RibAndChopHouse.com

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PHOTOGRAPHER — CHILDREN Jana Graham Photography 2301 Montana Ave., #201 Jana Graham artfully captures the moments that define who we are – or were. The moment a child looks at their parent; the honest smile of a youthful laugh; and the always monumental senior photos – all are time capsules of a fleeting life. “My favorite part of what I do is forming meaningful, personal connections with my clients,” Graham said. “It’s so fulfilling and rewarding to know that they allowed themselves to feel vulnerable in front of the camera—that they shared how they truly are as they interact with their loved ones. That is magical.” Graham, who has been in business in Billings for 14 years, offers a “boutique photographic experience” in that she customizes each session to the preferences and personality of each client or group – whether newborn, child or family portraits. She also specializes in commercial work, unique senior portraits, and incred-

ible wedding photography. “Ultimately, my goal is to help them create a lasting piece of inspirational art that Years of practice and working alongside they can put up in their homes and gives them all the good feels every time they see established professional photographers paid it,” she said. “I want my photos to have that off and soon, Murdock’s work was growing in popularity. forever-quality.” Graham said. Shooting weddings became a passion and Finalists Murdock takes each moment of the special Clark Marten Photography, 2606 Montana Ave. day seriously. She will do whatever it takes to alleviate stress and pressure from the bride Melanie Steiner Photography, and groom. A photo says a thousand words 1028 Princeton Ave. – and that goes for who is behind the camera more than who is in front of it.

PHOTOGRAPHER – WEDDING Miranda Murdock Photography 2702 Montana Ave., Ste. 203

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Ever since beginning her self-named priFinalists vate photography business in 2011, Miranda REALTOR Murdock has fallen in love with weddings, Julie Seedhouse – Century 21, 1605 S. Shiloh Rd. families and natural light over and over again. Liz Francis – North Acre Real Estate, Shawna Morales “Yes, I shoot mostly weddings, but cou2700 2nd Ave. N. Engel & Völkers ples often come back to me for family picDarwin George – Berkshire Hathaway Home tures once they have babies,” said Murdock, Services Floberg Real Estate, 1550 Poly Dr. Shawna Morales, a licensed real estate who became a photographer, admittedly, Kelsey Clark – MK Realty, 2409 Arnold Lane. broker in her 14th year of business is now through happenstance.

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working at Engel & Völkers, a newly-opened realty office in Billings. In the new firm, the 37-year-old professional will continue to focus on sale listings of high-end commercial property, farm and ranch offerings, as well as residential and land. Morales works with her husband, an interior designer, to stage homes for optimal sale price. “We always offer staging within our listing service - full staging,” said Morales. Last year, Morales staged 25 homes to assist sales. In the last year, she and agents working within her brokerage had over 30 closings on all types and values of real property. She estimates that at any given time she is working with 25 to 30 property buyers.

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2908 2nd Ave North (downtown)

OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

(406) 651-5433 meierchiropractic.com

1125 4th Ave. N. | (406) 248-2162 | www.whitehvac.com


1292 Pryor Creek Rd., Huntley

Exchange City Golf Course, 19 S. 19th St. Yegen Golf Club, 1390 Zimmerman Trail

HOTEL Northern Hotel 19 N. Broadway

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In Montana, golf is not just a spring and summer sport. According to Joe Link, owner and general manager of Pryor Creek Golf Club, fall and winter are great times to get out and play. “Unless there is snow on the course, we are open every day,” Link said. “Folks love to get out during the off-season because it’s more relaxed. In the winter, the ground is harder so the ball goes farther – it becomes a different game.” His golf professional, David Ness, agrees, adding that golf is an experience that offers more than time outside on the fairways and greens. “We sell first-class service here. We want to know who you,” Ness added. His staff includes roughly 15 employees in the pro shop and completing outside services. “Our course is always in great condition, and golfing here is affordable. For the great quality of golf here, you can’t beat it anywhere else in Yellowstone County.”

and comfort meld at the Northern Hotel. As the only 4-star urban hotel in Montana, the Northern Hotel features a suite of amenities that includes luxurious, plush rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, valet parking, easy access to onsite gourmet restaurant TEN, and much more. After undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Northern Hotel is the perfect place to stay for the traveling executive or vacationing family. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Northern Hotel’s unique character and charming ambiance are reason enough to stop and stay. The hotel’s convenient downtown location features ample access to shopping, fine dining and entertainment and don’t forget the complimentary valet and self-parking.

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Thank You Billings Readers!

Finalists Big Horn Resort, 1801 Majestic Ln. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 27 N. 27th St.

LIVE MUSIC VENUE Pub Station 2502 1st Ave. N. The Pub Station taproom and concert hall, located in downtown Billings, is one of eastern Montana’s premier promoters of live entertainment. Along with booking diverse and live entertainment year around, Sean Lynch and Ann Kosempa’s venue is an increasingly popular rental option for civic events, weddings, holiday parties and more. The Pub Station Taproom features 32 draft handles, and a large selection of canned beers, ciders, wine, and malt beverages.

Photographed at our Neighbor’s New Science Building at Rocky Mountain College

Finalists Discover a hotel that defines a new dimension of luxury, the Northern Hotel, unpretentiously luxurious. Historical charm

Alberta Bair Theater, 2801 3rd Ave. N. First Interstate Arena at MetraPark, 308 6th Ave N.

Visit our website at floberg.com RESIDENTIAL | COMMERCIAL | FARM & RANCH | RELOCATION

Thank you voting

406-254-1550 | bhhs@floberg.com

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Without our amazing and loyal clients we couldn’t have been a Reader’s Choice winner for Five years in a row. NEW LOCATION!

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1030 S. 24th St. W • Billings, MT

406-969-5394

Stay up to date on the latest listings and see why we’re number one with our easy to use mobile app.

For all of your payroll, bookkeeping and tax needs. Call for an appointment.

Not pictured: Asia Alder, Victoria Brauer-Konitz, Heidi Brosovich, Cheryl Burows, Tony Contreraz, Janelle DeBray, Travis Dimond, Bev Freeman, Drew Gerber, Catie Hanser, Angela Harris, Pat Hoffman, Robert Kautz, Susan B Lovely, Madyson Preston Frick, Laure Taylor, Ashley Thorson, Melissa Utley 2019 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.

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PLACES AND FUN year Red Lodge Mountain selects a theme, and celebrates with live music, costumes, cardboard crafts, and fireworks. Red Lodge Mountain offers familyfriendly pricing that makes it easy to get the whole family on the slopes. By purchasing lift tickets in advance online, skiers can score prices as low as $39.99. Choose a date(s) to see the deals available today. Remember, limited quantities are available at the deepest discounts. For those interested in lessons, packages including rentals and lift tickets are available at discounted rates. Beginners can always test out skills on the Magic Carpet at no cost.

MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL The Grindhouse 2601 Overland Ave., Ste. 2 After enduring a fire last November that destroyed his successful downtown Martial Arts studio, this year has offered a new beginning in a brand new west end location for William Grundhauser, owner and instructor at The Grindhouse. For the third consecutive year, the studio has won the Readers’ Choice Award for best Martial Arts School. Grundhauser, often called The Professor, teaches Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, MMA and Self-Defense. “I have at least 30 people here training to become a world champion or be top in their actively competitive sport. It’s amazing. That’s why I started doing this – for people who wanted to be the best,” he said.

Finalists

Big Sky Resort, 50 Big Sky Resort Rd. Bridger Bowl Ski Area, 15795 Bridger Canyon Rd.

WEDDING VENUE Billings Depot

Finalists Martial Arts Academy of Billings, 528 Lake Elmo Dr. Park’s Martial Arts Academy, 1920 Central Ave. & 1442 Main St.

PLACE FOR FAMILY FUN ZooMontana 2100 Shiloh Rd. After an eight-year hiatus, The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced in September that ZooMontana was granted accreditation by AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission. “I am so proud of our staff that after multiple attempts at reaccreditation, we are finally being recognized by the AZA,” said ZooMontana director, Jeff Ewelt. “This is big. It is the gold stamp of approval that will in time mean more new things for our members and admissions, he said, adding that only about 10 percent of those who apply for accreditation are accepted.” To remain accredited, ZooMontana will continue to undergo reviews to make certain it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards in categories, which include animal care and welfare, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. Like all others, ZooMontana must successfully complete this rigorous membership accreditation process every five years. This coveted recognition comes just months after the zoo debuted their new exhibit featuring two native North American bison.

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2310 Montana Ave. Ewalt said the viewing platform for the exhibit is a favorite place for visitors of all ages to see the two bison. The new guests are 3-year-old, 750-pount Bert who came to Billings after being injured as part of a wild herd. The 2-year-old Mellie brought her 400 pounds to the zoo from her former home at a private ranch. The new multi-acre exhibit was built to mimic the natural habitat of Yellowstone National Park and was created with monetary help from Valley Credit Union. Bison are the heaviest land mammals in North America, are incredibly agile and can run over 35 miles per hour. In the United States, the bison population has rebounded the population has rebounded slightly to just over 500,000 animals. “We want this exhibit to be the public’s first stop to learn about bison can see them in a natural habitat before they go out to view them in the wild,” Ewalt said.

as 2019 Reader’s Choice Best Retirement Community. St. John’s began in 1963 as a small retirement community for older adults, but has since expanded to serve people of all ages in three key areas of life: home, health and family. Whether a resident is fully independent, fully dependent, or somewhere in-between, St. John’s seeks to help all people live well and with confidence. Living communities for older adults include Mission Ridge, The Vista, WyndStone, and Chapel Court in Billings, The Crossings in Laurel, The Willows in Red Lodge, and Sapphire Lutheran Homes in Hamilton.

Built in 1909, the Billings Depot is a gorgeous landmark that has been at the center of Billings’ history, hosting U.S. Presidents, wild-west legends, movie stars and other celebrities. Originally serving as the passenger station for the Magic City, the Depot is now well-known for being the hotspot for weddings and special events, such as fundraisers, dinners, community celebrations and more. The Depot has repeatedly been rated as one of the top wedding venues in the state of Montana, and even making the “Top 100 Wedding Venues in the U.S.” list with two different national wedding blogs. The DeFinalists pot’s status as a non-profit, communityowned venue has helped keep pricing low so MorningStar Senior Living, 4001 Bell Ave. TenderNest Assisted Living, 4040 Parkhill Dr. that couples can afford their “happily ever after.” With its vaulted ceiling, Roman colFinalists umns and signature arched window, the grand “Passenger Station” has an elegant Get Air Billings, 1400 S. 24th St. W. SKI MOUNTAIN/RESORT feel that envelops guests. The “Baggage Oasis Water Park, 543 Aronson Ave. Red Lodge Mountain Room” is the larger, reception-style room. 305 Ski Run Road, Red Lodge, MT This high ceilinged space is the perfect “blank slate” that can be transformed into something unique and special for every RETIREMENT COMMUNITY Every autumn, Red Lodge Mountain is wedding day, as well as other comSt. John’s Lutheran Ministries/ gears up for winter, with opening day set for bride’s munity celebrations. No two weddings Mission Ridge Friday, Nov. 29. look alike, which is part of the charm of Corner of Rimrock and Shiloh Road The 2019-2020 season is the 60th year of this space. operation, and will be packed with events, Finalists demo days and live music. This year’s WinNorthern Hotel, 19 N. Broadway St. John’s United extends thanks to ter Carnival happens Saturday, March 7, DanWalt Gardens, 720 Washington St. Billings Gazette readers for being voted bringing the best party of the season. Each

OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE


THANK YOU, BILLINGS! FOR VOTING US THE BEST HOME FURNISHINGS STORE

13 YEARS IN A ROW! 9

See us for the best service and lowest prices in the region on furniture, mattresses and accessories! Mon.-Sat. 10am - 7pm; Sunday 11am - 5pm

BILLINGS 2914 Millennium Circle • (South 29th Off of King Ave.) • 406.259.5900

Best of Billings

$300 OFF New Purchase Of $3000 Or More.

$200 OFF $1500 to $2999 • $100 OFF $800 to $1499 $50 OFF any purchase of $500 to $799 Offer valid on new in-store purchases 10/27/2019-11/02/2019 only. Limit one coupon per customer. Valid on one purchase for one time use with qualifying purchase. May not be combined with any other promotion, offer or discount. Excludes prior sales, clearance center, closeout, red tag items, AFHS Specials, Tempur-Pedic, Sterns & Foster, Extreme Value Center, Sealy Conform Performance and Sealy Hybrid, 2-for-1 Recliners and Room Packages. Not valid on gift certificates, taxes, delivery, or warranty charges.

Good only at Ashley HomeStore Billings Location.

READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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WinCo Foods The Supermarket Low Price Leader ®

Thank you

Billings! GS LLIN GAZ I B

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Come see us for all of your

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WinCoo Foods will BEAT all grocery chain store advertised food prices on the holiday items listed below from November 14 through Thanksgiving. ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Turkey*** – Grade A Frozen Fresh Celery US No. 1 Fresh Yams Large Eggs, Dozen, Grade AA Whipping Cream** (Qt.) LIBBY’S Canned Pumpkin (29 oz.) OCEAN SPRAY Cranberry Sauce (14 oz.)

LINDSAY Large Pitted Olives (6 oz.) DEL MONTE Pineapple (20 oz.) SARA LEE Frozen Pumpkin Pies (34 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (8 oz.) WINCO FOODS* Brown & Powdered Sugar (2 lb.) ✔ WINCO FOODS* Cream Cheese (8 oz.) ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔

Products must be same brand and/or quality. *WinC inCo Foods ds br brand will be used to match competitors’ in-store brands ands ands. **IItems will be reduced in accordance with state law. ***Excludes *** cludes BButterball, limited to stock on hand, limit 1 per er family. family

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING

ANTIQUE STORE Marketplace 3301 3301 1st Ave. N. If you love antique stores, Marketplace 3301 is the best in Billings. Voted as the Reader’s Choice Winner of 2019, the antique mall offers raw old-fashioned farm equipment, refurbished and restored vintage items with modern flair, imported French soaps, dried lavender and fabrics, a modern BOHO boutique, library, furniture, jewelry, instruments, clothing, toys, art, and so much more. “With 44,000 square feet of treasure hunting and over 100 vendors, we are the largest antique mall in Montana,” said coowner, Shelly Turk. What is better than browsing through antiques that spark the joy of time’s past or offer a new use for vintage items? “It is easy to make a full day of it,” said Turk. Marketplace also has a charming coffee shop, the Sleepy Poet, where guests can indulge in good food, good coffee and welcomed conversation.

Finalists Oxford Antiques, 2411 Montana Ave. Yesteryears Antique Mall, 102 N. 29th St.

AUTO BODY REPAIR American Auto Body 650 S. 20th St. W. The newest automotive technology and repeat customers keep Todd Litton busy 12 months of the year. As owner of American Auto Body for 33 years with his wife, Erin, Todd said business is always busy. “People are still wrecking (cars) every day, but traditionally winter is the busier time. But, we have a steady clientele,” he said. With their daughter and son joining their 25-employee team, the Littons know that people are what matter. Most employees are trained in-house,

and Litton added, “Good people want to work here. We have full benefits: 401K, health insurance and such. Our industry is changing rapidly. New cars and all their electronics are being introduced. There are newer products like aluminum and carbon fiber. We are always training just to keep up. Cars today are a thousand times more complicated than they were 15 years ago.” However, their daily mindset has not changed. He said it remains “doing the best job we can for each and every customer.”

Finalists

Track Side Auto Body, 2012 1st Ave. N. Big Sky Collision Center, 315 N. 15th Street

AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE Vallie Automotive Center 2071 Rosebud Dr. Tim Vallie, owner of Vallie Automotive Center since 2003, talks a lot about teamwork among he and his seven staff members. The team works together every day providing the full line of automotive maintenance including brake repair, tune ups and timing-belt replacement. With their skills, they also complete total engine and transmission replacements. Vallie said each repair always starts with the proper diagnosis of the problem. “I like the diagnostic side of the business and we are always keeping up with the new technologies.” Staff members are tested regularly for General Motors certifications. “I bring my entire staff to college classes at night were manufacturers provide all the information on their new products,” he said. He quickly named Napa, Carquest and O’Reilly as just a few of the many participating local retailers who offer those classes for his staff. “That’s key to running any successful business. It is the team you’re working with,” he said, adding that he encourages his staff to ask questions because each car is different. “We help each other out to diagnose and repair properly and it gives the guys more opportunities to work together. And when they are happy they work really well.”

Finalists

Brown’s Auto Service, 1144 Broadwater Ave.; 1313 1st Ave. N; 624 S. 20th St. W. Edam’s Tire & Automotive, 2503 1st Ave. N.

BRIDAL STORE Belle en Blanc 114 N. Broadway

BIKE SHOP The Spoke Shop 1910 Broadwater Ave. At The Spoke Shop, owner and manager Dean Cromwell sees the future moving down the road and up the hillside with better technology and durability. Though the shop has been open since 1973, the last six years that Cromwell has been the owner have brought continuing technical changes to the industry, he said. “Everything as far as biking goes is changing,” Cromwell said, listing all types of familiar existing bicycle types, and now, pedal-assist electric bikes. “The trend for our store is selling more full suspension mountain bikes,” he said, adding that another push will be to work with electric pedal assist bikes, which appeal to baby boomers. “They typically have discretionary income, more time, are active and staying healthy. The electric bike helps facilitate that.” The Spoke Shop intends to develop more ways to sell and service all bikes, including the popular electric bike, the owner said.

Finalists The Bike Shop, 1934 Grand Ave. Scheels, 1121 Shiloh Crossing Blvd.

BOAT DEALER Bretz RV & Marine 2999 Old Hardin Rd.

Offering a unique and special shopping experience for brides-to-be and their wedding party, Belle en Blanc offers bridal gowns, bridesmaid dresses, accessories and alterations—all in one location. Belle en Blanc was conceptualized in 2013, when owner Taryn Plouffe was wedding shopping with her sister and yearned for a boutique-style setting offering that “big-city” feel without extensive travel and inflated prices. In 2014, Belle en Blanc was born, and Plouffe is thrilled to be her own boss while offering a unique and special service to area women. “I have always had a passion for customer service, weddings and fashion,” she said. “This boutique allowed me to do everything I love and help women find the most important dress they will ever wear.” Truly a bridal boutique, the inventory and experience at Belle en Blanc is second to none. Appointments are strongly recommended so staff can better serve in creating that special feeling you have been dreaming of your entire life. With regard to dress trends, this season we can expect to see gowns with dramatic backs, non-traditional colors, bohemian styles and layered skirts, Plouffe said. “Keep an eye out for convertible two-inone gowns,” she added. Plouffe said she feels honored to be recognized as the best bridal store in Billings. “I feel blessed to have helped hundreds of brides since opening and have also gained friends throughout the process,” she said. “There is no better feeling.”

Finalists

David’s Bridal, 795 King Park Dr. The Bretz team has grown to be the largStep ‘N Out, 1816 Grand Ave. est boat dealer in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Selling more boats than all other Billings’ dealerships comCAR DEALER – NEW bined, Bretz provides the service needs to Underriner Motors keep families boating. Bretz RV & Marine is 3671 Pierce Parkway fortunate to have one of the best and most trained boat service teams in the country. With the certifications to work on Mercury, Selling a line of top-rated new autos Yamaha, Honda, Evinrude, Kodiak, Indmar, Mercruiser, Volvo, and others they are is what Bill Underriner has been doing for almost 35 years in Billings. As owner a one-stop-shop for boating. of Underriner Motors, he sells Honda, Finalists Hyundai, Volvo and Buick models from Montana Honda & Marine, 2124 Goodman Rd. his dealership on Pierce Parkway. Hi-Tech Motor Sports & Marine, Underriner continues to learn and ex6540 S Frontage Rd. cel at every new thing that his customers READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING expect, and deserve. “It is the honesty of how we do business and how we connect to the community. The Billings community has been very generous to us, so we give back with time and money, in events such as the American Cancer Society Relay for Life,” Underriner added.

Finalists

our customers,” said McNally. “Customers come because we will get them what they want; we aren’t going to play old-school used-car games. It comes down to care,” he said.

Finalists

Bob Smith Motors, 2244 Central Ave. Dana Motors, 2046 Grand Ave.

Archie Cochrane Ford, 2133 King Ave. W. Denny Menholt Chevrolet, 3000 King Ave. W.

CARPET CLEANER Brice’s Masterclean

CAR DEALER - PRE-OWNED Hertz Used Car Sales

3287 Banff Ave.

2851 King Ave. W. Keith McNally, general manager of Hertz Used Car Sales, has 28 employees who are working to sell cars, not rent them, at the Hertz’ King Avenue West location. McNally said his store has sold well-maintained and inspected fleet vehicles in nearly all makes and models for nearly 16 years. “Winning this [award], speaks well of the way we treat people. We take care of

Having won this Readers’ Choice award many times in the past 15 years, Brice Cady knows the value of the repeat business. “We have a great clientele and about a 98 percent repeat business, plus wordof-mouth recommendations. And, the Masterclean team has a common theme of helping each other,” said Cady, who has been a co-owner and operator of his Masterclean services for about 15 years. Brice’s Masterclean is a family business with as many as 30 years of indus-

Thank You

for Voting Us the Best BarBer shop in Billings! E

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LeT uS give back To You! please join Us for oUr CUstomer appreCiation party on

November 2 • 6 P.m. - 10 P.m.

try experience, and his wife, Brandy, assists with the day-to-day operations. “On a daily basis we make such an improvement in the way each client sees their carpets and their home,” Cady said. Five fulltime or one part-time employee perform all work, along with the Cadys. “We use this truck-mounted extraction because that is the way mills and manufacturers want us to clean. We also do fabric and leather upholstery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning and, emergency water-damage services,” he said, adding, “It is a short list so we can be the best at every service.” Cady stressed that his company has never asked for, nor solicited, votes in the Readers’ Choice contest. “This is a true win for us because our customers truly voted that our services are the best,” Cady said.

Finalists Newman Restoration & Cleaning, 2450 Coonie Ct. Stanley Steemer, 923 2nd Ave. N. & 536 Sugar Ave.

CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE Bumps ‘n Bundles 1027 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Suite 5 Entering its third full year in in the desirable west end retail hub Shiloh Crossing, Bumps ’n Bundles can now boast that it is Billings’ largest Children’s Clothing Boutique, specializing in items for children, newborn to age 8. Store owner Becky Salyer said, “We have a great selection of clothing, toys, blankets and books. People come from all over and are shocked by our selection.” Even with a growing customer base, the boutique’s owner continues to make positive changes to her overall business strategy. Salyer made her fi rst big change two years ago moving the shop from its original location. Last year, Salyer said, “Coming to the West End is the best decision I could make for my store. Traffic is great from adjacent stores. I can’t beat that exposure.” Bumps ’n Bundles now also has a

To Our Billings Familia:

Best Mexican Restaurant in Billings

Thank you for voting us #1!

L o c at i o n s

DOWNTOWN – 17 North 29th Street HEIGHTS – 1403 Main Street WESTEND – 1223 Grand Avenue LAUREL – 216 1st Avenue South HAVRE – 335 1st Street

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Order by Delivery Order online: guadsmt.com Need Catering? Call 927-9068

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READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING website for customers to our customers to order items for shipping or pick up at the Billings store. Salyer said, “Being a mom, I know the importance of time and having things be easy, so we created a way moms can shop at any time of the day. We’ve even hand-delivered items to people before, just to make it easier for them because we totally get it.” Though the business focuses mostly on children’s items, Salyer said, “We have things mom likes to put on kiddos, and that are also soft and comfortable to wear.” Knowing that youngsters typically come hand-in-hand with a mom, Salyer stocks items for moms, too - maternity clothing and styles ideal for nursing mothers. As of January 2019, they started carrying car seats and strollers noticing a need in the area for high quality baby gear. Salyer said more changes will come to the store each year as it strives to meet customer need.

Finalists Carter’s, 2829 King Ave. W. #8 H&M, 300 S. 24th St. W.

CONSIGNMENT/USED CLOTHING STORE Precious Seconds and Moms 2-B 1005 24th St. W. #5 Expectant moms and kids grow – their clothes don’t. So, why buy brand new clothing that doesn’t require a long shelf life? Customers bring in their quality and clean “previously loved” maternity, children’s fashions, baby equipment and toys for cash or “kids kash” (in-store credit). In turn, Precious Seconds and Moms 2-B sells an incredible selection of like-new or excellentcondition consignment store items that are affordable for growing families. “We truly love working with our customers,” said owner Dawn Ness. “The excited expectant parents, the proud grandparents, the babies that steal our hearts, the energetic toddlers and the very intelligent school-age kids. We also are a family of coworkers who love each other and I think our customers feel that harmony when they come into the store.” Billings loves Precious Seconds and Moms 2-B, as well, voting them as best con-

signment and used clothing store. “Our longevity and success in winning this award repeatedly is directly attributed to our amazing customers and caring diligent team,” said Ness.

Finalists Kidz Dudz, 1038 Main St. Suite #3 Savvy Seconds, 1739 Grand Ave.

CLOTHING STORE – MEN’S Dillard’s 320 S. 24th St. W. Dillard’s store manager knows there are is always an expanding variety of products that bring shoppers to the store’s Men’s Department in Rimrock Mall. “Yes, fashion has become more important to men than ever. They come here because of the variety and the choices we carry,” Ed Wilson said. Whether the shopper chooses an item from the store’s private label or a highly recognized name brand, “we offer everything men could want,” Wilson said. Dillard’s even offers a line of clothing that can be custom fit to each customer, the

store is ultimately diverse. Wilson has seen the stores diversity grow throughout his career, which he began as a part-time associate in Tulsa. “One big thing is that color used to be assigned to black, blue or brown. Now there are color, patterns everywhere. Even with socks, because they have become a big thing to give your pop of color. An enhanced use of color and imaginative design are even seeing more in neckwear today,” Wilson said.

Finalists Desmonds, 2819 2nd Ave. N. Jason’s Clothing for Men, 2564 King Ave. W.

CLOTHING STORE – WOMEN’S The Banyan Tree 529 24th St. W. Looking like a million bucks doesn’t need to cost that much. The Banyan Tree provides affordable, chic, fun clothing for women. Owners, James and Jana Pennington want to provide something for every age

Bauer & Clausen Optometry is the proud winner in two categories:

BEST OPTICAL STORE BEST OPTOMETRIST - Robyn Clausen

Choose from great styles for kids, teens and adults Get the perfect fit with help from our exceptional opticians Enjoy the comfort of our beautiful West End office

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100 Brookshire Blvd. • Building 2, Suite 2 (406) 656-8886 billingseyedocs.com BauerandClausenOptometry


BUSINESS & SHOPPING

Finalists Apricot Lane Boutique, 1603 Grand Ave. Neecee’s, 1027 Shiloh Crossing Blvd.

2341 Broadwater Ave. Having opened his business, Billings Tech Guys, over four years ago, Dylan Solberg is steadily using his advanced business degree, regularly hiring more people and keeping his eyes focused on the future. He began his college education at Montana State University – Billings. He transferred to the University of Montana in Missoula where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Systems. In 2013, his work in Missoula culminated with a Master of Business Administration. Upon returning to Billings, he went to work using his knowledge in information technology, the internet and cyber security at the company he created, Billings Tech Guys. Currently he and his seven employees are busy every day completing equipment and software upgrades, installations, virus removal and having him advice for both commercial and home technology users.

For voting us

Best Jewelry store

CUSTOM FRAMING STORE The Frame Hut & Gallery

Finalists

1430 Grand Ave.

Rimrock Computer Company, 2320 Zoo Dr. D CPR Computer and Phone Repair (formerly iDoctor), 960 S 24th St. W., Suite B – West End; 315 Main St. – Heights

Celebrating over 50 years of business in Billings, The Frame Hut & Gallery is a one-stop shop for your home and office. Store owner Helen Tolliver, is proud to offer custom framing, regional artwork and a suite of other home décor options to her customers. “It is Frame Hut’s customer-centric approach to sales that has allowed it to stand the test of time. Our talented designers engage our customers by asking questions like ‘Tell us about your piece’ and ‘Where do you plan to display it?’” Tolliver said. “Answers to these questions help gently guide the design process.” And while the Frame Hut specializes in custom framing, it’s much more than the name conveys – it’s an art gallery and unique home décor store. The gallery showcases more than 70 local artists and their incredible talent sets a peaceful tone and contemplative feel to the space. “Art is uplifting and food for the soul,” Tolliver said. “It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to work with so many gifted local artists.” When speaking with The Gazette, Tolliver and the staff at The Frame Hut & Gallery would like to extend their thanks and gratitude toward their customers.

COWBOY/COWGIRL BOOTS Al’s Bootery and Repair Shop 1820 1st Ave. N. Al’s Bootery and Repair Shop has been serving Billings and the surrounding areas since 1946. Al’s Bootery has always been a western and work boot store plus a full-service repair shop. They also measure all of their customers to ensure a proper fit. They have recently added a wider selection of casual and outdoor footwear including Chaco, Merrell, Woolrich, Kenetrek, Oboz and more. In addition, they have a wide selection of work boots, including steel and non-steel. For 73 years, Al’s Bootery has been providing great customer service and quality footwear. They are honored to be voted, yet again, Billings’ Best Cowboy/Cowgirl Boots.

Finalists Boot Barn, 327 S. 24th St. W. Shipton’s Big R, 2600 Gabel Rd.; 301 N. 14th St. & 1908 Main St.

Finalists

Bighorn Design and Art Gallery, 2018 Main St #10 Rimrock Art & Frame, 1070 S. 24th St. W.

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COMPUTER REPAIR SHOP Billings Tech Guys

“Any technology need, we can handle it,” Solberg said. His Tech Guys have a wide definition for the term ‘technology.’ Their daily work is not limited to personal computers or networks. He added that there is about a 50/50 split between commercial and residential customers. They regularly install Smart Home equipment and help users learn it in and outs. Also for homeowners, they will install cable or Internet television services to be used on television that they will safely mount on walls. At age 29, Solberg said, “Change is always happening. I’ve been at this for years and they’re so much more coming every day.” During those four years, he has hired a new technician nearly every six months. Each technician joins him when receiving regularly updated education via coursework and webinars provided by technology suppliers, such as Dell. Hewlett Packard and others.

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and size. They see their success when generations of women find exactly what they are looking for at The Banyan Tree. “We designed the store after what wasn’t available in Billings,” Jana Pennington said. “I wanted it to be family friendly. Mothers, daughters, grandmothers will each be able to find something (here).” Clothing, shoes, jackets, candles, jewelry, gift items and Montanathemed merchandise make The Banyan Tree provides the complete shopping experience. “We are an affordable but unique shop,” Pennington said.

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DiamonDs & GolD RepaiRs estate JewelRy 312 8th Street West (406) 245-7424 GreenleafsJewelry.com READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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Community means everything. That’s why we’re proud to be here to help life go right™ – and to support our local communities. If there’s anything you need, call us.

George B Andrikopoulos, Agent 2500 Grand Ave Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-651-0610

Jeff Boyd Ins Agcy Inc Jeff Boyd, Agent 2323 Broadwater Avenue Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-656-6771

Bonnie Dedmore, Agent 405 Main St Billings, MT 59105 Bus: 406-248-8088

Friez Insurance Agency, Inc. Tim Friez, President 513 Hilltop Road Billings, MT 59105 Bus: 406-248-2507

Randy Glover, Agent 801 15th Street W Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-248-1104

Victoria Hayes, Agent 3133 Central Avenue Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-656-6405

Michele Herres, Agent 216 S Central Avenue Suite B Sidney, MT 59270 Bus: 406-488-2400

Kari Jones Ins Agcy Inc Kari Jones, Agent 895 Main Street Billings, MT 59105 Bus: 406-248-6556

Jeff Keil Ins Agcy Inc Jeff Keil, Agent 935 Grand Avenue Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-245-6381

Diana Larson Ins Agcy Inc Diana Larson, Agent 3202 Henesta Drive Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-656-4764

Don Lillis, Agent 1948 Grand Ave Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-252-1915

Mike McElvain, Agent 1310 Main Street Billings, MT 59105 Bus: 406-248-1213

Morasko Insurance Agcy Inc P Michael Morasko, Agent 919 Lincoln Ave S Sidney, MT 59270 Bus: 406-482-3115

Brian Nearpass, Agent 751 So 24th St West Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-248-2193

Sean O’Daniel, Agent 1020 Shiloh Crossing Blvd Suite 3 Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-702-7711

Ron Sanchez Insurance Agcy Inc Ron Sanchez, Agent 315 S 24th Street West Billings, MT 59102 Bus: 406-656-6404

Ed K Smith Ins Agcy Inc Ed Smith, Agent 1655 Shiloh Rd Billings, MT 59106 Bus: 406-245-6374

Jeffrey Wigen, Agent 2920 2nd Avenue N Billings, MT 59101 Bus: 406-294-5310

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State Farm, Bloomington, IL


BUSINESS & SHOPPING CUSTOM UPHOLSTERY Harold’s Upholstery 2808 Grand Ave. Furniture, boats, autos – Harold’s Upholstery, Inc., uses four decades of experience to cover them all. Kent Kreiter, the owner and operator, said three generations of his family have brought success to the business since its namesake, Harold, passed away in 1973. Kent’s mother, Esther, took over until 1979, when Kent purchased the business, and still today his two daughters and a stepson are involved in the business. At age 65, he can see his retirement coming and hopes his daughters will carry on with Harold’s. The business opened in 1956, and has been located in its Grand Avenue location since 1976, working tirelessly and meticulously on upholstery repair and replacement. Kreiter estimates that 80 percent of his business involves total recovery of furniture items and vehicles, while 20 percent are repairs such as minor stitching, wood repair, replacement of cushions and internal springs, and auto repair. From working on sofas and recliners to

complete top-to-bottom automotive interiors, Kreiter knows he is part of a dying breed of upholsterers. “When the family bought the shop, there were 24 operating upholsterers in Billings. Now there are three or four.” To explain that change, he tells of two consumer trends “People like to hold onto their good stuff, and companies make a lot of throw away junk these days,” Kreiter said.

Finalists Leo’s Upholstery, 245 Broadwater Ave. Wright’s Custom Repair, 5 Washington St.

DRY CLEANERS Valet Today Cleaners 524 Liberty St. 2434 Grand Ave. 2474 Enterprise Ave. This year marks the seventh consecutive Readers’ Choice Award for Valet Today Cleaners, which operates from three Billings area locations. Co-owner Stacey Frank, along with her husband, Jason, have a staff of more than 25,

some of whom have been with the company longer than the owners, Stacey said. That very experienced staff has rolled through the changes of adding new locations, enhanced services and, this year, a new piece of very large equipment. Now offering Flat Press commercialstyle cleaning of items like table cloths and bed linens, Valet Today offers an even more thorough line of services. The equipment investment was expensive but they had a few staff members who were previously trained on such equipment at other jobs. She added that the staff is still working hard every day for customers needing washan-fold laundry service, dry cleaning, alterations or specialty work. All three locations, offer same-day service as well, she added. Each of the stores has drive-up access and 24-hour drop-off boxes. In addition to the three stores and the same-day service, Valet Today includes 24-hour drop-off and delivery in Red Lodge. In addition to the dry cleaning, Valet Today is just wrapping up their annual coat and shoe drive in time for the cold winter months and holidays. The event in on October 31, Valet Today is always willing to take in items from a few stragglers. They clean

BILLINGS GAZETTE

2019 READERS’ CHOICE

FINALIST

the coats and give them to Family Services of Billings, Community Hope in Laurel and several other charities throughout the region. The annual drive has resulted in more than 5,000 donations per year.

Finalists Spic & Span Dry Cleaners, 601 8th St. W. Wetzels Quality Cleaners, 117 N. 30th St.

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR Action Electric 1010 Central Ave. Whether it’s checking your wiring, fi xing switches, installing smoke detectors or new data ports and phone lines, Action Electric has had home owners and businesses covered since 1985. Brian Amestoy and Greg Moos have owned the company since 1986, when the partners took ownership of an existing electrical contracting. Brian has been an electrician for 24 years and Greg has worked with the company for more than 25 years. “We do everything from providing service for commercial and residential

Thank You! For Your Votes

& for Your Business Carpet • Hardwood Tile & Stone • Laminate Luxury Vinyl Plank

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READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING

Finalists Brite Electrical Services, britemt.com Mountain Electric, 2121 4th Ave. N.

FABRIC STORE Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores 2833 King Ave. In her 27 years working her way up the ranks for JoAnn Fabrics in many states, the Billings store’s manager has learned more about arts and crafts than she thought was possible. But while she took the reins for the West End store, Diane Ferger-

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THANK YOU BILLINGS!! for choosing us as YOUR #1 Electrical Contractor, 6 years in a row!

Providing Great Service Everyday Since 1985 day low prices, convenient hours and locations, and quality brands. Any one of the four store locations has departments stocked full of quality products from brands you’ll recognize: Farm and Ranch equipment from Tarter, Powder River, and Priefert Vortex Optics and Ruger firearms for the avid hunters and sportsmen (Montana and Wyoming’s largest selection of new firearms) Quality apparel and workwear from Wrangler, Ariat and Carhartt Western and work footwear from Keen Utility, Justin Boots, Tony Lama and Timberland Pro Montana and Wyoming’s largest selection of Montana Silversmiths jewelry A full line of Nutrena livestock feed Blue Buffalo, Science Diet, Taste of the Wild and an extensive pet supplies department for dedicated pet owners In addition to those products, Shipton’s Big R carries a full line of Husqvarna and Honda Power equipment. At Shipton’s Big R, they service what they Finalists sell. The Shipton’s Big R Power EquipBackdoor Quilt Shoppe, 712 Carbon St. A ment Service Center is located at 301 N. Hobby Lobby, 2425 Central Ave. 14th street (across the street from Big R East) and is staffed with knowledgeable certified technicians. Best of all, those FARM RANCH STORE technicians will get you serviced and Shipton’s Big R repaired within 10 days. In Montana: Shipton’s Big R continues to actively 216 N 14th St., Billings support community events. Their an2600 Gabel Rd., Billings nual “4-H Day” was held again this 1908 Main St., Billings year at Big R West, and had an excepIn Wyoming: tional turnout of young people from 2049 Sugarland Dr., Sheridan clubs around the area. Shipton’s is also well known for sponsoring many roFor 70 years, Shipton’s Big R’s main deos and sporting goods events. focus is farmers and ranchers – it’s a Finalists store big enough for everyone, includTractor Supply, 496 Main St. ing the outdoorsman, workers and pet owners. Shipton’s Big R has built its Western Ranch Supply, 1617 6th Ave. N.; 303 N. 13th St. & 7305 Entryway Dr. business on customer service, every-

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son was sure to gather as much information as possible from her predecessor, Ione Bloom. Ferguson is especially fond of all the new fabrics featuring licensed sport teams and movie heroes/villains. She is also glad that her store has the company’s latest additions to the online sales process. “Customers can buy online and pick up their items in the store. We have so many customers that come to us from outlying areas such as farming communities; this is such a convenience for them,” Fergerson said. She sees every day how the internet has become such a large part of the how sewing and fabric crafts are being approached by customers. “Anybody who can cut can fi nd out how to do anything online. Etsy and Pinterest, even YouTube, all have ideas and instructions for everything,” Fergerson said.

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clients as well as new construction for commercial and residential projects,” Brian said adding that business has been growing over the past several years. “We’re defi nitely going strong and moving along with the economy,” he explained. “The workload in Billings is strong. The economy is ever expanding,” he said. That has led to an expansion of the Action Electric staff, which now boasts the employment of 23 technicians. Amestoy said those workers complete everything from confi guring new conduit and wire, and troubleshooting. Minus industrial projects, we pretty much cover the gamut.” He sees a lot of their current work overseen homes and businesses converting to LED lighting, as it is an up-and-coming trend that should last because of its cost savings. “It is perfect with kids leaving lights on, a person could see a defi nite savings in switching over to LED; costs of each bulb flower coming down, too.” “We have a dedicated and talented crew—most of which have been with us for quite a long time,” he said. As always, the staff includes licensed journeymen, and service technicians who are up to date with the new codes. Action Electric’s strong reputation for quality and integrity has been built over the years through the efforts of an incredible team. Greg and Brian encourage potential customers to call for consultation on upcoming projects.

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING business, Gainan and his team are proud to offer the same exemplary quality and customer service provided by Jim’s grandparents six decades ago. “Customers keep us going,” Gainan said. “It’s a joy to be a part of their lives throughout all the different occasions.” Gainan also reinforces the notion that it’s okay to treat yourself – and encourages anyone to pick up a bouquet for yourself. “Flowers are power-packed little joy makers,” Gainan said. “It’s been scientifically proven that flowers enhance mood, so treat yourself to a fragrant bouquet.”

Finalists Mac’s Floral, macsfloral.com Magic City Floral, 1848 Grand Ave.

FLOORING STORE Pierce Flooring & Cabinet Design Center 2950 King Ave. W.

FLORIST Gainan’s Midtown Flowers Gainan’s Heights Flower & Garden 1603 Grand Avenue

810 Bench Blvd.

For three generations, the Gainan family and valued employees have provided unique, high-quality floral bouquets, gifts, home decor and nursery products to Billings shoppers. Yet, from day one, their focus has been on customer service and 100 percent customer satisfaction. Gainan’s unique floral creations are perfect for weddings, sympathy, birthdays, anniversaries, special occasions or just to say “I’m thinking about you and want to brighten your day.” The staff ’s dedication to service shines through the moment customers walk through the door and are enveloped with the delicious fragrances of the season. “We work hard to create a unique, inspiring shopping experience,” says President Jim Gainan, noting that several people wander about the store or visit the greenhouse during their lunch hours, sometimes just as a way to relax or get away. This is just one of the many ways Gainan’s customers become their friends. Celebrating as many as 68 years in

Pierce Flooring & Cabinet Design Center may have won the Readers’ Choice Award for best flooring store, but the manager of the Billings store knows by the numbers that they are a lot more than flooring. Store manager Mike Snedigar oversees as many as 30 employees working in sales, scheduling, installation design and service – all of whom specialize in either flooring or cabinetry. “It was very important for us that our installers are our employees. We can manage them as our own and inspect their work. We have total control,” Snedigar said. “We promise to treat every customer in the manner needed so they will do business with us for the rest of their lives.” He said their store is selling far more hard-surface flooring than ever before, which means they are also selling more area rugs. No matter the type of flooring desired, Pierce will always come to a customer’s home for an accurate measurement even before a customer knows what type of flooring they desire. “We have the team here that helps them through the decision making. And we have the designers here to help them know what will work in their home. We get to deal with their number one prize-possession, their home.”

Finalists

Carpet One Floor & Home, 505 S. 24th St. W. and 904 Main St. Rich’s Flooring Abbey Carpet, 713 E. Main St. READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING FRESH MEAT/SEAFOOD GROCER Lucky’s Market 1603 Grand Ave. Lucky’s Market has a plan for success. First, bring in products buyers want. Next, don’t overprice those items. Finally, employ a knowledgeable staff. Those are the objectives that Sarah Greengross said must be met for a grocery store to be successful. As regional marketing specialist for Lucky’s Market, she said the company meets every mark, especially in providing the best fresh meat and seafood, according to Readers’ Choice results. “At Lucky’s Market, our mission is to provide access to fresh, healthy food for everyone. We don’t want a price point to be a reason you don’t shop with us; we want to be a resource for shoppers. We have the knowledge about new products; we offer a full-service butcher shop with journeymen meat cutters, and an apothecary with supplements, vitamins, and natural body-care products. Winning this award tells us that

the public is excited about our mission and sees us as a resource, whether for product knowledge or how to get products of quality at great prices. Lucky’s has a staff of nearly 100 employees to help with your product decisions,” Greengross said.

Finalists Poly Food Basket, 2648 Poly Dr. Seafoods of the World, 5800 Interstate Ave.

GARDEN CENTER/NURSERY Jim’s Jungle / Potagers Garden Center 2147 Poly Dr. Sometimes the water isn’t the best possible thing for a garden center to thrive in Billings. The owners of Jim’s Jungle / Potagers Garden Center signed in April a lease with a four-year term to re-locate their family’s local-favorite garden center that had always consisted in the open air of popular retail parking lots. Now within the walls and under the roof at its North West Billings location at 2147

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Poly Dr., near Lucy’s Market, people are as happy as the plants. “It’s better for costs, our employees and especially our customers who can get out of the weather to shop. It will be great in the spring and is already better right now when selling fall seeds, bulbs and all your fall planting needs,” said Kelly Pottenger, who co-owns the shop with her husband, Steven. It was Steven’s father who operated Jim’s Jungle Garden Center off-and-on from 2001 until 2013 when he retired. Steven and Kelly took over the business, which was natural because Steven holds a B.S. in Biology and more recently completed the Master Gardener’s Program in Billings. Kelly’s background is in business/accounting, yet she also worked at the garden center. In the new location Jim’s Jungle will gradually come to be known as Potagers Garden Center, yet will continue to sell plants, trees shrubs, vegetables, and herbs. They recently added a line of organic fruits and vegetables. Steven and Kelly will keep the yearround Christmas store in the center of their 16,000-square-foot location, which also includes ample space to rent for meetings or perhaps exercise classes.

“We will definitely be tweaking things a lot now that we are in our space. We moved quickly and did not have a lot of time to set up. We are getting a better idea of what the space can handle and we will adjust to customer needs and wants,” Kelly said.

Finalists Gainan’s Midtown Flowers, 1603 Grand Avenue; 810 Bench Blvd. Nana’s Bloomers, 1526 E. Railroad St., Laurel

GROCERY STORE (TIE)

WinCo Foods 2424 Central Ave.

Albertsons

3137 Grand Ave. 511 Central Ave. 1212 Grand Ave.

2334 Central Ave. 611 N 27th St. 670 Main St.

Sharing the win for the best grocery store in Billings are WinCo and Albertsons, which may surprise some readers because WinCo has only been open for business locally since this past March. “We are thriving,” said Melissa Otto, who


BUSINESS & SHOPPING HEATING & COOLING PROVIDER White Heating and Cooling 1125 4th Ave. N.

was chosen to come manage the Billing store from a successful WinCo in Oregon. Being open just over six months and overseeing a staff of hundred and 143 employees, Otto remains optimistic every day on the job. “Business is extremely competitive in our outer departments (meat, produce, dairy, and deli),” she said, adding that customers are very appreciative when they see the variety of what the store regularly has in stock. “Plus they love seeing things that added variety in every area,” she said. She regularly receives positive comments about the available sushi and prepped or take-and-bake pizza. “One thing customers are used to is that we just don’t put out regular advertisements. Retail customers, ‘you have got to come in and check us out,’” Otto added. And, that’s what customers are doing. Otto said people are regularly driving in from across town and across the region - even from 1,200 miles away in Wyoming. Another difference is that the new store does not accept payment through visa or MasterCard. They accept cash, checks, and all debit cards. That system has served the Boise-based retailer well in all its locations throughout the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest. Tied with WinCo is a longstanding member of the local grocery community. Readers also tagged the six area locations of Albertsons as being best in the Grocery Store category this year. From an outstanding bakery department and fresh produce to organic meat and delicious seafood, Albertsons offers a huge selection of grocery needs with a small-town atmosphere, where the cashiers know your name and a friendly smile goes a long way.

Finalists Lucky’s Market, 1603 Grand, Suite 135

With as many as 28 years working in the heating and cooling industry, Curt White owner of White Heating and Cooling, started his business 21 years ago – and it’s going strong. With a staff of 33 professionals, White has built a full-service HVAC company with employees who are well-versed and experienced working with some of the best technology and name brands in the industry. White noted that his company completes installations and repairs for furnaces and air conditioners, designs custom projects or new-construction installs. They also regularly boost indoor air quality through duct cleaning, or the addition of humidifiers and air filters. Most notable is White’s retail showroom with 40 fireplaces on display, along with other name brand products that customers can see before they purchase the installation. White enjoys working with some of the industry’s newest technology, especially new heating and cooling systems that are so much more energy efficient in the way they make every home more comfortable.

Finalists Central Heating & Air Conditioning, 1428 ½ Grand Ave. Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, 9934 S. Frontage Rd.

HOME CENTER/ BUILDING CENTER Ace Hardware

1551 Zimmerman Trail 2264 Central Ave. 4170 State Ave.

415 SE 4th St., Laurel 678 Johnson Lane 1547 Main Street

Owning five Ace Hardware stores in the greater Billings area keeps Skip King in touch with not only his customers, but the employees who serve them. “I am very humbled by our awesome customers in the greater Billings area to have been picked for this award. Our employees are doing something right. They work at a good place and they get the right training tools to do a great job,” King said. “It’s

our training, the ongoing training. We put a lot of weight into our staff knowing the products and the customer service they provide in our five stores. Plus, our places are fun to work at; we have fun at all our locations.” Yes, the owner continually credits his employees, each of the 170 people on his full-time, part-time or seasonal payroll in King’s three Billings stores, and one each in Laurel and Lockwood. Ace Hardware in the Heights has a different owner. Heights Ace Hardware general manager Dan Mitchell credits the community and his store’s expert service for the Readers’ Choice win. “It’s one thing to buy the products to build a shed, it’s another to know how to do it,” Mitchell said. “We walk customers through a project step-bystep.” “We try to specialize in everything as best we can. We have to have sales associates knowledgeable in more than one department. Nine times out of 10, when you’re with one of my guys or gals, they can help you all the way through instead of handing you off to somebody else. It’s service from start to finish.” Each store stocks the expected plumbing, electrical, paint, home improvement, lawn and garden, and houseware items, and there are contract U.S. Postal Services at the Zimmerman Trail and Lockwood stores.

Finalists Billings Hardware, 906 Broadwater Ave. & 3175 Grand Ave. Lowe’s, 2717 King Ave. W.

GIFT SHOP The Joy of Living 1528 24th St. W.

102 N. Broadway

In the business of selling gifts for nearly nine years at The Joy of Living, owner Kris Carpenter has learned “gifts are as much fun to give as they are to receive.” Carpenter has owned the Sanctuary Spa & Salon in the same West End location for 20 years and started the gift segment when she realized most women are busy. When too busy, women may not have adequate time to find the perfect card, jewelry or unique clothing for birthdays or other celebrations. The Joy of Living finds its inventory mix at shows in New York, Las Vegas READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING ing water. The water within your spa remains clean and lasts up to one year. With normal use it should not need to be replaced for a full year, and that is three times longer than other spas,” he said. “With spas, it is all about the water, no matter what. This leads to an overall better ownership experience. That is the goal, right?” he asked. Over the past 20 years, Prociv has met that goal, has been proven in his shop winning the Readers’ Choice Award for 20 years.

Finalists

and Los Angeles. “We have a reputation for great, fun gifts. And we offer free gift wrapping to make it easy for our guests to stop into either of the stores on the way to a birthday party or a baby shower. We look for fun items that make you laugh till you cry, that inspire you or just say how much you care.”

Finalists Gainan’s, 1603 Grand Ave. #140 & 810 Bench Blvd. Northern Boutique, 19 N. Broadway

HOME FURNISHING STORE Ashley Furniture HomeStore

designed with function and fashion in mind.” Brownell said his staff is well-trained about the new offerings and does an exceptional job every day. “Our sales, support, warehouse and delivery staff strives to do their best for the customer every step of the way – from the moment you walk into our store to months after your delivery, we work very hard to ensure that we are giving you the best service we possibly can. We’ve seen good, steady growth and are pleased with the returning customers, along with acquiring new customers, and then hopefully doing our best to service them.”

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INSURANCE COMPANY State Farm Insurance Various locations Jamie Anderson, a territory sales leader with State Farm Insurance, knows that his industry is based on, and built upon, personal relationships and trust. “We are committed to meeting the needs of our customers and helping protect them from the financial risks of everyday life,” said Anderson, a terri-

Finalists

2914 Millennium Circle Since 1999, Ashley HomeStore has brought to the Billings community the latest trends, styles and technology in home furnishings. For as many as 14 years, Ashley HomeStore has also been honored by readers of The Billings Gazette as Best Home Furnishings Store in Billings. When asked about winning this award for 12 straight years in such a competitive environment, General Manager Travis Brownell replied, “It’s our employees. They want to do a good job for their customers and our company so they strive to do their best.” Brownell boasted that Ashley is the world’s largest manufacturer and retailer of furniture, and they design, manufacture and deliver all their own products. “That allows us to keep our prices low,” he added. He said that currently living room and reclining furniture have been very popular sellers at Ashley Furniture HomeStore, and their mattress and bedroom categories have grown as well. “These products are more than just for sleeping. The bedroom is now a multifunction room with the benefit of a sleeping habitat,” the manager said. “Bedroom furniture includes ports for charging electronic devices and adjustable bases to read or watch television at a comfortable level. Furniture is

K2 Spas, 501 Hansen Ln. Thompson Pools, 1300 N. 24th St. W.

tory sales leader who has been with State Farm for 28 years. As the sales leader, his role is to work with existing agents to grow their businesses, increase awareness of individual plans offered by the company. Anderson said he takes great joy recruiting and hiring new agents, and during his consultations with each agent as they work on their business goals and establish their customer base. “With this award, we continue to say ‘thank you’ to our customers for their continued vote of confidence in State Farm.” Anderson was glad to list the various ways State Farm Agencies are an integral part of their local communities, in sponsoring sports teams for children, area nonprofit groups and community building activities. “Winning this award for State Farm is a test to the relationships between our agents and their policy holders. The most positive response we receive usually comes from those who have experienced our claims services. The trust is really strengthened when they have to call their agent and then our claims people come to fix their property,” he added.

Mattress King, 795 King Park Dr. & 1702 Grand Ave. Time Square Furniture, 856 Shiloh Crossing Blvd.

HOT TUB/SPA CENTER Montana HotSpring Spas 2217 Grand Ave. Scott Prociv, owner of Montana HotSpring Spas, knows that the proof of any good hot tub spa is in its water. Working with HotSpring Spas for 30 years, Scott is well qualified to speak about how manufacturing of the spa and enhancing the way water is treated as positively and purely evolved through the years. “Yes, we have the industry’s latest and greatest. What has really changed the most is our system for water care, the creation of a fresh water salt system with no more bottled chlorine or bottled bromine. The trademarked term for our exclusive system is ‘Freshwater Salt System,’” he said. “This innovative technology is built in to every spa we sell,” he added. For older spas, Prociv and has nine employees at Montana HotSpring Spas offer trade in/ trade up programs so the best water will be available for a use in all spas. “It is simpler and easier to use. There is a more natural feeling and you get longer last-

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING Finalists Jackson & Iverson Insurance, 2619 St Johns Ave., Suite C PayneWest Insurance, 3289 Gabel Rd.

JEWELRY STORE Greenleaf’s Jewelry 312 8th St. W. Greenleaf’s Jewelry has been owned and operated in the heart of Billings since 1932. Starting in lapidary, which is the art of polishing rocks and gems, Greenleaf’s sold Montana agate, jade and hematite jewelry to tourist areas in Montana, including Yellowstone National Park. In 1979, Hal Henrickson Sr., and his wife Jean, purchased the store and evolved their merchandise into fine gems and jewelry. Continuing a legacy of trust, integrity and values, Hal Jr. and his wife, Tera, continue to run Greenleaf’s in the same vision that Hal Sr. and Jean left behind, with the help of their daughter, Haley. Greenleaf’s carries on of the largest selections of estate jewelry in the area and employs two in-house goldsmiths. The family has completed several changes to the long-standing business to ensure their longevity in the community. “Through those changes, along with our long-standing customer service and reputation, we’ve been able to serve generations in the Billings community,” Haley said.

Finalists Riddle’s Jewelry, Rimrock Mall; 1002 Shiloh Crossing Blvd Goldsmith Gallery Jewelers, 903 Shiloh Crossing Blvd.

KITCHEN CABINET STORE Rimrock Cabinets 547 S. 20th St. W., #7 Rimrock Cabinets knows kitchen design backward and forward, inside and out, said Stephen Wylie, owner and general manager for as many as 13 years. One such design he tells of features a hidden pantry in which a separate room completely hidden by cabinet fronts that match the rest of the room. “It is such a unique thing, a few of our customers have asked for it in their homes,” Wylie said. With as many as 10 employees, who include four full-time designers, Rimrock Cabinets uses their extensive experience to bring functionality to home through the cabinetry they sell. “All of our designers know how to do that well and integrate all the usable features of

cabinetry that are available on the market today. We look at every cabinet in the home as a unique piece of furniture. Each is very unique, designed just for you,” Wylie added. Whether in the kitchen and bath or even the living room, cabinetry is important. One of the things we do from a design point is to keep your kitchen design super functional. That is the biggest key. And we have years and years of experience with that.” The quiet closing drawers and doors are easy to include, but the overall room function matters most.

Finalists

Cabinet Center at Carpet One, 505 S. 24th St. W. Pierce Flooring & Cabinet Design, 2950 King Ave. W.

KITCHEN SUPPLY STORE Bed Bath and Beyond 2821 King Ave. W. The Bed Bath and Beyond retail store in Billings has a whole lot of kitchen items that fall under their “beyond” category. Shoppers can grab a cart to travel the aisles in the 36,000 square feet of retail space shop online for a limitless “beyond” shopping spree. “Bed Bath and Beyond offers a wide variety of kitchen tools and gadgets that work great for any kitchen. We offer everyday essentials and seasonal items to help prepare foods for a particular time of year. Our store associates can help them determine the best tool for their specific need. We consistently enhance our product assortment to offer the best products and shopping experience possible,” said Leah Drill, senior associate, public relations. With over 1,000 stores, the registry system is convenient, fun and stress-free. When registering at a Bed Bath and Beyond store, registry consultants will escort couples through the store, offering guidance and product knowledge to ensure that when the customer receives their gifts, they have a total solution for their home.

Finalists

Ferguson Showroom, 1734 Lampman Dr. Lowe’s, 2717 King Ave. W.

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING wrong mattress. That’s why at Mattress King we don’t work on commission. We help you select the right mattress, in your price range, making selecting your new mattress simple, easy and fun.” Mattress King also avoids the common advertising hype of ‘free delivery’ by keeping the largest in-stock inventory, and a same day delivery option. “This helps us change people’s lives by helping them experience the best sleep possible, and make a positive difference in their lives serving them each step of the way,” Hoffman added.

LIGHTING CENTER One Source Lighting 100 24th St. W. #3 “Lighting is the jewelry for the home,” said Lauri Patterson, owner of One Source Lighting, a repeat Readers’ Choice Award winner again this year. “I think the reason our customers come to us is for our experience and expertise. Technology is constantly changing, and when you shop here we do all we can to show you our best lighting applications, not just bulbs,” Patterson said. That’s why customers continue to vote it Billings’ best lighting center. Patterson said folks can find lightbulbs and light fixtures in many stores, but what keeps customers walking back into hers is that she can help them find the right solution to their lighting need, not just something that may or may not work. “So often companies diversify and lose focus on what they are good at. We know lighting. Just lighting,” said Patterson, one of several certified lighting specialists in her store. Since it opened in 2003, Patterson has aimed to carry unique inventory customers can’t find elsewhere in Billings. She recently said her store will continue to keep up with or become even ahead of the times “The biggest thing we are going to see is the whole-home smart house. We are living a life of convenience, and these items aid in energy efficiency. It is a great way to leave the world a better place than when we got here,” she added.

Finalists

Lowe’s, 2717 King Ave. W. Rimrock Lighting, 2950 King Ave. W.

LINGERIE SHOP TLC Lingerie 1400 Broadwater Ave. After more than 21 years in business fitting extensive female clientele with lingerie and swimwear, the recurring Readers’ Choice winner TLC Lingerie has done it again. TLC founders, Victoria Bartle and Linda Cetrone Levy sold the business to Levy’s daughter, Lisa Cetrone and business partner Tana Re last year. Now, celebrating a successful first year of ownership, Cetrone and Re have kept the torch going, empowering women of all shapes and sizes to feel confident. “We honor every body type. We have a love for helping women feel good,” said Cetrone. “You are a person to us – you matter. We will make shopping fun.” From the smallest to the largest, TLC offers an unmatched selection of bras, mater-

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Finalists Ashley Furniture HomeStore, 2914 Millennium Cir. Furniture Row, Denver Mattress, 8108 S. Frontage Rd. Suite DM nity wear and swimwear. From 28 AA to 58 H, women will have a positive experience while finding a bra that fits and is comfortable. Swim suit sizes range from 4 to 32 W. “Whether you want something special, sexy or just to be comfortable, stop by and experience the TLC Lingerie difference today to help you find what you are looking for,” said Re.

that operates after bussing stops. That’s something that has to be dealt with,” he said. Foster added that in the coming years he and his partners would like to add electric vehicles to their fleet in an effort to keep their business environmentally friendly.

Adam & Eve, 1211 Mullowney Ln. Victoria’s Secret, 300 S. 24th St. W. C06

MATTRESS STORE Mattress King

Finalists

LIMOUSINE SERVICE Magic City V.I.P. Whether it is a bridal party, a prom date, a birthday celebration, or an evening on the town – significant moments in our lives call for a bit of grandeur. Magic City V.I.P. offers an array of highclass vehicles to make those moments even more memorable – with the safety of a designated and trained driver to accommodate their clients every step of the way. In addition, V.I.P. is branching out in many directions where they see a need for their business services. Whether it is a quick taxi-style ride in one of their sedans or a chauffeured formal event, one of their six owners should be able to take your call to provide your ride, even outside of Billings. “We treat all customers the same, whether they are riding in our Party Bus, our sedans were using our chauffeured car service. Plus we want to give back to the community by offering the service of non-emergency medical rides,” he added. “Our next addition will be bringing on some more stuff on the commercial side, such as an airport shuttle for motels. We are looking at helping with an after-hours (Americans with Disabilities Act) service

OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

Finalists

A-Limo Limousine, 405 N. 12th St. Total Transportation, 1509 Rosebud Ln.

1702 Grand Ave. 795 King Park Dr.

311 N 7th Ave., Bozeman

This is the 20th consecutive year that Mattress King has received the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Mattress Store, which its owner knows takes a lot of learning for his staff. Co-owner Jay Hoffman said the problem begins with so many mattresses out there, and so many claim their mattress will fit everyone. “The truth is, one mattress does not fit everyone or every couple,” he added. Hoffman, with his wife and co-owner Mary, understands that choosing a mattress can be overwhelming and confusing. “We have changed all that with the Bed Match System at Mattress King, and the response has been heard loud and clear from our guests. With the Bed Match System, you lay down on the diagnostic bed, and it takes multiple calculations and measurements of your body, and then narrows it down to four or five mattresses that provide the proper support and fit you and/or your sleeping partner need,” Hoffman said. The process means customers can’t make a wrong choice when select the preferred bed in their price range. “In fact, many times the right mattress is not a more expensive model, preventing you from overspending on the

OIL CHANGE MasterLube 2650 4th Ave N. 1331 Main St. 1628 Grand Ave

2424 King Ave W 203 SE 4th St., Laurel

Locally owned and operated, MasterLube was established on 24th Street West in 1981 and has served the Billings area community and travelers ever since with preventative maintenance services such as: oil changes; fluid change and top offs; filter and belt check or replacement; radiator, transmission and case flushes; inside and outside hand car washes; and auto glass repair and replacement. “Our purpose is to make life better for our people and as many in our community as we possibly can,” said President Craig Godfrey. “We invest heavily in our staff to provide them the tools, training, and systems needed to grow and be successful during their time with us. More importantly, we encourage them to explore their core competency, find their greatest strength and develop a personal mission. We want to help them figure out what it is deep down that they truly want to be and then provide the training and resources needed for them to eventually move on and pursue that.” At MasterLube stores, customers get to watch and listen to “The Show.” “It’s part of the experience, along with our popular ice cream sandwiches in the summer, when you are in our stores,” said Godfrey. “Customers can see and hear a team of young people call out the service steps, check each other’s work and look for potential problems the customer should be aware of.” He added that this is why the stores have an open concept for customers to ‘feel’ the service being done on their vehicle and why technicians take the time and steps to show


BUSINESS & SHOPPING your air filter to you, even if it’s clean, so that you can make an informed decision on your service. “Trust that ‘we have each-other’s best interest in mind’ is paramount at MasterLube. We recommend, we remind, we offer,” Godfrey said, “but we never sell.”

one’s needs.” He and his staff are confident in each product they sell. Meier said, “Sherwin Williams does a really good job of testing and refining their products. Every year they are updating, offering new products and making existing products better.”

Finalists

Finalists

Don’s Xpress Lube, 1133 Grand Ave. TireRama, several locations

Ace Hardware, several locations Paint Center – Pittsburgh Paints, 1904 Grand Ave.

PAINT STORE Sherwin-Williams 929 Grand Ave. 2019 Grand Ave.

2051 Rosebud Dr.

Winning the People’s Choice Award lets Ryan Meier know that he and his half-dozen staff members at the Grand Avenue store are succeeding at their jobs seven-days-a-week. “It tells me we do a great job training our employees to make the right suggestions for different projects for each customer,” said Meier, store manager. “It’s our variety, too. We cover a wide range of applications and prices. We have something that fits every-

PET BOARDING Big Sky Pet Resort and Grooming 2922 Millennium Circle 1749 Grand Ave. Big Sky Pet Resort and Grooming keeps pets’ comfort in mind. The staff understands not all animals react the same when away from their family, from the timid to easy-going, pets are provided different boarding options to match their needs. Spacious condos with television, plush bedding, plenty of food and water bowls, and personalized attention is ideal for dogs who need a relaxation haven. Suites with private

dig runs and small dog rooms also help each pet to find a happy place. The resort also offers a 1,500 square foot indoor dog park. And it’s not just for the dogs. Your feline companion can relax in a cat condo, complete with an internal air exhaust system, resting ledges and shelves, privacy panels and beds. Owners Marc and Bobbie Underwood have consistently helped pet owners with common needs and the positive feedback from community shows they are doing a great job. “We do boarding, grooming, daycare and

training,” Marc said, yet acknowledges their business pleases pets as well as their owners. “It’s puppy play time, where the dogs can interact. Owners love it because their dogs come home tired. We believe it makes pets happier and more content. They get to hang out with their buddies; when they are groomed, they are no longer matted and ears are clean. They love it.”

Finalists Moore Lane Veterinary Hospital, 30 Moore Ln. Paws & Claws Pet Salon, 3206 Conrad Rd.

Thank you

Billings Thank you Billings!

ZooMontana

the best place for family fun 7 years in a row! S GAZE ING TT LL

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING PET GROOMER Paws & Reflect Pet Salon 2906 Grand Ave. Although Paws & Reflect Pet Salon has won this 2019 Readers’ Choice Award for being the best Pet Groomer, its 34-year-old business owner, Brooke Odei, and her crew complete a lot more than pet grooming each and every day, and even overnight for some clients. In her 12 years old in the business, Odei has offered dog and cat grooming, mobile pet grooming, pet boarding and doggy daycare. “My business is not a one-size-fits-all type of thing. Each pet and its owner has specific needs,” said Odei, who will soon celebrate her 21st year in pet grooming, as she has worked with pets nearly her entire life alongside her mother, who as a dog owner regularly showed animals. “I started grooming at age 14 worked and then worked for others,” she said. As one of only three nationally certified pet groomers in the state of Montana, Odei is glad to have the certification on her resume and knows that her staffed groomers are working toward that, as well. In the Paws & Reflect grooming bus, groomer Jeannie Schroeder is in charge. She has operated and groomed within the bus for six years, though she has worked for Odei for 11 years. “With the mobile grooming, the customers are usually elderly clients or people with elderly dogs. Some people simply want secluded service. This way they receive individualized service in the warm bus with warm water and adjustable table and blow dryer,” Schroeder said. “Our clients have relationships with their dogs as if they are not their pets; they are their furry kids. As groomers, we developed a very personal relationship with all of them. It takes a lot for them to put their trust in us and our employees,” said Odei.

Finalists

with daily needs and uncommon dilemmas. For pet care, they carry products and accessories for nearly all types of small domestic animals and fish. Their grooming staff has a passion for making dogs and cats look their best, offering full-service grooming and bathing, nail trim, nail grind, PAWdicure, teeth brushing and ear cleaning services. They will also take on the big jobs of dematting and more. Their professional stylists love pets and have more than 800 hours of training and six months of apprenticeship. The West End store also offers dog training for the young and old furry companion. Accredited pet trainers teach both group and private classes using positive reinforcement techniques to ensure learning is not only effective but also fun for both the pet and pet parent. PetSmart Charities hosts National Adoption Weekend events four times per year. The next adoption weekend is November 8-10. Locally, they regularly partner with Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter, Rez Dog Rescue of Montana, Help for Homeless Pets, Circel2Ranch Animal Sanctuary, Freckles and Tomcat Rescue.

Finalists

Lovable Pets Bakery & Boutique, 1313 Grand Ave. Suite #6 Big Sky Pet Resort, 2922 Millennium Circle

Exotic Pets, 2342 Grand Ave. Lovable Pets Bakery & Boutique, 1313 Grand Ave. Suite #6

PET STORE Billings PetSmart

PLUMBING SERVICE Alpine Plumbing, Heating & Cooling

2510 King Ave. W. Worldwide, people love their pets. It is no different in Billings, where pet lovers chimed in to name PetSmart as Readers’ Choice for the best local pet store. Operating in a 17,043-square-foot King Avenue retail space, the company reports that 27 employees are ready and willing to help pet owners

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306 More Ln. “Having heating or air conditioning problems is a lot of stress for the homeowner,” said Robert Tehle, who co-owns Alpine Plumbing, Heating & Cooling with his wife, Becky.

OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

tomers. That’s really what it is about,” King said after winning Readers’ Choice award. King knows what it takes to succeed as a local hardware store and destination to purchase or rent power equipment and all areas in and around Billings. “We care a lot about the customers so when they come in and have a problem, we become the problem solvers,” he said. “We sell convenience. Nobody has to drive very far to get the help they need. Now I am getting ready for our sixth store in the Evergreen Complex off Grand Avenue and 13th Street West.” Next February or March, King’s Evergreen location will open, bringing online a total of their seven Ace Hardware stores in Yellowstone County. King will own six while the seventh, found in the Heights, is owned by Bob Hanson. That store also shares in this He said answering a service call at Readers’ award. someone’s home is the same every time, Finalists with the homeowner standing inside the Billings Hardware, 906 Broadwater Ave. & door explaining their problems while ut3175 Grand Ave. terly frustrated. “It is great for me to stand Shipton’s Big R, 2600 Gabel Rd., there and tell them, ‘It is not your prob1908 Main St. & 216 N. 14th St. lem anymore. I’ll go look at it,’” Tehle said. “It’s what we do and it may seem easy, but REAL ESTATE AGENCY it is not.” He said approximately 20% of his busiBerkshire Hathaway ness is for heating and air-conditioning Home Services work, while the other 80% is for plumbing. Floberg Real Estate Alpine Plumbing doesn’t just do home 1550 Poly Dr. repairs. “We could start your plumbing project right at the concrete slab and take Professionals at Berkshire Hathaway project right up to the paint when working with rebuilds of basements or kitchen Home Services Floberg Real Estate continue remodels. We do a small amount of new working hard to gain the recognition of Billings Gazette readers and the community. construction, too,” he said. “I would relate our office’s success mainly No matter whom the customer is or the size of the project, Tehle wants to keep the to our name, Berkshire Hathaway Home Serrespect of his customers. “Once we are in a vices Floberg Real Estate. We have 60 conhome and perform great work, we’re most secutive years of doing business in the Billings pleased when we receive another call to community and outlying area,” said Tom Hanel, managing partner at Berkshire Hathaway work for that home over again.” Home Services Floberg Real Estate. Finalists During that half century, BHHS Floberg Precision Plumbing and Heating, 304 S. 25th St. Real Estate has been serving clients with its Cotter’s Sewer Service, 1750 E. 8th St., Laurel real estate needs throughout Billings and the surrounding areas. BHHS Floberg Real Estate specializes in the purchase or sale of propPOWER EQUIPMENT STORE erty, whether residential, commercial, farm, ranch, lots and land or business properties. Ace Hardware “We would like to recognize our associates 678 Johnson Lane, 1551 Zimmerman Trl. and staff for accomplishing this esteemed Lockwood 2264 Central Ave. 1547 Main St., Heights. award. It is because of their loyalty, profes4170 State Ave. sionalism, dedication to their clients, their 415 SE 4th St., Laurel belief in giving back to the community, the high standards and teamwork we encourage Skip King opened his first hardware store through individual achievements,” said Hain 1978, and has been affiliated with a few nel. different national chain-store brands until Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Flohe found his niche by owning five, and soon berg Real Estate, which began in Billings as to be six, Ace Hardware stores. Floberg Realtors, has offices in Billings, Co“I’ve got good employees and great cus- lumbus and Red Lodge.


BUSINESS & SHOPPING Finalists Century 21 Hometown Brokers, 1605 S. Shiloh Rd. Metro Realtors, 2029 Grand Ave.

RUG STORE Carpet One Floor & Home 505 S. 24th St. W. When a customer finds nearly the perfect rug for sale at Carpet One Floor & Home, the store’s ownerRandy Mostad feels like he and his staff have almost done a great job. Almost. Mostad knows this is not the way to meet customer expectations, so using his 22 years of experience in the flooring business, he and his staff will work with Carpet One to find an ideal product to fit the customer’s needs for style and size. “We manufacture custom rugs with Carpet One, using any of their hundreds of thousands of colors and styles,” Mostad explained. “Most just don’t work well for the standard 6-foot-by-9-foot or larger rugs. “We just finished installing hardwood flooring for a home and we had three custom area rugs done for them – one each for the living room, dining room and office.” He said some homeowners are now even having custom rugs made in various colors and ranges of durability to change their flooring for the seasons – winter, spring, summer and fall. “It gives the homeowner the control of the look and size they want and in the rug, and manufacturers haven’t pigeon-holed them into a pre-determined size and design. It takes a few weeks, but it is custom.” Working on a custom design means customers also call the shots for cost. “It depends on the material a customer chooses. The rug could be very affordable at all the bells and whistles at a high price,” Mostad added.

Finalists

The World Famous Carpet Barn, 2032 Grand Ave. Pierce Flooring and Cabinet Design, 2950 King Ave. W.

RV DEALER Bretz RV & Marine 2999 Old Hardin Rd. The Bretz team has grown to be the largest RV dealer in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Selling more RVs than all other Billings dealerships combined, Bretz provides the service needs to keep families outdoors. Bretz RV factory-trained service technicians work hard to repair and service over 200 RVs

every week, doing their part to keep people out camping. Bretz RV & Marine is proud to be the go-to spot for camping, servicing and accessorizing RVs.

Finalists Billings RV, 2790 Gabel Rd. Pierce RV Supercenter, 3800 Pierce Pkwy

SELF-STORAGE Homestead Self Storage

450 S 20th St. W 3300 Central Ave. 19 West Wicks Lane 1125 Lake Elmo (storage only; no office) 3110 Cel Ave. (outdoor large vehicle/boat storage) Homestead Self Storage has been a local, family-owned business since 1991. The first store opened on 20th Street West and since then has expanded to five locations across Billings, offering secure storage solutions for everything from household items to vehicles and business equipment. They have a fulltime maintenance staff, HD security cameras and managers living onsite. “For me and my brother Randy, our 25 years in business have been just as much about creating top-of-the-line storage facilities as fulfilling the needs of our customers and contributing to the growth of Billings. Every day, we are dedicated to the people who make our community great: our employees, our customers and our family and friends,” said Brian Harvey, co-owner. Homestead Self Storage caters to all storage and moving needs for individual to corporate customers.

Finalists

48th Street Storage, 1455 S. 48th St. W. Interstate Storage, 9440 S. Frontage Rd.

SHOE STORE Scheels 1121 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Caring for our feet is not something to take for granted. Foot health is reliant on good shoes – which affects balance, hips, back, knees and spine. Shoppers voiced their opinions and named Scheels as the Best Shoe Store in Billings for walking, running, sports, leisure, indoor and outdoor foot care. The store’s shoe department is a focal point within the store, which covers 220,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space. Always known for its large selection of sporting goods and excellent customer service, the store carries an expansive line of footwear for men, women and children fashREADERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING SPORTING GOODS Scheels 1121 Shiloh Crossing Blvd.

ion, shoes and accessories. This fall, the shoe department of Scheels has been a shopping mecca for back-toschool footwear, football cleats and footwear for outdoor recreation, as well. Hiking and hunting in the snow and mud also requires comfortable and durable footwear – look no further, Scheels has it all.

Finalists Shoe Carnival, 909 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Time Out Sports, 1595 Grand Ave.

Located at Shiloh Crossing, Scheels has taken its reputation for carrying all the sporting gear and apparel you need to reach peak performance to a stellar level of shopping convenience. But, while covering 220,000 square feet, Scheels is about more than shopping – it’s a place for families to come and be entertained. Known for its large selection of sporting goods and excellent customer service, the store carries an expansive line of merchandise including a large selection of men’s, women’s and children’s fashion, shoes and accessories. But that’s not all. Part of the Scheels’ experience is the entertainment, and this store delivers in spades. Anchoring the store is the Scheels’ Ferris wheel – a 65-foot tall, 16-cart, custompainted ride that will thrill youngsters and grownups alike. Specifically for kids, there’s Scheels Toyland with a Lego table and chairs for creative design work. There’s also an ar-

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cade situated nearby. For all ages, there’s a 16,000-gallon salt water aquarium filled with more than 700 colorful fish that dart in and around the beautifully constructed coral reef. For hunters and wildlife enthusiasts, Wildlife Mountain provides a fantastic opportunity to observe mounts of big game animals, varmints, bears, sheep and many species of birds displayed as you would see in their natural habitat. Try their area with two archery lanes for hunters to test new bows before selecting their purchase. Those wanting a more hands-on experience can test their skill at the laser shooting gallery, which includes a lively, animated show reminiscent of theme park attractions. Or, wander over to the Buck Hunter game for a virtual shooting option. For a different type of action, try your hand at the two-lane mini-bowling alley or have your picture taken at one of the many photo opportunities located throughout the store. History hounds will appreciate the Walk of Presidents, where you can hear Abraham Lincoln recite the Gettysburg Address, or Thomas Jefferson read the Declaration of Independence. Then to re-charge from all the shopping

and entertainment, treat yourself to a cup of Scheels’ private branded coffee – all found in Billings’ most happening West end location Shiloh Crossing.

Finalists Shipton’s Big R, 2600 Gabel Rd.; 301 N. 14th St. & 1908 Main St. The Base Camp, 1730 Grand Ave.

TAX PREPARATION SERVICE Colleen Black & Company, P.C. 1925 Central Ave. Be good to your people and they’ll be good to you. That is the motto that Colleen Black has followed while building her business. In addition to providing tax services for individuals and businesses, Black’s staff also helps small businesses with payroll and accounting services, business consultation, IT and software system recommendations and implementation and advice in business transition planning; they recently expanded to include outsourced CEO positions. “We place a lot of value on relationships,

Thanks Billings!

BEST ALL AROUND RESTAURANT

Thank you for the past 40 years. Cheers to 40 more!

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406.259.9375

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING includes oil changes, brakes, alignments and “all general mechanical.” It is a multi-brand tire dealer. “We would like to thank everybody that voted for us and we will continue to do a good job and continue to earn their business in the future,” said Passon.

Finalists Lisac’s Tire, 3112 King Ave. W. Staley’s Tire & Automotive, 1245 Central Ave. & 9300 S. Frontage Rd.

THANK YOU

FOR VOTING US BILLINGS’ BEST

HEARING AID PROVIDER AGAIN IN 2019!

TOWING & RECOVERY Hanser’s Towing & Recovery Network 430 S. Billings Blvd.

both clients and otherwise,” said Black, who believes that honesty, integrity, accuracy and a nurturing relationship are her business’ most important offerings. As an example, Black and staff developed working relationships with personnel in government agencies (IRS, for example), so they can assist clients with tax “problems” more effectively and efficiently. They also pride themselves on being technologically progressive, sharing those tools with their clients. “I have a great team – and I’m not just saying that,” said Black. “We have assembled a diverse set of professionals who get along and complement one another. It means a lot to me to have provided more than 20 families support with a job and a presence in a community that I love.”

Hanser’s Wrecker Co. is a family-owned business focused on assisting and rescuing the motoring public with everything from light-duty tows, lockouts and tire changes to emergency response, heavy-duty recoveries and environmental remediation. They have locations in Billings, Big Timber, Columbus, Livingston, Lewistown and Hardin. Since 1963, one little blue wrecker has grown into over 150 pieces of operating equipment, including seven roadside service trucks, excavation equipment and seven specialized hazmat emergency response units. Each location is open 24 hours per day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. They have the proper equipment and knowledgeable personnel to respond to the needs of any vehicle operator and take great pride in a craft they have worked for over 50 years to perfect. In addition to comprehensive towing and recovery services, Hanser’s also provides auto and truck repair, a volume transmissions rebuild center and a salvage company. Hanser’s is a single call for all of your automotive needs.

Finalists

Finalists

Woods Accounting, 1211 Grand Ave. #4 Ortt & Company, 1437 Wyoming Ave.

Agave Towing & Recovery, 536 Sugar Ave. City Towing, 1207 S 32nd St. West

TIRE STORE Tire-Rama

VACUUM STORE Stuart’s House of Vacuums

1001 E. Main St. 2550 Gabel Rd. 2208 Central Ave.

1429 Grand Ave. 2409 4th Ave. N. 1401 Industrial Ave.

The Montana-based company had its start in the northcentral part of the state in 1977. That same year, it opened up shop in Billings. Forty-two years later, Tire-Rama has 46 locations across four states: Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. In Billings alone, there are five employeeowned tire stores. “They all operate with all the same products,” said Greg Passon, vice president of store operations. The Gabel Road location offers after-hours service, a convenience for those coming off the interstate. “We do service the farm industry, the commercial industry as well as the consumer,” Passon said. “We handle everything from a lawn and garden tire to very large, heavy equipment. We handle it all.” Tire-Rama is a complete automotive center. Full service

Douglas E. Rehder Doctor of Audiology

Crystal B. Dvorak Doctor of Audiology

Tracy R. Hayden

Doctor of Audiology

Maggie J. Luers

Doctor of Audiology

3127 Central Ave., Suite 3. Stuart’s House of Vacuums made a name for itself at 18th and Grand, “Where vacuums grow on poles,” as the old commercial stated, but owners Sandy and Tom Berkshire were ready for a change. The longtime Billings West End business moved in January 2017 to 3127 Central Ave., the strip mall at the corner of 32nd Avenue West that is home to Great Harvest Bread. “We feel like Grand has changed over the years. We want to move west, where the rest of the city is growing and expanding,” Sandy said. The late Dan Stuart launched the business in 1973, and he became known as its gregarious pitchman. The Berkshires bought Stuart’s in 1995 and continued its success, even as competition from big-box stores and online retailers rose. Sandy said Stuart’s tries to distinguish itself through customer service. It’s also a one-stop shop for vacuum cleaner parts, including belts, bags, filters and accessories. The store

Brandy M. Dillon

H.I.S. Hearing Instrument Specialist

245-6893 • 800-227-3181 1101 North 27th Street, Suite E • Billings, Montana 59101 www.rehderhearing.com READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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BUSINESS & SHOPPING also sells candles, air purifiers and other items to help with refreshing the inside of the home. Stuart’s also services all vacuums and offers in-store demonstrations. Installations are also available for built-in central vacuum systems, according to Berkshire. “We feel like we have to focus on customer service, and that’s what we’ve done,” she said.

BEST BARBER SHOP Rebels and Razors Barber Club 118 N. Broadway

Elmer’s Sew & Vac, 2115 Grand Ave. Target, 2601 Central Ave. & 403 Main St.

VETERINARY SERVICE Best Friends Animal Hospital

Finalists Caring Hands Veterinary Hospital, 533 S. 24th St. W. Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, 345 Shiloh Rd.

WINDOW & DOOR STORE Win-Dor Industries, Inc. 1305 4th Ave. N. Since 1986, the Kline family has shut the door on thousands of sales to homeowners and building contractors who are purchasing supplies to complete a new or refurbished or business exterior. “We are the most unique window and door company in Billings. We sell to the general public and will install it for those customers if they want to use our installers,” said Toby C. Kline, owner of Win-Dor Industries, Inc. He has owned the North Billings drop since 2014 when he purchased the business from his father, also named Toby Kline. Toby Sr. started the business with his wife in 1986. “Offering popular brands like Andersen Windows & Doors, Bayer Built Doors, Therma-Tru Doors and Weather Shield Doors & Windows brings in customers who want the highest quality available,” Kline said.

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A member of the Home Builders Association of Billings, Win-Dor typically delivers 90 percent of their products to builder customers. Because they are working with the pros, it is important that Win-Dor employees their same language. “Everybody down here prides themselves in being around the building industry for the bulk of their working career. We have two sales guys here, and even by myself, began by sweeping the floors and cutting glass in the shop,” he added. Though they are professionals who work with professionals, Kline is confident that his staff can thoroughly explain to customers answers to all of their questions. “We feel we are second to none,” he added. Because products change, Win-Dor regularly sends the bulk of its 21 employees to sales and installation training at a manufacturer’s site. Upon hiring, all employees must receive the same training, the boss added.

Finalists Pella Windows & Doors, 2520 Grand Ave. 406 Window Co., 3039 Grand Ave., Suite B

WINE STORE City Vineyard 1335 Golden Valley Circle B The perfect glass of wine compliments many occasions. Once again, City Vineyard Wine has received the Readers’ Choice award for Best Wine Store in Billings. The newly constructed storefront not only sells wine, but craft beer and an array of gourmet foods. “We’re the ideal place to find pairing items for a dinner party or to taste our wines, craft beers, cheeses and other specialty food items,” said co-owner Abby Reno. Planned events for wine and beer tastings are advertised on social media and at Cityvineyardwine.com. There are also learning events in which wine producers share their secrets in the room that holds more than 10,000 bottles of wine and 40 feet of beer coolers stocked with top craft beers from around the world. There are few creature comforts in this world – good food, good friends and of course good wine are some of the essentials.

Finalists

Barbiere, 2719 Montana Ave. Austin’s Barber Shop, 2225 Main St. #5

Thank you Billings! S GAZE ING TT LL

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Dr. DJ Smith is on the job for you and your small animals 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If he is not available at Best Friends Animal Hospital and Urgent Care Center, one of his seven fellow veterinarians will be on-call to help whenever needed. Along with his wife and fellow veterinarian, Emily Gocke-Smith, DJ has owned the extensive animal care practice since 2008, and employs 10 other veterinarians and other staff, totaling 40 employees. Staff members are available on-site and on-call 24 hours a day. “Emergency work, I think is where we get most of our work. It puts our business name out there so people know who to call,” Smith said.“Through emergencies, clients connect quickly with the veterinarians. We develop a bond with every new patient in our practice,” said Smith. One year ago, the animal hospital underwent an extensive expansion, adding new imaging equipment necessary for complete pet care. “Our emergency services are continually growing, as is our education. People are wanting more in terms of caring for their pets,” Smith said.

Samantha Waller and Addy Helland, owners Rebels and Razors Barber Club, take the win again for best barber shop in Billings – and there is a reason why. Besides quality cuts, fades, and hot towelshaves, the quality of customer service, care and atmosphere takes this barber shop above the rest. “We are working with our peers and have a love for our industry,” Waller said. They don’t provide women’s services unless she requires a clipper cut and shave. Theirs is a place just for men. Waller said that the men like the feel at their shop. “We have an authentic, old-school barbershop feeling and provide traditional straight-razor shaves and men’s haircuts in a space with an industrial feel,” Waller said. “They can relax, drink a beer and hear the latest man gossip,” she added. In an average week, Rebels and Razors sees 100 to 150 male clients – because men like to fell fabulous, too.

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1530 Popelka Dr.

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Finalists Levity, 1027 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Suite #8 Yellowstone Cellars & Winery, 1335 Holiday Cir.

108 N. Broadway • Billings • 406.534.4774


HEALTH & BEAUTY DAY SPA SERVICE Sanctuary Spa and Salon 1504 24th St W. Self-care is not always about vanity. Looking our best on the outside helps us feel better on the inside. And sometimes a spa treatment is just what the doctor ordered. Kris Carpenter opened her business venture a little over 20 years ago, and she said people thought ‘spa’ simply referred to a tub of bubbling hot water. The community quickly caught on and her west end spa and salon is busier than ever. “We are thriving,” Carpenter said. “We cared for just women at first, and women are still primarily our clientele working women, moms, or any lady who wants to take care of herself.” Yet, men are welcome and take full advantage of the talent team at Sanctuary Spa. In Sanctuary Spa, there is a steady line of clients every day coming for massages, facials and body services. At the businesses front area, a Beauty Bar for customers has been designed around the full array of skin services offered, such as

fully customized facials, and, lash lift and tint services. And, gift certificates are great for any service anytime of the year. From massage to facials, hair and nails, Sanctuary Spaoffersservices to help relax and restore.

an educational experience as well. We look forward to continuing to build on a tradition of excellence, and providing dental care designed just for you,” said Dr. Russell Homer, DDS.

Finalists

Finalists

Central Wellness, 1010 Central Ave. #2 Rituals Spa & Salon, 1220 Central Ave.

Turley Dental Care, 315 N. 25th St. #101 & 1002 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Yellowstone Family Dental, 1045 N. 27th St.

DENTAL PRACTICE Brewer Dental Center

FITNESS CENTER Granite Health & Fitness

2900 Central Ave., Building 1 2900 Central Ave., Building 2 710 Main St. A team of 12 dentists, as many as a dozen hygiene providers, and a full team of office staff compose Brewer Dental Center. Once again, the collective dental team takes Reader’s Choice Award. Brewer Dental Center has three locations in Billings, which include the following dentists: E. Wade Wilde, DMD; Benjamin R. Holloway, DMD; Russell S. Homer, DDS;

SCORE!

M. Bryant Low, DMD; Brian D. Draayer, DDS; Thaddeus W. Honaker, DMD; Ryan S. Hecht, DMD, MS; Claire M. Bollinger, DDS; Brysen B. Hansen, DMD; J. David Clark, DDS and Charles L. Shumway, DMD. Together they incorporate all types of dentistry for all ages: preventative, restorative, cosmetic, sedation, orthodontic and pediatric. “We realize the dental office is not the favorite place for many people, so we focus on individualizing each patient’s experience. We like it when a patient can go from being super fearful to saying that the dental office is not as bad as they remember. We try to make every visit to the dentist

Thank you Billings

for your vote! Thank you

As a managing partner of the two locations for Granite Health & Fitness, Shara Kay Overstreet works with her highlytrained staff at two locations to provide their 7,000 members with the premier destination for health and fitness solutions. “Through our diverse fitness offerings and range of classes, we are able to cater to all ages at all stages of their fitness journey,” Overstreet said. “We pride ourselves on providing the

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HEALTH & BEAUTY highest quality fitness experience and customer service. Our training programs are extensive with over 200 classes, live and virtual. All facilities offer something for everyone, from toddlers to seniors,” she added. Each location has a ray of classes held in group training studios, a weight room and cycling area. The West End Granite Sport location adds a bit more with the aquatics Pool and basketball gym. At the Granite Fit location in the Heights, an Elite Sports Performance Room adds to the other offerings. Only in the Heights is a steam room offer for co-ed use. Overstreet said she and her staff strive to create a community where members are provided with encouragement and aren’t simply and number. “All of our staff members are certified and are dedicated and committed to making life changes for our members. We strive to be on the cutting edge of not just fitness, but nutrition too, with certified nutrition coaches,” she said. Granite Fitness focuses on consumer needs, she added, by educating staff and requiring instructor and trainer certifications, even when it’s not the national stan-

dard. At Granite every fitness professional “Our partnership with Aveda has given is certified and required to maintain their us the opportunity to grow and give back to certifications to best meet and exceed our the community,” Carpenter said. members’ individual needs. There’s nothFinalists ing that motivates us more than helping Bold & Beautiful Salon, 3189 King Ave W # 3 someone change their life. Mariposa, 2105 Central Ave. Suite #200 Finalists Billings Family YMCA, 402 N. 32nd St. 9Round Fitness, 2338 Grand Ave.

HEARING AID PROVIDER Rehder Balance and Hearing Clinic

HAIR SALON Sanctuary Spa & Salon

1101 N. 27th St.

1504 N. 24th St. W. Kris Carpenter has owned and operated Sanctuary Spa & Salon for 21 years and believes current education is key to their growth. “It is the specialized training that ensures the level of service we give our guest and allows us to work together to make sure they’re happy,” Carpenter said. “Through collaboration and cross-training, our designers help each other grow.” In 2017, Aveda recognized Sanctuary as an Earth Month Leader for its fundraising efforts to protect clean water.

Doctors of Audiology Douglas Rehder, Tracy Hayden, Maggie Luers, and Crystal Dvorak along with Licensed Dispenser Brandy Dillon offer professional diagnosis and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. Doug Rehder and his staff strive to ensure patient care is highly personalized, respectful, informative and compassionate. The clinic was honored to be voted Billings’ Best Hearing Aid Provider in 2016, 2017, 2018 – and now, 2019. “We evaluate and treat each individual’s hearing lifestyle to maximize their hearing. Thanks to enhanced technology, we work to restore normal hearing as closely as pos-

sible. We spend extra time with patients to find practical and workable solutions and endeavor to make every patient experience a success story. We understand that improving quality of hearing and balance fundamentally improves a patient’s quality of life,” Rehder said. In addition to providing comprehensive hearing care for infant to adult patients, the audiologists diagnose and treat dizziness and balance disorders. They also provide cochlear implant candidacy evaluations and are involved in follow-up programming, troubleshooting and audiological services following cochlear implant surgery. Tinnitus evaluation and treatment are available. When patients invest in a hearing device, they often find that processing and making sense of newly audible sounds is challenging initially. The clinic provides follow-up counseling, support and auditory brain training in the hearing aid fitting process to assist patients in improving their listening skills, allowing their auditory systems to adapt, and learning to utilize their hearing aid’s technology. Tinnitus evaluation and treatment is also part of this service. Rehder Balance & Hearing Clinic offers a selection of hearing aids at all price levels.

READERS’ CHOICE BEST SKI MOUNTAIN

For Your Business & Your VoTe

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FOR 14 YEARS YOU HAVE CHOSEN HERTZ AS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY A PRE-OWNED VEHICLE Come in and see why we are still your #1 choice! One thing will never change…our commitment to BI

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406-839-9116 • PawsandReflectPetSalon.org Dog & Cat Grooming • Mobile Pet Grooming Pet Boarding • Doggy Day Care

OPENING DAY NOVEMBER 29


HEALTH & BEAUTY

MEDICAL CANNABIS PROVIDER Collective Elevation Billings 4949 Danford Dr.

With three employees and himself working at his fully licensed Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Collective Elevation Billings owner Connor Lorenz, has one goal: helping others. Serving 300 patients, Lorenz has received the 2019 Readers’ Choice Award in a relatively new category that deals with a relatively new form of health care - Medical Cannabis. This form of healthcare, whether smoked or ingested, meant very little to him a few years ago when he was still suffering from lactose intolerance. In dealing with that condition, he spoke with a friend who suggested Lorenz try the new product. After becoming a state-approved patient, he gave

it a try, and it worked. “I said, ‘wow this is really great.’ Then I started hearing more and more stories of people who successfully used this medication,” he added. He received the correct licensing and began Collective Elevation to achieve that goal. “I want to be able to provide something positive, be a promoter for the younger generation to know that this [Medical Cannabis] is strictly a form of medication and their daily lives could depend on it if they are ill,” Lorenz said. He personally knows how it helped with his lactose intolerance and has seen its positive effect for those patients with chronic pain. “It is all pretty random after that,” he said. He then listed some of the more common health concerns for which his patience use Medical Cannabis to seek relief: Cancer, multiple sclerosis, migraine, joint issues “It’s truly improved as a business that is gaining a nationwide momentum. We are all helping pioneer that,” he added.

Finalists

Elevated 406, 1827 Old Hardin Rd.; 6522 S Frontage Rd. Montana Advanced Caregivers, 1101 Maggie Ln.

Botox injections, laser treatments and fillers for cosmetic enhancements; hair removal, body sculpting and contouring; massage therapy and reflexology – it is all at Tallman Medical Spa. “We are a medical spa, operating under a medical oversight. That is what sets us apart,” said Michelle Qualls, practice manager. “We operate under a licensed, board certified dermatologist, Dr. Phillip Tallman.” A physician’s assistant performs all injections, a licensed aesthetician provides facial and skin care, and a licensed cosmetologist works on hand and nail treatments. Massage therapists are also professionally trained and licensed. These professionals have a typical clientele of females, age 30 and older, yet Tallman does have a segment of male clientele. Qualls said people do see results after one treatment and often schedule repeat visits to maintain that positive outcome.

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BEST WOMENS CLOTHING STORE

your entire clothing purchase! Shop our amazing tops, sweaters, denim, dresses, jackets, and Montana apparel!

Billings Plastic Surgery, 2510 17th St. W. Central Wellness Medical and Aesthetic Spa, 1010 Central Ave., Suite 2

NAIL SALON Knock Out Beauty 926 Main St., Ste. 24 Elaina Sickveland was ecstatic hearing her salon had won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Nail Salon. “The little guy finally won,” said the 37-year-old owner of Knock Out Beauty. The salon offers full services for nails, skin care, massages and tanning. She cheers for the little guy being a newly self-employed business owner, but her new salon has brought together a talented team. Sickveland has been a licensed nail technician for five years. All professionals working at the salon are each their own business owner operat-

Thank You

for recommending us, voting for us & placing your trust in us. It IS a prIVIlege to care for you & your faMIly.

dedicated to providing the highest quality of aesthetic and cosmetic care for you and your skin!

USE CODE: BEST19

529 24th St W • Billings, MT 59102 www.shopthebanyantree.com

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294 .9660

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Excludes clearance.

Where medical technology meets luxury.

OPEN MON-SAT: 10AM-6PM

2019 READERS’ CHOICE

WINNER

2294 Grant Rd

In-store & Online | Oct 28-Nov 2

(406) 252-3411 www.rogerdanielagency.com 2047 Broadwater Ave.

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Best Insurance Agent!

Finalists

2294 Grant Rd.

Thank you Billings for voting Roger Daniel

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MEDICAL SPA Tallman Medical Spa

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Finalists Dr. Gene Bukowski, Audiology & Hearing Aids, 111 S. 24th St. W. Laurel Hearing Aid, 109 W. Main St., Laurel

behind costco

406-534-8533

READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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HEALTH & BEAUTY ing under a booth-rental contract for their workspace. In addition to Sickveland, there are four other nail technicians, one massage therapist and one aesthetician. Sickveland oversees the tanning facilities. “We are busy – always booked out weeks in advance,” she said. Sickveland foresees a remodel in the future to accommodate the ever-growing clientele that supports and values the team at Knock Out Beauty.

hand with each patient to preserve vision, reduce eye strain and fatigue, as well as diagnosing and managing eye disease. All this may or may not include prescription lenses with which their retail division can help. The doctors at Bauer & Clausen Optometry recognize that the excellent care their patients and optical customers receive is in large part due to the hard work and dedication of their entire team. When a team truly cares as much about each individual patient lows customers to view prescriptions and as the doctor does, the patient remains the refills, request refills, and even provides reFinalists minders to take mediation. top priority in every encounter. Nail-issimo!, 2215 Broadwater Ave. The pharmacy also provides vaccinaFinalists Carizzma Salon & Day Spa, 517 N. 24th St. W. tions for: hepatitis, HPV, meningitis, pneuHeights Eyecare, 430 Lake Elmo Dr. monia, shingles and tetanus. Flu shots are Vision Optical, 1701 Grand Ave. offered and in many cases, free with insurOPTICAL STORE ance. They also offer immunizations for Bauer & Clausen Optometry traveling out of the U.S. PHARMACY For the professional and caring team of Albertsons Pharmacy 100 Brookshire Blvd. Albertsons Pharmacy, it is more than a job 511 Central Ave. 2334 Central Ave. – it is helping people manage their health, 611 N 27th St. 3137 Grand Ave. Drs. David Bauer and Robyn Clausen, a through the good and bad, they are there for husband and wife team, alongside optome1212 Grand Ave. 670 Main St. their customers. trists Dr. Jessica Forsch and Dr. Matt DoopFinalists er, serve patients at their West End optomeIt’s all about maintaining wellness at CVS Pharmacy, several locations try practice not only through examinations Albertsons Pharmacy – and they want to and diagnostics, but retail as well. make it as easy on their customers as they Juro’s Pharmacy Health & Wellness, As optometrists, they work hand-in- can. The free Albertsons pharmacy app al2043 Grand Ave.

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TANNING SALON Sun Haven Tanning 595 Main St. 517 24th St. W. Winning another award for Readers’ Choice for Best Tanning Salon in Billings, owner Julie Wegner attributes the success of both salons to loyal customers, her friendly staff, appealing retail products and the easy availability of top-notch tanning beds. Offering a wide range of tanning beds from basic beds to high-end units with aromatherapy, air conditioning, body misters, stand-up or lay-down options – clients will find a bed that is just right. Sun Haven Tanning also offers UVB Free spray tanning, red light therapy and a large selection of tanning accelerators. Clients don’t have to call ahead to make appointments, Wegner said. With 14 units at each location – Heights and West End – convenient walk-ins are available.

Finalists

City Tan & Spa, 1603 Grand Ave. #110 Sun Splash Tanning, 928 Broadwater Ave. #101

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST VETERINARY CLINIC

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Gran Grand Garden 36

Staffed with a veterinary team 24/7 that provides the highest quality medical, surgical and preventive care with the utmost compassion.

Best Chinese Food for 11 years • Banquet Room now available

FREE Pet Boarding

(406) 656-9898 | 3839 Grand Ave. | www.grandgarden.us Monday-Thursday 11am – 9:30pm | Friday-Saturday 11am – 10pm | Sunday 11am – 9pm

Only valid for one animal. Dog or cat must give proof of vaccines. Not valid with any other coupons or offers. One coupon per person. Must present coupon.Valid for one visit only. Expires 11-25-19.

OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

One free night pet boarding. Dog or Cat!

1530 Popelka Dr. Billings, MT 59105

(406) 255-0500 BFAH.net


HEALTH & BEAUTY

2040 Rosebud Dr. #9

Cameron Scott, owner and sole tattoo artist at Sovereign Tattoo, has been working as an industry professional for as many as seven years. And, he knows that his industry has changed, yet still carries some controversy. “Through the years, tattoos always seemed to be popular with a certain demographic population, and (that population) regularly changes. I think television and social media have a lot to do with our popularity currently,” Scott said. “Usually, I work with younger female clientele. Those females 18 to 27 years old are getting more tattoos than younger males. I think the females handle the long, drawn-out pain better, too. Maybe it is kind of like a rite of passage. Guys turn 18, hey, they can smoke, go to the military and get a tattoo. Now, gals are getting the tattoo.” About 10 years ago, he began to learn the technical side of tattooing on his own com-

pleting basic tattoos “underground.” Eventually he developed expert skills, and became a professional tattoo artist. “I had to pick things up, learn as I go, never having had the opportunity to work with a mentor,” Scott said. He annually completes a training and certification course about blood borne pathogens. Being in his current location for about three years, Scott spends 60 hours a week on site, with about 35 to 40 hours weekly spent completing tattoo art. “I do a lot of super detailed stuff - it is all subjective to the client, the body part, location and skin,” he said. Another significant portion of his business is completing “cover-up” tattoos for clients who have received a now-unwanted tattoo applied by different artist. Scott knows that the art he is covering up is what gives his business a bad name. “It’s giving me a run for my money, that’s for sure,” he said. “I am the exact opposite of what people may think. I’m a family man, never been to prison; I don’t smoke. I am not a stereotype, I don’t work in a dark basement, smoking, drinking and tattooing all night. I aspire to be not that,” he added.

WEIGHT LOSS CENTER WW (Formerly Weight Watchers) 900 S 24th St. W., Ste. 5 WW (formerly Weight Watchers) has been around since 1963 helping people lose weight and change the ways they can keep those pounds off, said a Billings WW head who is in her 10th year as a WW coach, which today’s term for a person is formerly called a leader. Terri Myers explained, “WW changed the verbiage because it is our idea to coach clients into healthy eating instead of leading them. We help them come up with their own solutions.” Because one size does not fit all, WW gives you a foundational program. “We help you with the foundation and then we’ll teach you how to build the walls, and then you can decorate,” Myers said.

The company still uses the same Smart Points, workshops and weigh-ins, but now they do not have to happen solely in a public place. “With our Digital Studio, clients don’t have to attend the workshop, formerly known as meetings. It can happen online on their time.” “To lose weight, you prioritize your Time. We are a society that does not prioritize time to benefit our wellness. But we can find that time for other things,” she added. “We are a lifestyle change. You choose what you eat within the WW guidelines. With our freestyle programs, you still can eat at restaurants within limits, and make healthier food choices,” she added Myers has been making those WW healthy choices since joining the group in 2007 when her son was graduating high school. She said, “I made the decision that I wanted to see the next chapter of our kids’ lives.” With diligence she lost 94 pounds in 11 years. “I can’t lie and say it’s always easy. It’s not. But, I have WW skills to manage food.”

Finalists EverFit Montana, 1025 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. #2 Kinesi Coaching Studios, 601 North 24th St. W.

Thank You

Thanks Billings

For Voting us Best Farm & Ranch Store! BI

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BEST CATERING 5 Years running and BEST CHICKEN TOO!

Finalists Cin City Tattoo & Body Piercing, 2075 Central Ave. #B Rise Again Tattoo, 1343 Central Ave. Suite #1

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Tiny’s Tavern Billings’ favorite place to have a great time! Visit us at www.tinystavern.com

323 N. 24th St. 406-259-0828

Four Convenient Store Locations to Serve You! BIG R WEST

2600 Gabel Road

(406) 652-9118

BIG R HEIGHTS

1908 Main Street

(406) 384-0099

BIG R EAST

216 N. 14th Street

(406) 252-0503

BIG R SHERIDAN

2049 Sugarland Drive

(307) 674-6471

READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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FOOD & DRINK

ALL-AROUND RESTAURANT

Jake’s 2701 1st Ave. N.

2425 Gable Rd.

“All our tastes are created for a steakhouse – so it’s always meat and potatoes here. Our chefs keep up on the coming trends with great specials that keep it interesting. We also have wonderful bar tenders who serve great craft cocktails, all with great new recipes. We are always looking at other cities to see what is trendy elsewhere, but we will still be ‘meat and potatoes.’” In Jake’s bar, the wine list is regularly updated with input from customers. “For our wine, we are always looking for a good value for our customers. Monday is $20 bottle night on certain wines. It’s about giving the customer a quality bottle with their meal.”

Kathy Bolin, the owner of Jake’s, enFinalists joys hearing the good news each time her Rib & Chop House, 1849 Majestic Ln. restaurant earns another Readers’ Choice award. Each division of the restaurant is The Montana Club, 1791 Majestic Ln. responsible for this year’s award, from the serving staff and bar, to the seafood chef BARBECUE and a woman who creatively masters each Blue’s BBQ desert offering. “It’s amazing that, in our 39th year, we 523 Hilltop Rd. have the public respect we have. We reThere’s nothing blue about this BBQ. ally do treat people the way they want to be Blue’s BBQ has been smoking up a storm treated,” Bolin said. The restaurant opened on New Year’s in Billings Heights since 2004 and Readers’ Choice voters approve once again. Eve, 1979.

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Thank You Billings!

“We offer a Texas-style BBQ—all the meats are smoked pit-style with whole logs – it’s the old fashioned way to smoke,” said owner Kim Hager. “Plus, our sides are all home-made: potato salad, cole slaw, baked beans, ranch pasta, baked yams or garden salad – you pick.” Blue’s BBQ doesn’t veer from its traditional style either; 100 degrees or 20 below, their smoker is working hard. Kim’s favorite is white oak or hickory, but they often use fruitwoods here in Billings. Hager noted the legendary Garth Brooks once ate Blue’s BBQ when her husband catered a gig in Sheridan, Wyo. But she prefers her clients here. “We have some of the nicest, most respectful customers,” Hager noted. “They brighten our day and feel like family.” While southern style BBQ – a dry rub, with no sauce – may be not be what guests are accustomed to, co-owner Ken Hager urges folks to stop in and give them a try.

Finalists Big Guy Barbecue, facebook.com/Bigguybarbecue Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, 2519 Montana Ave.

BAKERY Great Harvest Bread 907 Poly Dr. 3133 Central Ave. #5 Reclaiming the title as best bakery in Billings, Great Harvest Bread Co. offers delicious baked goods, including their signature breads. With new bread flavors every month like butter pecan coffee cake, lemon blueberry coffee cake, pineapple coconut, pumpkin, strawberry rhubarb crunch, and chocolate raspberry truffle, it is easy to see why Great Harvest took the win. The popular bakery

also offers cookies, muffins, scones, delicious goodie bars, and an incredible lunch menu. It seems to be a simple thing – a warm cinnamon roll, the smell of freshly-baked bread, and a hot cup of coffee, but for the customers of Great Harvest Bread Co., the hometown bakery offers comfort – and that is certainly worth a lot.

Finalists

Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery, 2525 1st Ave. N. Heiko’s Bakery, 3429 Central Ave. #C

BEST BREAKFAST Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery 2525 1st Ave. N. Things have changed, yet remain oh-sofamiliar at Stella’s Kitchen & Bakery since Steve and Vicki Wahrlick took over the ownership and daily operations of the longloved downtown bakery and eatery on May 27, 2019. Having nearly five decades of success in the hospitality industry with food and lodging, Steve said that when he and Vicki moved to Billings in 2005 and met the former bakery owners Stella and Ziggy Ziegler, he knew through their countless business discussions that their relationship was a good fit. “I looked at Stella’s as being an integral part of my operation here,” Steve said, ensuring customers that Stella’s will live on. “It’s real simple – three things are untouchable: the cinnamon rolls, the bacon that is a thicker cut, and we will always continue with fresh-squeezed orange juice. Those are cast in concrete and we will never change that.” He said any enhancements will happen slowly. “This is a good solid business with good potential. I have the capital and understanding to move that restaurant to the next level. But I ask, ‘How do you enhance

MONTANA IS BOBCAT COUNTRY 3 Custer Ave, Billings, MT 59101 Phone: (406) 245-8866

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Best sushi 2018 & 2019!

OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

Serving the largest rolls with the freshest fish in Billings. Like us on Facebook to see our current specials and promotions

www.msubobcats.com


FOOD & DRINK

323 N. 24th St.

CATERER Tiny’s Tavern 323 N. 24th St. Tiny’s Tavern will bring the party to you with its extensive catering packages that can include food and full bar services allowed through their liquor license’s catering endorsement. “We do a lot of wedding receptions, company picnics, graduation parties and office parties,” said Curt Grimm, an owner of the 37-year-old bar and restaurant. Even with their popular ribs and broasted chicken, Grimm said that he and fellow owners Roger Knutson and Rich Weller often hear that “customer service is our best offering.” “And we will travel wherever we need to. Everything we do is homemade, not out of a box. That is one thing that sets us apart. We put menus together and we can do just about anything,” Grimm said, adding that Tiny’s has a 16-foot-long BBQ they bring to a customer’s site and prepare grilled meats. Even with extensive offerings, customers do have favorites. “Our wings are very, very popular, as well as our casual BBQs with brats and salads, and summer picnics,” he noted. Tiny’s also has an on-site patio area, and a private room seating up to 35 for catered parties.

Thank you Billings for voting us Best Hot Tub/Spa Center 19 years in a row! We appreciate your business and would appreciate your vote again this next year!

406-652-7727 • 2217 Grand Ave. • www.lovethetub.com

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Pizza Ranch, 2505 King Ave. West KFC, 719 N. 27th St. & 2223 Central Ave.

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Bernie’s Diner, 19 N. Broadway The Fieldhouse, 2601 Minnesota Ave.

rant that started cooking the famed chicken one year after they opened. Grimm said that he and fellow owners Roger Knutson and Rich Weller don’t plan on changing anything about the way they prepare and cook that sought-out Broasted Chicken. “I couldn’t tell why this chicken is so popular over the other restaurants because I don’t know what the other people do,” Grimm added. He just knows that customers return because his Broasted Chicken is priced so well. “The quality is always there and we haven’t changed anything. When you order, you know exactly what you were getting,” Grimm said, adding that Tiny’s also makes great side dishes, like potato salad and baked beans. “But as for the chicken, it is a hit.”

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it without diminishing what you currently have?’” He will continue the current menu that uses fresh ingredients with no pre-processed, frozen ingredients. Customers will see one change not on the table, as Steve made an effort toward conservation by not automatically placing a full glass of ice water at each table setting. It will be offered, but not standard. The Wahrlicks have a staff of about 40, with half of them coming along during the ownership change. They haven’t had to learn many changes yet, though Steve said, “We really see an opportunity for growth that is limitless. We are looking for meals that more people are looking for. Catering could be another offering. And offering [more] baked goods is yet to be determined, for merchandising,” he added. For the city as a whole, the Wahrlicks have given more than $45,000 to ‘Homes for Homeless Pets,’ charity group that receives the funds through the Billing Community Foundation.

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FOOD & DRINK Finalists Fuddruckers, 2011 Overland Ave. & 875 Main St. Bernie’s Diner, 19 N. Broadway

CHINESE FOOD Grand Garden 3839 Grand Ave.

CHEESEBURGER/ HAMBURGER The Burger Dive 114 N. 27th St. N. You haven’t had a burger until you’ve had a Burger Dive burger. It’s a family affair at Burger Dive – chef and owner Brad Halsten, his wife Andi, son Brendan Halsten, and Brad’s father, Gary Halsten are there every day, making the magic happen. In turn, the family feel spreads to the customers. From the fresh-made daily soups, savory garlic fries, delectable onion rings, and every flavor of milkshake you can think of – Burger Dive delivers the best of a lot of foods. Those burgers though – From the Juicy Lucy and the “Behemoth” burger to awardwinning burgers like the “Best of the Bash” and “I’m Your Huckleberry,” you really can’t go wrong. Burger Dive even offers a stellar veggie burger. Chef Brad and team hold several titles, including “Burger Champion” at the World Food Championships. The Dive also won “Best of the Bash” at the Food Network’s Burger Bash in 2014. And, the Dive was even featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food.” Good people, great atmosphere and mouthwatering food – that is why Burger Dive has won the award, again, for Best Burger in Billings.

There is a good reason why Grand Garden has returned as winner for Billings’ Best Chinese Restaurant. “We offer fresh and delicious Chinese cuisine along with excellent service in an inviting, friendly atmosphere,” said Alice Li, general manager. Li’s father, Fanfu Li, and Li’s husband, Dave Parker, combined to bring more than 30 years of restaurant experience to the family-owned and operated business. “They put a lot of time and energy into creating wonderful recipes for our guests, they take pride in customer’s satisfaction of their dining experiences at our restaurant,” Alice Li said. Grand Garden’s loyal customers and hardworking staff are especially appreciated. “I want to thank our customers for voting us the best Chinese restaurant and supporting us for all of these years. Thanks also to all of our wonderful employees for helping to provide the best dining experience. It wouldn’t be possible without your continued support,” said Parker. The restaurant offers a daily lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and a dinner buffet from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. In addition, patrons can order off the large menu or order from the full takeout menu. “Our food is very fresh and tasteful; once you try us you’ll come back,” added Alice Li.

Finalists Golden Phoenix West, 527 24th St. West JP Kitchen, 805 S. 24th St. W. #2

Billings 1640 Grand Ave. 2425 King Ave. W. 802 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. 1211 N. 27th St. 710 Main St.

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See us at our new store at 3127 Central Ave. (406) 656-8681 • stuartshouseofvacuums.com tshouseofvacuums.com Serving Montana for more than 45 years OCTOBER 2019 | READERS’ CHOICE

Sales numbers are sweet to the director of operations for Billings’ Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, which sells an average of 5,000 to 6,000 glazed donuts each day at their Central Avenue bakery. “On Saturday and Sunday, that total heats up to 10,000 individual doughnuts sold,” said Jason Sansom, who is also an Operating Partner for the Montana franchise, which also includes Krispy Kreme locations in Missoula and Kalispell. “These donuts are amazing. But, I think it’s even more popular because of the positive service atmosphere we provide,” Sansom said. Sansom said that throughout Montana the bestseller is always their traditional glazed donut. “That is our signature,” Sansom added. “People really like it when the doughnuts are hot, so we heat up the machine and you see the glaze waterfall.” That magic happens at their stores from 6–10 a.m. and 5–8 p.m., when the ‘HOT’ light is on outside, come inside to see. “Hot items are not available at the drive through, which is for express orders and service convenience,” said Sansom, who has been with Krispy Kreme for 22 years in many states. Two dozen Billings employees work to fulfill one of the franchise mottos each day. “We believe that a donut is so special that it changes the mood,” Sansom said.

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The smell of freshly roasted coffee wafts through the air at the intersection of King Avenue and 24th Street West. That’s where the City Brew roasting facility is located. “We control our own quality and that is so important,” said marketing director Jennifer Stanton. Originating in the Magic City, City Brew is celebrating 21 years of service to the Billings community and surrounding areas. For the staff, it is more than a place to grab a quick cup of joe – it’s a place of comfort and consistency. “We like to say it’s the third place,” said Stanton. “You have home, work, and City Brew is the third place.” Stanton and staff understand that the little things really make the customers’ day. From great customer service and freshly roasted coffee beans to the welcoming ambiance and reliable quality, all elements play a role in how City Brew considers their customers’ satisfaction. “We connect with our people. We want to evoke comfort. It’s great to see groups of students, knitting clubs, books clubs, parents and friends enjoying a relaxing time together,” said Stanton. City Brew coffee can be found in several local grocery stores. And three more coffee shops opened this year, totaling 28 locations across Montana and surrounding states. “It means something to us that Billings voted for us. It says something about this

Thank you for your business and loyalty. It is a great honor to serve you and be chosen as Billings’ Best Vacuum Store!

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1335 Golden Valley Circle 1208 ½ Main St. (Kiosk) 100 24th St. W. (Kiosk) Laurel 401 1st Ave. S.

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company. It is such an honor and we are so humbled by this win. We really appreciate being their local choice,” Stanton said.

COFFEE SHOP City Brew

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FOOD & DRINK FOOD TRUCK Sandee’s 1125 S. 27th St.

Finalists Albertsons, various locations Heiko’s Bakery, 3429 Central Ave. #C

FAMILY RESTAURANT Texas Roadhouse 1824 King Ave.

Moving among various locations is a Billings mainstay from the ‘60s through ‘90s, Sandee’s Drive In spoke to tradition, and is why the new form of Sandee’s was named Best Food Truck. Operating since May 2016, owners Scot and Jennifer Ireton serve the same burgers, fries and tater tots as the original Sandee’s, which was owned by Jennifer’s mother, Shirley Hampton. Recently, the Sandee’s menu has been expanded to include milkshakes and salads. “Customers know exactly what they can order at our truck. I want it to be the same stuff I was cooking back in the ‘80s. I don’t want it to be new-and-improved,” Ireton said. Sandee’s has worked hard to make finding the food venue a breeze. The locations can be found daily at Sandees406 on Facebook. There’s also an app for Sandee’s. Sandee’s also has two trailers so that different parts of Billings can be served as well as Laurel. A brick and mortar restaurant opened last year at 1125 S. 27th St.

every year that it has been open. This year, they win that award again, which is a special prize because the business went through a colorful remodel this past year. There are new, updated yogurt machines on the wall, the floor is fresh and new, as well. But the best things are the toppings – still plentiful and delicious, said co-owner Julie Diehl, who is often working onsite. Imagine more than 50 types of toppings for your 24 different flavors of frozen yogurt and sorbet. Vanilla and chocolate ice cream are always available. The “Spinner Cup” allows you to create your own blended flavors in a flurry of flavor. Cones and waffle cones are also available. Spinners even has the Froyovider, a separated cup with a divider that keeps your flavors separated. “Quite a few people have told us how much they love them, so we will definitely keep those around,” said Diehl. Popular toppings include Boba Balls, which alternate with different fruit flavors, cookie dough, fresh strawberries and other fruit. The team of six employees keeps the goodies well-stocked. She also added that this Spinners has added a few lactose-free flavors of yogurt, as well as non-dairy sorbets. “These sorbets are more creamy and do taste like ice cream.”

After 19 years with the company that created Texas Roadhouse, P.J. Eldridge knows his Billings restaurant is top-notch down-home. As managing partner for this location, he said, “We provide an atmosphere for every person in the family to feel comfortable. We are nice enough for a date night and we have things for the kids. We do keep the music a bit louder so customers don’t have to worry about noise from the children. For adults, we have a great selection of beer and our legendary margarita,” said Eldridge. All menu items have a ‘made from scratch’ appeal. The restaurant is part of a national company with which Eldridge Finalists and his family have been involved for many Big Guy Barbecue, Finalists years. facebook.com/Bigguybarbecue “As managing partner, I live in Billings Billings Best Yogurt, 1001 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Cajun Phatty’s, cajun-phattys.com with my family. I am the local owner and we The Yogurt Shop, 105 W. Main St., Laurel are very hometown oriented,” Eldridge said. In giving back to the community, emFROZEN YOGURT SHOP ployees are involved in local business orICE CREAM Spinners ganizations like Tumbleweed, Big Brothers Big Dipper Ice Cream 3031 Grand Ave. #200 Big Sisters and many others. 100 N. Broadway “It’s very important to me that we can Since 2013, frozen yogurt lovers have impact the community to make it successWhen you think of Montana, the first used Readers’ Choice to show their appreciful,” he said. ation for the endless array of taste variations thing that comes to mind may not be ice Finalists available at Spinners. Yes, Gazette readers cream. But part of the Treasure State’s treaMontana Club, 1791 Majestic Ln. have given the west end shop that top award sures is its ice cream – and no ice cream shop Red Robin, 1595 Grand Ave.

Thank You Billings! Jeffery (Jeff) J. oven 406.252.3441 Proudly serving Billings for 20 years. Montana north Dakota WyoMing crowleyfleck.com

tHAnK You

has a bigger following than Big Dipper Ice Cream. Most recognize the institution from its Missoula location, but starting in April 2015, Big Dipper has called Billings home, located at the corner of North Broadway and 1st Avenue North. While it features many of the frozen dish standards, like chocolate and vanilla, it also has Montana favorites like Huckleberry or the exotics like Bananas Foster or Kiwi Apple sorbet. The Big Dipper features new flavors daily, but sticks to the traditional ice cream desserts, rich and creamy sundaes, shakes, root beer floats, heaping cones of ice cream and freshly pressed waffle cones.

Finalists Softies, 2407 Broadwater Ave. Wilcoxson’s Ice Cream, 114 N. 19th St.

INTERNATIONAL FOOD The Athenian 18 N. 29th St. For old-world Mediterranean taste, Billings relies on what the three Renzios brothers brought with them from the northwest region of Greece in 1979. When they settled in Montana, the Athenian was born in Billings. Athenian owner Alexandra Renzios also came from Greece and married one of those three gentlemen. For 39 years, she has been in charge of all the traditional Greek recipes found on their mouthwatering menu. “I grew old in here with my business,” Renzios said, telling of how countless repeat customers come to dine on gyro sandwiches with fresh pita bread and tzatziki sauce. Also popular are stuffed grape leaves, with rice and a spiced lemon sauce on top.

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Home Center Store 1551 Zimmerman Tr. • 2264 Central Ave. • 4170 State Ave. 678 Johnson Lane • 1547 Main Street • 415 S.E 4th St., Laurel Coming soon to the Evergreen Shopping Center! READERS’ CHOICE | OCTOBER 2019

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FOOD & DRINK

Finalists

Oktoberfest German Restaurant, 3839 Grand Ave. Mia’s Wok, 3012 4th Ave N.

ITALIAN FOOD Ciao Mambo

Schlenker said. That is a key to freshness, agreed General Manager Kali Hennessy. “We make every dish to order and we complete all the prepping during the day,” he said. Hennessy will talk at length about the hard-working staff and their high and customer service, yet she knows it is the food that keeps people talking. “We work and serve in a restaurant with beautiful artwork representing wine and food. Then we play Italian music during those close knit family dinners or romantic dates,” she said, adding that children are catered to with pizza dough they can play with while they wait for dinner. There is an impressive dessert menu, as well. But, zeppolis are a customer favorite – created from fried pizza dough sprinkled with powdered sugar. The slices can be dipped fondue style in chocolate, caramel, huckleberry or raspberry syrup – sometimes a little piece of sugary heaven goes a long way.

Finalist

2301 Montana Ave.

Olive Garden, 2201 Grant Rd. Ciao Mambo on Montana Avenue is yet another Billings business that for more than a decade keeps on winning Gazette Awards. In 2019, they have won again for their scratch-made, authentic dishes and customer service. Jeff Schlenker, regional manager, proudly noted that he and his hard-working staff never use food out of a package, nor do they use pre-made items. Ciao Mambo is a Montana-born company, uses Montana-made pasta for the ultimate in flavor and freshness, he added. Whether it is Pasta Ravenna, Fettuccini a la Rustica, pizza or classic lasagna, it is fresh. “We don’t even have a microwave in this kitchen. Everything we make happens on the gas range or in the brick oven,”

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2713 Montana Ave. Winning yet another Readers’ Choice award was great news for Mikal Young, general manager at Wild Ginger, located on Montana Avenue. “It is hard to define what our Japanese menu is because it all is Asian Fusion. It is really a fine line between Japanese, Thai or Chinese,” Young said. Young said there are a variety of people who come to eat at While Ginger – all ages and all types of people regularly dine at the 8,000-square-foot, street front restaurant

Billings’ Best Tanning Salon

Thank You for Your Votes!

Thanks, Billings!

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595 Main St. 406-252-7866

517 24th St. W. 406-256-3301

Thank you for voting for us in the past!

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JAPANESE FOOD Wild Ginger

and lounge. lunch date with friends or a family gatherWhether diners are looking for a specific ing, the “Brew Pub” is a place for everyone. menu, Young said it’s very hard to divide ofFinalists ferings into specific regions such as Japan, Bernie’s Diner, 19 N. Broadway China or Thailand Bull Mountain Grille, 2376 Main St. Suite 818 “Wild Ginger draws customers for an unmatched Asian-fusion dining experience, lunch or dinner,” Young added. MEXICAN FOOD “These chefs have been doing this for a really, really long time and they really know Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant 17 N. 29th St. their food.” 216 1st St. Ave. S Yes, Young admits she has her menu fa(Laurel) 1403 Main St. vorites, though they may not fit a truly Japa335 1st St. (Havre) 1223 Grand Ave. nese mold. “I love our Thai Basil Chicken. I love our Mexican cuisine offers a sense of sushi and our out-of-control Butterfly Roll,” comfort. It is fi llings, warm, and spicy. Young said. It is a perfect food on cold or warm days. Finalists Authentic Mexican fare is often healthy Umi Japanese Steakhouse, – made from fresh ingredients like to1603 Grand Ave. #105 matoes, avocados, beans, limes, and Asian Sea Grill & Sushi Bar, 1911 King Ave. West lettuce. And that has been the standard of the menu at Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant. Owned and operated by the extended LUNCH family of Juan Nuno Sr., his son Juan Nuno Montana Brewing Co. Jr., and family work tirelessly to create fresh and delicious food for their customers. 113 N. Broadway Juan Nuno Jr., told how his father began working in the Mexican food industry in The popular downtown lunch destina- 1979, using family recipes adapted a bit for tion offers a complete menu for lunch and Montana tastes. Adapted, but always fresh, dinner. With fresh ingredients, certified he added. Angus Beef and cage-free, hormone-free “In the summer of 1989, my sisters and chicken, the food at the “Brew Pub” proves I started this restaurant believing in our again to be the best lunch in Billings. commitment to quality, using extremely From classic favorites like enchilada fresh produce, USDA meats and the best bites, fish ‘n’ chips, burgers, wraps and cooling system,” he said. “We will never wings to new dishes like street tacos, Guin- deviate. There will be no artificial ingrediness meatballs, and cauliflower pizza crust, ents or colors. We use nothing but the best the Montana Brewing Company has it all ingredients, period. We have embraced the – including plant-based and gluten-free quality of our food.” items. The Nuno family employs roughly 75 Montana Brewing Company offers the employees in their Billings locations. Famperfect balance of comfort: good food, good ily and food is important to the business. people and good drinks. Whether it is a “We ask them to care about being their

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Guests come for lunch, dinner and takeout meals. She credits their location near so many downtown businesses for providing an ample customer base with 75 percent of her business being downtown workers, takeout meals get a 25 percent status. “People know us, some for a long, long time. For years it has been the same customers,” she said. “We import ingredients directly from Greece and mix our own spices. These spices are currently available in our restaurants so that you may take them,” she said, adding that the family has additional restaurants in Colorado.

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Providing Restoration & Repair Residential, Commercial & Automotive Upholstery 406-652-2080 • 2808 Grand Avenue Haroldsupholsterybillings.com

B E S T F LO R I S T Thank you, Billings!

We think you’re pretty special, too.


FOOD & DRINK salads. Breakfast is served on Saturday and Sunday only. They open at 11 a.m., and serve beer until 8 p.m.; the restaurant closes at 9 p.m.

RIBS Blue’s BBQ 523 Hilltop Rd.

Finalists Angry Hank’s, 20 N. 30th St. Canyon Creek Brewery, 3060 Gabel Rd.

PIZZA MacKenzie River Pizza Co.

Finalists Don Luis, 15 N. 26th St. Sarah’s, 310 N. 29th St.

MICRO BREWERY Uberbrew 2305 Montana Ave. It all began with a vision, a lot of hard work, dedication, and a humble approach to good food in a unique and popular setting. Jason Shroyer and Mark Hasting, the enterprise’s two founders, began planning the venture in 2010. “We met every Monday morning making our decisions about building and the business, until we opened June 18, 2012,” Shroyer said. Ken Schlencker and Jay Strever joined them later as fellow co-owners, and Hastings continues as head brewer using his previous experience working for two other Montana breweries. Überbrew’s sleek, brick-lined space serves the house-brewed beers, and a menu of burgers, sausages, appetizers, soups and

405 W. Main St. 3025 Grand Ave. Pizza is the go-to universal food that just about everyone can agree is in their top five favorite foods. So, competition is tough. Still, with two Billings locations, MacKenzie River Pizza Co. takes the win for this year’s Readers’ Choice award for Best Pizza. With starters like their popular and utterly delicious “Lodge Poles,” which are freshly baked breadsticks covered in mozzarella cheese and topped with olive oil and garlic to the “Willow Creek,” an incredible turkey sandwich with avocado, tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella baked in the bread, the menu options are vast and delicious. But the pizzas are what brings it home. From traditional pizza straight from Naples like the “Fresh Tomato Basil” to the adventurous and creative “Rueben” (just like it sounds) or the “Sedona,” made with chicken, chipotle sauce, black beans, scallions, corn and topped with green chili sour cream, queso fresco and fresh cilantro – the pizzas can’t be beat, at least not this year. Eat in or take it home, MacKenzie River Pizza Co. creates tasty pizzas – Montana style.

Finalists Bullman’s Pizza,1005 Shiloh Crossing Blvd. Village Inn Pizza, 2048 Grand Ave.

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Thank You for voting us your FavoriTe consignment/resale store!

Finalists Big Guy Barbecue, facebook.com/Bigguybarbecue Famous Dave’s, 2883 King Ave. W. Smoky Bones BBQ, 612 Zebra St.

BEST BBQ & RIBS in Billings

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1502 Rehberg Lane Delicious food, fine wine, and the perfect setting are just some of the reasons why Bistro Enzo won this year’s Reader’s Choice award for best restaurant for a romantic dinner. Unassuming and elegant, Bistro Enzos offers well-prepared meals by three-time James Beard Award nominee, Chef James Honaker. Add in the idealistic atmosphere and incredible service, and you have yourself a match made in dinner-date heaven. Fine dining is about the experience –make memorable moments at Bistro Enzo.

Finalists Jake’s, 2701 1st Ave. N.; 2425 Gable Rd. TEN at the Northern, 19 N. Broadway

thanykou!

Photography

245-2583

1 coupon per customer. Expires 04/30/20.

Bluesbbqbillings.com

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1005 24th St. W., Billings, MT.

ROMANTIC DINNER Bistro Enzo

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best self and focus on their mental health, too. It is all about a family setting, but with a professional ideology and holding ourselves accountable,” Juan Nuno Jr., said.

Kim and Kenny Hager had a roadshow of meat lovers follow them 15 years ago from Sheridan, Wyoming, where their work as restaurateurs began. In 2004, the entrepreneurs found a larger clientele in Billings when they opened Blue’s BBQ in the Heights. Kenny is from Oklahoma and Kim hails from Wyoming. Tastes they were raised with are evident in spices chosen for their custom dry meat rub. Whether ordering a half, full, or mixed rack of ribs, and adding on brisket, the rich, hearty aroma of meats being smoked low and slow over hard woods brings people through the door. Kim said the fresh taste keeps bringing them back, “our meats are lean and always moist.” “For over 20 years we have been using our original recipe with hand-picked meats and the freshest ingredients available. Homemade sides and sauces are made fresh daily,” she added. Blue’s also features family meals, a variety of side dishes, brisket, sandwiches and salads. “We can regularly have an order of 15 racks of ribs for a party,” Kim said, adding that many travelers also take the meat home in a cooler to freeze at home. “The ribs and brisket are usually what we run out of,” she added. In addition to the restaurant’s ample seating, Blue’s offers takeout with a drive-up window and catering.

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FOOD & DRINK Finalists Bistro Enzo, 1502 Rehberg Ln. Red Lobster, 2250 King Ave. W.

3225 Rosebud Dr.

STEAK Rib & Chop House 1849 Majestic Ln.

SEAFOOD The Windmill Restaurant / Bar 51 3429 Transtech Way Long a premier steak and seafood supper club, The Windmill Restaurant / Bar 51 recently made some changes to their décor but that only enhanced how their loyal customers and new visitors can enjoy fresh seafood in the middle of The Treasure State, said General Manager Julie Roma. “Remodeling brought a different look; a casual, rustic side, and the bar now has an open concept that make people feel more casual, more laid-back,” Roma added. With a staff of about 40, the relaxed atmosphere is evident with them as well as the customers. “Every time our repeat customers come in, most of our staff recognizes them as result of our low turnover rate in employees. In the kitchen, we see consistency, as well,” Roma said. In Bar 51, Roma touts their signature cocktails, which change every six months, pair well with seafood, and always use fresh seasonal fruit for garnishing. “They treat their wine selection just as gently,” Roma said, “even allowing the public to sip and determine what’s added to their wine list.”

BILLINGS GAZETTE

2019 READERS’ CHOICE

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Rib & Chop House on Majestic Lane in Billings now carries the distinction of being Reader’s Choice for serving the Best Steak. “We cater to the meat lover with the best steaks available,” said general manager, Crystal Searcy. Rib & Chop House also has Montana restaurants in Livingston, Miles City and Butte. At each location they specialize in having a full bar stocked with Montana local beer and spirits. “We use certified Angus beef, and only the best quality works,” Searcy said. Steaks are cooked on a Montague char broiler after being hand cut in-house and appropriately seasoned. “The seasoning matters. Salt first to seal in the flavor and add pepper next. That creates the best flavor between the char and the meat,” Searcy said. She added that the restaurant regularly orders $14,000 of beef each week. “Area ranchers are keeping Billings fed through us,” Searcy said. Yes, there are plenty of steaks, ribs, chops, seafood and burgers sold at lunch and dinner. Guests also rave about their appetizers and salads as well. When not serving their quality food the restaurant staff is working to support the Billings community, especially the schools and area non-profit organizations.

Finalists

TEN at the Northern, 19 N. Broadway Jake’s, 2701 1st Ave. N. & 2425 Gabel Rd.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR

VOTES!

SUB SANDWICH Pickle Barrel A dedicated following of Billings sandwich lovers have now voted six years running to name the Pickle Barrel as Readers’ Choice for the best sub Sandwich. Even with such dedicated customers, one of the shop’s owners admits it’s more than just a single sandwich that keeps people coming back. “The cheesesteak is really what we’re known for,” said Daniel McComish, one of the restaurant’s owners. Staff at Pickle Barrel will custom make a sandwich by topping it with the preferred meets, cheese, vegetables and condiments. Yet, he said there are so many variables on the menu other than party sandwiches – a combination of everything could lead voters to give the Pickle Barrel the nod for the Reader’s Choice Award. Or, it could be the pickle, or the variety of hearty soups. With everything made-from-scratch and sliced fresh daily, McComish said his customers get exceptional freshness and value, just one way he and his wife and store co-owner, Karen, can thank their customers every day. Plus, everyone gets the pickle with their sandwich.

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Fancy Sushi Asian Fusion, 1313 Grand Ave. #3 Wild Ginger, 2713 Montana Ave.

THAI FOOD Siam Thai 3210 Henesta Dr.

Chalet Market, 327 N. 24th St. W. Jimmy John’s, 805 N. 24th St. W.; 122 N. Broadway & 4011 Montana Sapphire Dr. #1

Growing up as farm girl in her home country of Thailand, Phawee Williams began her career in the food industry working in a hotel restaurant, where she learned SUSHI the tricks of the trade. Subsequently, she opened her own eatery in Thailand. NaRa Restaurant After traveling across West Asia and East 3 Custer Ave. Africa with her husband, Ray, for 18 years, the couple settled in the U.S. In 2001, PhawDae Shin grew up in NaRa Restaurant. ee returned to the restaurant business and Alongside his parents and extended fam- opened Siam Thai.

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Finalists

Best KaraoKe Venue Celebrating ating our 40th Anniv Anniversary! We’re happy to serve you! www.billingspar3.com

ily, Shin has been a part of the sushi, Korean and Japanese restaurant since it opened in 1996. Shin and his wife, Tanya, now own NaRa and have made changes to the menu as the Billings palate has evolved. The reimagined fusion restaurant NaRa finds itself winning Reader’s Choice, again. “We incorporate a lot of flavors. It’s not just about the taste of fish. There are many sauces, seasonings and combinations,” Dae Shin said. Fusing flavors, like Mexican spice, allows customers to ease into their sushi experience and go outside of the box. The Shins value their customers. “To even call them just customers isn’t right. We know them, their lives, and they know us. It is a homey place here. Our customers are like family,” Tanya Shin said. NaRa is about quality, healthy food. It is a higher-end Asian cuisine. From entrees and sushi to specialty rolls and desserts, Dae Shin and his staff at NaRa provide the total taste experience.

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to get your votes! thank you! We will continue to strive to bring beautiful & bountiful to your homes! Come see us at our new location:

2147 Poly Dr.

Your neighborhood garden and coffee shop


Finalists

Cham Thai, 2916 1st Ave. N. LemonGrass, 2695 King Ave. W. Suite E

WINGS Buffalo Wild Wings 411 S. 24th St. W. Again this year, the Readers’ Choice h onor for best wings goes to the West End establishment that has the word, “wings” in its name, Buffalo Wild Wings. The words that perhaps make all the difference to customers don’t appear in the establishment’s name, but in their unforgettable tastes. Those key words are “Rub” and “Sauce,” said local owner Anthony Born. He enthusiastically explains, “People love our sauces, and we now have many new ones, one for every taste.” Whether being use to enhance the relaxed, casual

restaurant’s chicken wraps, chicken wings or even port ribs, Buffalo Wild Wings will have a taste fit for every customer. Born said the number of sauces now sits at about 18, while they have five key rubs. Born specifically mentions “Nashville Hot,” perhaps because it has become a new in-store favorite flavor. Sports fans and their families continue to flock into Buffalo Wild Wings, where they enjoy the stadium atmosphere, which is also carried through their threeseason patio by adding that features garage doors around their existing outdoor seating space. Wherever patrons sit, they can enjoy the most popular offerings, like fried pickles, chili queso dip and their house sampler. For meals, the Cheese Curd Bacon Burger and Buffalo Bleu Burger remain top options. Their menu also reflects options for guests of all ages, and for those of legal drinking age, their bar has 30 beers on tap, with a few Montana microbrews always on their list.

Finalists

Grandstand Sports Bar & Casino, 905 Grand Ave. Tiny’s Tavern, 323 N. 24th St.

NAPA Auto Care Center

Finalists Fireside Lanes, 1431 Industrial Ave. Town & Country Lanes, 6126 Hwy 312

It’s easy to see why customers flock to Sunset Bowl to celebrate one of America’s favorite pastimes – bowling. Open for business in 1955, Sunset Bowl offers 24 full service lanes (and bumpers for the kids), full-service pro shop, birthday parties, snack bar, lounge with a full liquor license, banquet room in the lower level and arcade games. For those looking to mix things up a bit, Sunset Lanes offers disco bowling on Friday and Saturday nights. “We get seniors, kids, families, Special Olympics bowlers, league players and everyone in between,” said long-time manager Jeanne Moses. League play for juniors, men, women, and mixed is also offered.

• Overhead Flat Screens • Banquet room downstairs seats up to 150 people

CATS OR GRIZ? Montana State University Bobcats Devoted fans of Montana State University and the University of Montana showed their undying support for their favorite school. When the votes were finally tallied, the 2019 Readers’ Choice winner for favorite university is… The Montana State University Bobcats. (Griz fans – just remember second place is kind of good, right?)

“Thank you so much for your vote of confidence!” “Congratulations to all award winners!” Readers’ Choice Winner Best Mortgage Loan Officer

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• Leagues • Bumper Bowling • Disco Bowling • Bowling Parties

“We’ve also enhanced the bowling experience with new state-of-the-art 42” overhead flat screens,” Moses said.

BOWLING CENTER Sunset Bowl

Thank You for Voting Us Billings’ Best Bowling Center Seven Years in a Row

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2071 Rosebud Dr. • Billings • 406.248.4023 • East of Job Service

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From egg rolls and calamari to pad thai and drunken noodles, the incredible menu, taste and service reveals why Siam Thai was voted the 2019 Readers’ Choice award winner for Best Thai Food.

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3127 Central Avenue Suite 4 Billings, MT 59102 O: 406.237.0104 | M: 406.208.4404 | F: 460.237.0100 www.guildmortgage.com/dedestoner dstoner@guildmortgage.net

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ENTERTAINMENT KARAOKE The Red Door Lounge 3875 Grand Ave.

905 Grand Ave.

Finalists Rendezvous Casino & Burger Grill, 2300 King Ave. W. The Warden’s Casino, 1414 4th Ave. N.

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HeigHts 405 Main Street. • (406) 254-0066

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As one of your favorites! 102 N. 29th St. · 256-3567

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Grandstand Sports Bar & Casino aims to provide a fun afternoon of eating, drinking, gambling in one casual location where more than a dozen sports events are can be seen simultaneously with people you will eventually know by name. “There are lots of casinos in town but our customer service is what we pride ourselves on. We have a really good selection of employees here. And, good employees bring in good people as customers. We get to know people on a personal basis,” said Grandstand manager Jevon Lorenz. An employee for 14 years, Lorenz said, “Customers want to watch football here. They want to gamble here. We see a lot of Sea Hawks, Broncos and Viking fans here because those teams are close by. But on game day, it comes down to letting fans watch the most popular teams.” And, when the University of Montana Grizzlies play the Montana State University Bobcats, Lorenz knows everybody has a favorite. Food and drink specials and game day prizes are features. “It’s an all-day affair.” Their Tuesday Night Bingo remains highly popular with all ages he said. “It’s loud with playing loud music, yet you still hear the caller. We just have fun.” Wednesday night follows with a trivia contest.

The Pub Station taproom and concert hall, located in downtown Billings, is one of eastern Montana’s premier promoters of live entertainment. Along with booking diverse and live entertainment year around, Sean Lynch and Ann Kosempa’s venue is an increasingly popular rental option for civic events, weddings, holiday parties and more. The Pub Station Taproom features 32 draft handles, and a large selection of canned beers, ciders, wine, and malt beverages.

LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Pub Station

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Sure, The Red Door Lounge is a great place to sing and dance, but it also has a bar, restaurant, casino, live poker, and a private banquet room. “Catering is also a great option, too,” said Aaron Swain, who owns the establishment with his father, Dave Swain. This has been a family endeavor of players for more than 40 years. “We try to be the absolute best, which works well with our karaoke host, Tommy J. His team of assistants provides nonstop energy, but not just in the karaoke area and on the dance floor. The karaoke brings the people in, they have a drink, can sing, play some poker, and hopefully hire us to cater their wedding,” Swain said. “Tommy J is also able to schedule his crew to play the music at that same wedding,” Swain added. “We have an upbeat atmosphere with fun songs playings where the crowd can sing along. Dancing is great on our roughly 200 square-foot dance floor,” Swain said. In 2001, the Swain’s boosted the schedule of excitement from one night a week to six.

Bold & 20% off BEautiful any highlight or saloN full Set Lashes 406.656.4247 3189 King Ave West #3 Billings, Mt

*offer valid through nov. 15, 2019

Thank You for voting us Best Children’s Photo Studio


There is only ONE Elevated. We are here to stay! Thank You Billings For Voting Us Your 2018 Medical Cannabis Provider. We at Elevated have a true passion to bring safe, reliable, high quality relief to as many Montanans as we can. Now with 6 Montana locations Great Falls Helena Butte Bozeman

Lockwood Billings West

Fully Licensed • 406-601-1166 • www.elevatedmt.com

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We don’t campaign for your Readers Choice vote, so we’re always happily surprised when we win.

It must be the ice cream! We’ve been giving our customers free ice cream in the summer for many years, and we know they like it because they talk about it so much. But we know there are other things our customers like also… • They like to be treated with respect and dignity. We say we are “Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen” and we want every customer, when they leave our store, to leave feeling they had been treated honestly and honorably. • They like us to have their favorite brand of motor oil. That is why you see 125 different oils available in each of our stores. Oil companies don’t like that, but we explained that we don’t work for oil companies; we work for our customers. • They do not like us to “hawk” things on them. Throughout the history of the lube center industry the biggest complaint that people have had is the tendency of companies – usually in big cities – to try to sell them extra services that they often don’t even need. We don’t do that. We recommend, we remind, we offer, but we never sell. We judge our success by how soon you come back, not by how much you buy. Providing our customers what they want does not happen by accident. We work hard at it, and we train hard also. We take this award as a sign that we are doing a pretty good job! E

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Profile for Billings Gazette

Readers' Choice 2019  

Readers' Choice 2019