People's Choice 2018

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AGAIN & AGAIN! Thank you for voting us your favorite BEST LOCAL CASINO for the eleventh time! Being voted #1 means only one thing ... that our players are winning too!



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The Contest The Fresno Bee’s People’s Choice Awards have become a part of Fresno’s culture. Every spring, the best of the best is celebrated. Our annual winners list, in many cases, isn’t a surprise. There are businesses that are consistently listed here, places that are Valley favorites, that they couldn’t help but be named winners. In other cases, long-established industry greats are joined by newcomers, businesses that are new to the Valley, but have quickly earned a place of honor. Join us as we celebrate both. You voted for your favorite places to shop, to play and to get things done and the winners have one thing in common. They’re the people and places that offer top-quality products and customer service, the stuff that keeps us coming back for more. This year, be on the lookout for some new categories being celebrated. The Central Valley is growing and changing, which means there’s more to celebrate. Enjoy! This special section was written and produced by the Custom Publications Department of The Fresno Bee. Custom Publications Editor Carey M. Norton Assistant Editor Monica Stevens Community Publications Production Coordinator Anna Ramseier Writers Carey Norton, Monica Stevens and Janessa Tyler, with additional writing by Carole Grosch and Doug Hoagland Photography Wayne Hutchison, Gary Kazanjian Cover Juan Vega

Food and Drink

Arts and Entertainment

Art Gallery ................................6 Central Coast Destination ......6 Golf Course ..............................6 Local Casino .............................6 Museum ....................................8 Nightclub ................................10 Performing Arts Venue/ Theater .......................................10 Sports Bar ...............................10 Water Park ..............................11 Winery ....................................11

Bagels or Bread .....................12 Bakery ....................................12 Barbecue Restaurant ............13 Breakfast Place ......................13 Buffet ......................................14 Caterer ....................................14 Chinese Restaurant ...............16 Coffee House ........................ 16 Cupcake Shop ........................16 Delicatessen ...........................17 Desserts ..................................17 Family Restaurant .................18 Fine Dining ............................18 Food Truck .............................18 Hamburgers ...........................20 Hot Dogs ................................20 Ice Cream ...............................21 Indian Restaurant ..................22 Italian Restaurant ..................22 Japanese Restaurant .............23 Mediterranean Restaurant ...23 Mexican Restaurant ..............24 Microbrewery ........................24 Patio/Outdoor Dining ..........25 Pizza ........................................25 Sandwich Shop ......................25 Seafood ...................................26 Steakhouse .............................26 Sunday Brunch ......................26 Sushi .......................................27 Tea House ..............................27 Thai Restaurant .....................27 Wedding Cake .......................27


Health and Fitness

Athletic Club ..................................................28 Chiropractor ..................................................28 Diet Headquarters ........................................29 Eye Doctor/Group ........................................30 Hospital ...........................................................30 Martial Arts Center ........................................30 Women’s Fitness Center ...............................30 Yoga Studio ....................................................31

Local People and Places

Company to Work For ..................................31 Family Fun .....................................................31 Local Festival/Event ......................................32 Local Radio Personality/Team ....................32 Sportscaster ...................................................33 Television Anchor .........................................33 Weathercaster ................................................33


Air Conditioning/Heating Repair ...............33 Alterations ......................................................34 Animal Boarding ...........................................34 Auto Service Center ......................................34 Bank ................................................................34 Car Wash .........................................................34 Closet and Garage Storage Organizers ......35 College or University ....................................36 Cosmetic/Medical Spa ..................................37 Credit Union ..................................................37 Day Spa ...........................................................38 Dry Cleaners ..................................................38 Employment Agency ....................................38 Hair Salon .......................................................38 Home Theater/Technology Company .......40 Home Window Replacement ......................40 House Cleaning Service ...............................40 Licensed Day Care Center ............................42 Mortgage Company ......................................42 Nail Salon .......................................................42 New Home Builder .......................................42 Oil Change Center ........................................42

Pet Groomer ..................................................43 Photo Processing ..........................................43 Photography ..................................................44 Pool Builder ...................................................44 Real Estate Company ....................................46 Retirement Community ................................46 Solar Company ..............................................46 Tanning Salon ................................................46 Trade/Technical School ...............................48 Travel Agency ................................................48 Tree Service ...................................................50 Tutorial Center ..............................................50 Veterinarian/Animal Clinic ..........................52


Bicycle Store ..................................................53 Boutique .........................................................53 Children’s Clothing .......................................53 Consignment Store .......................................54 Domestic Auto Dealer ..................................54 Electronics Store ...........................................55 Flooring Store ................................................56 Flower Shop .................................................. 56 Furniture Store ..............................................56 Grocery Store .................................................58 Home Improvement Store ...........................58 Import Auto Dealer ......................................58 Jewelry Store ..................................................59 Local Hardware Store ...................................59 Luxury Auto Dealer ......................................60 Mattress Store ................................................62 Meat Market ...................................................62 Men’s Clothing ...............................................62 Motorcycle/ATV Dealer ................................62 Musical Merchandise ....................................62


Party Supply Store ........................................64 Pet Store .........................................................64 Photo Supply Store .......................................64 Plant and Garden Store ................................66 RV Dealer .......................................................67 Shopping Center ...........................................67 Spa Dealer ......................................................67 Specialty Gift Store .......................................68 Sporting Goods Store ...................................68 Tire Dealer .....................................................69 Used Car Dealer ............................................69 Watercraft Dealer ..........................................70 Wedding and Formal Attire .........................70 Wine Selection ...............................................70 Women’s Clothing .........................................70

Hidden Gems The Crest Theatre ..........................................12 The Curry Pizza Company ...........................24 Kogetzu-Do ....................................................28 Top Dog Pet Wash .........................................37 The Urban Umbrella .....................................57


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Arts and Entertainment

People’s Choice winter, a toddler pool and a spa. The Copper River Country Club’s Kid’s Centre gives children a safe and fun place to play and relax while their parents play golf, tennis, use the Fitness Centre or enjoy lunch or dinner in the Restaurant. The Restaurant at Copper River presents a new menu every week. Led by Chef Adam Meier, a California Culinary Academy graduate, the catering team also creates wonderful banquets and catering for private events at Copper River Country Club. The Restaurant at Copper River is open to the public. The Copper River Country Club’s Alicante Park and vineyards, along with the terrace, are some of the most popular outdoor wedding venues in Fresno.

Art Gallery


Arte Américas 1630 Van Ness Ave. (559) 266-2623

Arte Américas is more than an art gallery. The mission is simple, but large in scope: to make Central California a flourishing place for Latino arts. A quick look shows Arte Américas, with more than 25 years under its belt, is well on its way to reaching that goal. Arte Américas is the Central Valley’s largest nonprofit Latino cultural center. It has more than 10,000 square feet of gallery, performance, meeting and classroom space. Arte Américas, which is recognized as one of the key stakeholders working to redefine downtown Fresno, hosts Friday night concerts from May to September from La Plazita at the corner of Van Ness and Calaveras avenues. In late January, Arte Américas hosted a gallery preview of the exhibit, “Kindred.” The preview featured wine tasting and also a dance party to celebrate the opening of the exhibit of narrative-rich works created by artists from throughout California.

2. M Street Arts Complex 1419 M St. (559) 438-8200

3. Fig Tree Gallery 644 Van Ness Ave. (559) 485-0460

Central Coast Destination


Pismo Beach Pismo Beach. Just those two words make a lot of Central Valley residents want to hop in the car and start to drive. There’s a beach out there. And, because Pismo Beach’s miles of sandy shores and unending entertainment options include some of the best restaurants, clam chowder and scenery the state has to offer, there’s no need to ask us twice. Our first stop will be the Monarch Butterfly Grove. Or Dinosaur Caves Park.

CENTRAL COAST DESTINATION: Pismo Beach, with miles of sandy shores and a promenade area filled with restaurants and gift shops, is a Valley favorite. Or the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. Or the downtown area itself. Pismo Beach boasts a 60-acre regional beach, pier and promenade. Public restrooms, showers, volleyball courts, children’s play equipment, benches, drinking fountains and many ocean recreation opportunities are available. A parking lot is located adjacent to the Pismo Pier and at the end of Addie Street. A variety of birds can be observed by walking along Addie Street, where Pismo Creek merges into the ocean. The Pismo Pier rehabilitation began on March 15, 2017. The project involves the temporary relocation of the bait shack and the information kiosk onto the promenade area, while a contractor performs the necessary structural rehabilitation work. Additional improvements include a new electrical system, water line for fire protection, upgraded lighting, benches, tables and other public amenities. There will be areas for public art and information boards for learning spaces describing the history of the pier, the surrounding area and the marine environment. Upon completion, the Pismo Pier will have the look and feel of “Classic California” with traditional wooden decking and outdoor recreational space. As a public safety precaution, public access to the Pismo Pier will be closed intermittently during the reconstruction process. The project should be completed by spring 2019.

2. Cambria

3. Morro Bay

Golf Course


Copper River Country Club 2140 E. Clubhouse Drive (559) 434-5200

From the moment you turn down the palm tree-lined drive and see the stunning early California-inspired clubhouse, you’re surrounded by the tranquility only Copper River Country Club can offer. Nestled against the base of the Sierra Nevada mountain range on the north end of Fresno, the country club is within easy driving distance of the city, but far enough away from everyday to offer visitors a chance to slow down, relax and take in the natural beauty. The Copper River Country Club’s main attraction is, obviously, golf. An 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course was designed by the renowned golf course architect David W. Pfaff. But, if you think that’s all Copper River Country Club has to offer, you would be mistaken. An award-winning tennis facility includes a member lounge, 15 lighted tennis courts and two clay courts. A fitness center provides members with a complete gym experience including Life Fitness, Cybex and Schwinn Carbon Blue equipment, along with group exercise classes from HIIT to Cardio Jam. The aerobic studio features a suspended wood floor and state-of-the-art sound system. The Swim Pavilion includes a 25-meter outdoor swimming pool with lap lanes, which is heated throughout the fall and

2. Fort Washington Golf and Country Club 10272 N. Millbrook Ave. (559) 434-1702

3. Eagle Springs Golf and Country Club 21722 Fairway Oaks Lane, Friant (559) 325-8900

Local Casino


Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino 711 Lucky Lane, Coarsegold (866) 794-6946

With an incredible 56,000-square-foot gaming floor, nearly 1,800 slot machines, and 36 table games, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is the most exciting gaming destination in California. Gaming enthusiasts travel from miles around to play at the only casino located at the doorstep of Yosemite National Park. There are exciting slot tournaments to join throughout the month. Chukchansi has the ideal combination of popular progressives to single and multi-line video poker, a variety of favorite reel and video reel slots such as “The Simpsons,” “King Kong,” “Dancing Drums” and “My Cousin Vinny.” Chukchansi offers many themed progressive slots, to include the nationally famous “Wheel of Fortune” and “Wizard of Oz” and other favorites such as “88 Fortunes,” “Fa$t Ca$h,” “The Walking Dead II,” “World of Wonka” and many others.

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8 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Arts and Entertainment

People’s Choice

LOCAL CASINO: Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is home to incredible gaming action, top-name entertainment and delicioius food.

With 36 tables, Chukchansi’s games lead the state in thrills per minute. Gamers gather at Chukchansi because it offers the airy, open atmosphere of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the gaming flavor of Las Vegas. With a wide variety of Vegas-style table games, there’s something for everyone’s taste: Spanish 21, Black Jack, Mississippi Stud, Asian Pit, Crazy 4 Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mini/Midi Baccarat and more. The Chukchansi Rewards Club is more powerful than ever. Use a Rewards Card and earn points while you play. Guests can spend points for eCASH, food, hotel and spa services. Every 200 points earned equals $1, compared to 400 points per dollar at other local casinos. Chukchansi also offers top-name entertainment, luxury spa services and delicious food.

2. Table Mountain Casino 8184 Table Mountain Road, Friant (559) 822-7777

3. Tachi Palace 17225 Jersey Ave., Lemoore (866) 4PALACE



Fresno Art Museum 2233 N. First St. (559) 441-4221

Since the late 1940s, the Fresno area’s art enthusiasts have had a place to call home. It was then that a group of local

artists formed the Fresno Art League to provide a place to exhibit and critique each other’s work. In 1973, the Arts Center, housed at Radio Park in Central Fresno, was granted accreditation by the American Association of Museums. In 1985, it changed its name to the Fresno Arts Center and Museum. In 1988, the name changed again, to Fresno Art Museum. No matter what you call it, Fresno’s longstanding art museum welcomes, inspires and educates a diverse regional audience through exhibitions, programs and meaningful interactions with artists and the creative process. The museum’s permanent collection of more than 3,600 works protects and preserves the modern and contemporary artworks — painting, sculpture, prints, photographs and other media — from the 20th and 21st centuries, pre-Columbian works from Mesoamerica and the Andes, and modern and folk art of Mexican origin. It includes works by Ansel Adams, Ruth Asawa, Salvador Dali, Maynard Dixon, Patty Handley, August Madrigal, Robin Gay McCline, Robert Ogata, Pablo Picasso, Rolland Pickford, Clement Renzi, Diego Rivera, Norman Rockwell, Varaz Samuelian, Anne Schied, Andy Warhol and Nancy Youdelman. While the museum is best known for showing modern and contemporary art, exhibitions that reflect the visual arts traditions of the ethnic groups that contribute to the rich diversity of the San Joaquin Valley have also been part of the exhibition schedule from the early years. Cultural and issue-related exhibitions in a variety of media have been given prominence in recent years, as have solo exhibitions for local artists of merit, curated in-house by museum staff. At the museum through Sunday, June 10 is David Tomb: Rockfowl and Other Wonders. The exhibition from Bay Area artist David Tomb features his life-long interest

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Arts and Entertainment

People’s Choice

Performing Arts Venue/Theater


The Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts 815 E. Olive Ave. (559) 485-9050

PERFORMING ARTS VENUE/THEATER: The Tower Theatre is a Fresno icon. Its neon clearly marks itself as the heartbeat of the Tower District, and of Fresno itself. in birds. The images are created in huge scale and are collage and mixed-media works on paper installations. Tomb says of his work, “Making artwork of birds is a way to connect and personalize my experience of seeing birds. The ultimate goal is to have people think: That animal is incredible ... we need to save them!” The curator of the exhibit is Michele Ellis Pracy, the executive director and chief curator of FAM. Also, watch for Marcos Dorado: Immigrant Me. The exhibition features Fresno-based artist Marcos Dorado and includes 20 to 25 recent portraits of immigrants with short biographies.

2. Forestiere Underground Gardens 5021 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 271-0734

3. The Discovery Center 1944 N. Winery Ave. (559) 251-5533



Fulton 55 875 Divisadero St. (559) 412-7400

Tony Martin, the general manager of Fulton 55, follows a simple philosophy in booking acts for the nightclub. “A variety of genres is the key,” he says. Artists at three recent shows illustrate the point. Elis Paprika, an independent singer-songwriter from Guadalajara, Mexico, is active in Mexico’s rock scene. Junkyard, a teaming of two punk rock veterans, is “a band with a sound like Godzilla in a foul mood tanked up on cheap wine,” according to the website. Another show featured “hip hop royalty” Money-B and Young Hump of Digital Underground. Martin explains the popularity of Fulton 55: “We’d like to think we offer world-class entertainment at affordable prices in a clean, safe environment.” Fulton 55 also handles special events, such as private parties, corporate events, holiday celebrations and more. “Our two-story building can accommodate a large crowd and we have two fully stocked bars to serve guests,” the website says.

2. The Standard Restaurant and Lounge 9455 Fort Washington Road (559) 434-3638

3. Strummer’s 833 E. Fern Ave. (559) 485-5356

The Tower Theatre opened in 1939 as a 20th Century Fox Movie House. Since then, countless performers have graced the stage. And now, in its 79th year, The Fresno Bee readers have recognized it as the People’s Choice winner for Best Performing Arts Venue/Theater. The Tower Theatre is, simply, an icon. “When you get a Fresno map, we’re on the cover,” says Janna Christensen, the marketing and communications manager. “It’s a beautiful building and it’s really special. We get stories of a lot of firsts here — people who came here to see movies for a quarter, people who had their first kiss here or got engaged here. There are so many sentimental stories. We now are in the fourth generation of people who are attending events in the Tower.” The dramatic architecture, art-deco design and its 80-foot-tall neon tower give the theater a presence that’s undeniable, but what’s going on inside the theater is worthy of note. Christensen says the mission of the theater is to keep performing arts relevant. “We tap into all different types of genres of performing arts,” Christensen says. A lineup of upcoming shows demonstrates that: March 24, Pro-Boxing Fight Night; March 30, a tribute to Roy Orbison; March 31, the Bobby Bones Red Hoodie Comedy Tour. On the agenda, the theater will host singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot and smooth-jazz and R&B pianist Brian Culbertson. “We are in our 79th year and we are proud of that fact. And we are proud of the fact the community has supported us all these years,” Christensen says. The Tower Theatre for the Performing Arts is also available for private parties. Christensen says the theater has been used for corporate events, weddings and graduation parties. “The marquee makes it really fun. You can announce to Fresno what you’re celebrating. Some people propose that way, too.”

2. Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater 1226 N. Wishon Ave. (559) 266-9494

3. Saroyan Theatre 730 M St. (559) 445-8100

Sports Bar


Dog House Grill 2789 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 294-9920 Dog House Grill has hit on a winning combination to become the go-to place for sports fans. It starts with TVs — lots of big screens. The restaurant/bar features 10 70-inch TVs and four 120-inch projector screens to help guests catch every detail of every big game. Then comes the Bulldog factor — Dog House Grill’s association and relationship with Fresno State athletics. It’s where the faithful flock to watch the Bulldogs on the big screen. And when home games rock Bulldog Stadium or the Save Mart Center, it’s a popular stop before and after the action on the field or court. Guests can find a nice selection of beers. The menu lists 805, Union Jack, DBA, Luponic Distortion, Modelo, Blue Moon and Guinness. “Decisions on brands are based off of volume and consumption of our guests,” says general manager Matt Billingsley. The brands’ popularity varies with the time of year. Guests favor lighter beers during the summer and IPAs and stouts in winter. Dog House Grill is also well-known for the delicious food, and the famous tri-tip sandwich is a crowd favorite. Two of several burger choices are the Monster Burger (double patties with cheddar and jack cheese) and the spicy Hal-a-Peño Burger (featuring bacon, jalapeños and jack cheese). For sheer fun, there’s The Pig Sandwich — shredded pork with barbecue sauce on a French roll. A variety of salads and sides (fries, onion rings, etc.) are also available. If anyone needs confirmation about the draw of Dog House Grill, take a look at the parking lot. It’s often packed, but a great atmosphere awaits inside.


Arts and Entertainment 2. Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. 3085 E. Campus Pointe Drive (559) 325-3825 765 W. Herndon Ave., Suite 200, Clovis (559) 298-3825

3. Sequoia Brewing Company Multiple locations

Water Park


Island Waterpark 6099 W. Barstow Ave. (559) 277-6800

The Island Waterpark will celebrate its 20th anniversary this summer with special events, new attractions and another milestone worthy of a big splash: visitor No. 3 million to the water park. Sometime this summer, that visitor will walk through the turnstiles and receive a prize package. The 2018 season is scheduled to open on Saturday, May 26. The 20th anniversary Birthday Bash is on Wednesday, July 20 and will feature fireworks, live entertainment, food and drink specials and discount pricing. And speaking of fireworks, the water park plans to add four Saturday nights of fireworks this summer. “Our guests have been begging us for more fireworks,” says general manager Bob Martin. Guests have even more to anticipate at the water park during the 2018 season. Friday nights in July will have extended hours featuring rides under the lights until 10 p.m. Furthermore, the water park will debut the Waikiki Willies Lounge for parents. It will have shaded patio seating with ceiling fans, flat-screen TVs showing sporting events, waiter service and a menu complete with pupu (appetizers). In addition, the water park is adding a state-of-the-art sound system with an in-the-park radio station called Splash Radio. The water park is also adding 20 more cabanas with additional servers. The Beachfront Bungalow will feature premium furniture, ceiling fans, a flatscreen TV with Dish TV, and power and ports for phones and devices. When it comes to rides and attractions, the 42-acre Island is loaded with options. Families with small children enjoy the most recent addition, ’Ohana Bay, a million-dollar play structure.



People’s Choice

Martin says families love the Tsunami raft ride — the tallest tower visible from Highway 99. Teens enjoy the Nature’s Furies and Hawaiian Adventures tube and body slides. And everyone has a good time on the Waimea Lazy River — ideal for relaxation while floating and listening to music. The water park usually closes after Labor Day, but plans to add an extra weekend to the 2018 season.

2. Wild Water Adventures 11413 E. Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 299-9453

3. Blackbeard’s Family Entertainment Center 4055 N. Chestnut Diagonal (559) 292-9000



Fresno State Winery 2360 E. Barstow Ave. (559) 278-4867

Last year, Fresno State celebrated its 20th anniversary of becoming the first commercial bonded winery for a university in the country. It’s the first university in the nation with a license to operate a winery as part of the overall educational program. The winery received its license in 1997 and the first commercial wine that was bottled and sold was a white table wine named for professor emeritus, Dr. Vincent Petrucci. All net proceeds from the winery benefit the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the Department of Viticulture and Enology. The Fresno State Winery and its student winemakers have achieved continuous recognition for producing quality wines by winning more than 600 awards, including gold medals from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines in the world. Wines are produced by students with the guidance and supervision from the faculty. Fresno State’s prestigious program is known for engaging students in all aspects of the winemaking process. The process begins with student participation in vineyard practices to ensure the grapes are of the highest quality. Grapes are harvested and brought to the winery from Fresno State’s own vineyards as well as from local vineyards

throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Throughout fermentation and cellaring, wines are managed by student winemakers and, at the appropriate time, blended and bottled. Featured wines include Petrucci’s Crush, a Bordeaux-style blend that balances firm structure, dark fruit and a luxuriant finish, and the 2016 SJ Chardonnay, which features tiers of rich apple, pear, melon and spice flavors. Wines are available at Gibson Farm Market, which carries every wine created by the winery, as well as Trader Joe’s, Save Mart, Vons, Whole Foods and The Meat Market.

2. Engelmann Cellars 3275 N. Rolinda Ave. (559) 274-9463

3. Moravia Wines 3620 N. Bishop Ave. (559) 843-2140

WINERY: The Fresno State Winery is home to local, award-winning wine made by Fresno State students.



We consistently bring exciting and renowned music artists, comedians, alternative movies, special events, and world-class entertainment to Fresno’s Historic Tower District.

815 E. Olive Avenue • Fresno, CA 93728 | (559) 485-9050

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Arts and Entertainment

People’s Choice

Bagels or Bread

The Crest Theatre 1170 Broadway Plaza (559) 268-0044


Uncle Harry’s New York Bagelry and Coffeehouse Multiple locations

Imagine watching Marlon Brando in “The Godfather” on the big screen at The Crest Theatre. The downtown movie palace has started one-night showings of some of America’s most iconic films. Other magical screen moments at The Crest Theatre: Patrick Swayze doing his dirty dance, Audrey Hepburn having breakfast at Tiffany’s and Gene Kelly singing in the rain. “Watching a film at the Crest is not like watching another movie,” says manager Dee Ann Hull. “People are transported back in time to another era. It’s a whole experience for them.” The Friends of the Crest Theatre, a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to raising money for renovations, have joined theater management to present the films. Most showings are on Fridays, and they’re scheduled to continue through 2018, Hull says. The amenities and the price of admission are hard to beat. The theater has a 43-foot-wide screen, 587 stadium seats and an upgraded sound system (Dolby Digital Surround sound). Tickets cost $5, and one movie a month is free. For some people, going to The Crest Theatre conjures up memories. “People often tell us how they came to the Crest as children or young adults, and how they met their husband or wife there,” Hull

says. For others, it’s a chance to see films as originally intended — on the big screen. “When people walk in, they’re in awe,” Hull says. “There aren’t many theaters like the Crest.” The idea to show classic films there first surfaced several years ago. But The Crest Theatre also is available for concerts, comedy shows, birthday parties and private events. So management put the idea on hold, but it gained new momentum last fall with the reopening of Fulton Street and other efforts to revitalize downtown. The Crest Theatre celebrated Halloween by showing several scary movies, and then the theater launched the current series. Films shown earlier this year included “It Happened One Night,” “Dirty Dancing,” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Death Wish,” “The Quiet Man,” “Darby O’Gill and the Little People,” and “Miracle of Marcelino” (Spanish with English subtitles). “The Godfather” is scheduled for March 23 and “Singin’ in the Rain” for March 30.

When you walk into Uncle Harry’s New York Bagelry and Coffeehouse, you’re more than a customer — you’re family. Since opening in 1995, the bagelry runs as a mom-and-pop shop — focusing on using fresh, high-quality ingredients. In fact, the bagelry has become a mainstay in the Fresno area. When the location in Fig Garden Village closed after 18 years in 2017, customers were shocked and dismayed by the news. The bagelry has built a reputation on serving cream cheese schmears and bagels of various flavors, as well as a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, caramel apple cider, hot chocolate and Italian soda. The Beggelwich — a popular item on the menu — has scrambled eggs, American cheese and your choice of meat (sausage, bacon, ham or Canadian bacon) stuffed within two halves of a bagel. The Ultimate is a favorite option of the Beggelwich. It has scrambled eggs, American cheese, hash browns, bacon and sausage. The Traditional Lox Sandwich has slices of Nova lox, cream cheese, red onions and tomatoes on a bagel. The selection of bagels includes cinnamon raisin, sun-dried tomato, banana nut, chocolate-chocolate chip, cranberry orange and gingerbread. Cream cheese schmears like Lite Supreme Spinach and Lite Sundried Tomato Basil are packed with flavor.

2. La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe 730 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-0555

3. Fresno Bagel Co. 7739 N. First St. (559) 436-8132



HIDDEN GEM: The Crest Theater, at 1170 Broadway St. in downtown Fresno, shows classic movies.

La Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe 730 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-0555

BEST BAKERY: Aly Maltos with La

Boulangerie French Bakery & Cafe displays a Nicois cake, a white cake filled with Bavarian cream and seasonal fruit.

You don’t need to travel to France to taste the delight of French cuisine. The answer to your prayers is La Boulangerie, also known as “La Bou.” Founded by Patrick Bourrel in 1980, La Boulangerie has been located in Fig Garden Village since 1985. In 2017, Bourrel sold the bakery to a group of partners, including Dali Rakkar. Influenced by French cuisine, the menu incorporates fresh, high-quality ingredients from local businesses like Robb Ross Foods, 1st Quality Produce, Lanna Coffee Company, Challenge Dairy Products and Focus Packaging and Supply Company. Croissants, baguettes and loaves of bread are baked throughout the day, Rakkar says. The bakery makes a variety of sweets including cakes, cookies, French macarons, tarts and muffins, Parker House rolls, breadsticks, strawberry shortcake, cheesecake and Portuguese bread. It also serves hot, cold and grilled sandwiches and espresso drinks. Recently, Rakkar says La Boulangerie added cupcakes, customized cakes and wedding cakes to the menu. To learn about seasonal specials, follow La Boulangerie on Instagram and Facebook.


Food and Drink

Breakfast Place


Batter Up Pancakes 8029 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 440-1221

BARBECUE: If you’re hungry for high-quality meat, try a full rack of baby back ribs from Westwood’s BBQ & Spice Co.

3. Nothing Bundt Cakes 635 W. Herndon Ave., Suite 100, Clovis (559) 298-7698

Barbecue Restaurant


Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co. 8042 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 449-9227

In December 2013, Dave Fansler of Fansler Restaurant Group opened Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co. on the corner of Nees and Blackstone avenues by River Park Shopping Center. But before opening the barbecue restaurant, Fansler and his team studied the various styles of barbecue throughout the United States. The menu is the result of their research. It serves high-quality meat from Nebraska and areas surrounding the Midwest, Fansler says. The menu isn’t complete without tri-


People’s Choice 3. The Meat Market — The Grill 454 W. Alluvial Ave. (559) 436-6688 1990 N. Fowler Ave., Suite 120, Clovis (559) 256-1390

2. Eddie’s Bakery Cafe 7089 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 323-0900


tip, pastrami and pulled-pork sandwiches, fried chicken, cheeseburgers, woodgrilled chicken breast, applewood bacon and cheddar fries, fried pickles, jalapeño cornbread and beer-battered onion rings. Fansler says the top plate on the menu is the Kansas City-style brisket burnt ends, which spend half a day in the smoker. With executive chef Porfirio Aldape at the helm, tender and juicy creations are smoked on almond firewood. “Porfirio has been with me since 1986,” Fansler says. The interior looks like an upscale industrial warehouse with a full-service bar that features handcrafted cocktails and beers. According to Fansler, there are 24 taps of beers and ciders from California-based breweries like Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company, House of Pendragon Brewing Company, South Gate Brewing Company, Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Lost Coast Brewery and Lagunitas Brewing Company. Cocktails include the Fansler Old Fashion, the Municipal Mule, the Corona ’Rita and the Citrus Freeze Lemon Drop.

Jeff and Becci Colla have a gift for pairing pancakes with mouth-watering flavors. For nearly a decade, Batter Up Pancakes has been a hot spot in northeast Fresno — serving an array of madeto-order breakfast and lunch items to tantalize your taste buds. The owners named the restaurant after their love for America’s pastime. Not only does the menu make the restaurant a hit, but so does the owners’ commitment to using fresh, high-quality ingredients. They also aim to treat customers like family. “We’re humbled, honored and grateful they choose to visit us,” Becci says.

Becci says the most popular item on the menu is the Tessa Cate Cinnamon Roll — a pancake topped with a generous swirl of brown sugar, butter and cinnamon before being flipped to add a layer of cream cheese frosting. If you have a sweet tooth, the Ice Cream Sundae is a pancake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with your choice of boysenberry, strawberry or chocolate syrup, and finished with whipped cream, pecans and sprinkles. The menu won’t disappoint you. You can also order gluten-free pancakes, whole grain blue cornmeal pancakes or protein pancakes. If you’re opting for protein pancakes, order the Warrior Fitness Breakfast or the Fort Washington Fitness Breakfast. As far as omelets are concerned, the chili verde omelet is a top choice, followed by Trip to the Mound Omelet and Wild Pitch Omelet. Omelets come with a pancake or toast, and hash browns, country potatoes, fruit or cottage cheese. Staying true to their local roots, the owners also source Kuppa Joy Coffee House for hot, iced and blended espresso drinks.

2. Benaddiction 3015 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 374-6082

2. Dog House Grill 289 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 294-9920

BREAKFAST PLACE: A decadent cheesecake pancake was added to the menu at Batter Up Pancakes.

14 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Food and Drink 3. Red Apple Cafe 488 W. Herndon Ave. (559) 261-1505



California Market Buffet at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino 711 Lucky Lane, Coarsegold (866) 794-6946

There’s one thing Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino’s California Market Buffet can offer that its competition in the People’s Choice Best Buffet category cannot. It offers an incredible 56,000-squarefoot gaming floor just steps away from the buffet tables. That’s pretty hard to compete with, but it isn’t the only thing the buffet has to offer. The bounty and diversity of California’s cultural heritage is brought to life as the

People’s Choice buffet serves traditional and regional cuisine from the Central Valley. Featuring regional specialties prepared with ingredients harvested from the riches of the Golden State, the buffet changes the menu four times a year to ensure that wholesome seasonal ingredients are included in the fare. The California Market Buffet is known for serving fried chicken, salad station and fresh produce from local growers. People return for the stone oven-baked pizza, and Mongolian freshly grilled dishes. The menu changes daily. Monday is the Taste of Italy, Tuesday is International Barbecue, Wednesday is a seafood buffet, Thursday is a Mexican Fiesta, Friday and Saturday feature prime rib and crab legs and Sunday is a champagne brunch. The buffet costs $19.95 plus tax for themed dinners. Beer and wine are offered for $1 a glass. Discounts are offered for seniors, as well as members of the Rewards Club.

2. Sweet Tomatoes 7114 N. Fresno St. (559) 435-5797

a full-service catering company that provides servers, dishes, silverware and linens. It caters small and large events like weddings, birthday bashes, bridal and baby showers, fundraisers and corporate parties. The on-site and off-site menus include a range of options for breakfast, lunch, hors d’oeuvres and dinner. Whether you’re craving international delights or traditional dishes, you won’t be disappointed. The banquet facility, located on Shaw Avenue and Van Ness Boulevard, features three salons and the Tuscan Room that Pardini’s Catering & can accommodate hundreds of guests. Banquets “We recently refurbished the banquet 2257 W. Shaw Ave. facility,” Pardini says. “More like a face(559) 224-3188 lift.” Pardini’s Catering & Banquets is a concessionaire for the Fresno FairPardini’s Catering & Banquets has grounds, Fresno Convention Center, been serving the Central Valley for more than 35 years. It started with Jim Pardini, Bulldog Stadium, Pete Beiden Field at starting at age 13,working with his father, Bob Bennett Stadium and Woodward Park. It also serves the Clovis Memorial Albert. Hall, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, The Grand They continued to work as a team 1401 and Simonian Farms. Last year, through the years until Albert retired in Pardini’s Catering & Banquets won “Best 1981, which prompted Jim to launch Catering” by the Fresno chapter of the Pardini’s Catering. Today, Pardini’s Catering & Banquets is California Restaurant Association.

3. Mountain Feast Buffet at Table Mountain Casino 8184 Table Mountain Road, Friant (559) 822-7777



Chukchansi is proud to be voted BEST BUFFET & BEST PLACE TO WORK!












THANK YOU FRESNO! Mediterranean Grill is a full service, casual restaurant located in downtown Fresno, We are known for our hearty and flavorful Mediterranean dishes and efficient service. We’ve been offering exceptional food at a great value for 25 years.

Our menu features the freshest of ingredients prepared daily under the watchful eyes of our much loved Mama, She takes great pride in insuring and asserting quality and freshness in every dish we serve.




Mediterranean Grill • 1031 U Street • Downtown Fresno • Across From Office Depot

16 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Food and Drink

People’s Choice

Pardini was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” — recognizing him for his work with Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He also supports a range of charitable foundations and nonprofit organizations from health care to the Fresno County Public Library.

Annihilator, a chocolate macadamia nut breve, and the Caramelizer, a caramel mocha, are favorite beverages among the Dutch Mafia. Each year, with the help of the community, Dutch Bros. Coffee donates more than $2 million to local and national nonprofit organizations like the American Cancer Society, the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the ALS Association. On the horizon, Cantu says: The sixth location is expected to open at Palm and Herndon avenues in the spring.

2. The Painted Table 1211 N. Wishon Ave. (559) 443-7199

2. Kuppa Joy Coffee House Multiple locations

3. Casa Corona 7044 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 323-7409 1724 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 283-8605

Chinese Restaurant


Shanghai Chinese Cuisine 4011 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 221-0227

For more than 35 years, Shanghai Chinese Cuisine has been providing authentic Chinese cuisine to the Central Valley. The restaurant provides a familyfriendly ambiance to accompany the modern Chinese décor. Located at Blackstone Avenue and Griffith Way, the menu boasts an array of exotic flavors and savory sauces, using fresh ingredients to create authentic dishes. Appetizers include fried wontons, pot stickers and spring egg rolls. You can order from a wide selection of pan-fried or European-style chow mein, chop suey and vegetarian-friendly meals. The menu is divided by several sections to showcase the array of dishes like fried and steamed rice, Chinese chicken salad, Kung Pao beef, chicken or shrimp, Cantonese-style shrimp, fried oysters, braised bean cakes and hot-braised shrimp. The most popular item on the menu is orange chicken. The restaurant offers combination plates, platters and several selections of Sichuan cuisine. It also hosts private parties in a large banquet room.

COFFEE HOUSE: Kylee Reitz and Caitlyn Russell start their morning at Dutch Bros.


2. Hunan Chinese Restaurant 6716 N. Cedar Ave., Suite 104 (559) 297-0336

3. P.F. Chang’s 7894 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 438-0814

Coffee House


Dutch Bros. Coffee Multiple locations

Start your morning by getting a jolt of energy from Dutch Bros. Coffee. The drive-thru coffee house is known for employing baristas — or bro-istas — who connect with customers known as the Dutch Mafia. “They’re genuine, happy and full of energy,” says Jacob Cantu, the marketing and events manager for Dutch Bros. Coffee. The drive-thru coffee house was founded by Dane and Travis Boersma in 1992. The brothers of Dutch descent bought a double-head espresso machine and started experimenting with 100 pounds of beans, Cantu says. With the mission of “spreading the Dutch Luv,” the coffee house serves cups of coffee, hot, iced and blended espresso drinks, smoothies, fruit-infused sodas, tea, hot cocoa and iced or blended drinks made with Blue Rebel — an energy drink

made by Dutch Bros. Coffee. Today, there are more than 290 locations throughout the United States. In 2006, the first location in the area opened on the corner of Ashlan and Willow avenues in Clovis. Now, there are five local locations: Ashlan and Willow avenues, Bullard and West avenues, Shaw and West avenues, McKinley and Blackstone avenues and Maple and Behymer avenues. “We live by three main core values: speed, quality and customer service,” Cantu says. Cantu says the most popular beverage on the menu is iced or blended drinks made with Blue Rebel. There are dozens of flavors like Double Rainbro, Dragon Slayer, Dinosaur Egg, Dutch Mojito, Unicorn Blood, Laser Cat and Majestic Forest. As for espresso drinks, Cantu says the

3. Starbucks Multiple locations

Cupcake Shop


The Frosted Cakery 1292 N. Wishon Ave. (559) 917-8880

Beverly Gable was inspired to open Frosted Cakery after the closing of Jimmie’s Bakery in Fresno, which was owned by her mother and father. Six years later, Gable and her daughter, Megan, planted the roots of Frosted Cakery in downtown Fresno. The mother-daughter duo transferred a few recipes from Jimmie’s Bakery, but Gable spent more than a year developing the recipes that have helped establish Frosted Cakery in the Central Valley.

CUPCAKES: Frosted Cakery is known for making rich and flavorful cupcakes.


Food and Drink



People’s Choice

“Our goal is to combine detail, artistry and love to make customers walk away happy with their end product,” Gable says. Frosted Cakery sells cakes, cookies and pastries like French macarons, cannoli, truffle brownies and tarts. Made from scratch, ingredients are fresh — not frozen (except for ice cream, Gable says). In addition to cakes, cupcakes are in high demand by customers. There are about 100 flavors, Gable says, like salted caramel, red velvet, snickerdoodle, rainbow confetti, French toast and bacon, vanilla bean raspberry, pink champagne, chocolate peanut butter cup. A few flavors also include gourmet fillings like caramel, fudge and Bavarian cream. Customers can purchase cupcakes at the counter (there are 15 flavors available on a daily basis) or order larger quantities by visiting Cupcakes are baked to perfection and then topped with housemade buttercream frosting, which comes in a variety of flavors. “The most popular flavor is salted caramel,” Gable says. The brown sugar cake is filled with caramel and topped with buttercream and sea salt. The best part about Frosted Cakery? It caters to customers with dietary

restrictions by serving vegan and glutenfree options. Do you need soy-free and/ or nut-free cupcakes? No problem. Inperson consultations are also available.

2. Eddie’s Bakery Cafe 7089 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 323-0900

3. Cupcakes Bakery 7062 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 325-0935



Sam’s Italian Deli and Marketplace 2415 N. First St. (559) 229-9346

Fresno’s own taste of Italy can be found at the corner of First Street and Clinton Avenue.

Sam’s Italian Deli and Marketplace has been a staple in Fresno for more than 30 years. Visitors are greeted — in many cases by name — when they arrive. And they’re given the personal attention to make sure each order is filled to their specifications. Sam Marziliano’s legacy lives on at the deli. The Marziliano family continues to celebrate the traditions of Southern Italy in the aisles packed with imported Italian pastas, olive oils and specialty groceries and in the kitchen where Angela Marziliano bakes her bread and foccacia. At the deli, you’ll find fresh Italian cold cuts, imported cheeses, antipasto platters, 6-foot-long super subs, sandwich trays, Angela’s take-home pasta dinners and Sam’s homemade Italian sausage. During the past decade, Nick Marziliano has added and continually expanded the department of specialty wine. From the boutique-style wines of California to the highly sought after Super Tuscans, Barolo’s and Brunellos di Montalcino produced in Italy, the deli is proud to offer a collection of more than 700 labels. When you visit the deli, be prepared to be immersed in a taste of Italy.

2. Deli Delicious Multiple locations


3. Piemonte’s Italian Delicatessen 616 E. Olive Ave. (559) 237-2038





TELLAWI LOUNGE, OPEN DAILY UNTIL 9 PM Banquet room can accommodate up to 120 guests for any event

2085 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 431-1385 Follow us on



Ampersand Ice Cream 1940 N. Echo Ave. (559) 264-8000 Jeff and Amelia Bennett go beyond ice cream at Ampersand Ice Cream, located across the street from Fresno High School. Yes, the ice cream parlor serves desserts with a spin. For starters, pick a flavor of ice cream. Flavors range from staples like Whiskey Caramel Swirl and dark chocolate to dairy-free sorbets. Special flavors like Grizzly Jack and bananas foster are a hit. Next, choose between a cup, cone or flight of four flavors. Do you want to add house-made toppings like whiskey caramel sauce, hot fudge or salted caramel sauce? Of course, you can skip a cup or cone and order a milkshake. Although you won’t find frozen yogurt

DESSERTS: Ampersand Ice Cream, owned by Jeff and Amelia Bennett, sold out of ice cream on the first day the ice cream parlor opened. or cupcakes at the ice cream parlor, your mouth will be drooling with a variety of options for dessert. “You can get ice cream in between two house-made chocolate chip or snickerdoodle cookies,” Amelia says. You can also pair ice cream with cold brew from Lanna Coffee Company for a kick of caffeine. Speaking of caffeine, Amelia encourages ordering a cup of ice cream and then walking to Kuppa Joy Coffee House — located a few steps away from the ice cream parlor — for a shot of espresso to pour on top. “It’s delightful,” Amelia says of affogato, an Italian coffee-based dessert. Having their roots planted in Fresno, Jeff and Amelia partner with local businesses like The Annex Kitchen and Cracker Pepper Bistro. They’re also co-owners of The Revue in the Tower District. The Revue serves affogato with a scoop of Madagascar Vanilla and a shot of espresso. You can also order the Whiskey Caramel Latte, the Nitro Float and the Cold Brew Milkshake.

2. La Boulangerie French Bakery and Cafe 630 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-0555

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Food and Drink 3. Grandpa’s Popcorn & Sweets 673 E. Nees Ave. (559) 385-7698

Family Restaurant


Pismo’s Coastal Grill 7937 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 439-9463

For Dave Fansler of the Fansler Restaurant Group, creating a family-friendly atmosphere is the foundation of his three restaurants in northeast Fresno: Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House, Westwoods BBQ & Spice Co. and Pismo’s Coastal Grill. Located in the Villaggio Shopping Center, Pismo’s Coastal Grill brings the flavors of the Central Coast to Fresno. The Pismo’s Platter is a crowd-pleasing appetizer for your family to enjoy. It includes marinated crab, oysters, shrimp and ahi tuna poke. The kid’s menu includes a choice of grilled salmon or mahi-mahi, fried snapper bites, chicken strips, popcorn shrimp, cheeseburger, grilled cheese sandwich or buttered noodles. It comes with French fries, cole slaw or steamed broccoli. Although the menu is mainly comprised of seafood, there are a few vegetarian-friendly appetizers like hot-roasted edamame, sweet potato fries, grilled artichokes with lemon-garlic aioli and specialty salads like the Bistro Salad with pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries and champagne vinaigrette. Tempt your taste buds with desserts like the Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie, the Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake or the Brownie a la Mode. In a nutshell, the seafood restaurant doesn’t disappoint. There are tasty bites for children and handcrafted cocktails mixed at the fullservice bar for adults.

2. Red Robin Multiple locations

3. DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant Multiple locations,,

People’s Choice

Fine Dining


The Annex Kitchen 2257 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 248-8512

Opened in 2015, The Annex Kitchen takes your taste buds on a journey to Italy. Located in northwest Fresno, the Italian-inspired restaurant is influenced by the flavors of the Central Valley. Behind the restaurant is Jimmy Pardini — a third-generation restaurateur. His father, Jim, is the president of Pardini’s Catering & Banquets. “We want to provide an experience for the community to be able to enjoy,” says Pardini. The menu features signature appetizers and entrées like handcrafted pasta and wood-fired pizza. A selection of meats — chicken, salmon, rib-eye and hanger steak — are cooked in a woodburning hearth. The arancini — the most popular choice on the list of appetizers, Pardini says — are deep-fried risotto balls with mozzarella, basil pesto and tomato sauce. As for entrées, Pardini says the most popular item is the agnolotti made with Fresno State sweet corn. It was featured on the Cooking Channel’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” in January. Simon Majumdar, an author and TV personality who appears on Food Network, visited the restaurant — ordering the agnolotti — in 2016. He wrote on Instagram afterward: “People have been asking me for my ‘best of’ lists for 2016. So, let’s start with the best dish I ate in the USA this year, which was served @annexkitchenfresno by chef @jimmypardini.” When Fresno State sweet corn isn’t in season, AKA the summertime, the restaurant uses butternut squash for the agnolotti in the winter. The full-service bar serves made-fromscratch cocktails — like the Smoke and Mirrors, the Little Italy and the Bicycle Built For Two — and wines from France and Italy, as well as wines from Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles and Alexander Valley. “A lot of Italian wines mingled with California wines,” Pardini says. The Annex Kitchen sources ingredients from local businesses like Mary’s Free Range Chicken, Enzo Olive Oil and Ampersand Ice Cream. In fact, the restaurant serves affogato (an Italian coffee-based dessert), blackberry and blueberry crisp, and crème brûlée with a scoop of Madagascar Vanilla from Ampersand Ice Cream.

FINE DINING: The menu at The Annex Kitchen includes oven-roasted bone marrow and braised meatballs. In addition to Majumdar, Tyler Florence — a celebrity chef and television host on Food Network — visited the restaurant a few months ago. He posted to Instagram, “@annexkitchenfresno killed it tonight. @jimmypardini has a hit on his hands.”

2. Cracked Pepper Bistro 6737 N. Palm Ave. (559) 222-9119

3. Yosemite Ranch 1520 E. Champlain Drive (559) 434-4403

Food Truck


Casa de Tamales (559) 541-4656

After nearly 20 years of working in the restaurant industry, Liz Sanchez decided to open Casa de Tamales in 2009. It started as a storefront on Shaw and Brawley avenues — offering a spread of dishes made from recipes passed on from her mother and grandmother. Sanchez makes tamales by hand with in-house, gluten-free masa. “We use local non-GMO corn to make masa,” Sanchez says.

After a few months of running the location in northwest Fresno, Sanchez started a food truck that travels to local events like the FresYes Fest, which will take place on Saturday, March 24 at Tioga-Sequoia Craft Brewery in downtown Fresno. It can be found at Fresno City College on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Enzo’s Table on the weekends. The most popular dishes are traditional tamales like the New Mexico Chile Pork and the Green Tomatillo Chicken, Sanchez says. It also serves vegan and vegetarian tamales like the Farmers Market, the Jalapeño & Cheese and the Spinach & Artichoke. If you have a sweet tooth, try the Triple Chocolate Cake and the Blueberry & Cream Cheese. Seasonal tamales include a pineapple coconut in the summer and a pumpkin pie variety in the autumn. “The pumpkin pie tamale is always a hit,” Sanchez says. In 2014, the Pepperoni Tamale and Chicken Bacon Tamale earned the Buyer’s Choice Award as part of the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards. The next year, the location in northwest Fresno moved to Olive Avenue in the Tower District. It serves wine by the glass (provided by Engelmann Cellars), artisan sangrias and mimosas for Sunday brunch.

2. Le Elegante Taqueria (559) 497-5844




BC’s Pizza & Beer is dedicated to provide fast and friendly service and some of the best pizza in the Central Valley. We pride ourselves on our vast beer selection featuring the best beers from all over the World with over 80 specialty bottles and 35 drafts available. We always stay on top of what’s new, rare and exciting from the best breweries with our weekly rotating draft selection. If you love beer and pizza then you really need to check us out , you won’t be disappointed! We guarantee it! CHECK US OUT ON




B C s P i z z a A n d B e e r. c o m

On Clovis & Sunnyside.

1315 Shaw Ave

(including alcoholic beverages)

Clovis, CA 93612-3961 (559)297-7800


20 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Food and Drink 3. Tako BBQ (559) 515-4543



In-N-Out Burgers Multiple locations

In-N-Out Burgers have a certain passionate following, so much so that when it changed its iconic menu earlier this year, it made headlines. Before we get to the big change, let’s talk about the traditional menu. First, choose your burger: hamburger, cheeseburger or the Double-Double — two patties and two slices of American cheese. Toppings include crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes and the In-N-Out signature spread. Next, a burger shouldn’t be without fresh-cut fries. If you prefer to skip the soda or fresh-brewed iced tea, you could opt for a vanilla, chocolate or strawberry milkshake.

People’s Choice The not-so-secret “secret menu” includes grilled cheese, animal-style fries or even lettuce-wrapped burgers for people watching carbohydrates and calories. The simple, straightforward menu has made its mark on society. Case in point, in February, Derek Carr was spotted at the In-N-Out in Clovis. There have been other celebrity sightings as well. Nathan Fillion posted a photo at In-N-Out on his Instagram page. Kylie Jenner said it was her No. 1 craving during her recent pregnancy. Even celebrity chef Ina Garten said In-N-Out was her California go-to spot. And, she said she knew it was Julia Child’s favorite as well. As a rule, you can’t argue with the culinary excellence that is Julia, but for the first time in 15 years, the chain has offered something other than its standard hamburger or cheeseburger, fries, sodas and shakes menu. In January, it began to offer — gasp! — hot chocolate, made with cocoa powder from Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. You can even request marshmallows. This is the first menu revamp since the restaurant added lemonade, and hot chocolate is now available in 328 restaurants across Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

Thank You for Voting Us Best Fine Dining!

2. House of JuJu 565 Pollasky Ave., Suite 101, Clovis (559) 298-3090

3. Triangle Drive In Multiple locations

Hot Dogs


Costco Multiple locations

It’s nice to know there are some things you can count on. Here’s one: The price of the hot dog and soda combo at Costco has never changed. The $1.50 price tag is cheaper than just the soda alone in most restaurants. And you can’t beat the convenience of grabbing a dog after you’ve shopped for gigantic jars of pickles, cat food and appliances at the warehouse store. Here’s some trivia about that Costco

dog. Costco’s booming food court business started in 1984 with a hot dog cart outside the San Diego warehouse. The trial, with a cart provided by then hotdog supplier Hebrew National, went very well, so much so that the food court is now considered by Costco management to be an added benefit to membership. And, do the math on this one. Costco sells 100 million hot dogs each year. In 2015 that number hit 128 million, which is supposedly said to be four times as many hot dogs sold in all the major league baseball stadiums combined. Even so, the dogs are considered by Costco to be a loss leader. They’re not making money on the combo, but are counting on you spending some dough before sitting down for lunch. Here are some more stats about the Costco dogs, as reported by Costco dogs are no longer Hebrew National brand. That brand was dropped from Costco’s offering in 2009, replaced by Kirkland Signature All-Beef Wieners. The Kirkland brand dogs are 10 percent bigger and longer than the Hebrew National, and we all know size matters in such things. The soda offering has gotten bigger too. The combo used to come with a 12-ounce soda. Now, you get a 20ounce soda with free refills.



Food and Drink


People’s Choice

Costco’s weiners contain no by-products, corn syrup, phosphates, fillers, artificial color or artificial flavors and they’re also gluten-free. That’s practically health food, right?

2. Rocket Dog Gourmet Brats & Brew 88 E. Shaw Ave. 1365 N. Willow Ave., Suite 160, Clovis (559) 283-8096

3. Chuck Wagon 1203 Academy Ave., Sanger (559) 875-3889

Ice Cream


Ampersand Ice Cream 1940 N. Echo Ave. (559) 264-8000

The delicious possibilities are endless

at Ampersand Ice Cream — the ice cream parlor “where great ice cream and community meet.” Owned by Jeff and Amelia Bennett, ice cream has played a big role in their lives — starting with their first date at McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams in Southern California and continuing with opening Ampersand Ice Cream in downtown Fresno. Jeff, a native of Ventura, and Amelia, a graduate of Bullard High School, started their journey by meeting on After saying “I do,” they planted roots in Fresno. Although they were getting settled as newlyweds, they didn’t want to slow down. Not yet. And so, Ampersand Ice Cream opened on the corner of Echo and Weldon avenues — across the street from Fresno High School — on Memorial Day 2015. The ice cream parlor is a small-batch creamery and state-licensed dairy plant, Amelia says. You can watch the four-hour process of making ice cream through a window. Not only does the couple have a love for downtown Fresno, but also for the Central Valley. They stay true to buying and using local and in-house ingredients. They buy dairy from Top O’ The Morn Farms, honey from Bradshaw Honey

Farms and Blossom Bluff Orchards, produce from Food Commons Fresno, olive oil from Enzo Olive Oil, coffee from Lanna Coffee Company and tea from Raizana Tea Company. Although flavors change daily, you’ll find staples like mint chip, rocky road, Madagascar Vanilla, dark chocolate, Whiskey Caramel Swirl, bordeaux and honeycomb. Honeycomb is a top seller, Amelia Bennett says. The custard ice cream features chunks of homemade honey brittle, made with orange blossom honey from Bradshaw Honey Farms. The dairy-free sorbet flavors include strawberry balsamic, raspberry sorbet and lemon sorbet. Seasonal specials like bananas foster, Grizzly Jack, Earl Grey and Lavender, and Fdgy Mint are anticipated throughout the year. As for seasonal specials from 2017, Amelia says Spring Flowers & Lemon Zest and Cheese Board were tempting taste buds for the summer. So what are their favorite flavors? Jeff: “My favorite is Grizzly Jack.” Inspired by Cracker Jack, the butter popcorn ice cream is loaded with molasses caramel and candied almonds. Amelia: “I always say my all-time favorite is Madagascar Vanilla. Definitely not ordinary.”

ICE CREAM: Ampersand Ice Cream is

known for ice cream flavors like Whiskey Caramel Swirl, mint chip, dark chocolate and Madagascar Vanilla.







Full Liquor License

22 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Food and Drink 2. Superior Dairy 325 N. Douty St., Hanford (559) 582-0481 3. Cold Stone Creamery Multiple locations

Indian Restaurant


Elephant Lounge Indian Cuisine 80 W. Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 323-1300

In 2014, Ranjit “Junior” Dosanjh made his mark in the Clovis-Fresno area by opening Elephant Lounge Indian Bistro — located on Shaw Avenue in the Wild West Village Shopping Center. The CEO and executive chef was born in Punjab, India, but moved to the United States at age 10. He was raised in Silicon

People’s Choice Valley, learning the essentials of cooking Indian cuisine from his mother. He has been in the food industry for more than 15 years. Dosanjh owned India 4 U and Xenia Bistro with his wife, Brinda, in the Bay Area. About 10 years later, they planted roots in Clovis. He opened the Indian bistro in the space formerly occupied by North India Bar and Grill. Dosanjh says he spent about eight months renovating the space, adorning the interior ceiling with a full-service bar and chandelier imported from Europe. The menu features a fusion of flavors, including seafood specialties, dishes made with chicken, beef, lamb and goat, vegetarian-friendly options and tandoorcooked dishes. Dosanjh says the most popular dishes on the menu are chicken tikka masala — cubes of chicken marinated in tandoori masala — and butter chicken — chunks of chicken simmered in a creamy tomatobased sauce for 51⁄2 hours. You can also order a bacon cheeseburger, meatloaf and pasta. The Indian bistro hosts private parties in a large banquet room.

2. Tandoori Night 6751 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 438-7200

3. Brahma Bull Indian Cuisine 3050 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 108 (559) 275-1100

Italian Restaurant


DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant Multiple locations,,

We can’t talk about culinary creations of Italy without thinking about DiCicco’s Italian Restaurant — the local Italian eatery that has satisfied our appetites for more than 60 years. In fact, the Italian eatery has grown to be a tradition for a lot of local families.

There are nearly 20 locations throughout the Central Valley — expanding to neighboring cities like Sanger, Kingsburg, Madera and Oakhurst. Each location is owned and operated by various members of the DiCicco family. The recipes were passed down from their grandparents, Pasquale and Maria, to their four sons: Frank, Roberto, Nicola and Alberto — also known as the “Four Sons of Italy.” Although each location is unique, the list of tried-and-true dishes and signature plates remain the same: hand-tossed pizza, garlic cheese bread, spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine Alfredo, eggplant Parmesan, cheese or meat ravioli, lasagna and made-to-order pizza. Sandy DiCicco is the owner of the Old Town Clovis location, a staple at Clovis Avenue and Fourth Street since 1977. Although the history makes the Italian eatery a winner in the Central Valley, the menu is also loved and praised by customers, says Charles Carrero, the general manager of the location in Old Town Clovis. Carrero says the most popular dish is the Scarface Pasta, pieces of chicken and mushrooms tossed in a creamy white sauce and served on top of rigatoni. The menu also caters to customers

Thank You

for voting us

#1 Japanese Restaurant!


Japanese Cuisine

Sakura Chaya

690 E. Nees Ave. | Fresno, Ca 93720 559.438.9378

Gift Certificates Available


Enjoy our skillfully prepared Japanese specialties, from sushi and teppan yaki to cocktails, tempura and savory noodle dishes. A traditional dining restaurant.


Food and Drink with dietary restrictions by serving lighter-fare options and gluten-free pasta.

2. Luna Pizzeria Italian Restaurant 349 Pollasky Ave., Clovis (559) 299-4141

3. Olive Garden 6725 N. Riverside Drive (559) 275-1034 389 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 323-7297

Japanese Restaurant


Sakura Chaya Tokyo Cuisine 690 E. Nees Ave. (559) 438-9378

Located at Nees Avenue and First Street



People’s Choice in northeast Fresno, Sakura Chaya Tokyo Cuisine has been an international delight for a decade. The Japanese restaurant serves a mix of traditional dishes and sushi rolls. You can dine at the teppanyaki grill, watching as your meal is prepared before your eyes, order from the traditional dining menu or pick signature rolls from the sushi menu. The key to success is consistency, says David Wong, the general manager at the Japanese restaurant. Let’s start with the teppanyaki grill, which is popular with large groups because there are numerous seats wrapped around the iron plate. You can order teriyaki, hibachi or sukiyaki-style chicken, beef, New York steak, filet mignon, shrimp, calamari, scallops, salmon or cod. Lunch is served with miso soup and salad, grilled seasoned vegetables and fried or steamed rice. Wong says the most popular item is the Terrific Teppan Trio — chicken, beef and shrimp paired with miso soup, salad, grilled vegetables and fried rice — for $11.99. Dinner is served with a shrimp appetizer, miso soup and salad, grilled seasoned vegetables, fried or steamed rice and frozen yogurt.

The chefs are known to entertain customers by juggling eggs, telling jokes and making volcanoes from rings of onions and heart-shaped piles of fried rice. They go through an in-house training process that takes about six months, Wong says. The traditional dining menu includes teriyaki chicken, shogayaki chicken, pork, beef or seafood, yakizakana cod, salmon or mackerel, seafood tempura, katsu oysters and tempura udon. The combinations are endless. The sushi menu features signature rolls with eccentric names like Drunk Cousin Roll, Yo Mama Roll, 9-1-1 Roll, Godzilla Roll, R&B Roll and Crab Lover Roll. On the horizon for 2018: A second location of Sakura Chaya Tokyo Cuisine is planned for Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis.

2. Edo-ya Tokyo Cuisine 3050 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 112 (559) 275-7535

3. Japanese Kitchen 711 W. Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 297-1100

Mediterranean Restaurant


Mediterranean Grill & Cafe 1031 U St. (559) 441-7050

For 25 years, Mediterranean Grill & Cafe has remained a landmark in downtown Fresno. Heiam Hemaidan Elaawar owns and operates the restaurant with her brother, Hisham Hemaidan, and her mother, known as “Mama.” Her husband also helps with the behind-the-scenes operations. The restaurant fills the hearts — and stomachs — of customers who are treated like family, she says. In fact, there are a number of customers who have been visiting the restaurant for decades. “My husband knows a lot of customers by name,” Hemaidan Elaawar says. The menu features a variety of hearty and flavorful traditional Mediterranean dishes made with high-quality ingredients. For starters, you can order falafel

Thank you for voting us

Sushi • Teppan Yaki • Traditional Dining 711 West Shaw Ave. Clovis, California 93612 Phone (559) 297-1100


Japanese Kitchen


Sushi • Teppan Yaki • Traditional Dining 3050 W. Shaw Ave, Suite 112 Fresno, California 93711 Phone (559) 275-7535

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Food & Drink

People’s Choice

The Curry Pizza Company 3173 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 103 (559) 365-7000


The Butter Chicken features chicken cooked in homemade curry sauce.

The Curry Pizza Company serves a true combination of cuisines. The restaurant puts Indian food on pizza to produce what some people call “food heaven.” Open since May 2017, The Curry Pizza Company is “a labor of love,” says owner Virender Singh Malhi. “I love Indian food and I love pizza. It just made sense to bring my two favorite flavors together,” he says. But despite his enthusiasm, Malhi wasn’t sure how people would respond to something so different. “However, after they’ve had it once, they fall in love with the fusion of flavors,” he says.

balls, hummus, grape leaves or baba ghanoush. The most popular dishes are the fattoush chicken salad — made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread — and the Lebanese chicken served with rice and garlic sauce. Entrées include the Tabbouleh salad, the Greek chicken salad, lamb, beef or chicken kebabs and gyros. Hemaidan Elaawar says the vegetarian plate — an assortment of grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, tomatoes, onions, parsley, herbs and spices, falafel, hummus, baba ghanouj and tabouli — is a popular item right now. Finish your meal with homemade baklava — thin layers of phyllo stacked with honey, butter, cinnamon and nuts. The restaurant is open for lunchtime on weekdays, but offers full-service catering for special events and private parties.

2. Phoenician Garden Mediterranean Bar and Grill 1025 E. Herndon Ave., Suite 106 (559) 261-2747

3. House of Kebab 7458 N. Fresno St. (559) 449-1344

A number of speciality pizzas feature traditional Indian food. One of the most popular is the Chicken Tikka Masala, which uses chicken breast marinated overnight and cooked on the pizza. Another popular Indian-themed pizza is the Butter Chicken, which features chicken cooked in homemade curry sauce. Both pizzas come with cheese, diced tomatoes, onions and fresh cilantro. Vegetables are cut fresh daily. The Curry Pizza Company offers 14 speciality pizzas and seven signature pizzas. The Savage (featuring pepperoni, bacon and sausage) is one of the signature pizzas. Pizzas come in four sizes, ranging from the small 10-inch for $10.99 to the family size 18-inch for $22.99. Malhi throws down a friendly challenge to any customer who orders a family-size pizza. “Finish it by yourself in 10 minutes and it’s free,” he says. So far, no one has done it. The restaurant also serves wings, and several feature Indian flavors. Curry masala wings, for example, are marinated in a special curry sauce. Prices range from $6.99 for six pieces to $15.99 for 20 pieces (any four flavors). The most popular wings aren’t on the menu, but customers can ask for them. They’re the Angry Bird Wings with a flavor that defies words and must be experienced, Malhi says: “It’s not super spicy. It’s Indian spicy. People love it.”

Mexican Restaurant


Bobby Salazar’s Multiple locations

Bobby Salazar’s Mexican Foods is synonymous with south-of-the-border cuisine in Fresno. It serves traditional Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas and tamales. “I’m following the tradition,” says Bobby Salazar, the president of Bobby Salazar’s Mexican Foods. The story of Bobby Salazar’s Mexican Foods started with his father and grandparents in the early 1940s. Now, there are three full-service restaurants and three taquerias in the Fresno-Clovis area. The menu features appetizers like the Bobby’s Fiesta Sampler, the Holey Guacamole! and the Nachos Grande. Tacos and burritos include the Fancy Burrito, the California Burrito, the Bobby’s Rico Taco Dinner and the Hot-n-Spicy Grilled Chicken Tacos. “It has a flour tortilla filled with beans, jack cheese and chile verde,” Salazar says about the Fancy Burrito, the most popular item on the menu. “And then more

chile verde and lots of jack cheese melted on top.” You can also order party trays of the Fancy Burrito Lasagna, the Mexican Lasagna and the trio of miniature taquitos, burritos and quesadillas.

2. Casa Corona 7044 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 323-7409 1724 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 283-8605

3. Sal’s Mexican Restaurant Multiple locations



Tioga-Sequoia Craft Brewery 745 Fulton St. (559) 486-2337

Since being founded in 2007, TiogaSequoia Craft Brewery has aimed to bring awareness to the preservation of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains with a plethora of brews named after local landmarks.



Food and Drink

2. Sequoia Brewing Co. 777 E. Olive Ave. (559) 264-5521 1188 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 107 (559) 434-2739

3. The Mad Duck Craft Brewing Co. 765 W. Herndon Ave., Suite 200, Clovis (559) 298-3825 3085 E. Campus Pointe Drive (559) 325-3825

Patio/Outdoor Dining


The Elbow Room Bar & Grill 731 W. San Jose Ave. (559) 227-1234

The covered patio at The Elbow Room Bar & Grill invites customers to a comfortable and classy setting. State-of-theart mister fans in the summer and heaters in the winter control the environment.

People’s Choice “The vibe on the patio is definitely out of this market,” says Mike Shirinian, owner of the restaurant. “We’ve had thousands of guests from all over the world dine on the patio and comment enthusiastically about its beauty, comfort and edgy feel. Many say they would only expect to experience something like this in Newport Beach or other very high-end locations.” The covered patio is roomy with a seating capacity of 130, and a 29-footlong mural that wraps around the top of the bar serves as a focal point. Fresno artist Conrad Jimenez painted the mural in 2014, and he did two other murals inside the restaurant in earlier years. The three murals show customers enjoying themselves. “The people in these murals represent the spirit that has blessed The Elbow Room since its inception in 1955,” Shirinian says.

2. Campagnia 1185 E. Champlain Drive (559) 433-3300

3. Starving Artists Bistro 9447 N. Fort Washington Road (559) 433-0133

tables like artichoke hearts, chopped garlic, mushrooms, black olives, pineapple, jalapeños, spinach, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli florets, roasted red peppers, bell peppers, red onions and green onions. It also offers an array of hearty meats for toppings: pepperoni, bacon, Canadian bacon, salami, ground beef, seasoned chicken, Italian sausage and linguiça. Signature combinations include The Italiano, Valley Veggie, Tuscan Harvest and Hot Hawaiian. The flavors of Italy continue with homemade sandwiches, calzones and garlic bread. Ferdinandi says there are three locations with self-pour brew taps: Bullard and West avenues, Temperance Avenue and Highway 168, and Wishon Avenue near Olive Avenue in the Tower District. But where would Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria be without the love and support of the community? As a way of returning the support and appreciation, the pizzeria established a philanthropic organization called the Me-n-Ed’s Do-Nation. In January and February, Ferdinandi says $60,000 was distributed among three local charities: Poverello House, Catholic Charities and Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County.

2. Pieology Multiple locations

3. Popolo’s Pizza 7835 N. Palm Ave., Suite 106 (559) 435-6775

Sandwich Shop


Sam’s Italian Deli and Marketplace 2415 N. First St. (559) 229-9346

You can get a sandwich just about any place. But to get a sandwich that lives up to your dreams, you have to go to Italy. Or at least Fresno’s own little Italy, which can be found at the corner of First Street and Clinton Avenue. Sam’s Italian Deli and Marketplace features culinary delights ranging from




Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria Multiple locations

At Me-N-Ed’s Pizzeria, the secret to success starts with staying true to traditional recipes and techniques. Since 1958, when the original location on Blackstone Avenue opened, the pizzeria has grown to include more than 60 locations in Central California. “We work hard to stay connected to the community,” says Thomas Ferdinandi, executive vice president and chief operations office of Milano Restaurants International. There are more than 20 locations in Clovis and Fresno — offering an array of options for you to customize your pie. For starters, the pizzeria is known for using firebrick ovens to create crispy crust. You can choose between thin or thick crust and red tomato or white garlic Alfredo sauces. Next, your pie is topped with a blend of five cheeses and your choice of toppings. Toppings extend to include fresh vege-

We are honored to win 4 categories 1st Place

2nd Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

Bread & Bakery Bagels & Bread Dessert

Wedding Cakes

559-222-0555 | 730 West Shaw Avenue • Fresno, CA 93704


The General Sherman IPA, the Half Dome California Wheat, the 99 Golden Ale, the Sugar Pine Cocoa-Vanilla Porter and the Joaquin Murrieta Chile Beer are a few brews that pay homage to the Golden State, specifically the Central Valley. In 2010, the brewery became a part of the landscape at the south end of Fulton Street in downtown Fresno. The tasting room is the spot to try the selection of brews, as well as buy merchandise. It hosts a number of events throughout the year, including the FresYes Fest on Saturday, March 24 in the TSBeerGarden. The menu features more than 20 brews, including high-gravity beers and special releases. The most popular brew is the General Sherman IPA — a blend of pale and caramel malts with hints of citrus. The brewery sources ingredients — fruit, coffee and vanilla beans — from a handful of local businesses. The Half Dome California Wheat, named after Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, is infused with stone fruit — thanks to peaches from Wawona Orchards in Clovis. The TSBeerGarden also hosts local food trucks throughout the week like Casa de Tamales, Fatte Albert’s Pizza, El Premio Mayor and The Chicken Shack.


26 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Food and Drink specialty pastas, cheeses, meats, bread, spices, cookies and coffee. The menu of sandwiches is extensive. Sandwiches are freshly prepared to order on 5-inch or 8-inch sesame rolls, with the exception of the New Yorker Hot Pastrami and the Sam’s Steak Sandwich, which are available in a large, 10-inch crusty baguette. Sandwiches are piled high with the high-quality ingredients, including mayonnaise, mustard, peppers, pickles and cheese — and, depending on what you ordered, meat: turkey breast, roast beef, salami, pastrami, ham, tuna, capicollo, mortadella and prosciutto. Specialty sandwiches like the muffaletta, meatball or eggplant Parmesan sandwiches are favorites in Fresno. In addition to sandwiches, the deli offers sides like pasta or Mediterranean Orzo salad to complete your lunch. An insider’s tip: Come hungry and arrive early if you want to eat on-site.

2. Deli Delicious Multiple locations

People’s Choice Fansler says cioppino — a stew of spicy wine-tomato sauce with clams, mussels, shrimp, scallops and whitefish served in an iron pot — is a popular item on the menu. It comes with sourdough bread to dip. The seafood restaurant also serves three kinds of clam chowder: Classic White, Spicy Red and Rhode Island Clear. You can order a cup, bowl, mug, sourdough bread bowl or sampler. Attached to the seafood restaurant is the Pismo’s Fish Market. You can purchase halibut, mahi mahi, yellowfin tuna, snapper, trout, swordfish, Chilean sea bass and farmed salmon.

2. Central Fish Co. 1535 Kern St. (559) 237-2049

2. Red Lobster 1460 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 221-9495

3. Piemonte’s Italian Delicatessen 616 E. Olive Ave. (559) 237-2038

3. Butterfish Poke 8482 N. Friant Road 1850 W. Herndon Ave., Clovis (559) 478-5471





Pismo’s Coastal Grill 7937 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 439-9463

Located in the Villaggio Shopping Center, Pismo’s Coastal Grill bridges the gap between Fresno and the Central Coast. Resembling a beachfront eatery, the seafood restaurant was built by Dave Fansler of the Fansler Restaurant Group in 2009. “We just finished our best year in history,” Fansler says about the success of the seafood restaurant. The menu features hot and cold appetizers, specialty salads, burgers and sandwiches, pasta and entrées. Weekly specials change due to seasonality and availability, and deliveries are made on a daily basis to provide fresh, high-quality products. For starters, hot appetizers include hot-roasted edamame, wood-grilled oysters, pistachio-crusted calamari and sweet potato fries to dip in cilantro-jalapeño sauce. The Pismo’s Crab Cakes are topped with lemon beurre blanc.

Yosemite Ranch 1520 E. Champlain Drive (559) 434-4403

Yosemite Ranch Steak, Seafood & Roast House (also known as Yo Ranch) resembles a lodge in Yosemite National Park — providing an intimate and cozy atmosphere in which customers can relax. Located on the northeast corner of Cedar and Shepherd avenues, the steakhouse is owned by Dave Fansler of the Fansler Restaurant Group. The menu features appetizers like the Roast House Nachos and the Big Firecracker Shrimp that are perfect to share between couples and samplers for sharing among friends. His team goes to great lengths to develop and perfect dishes that are unique to the steakhouse. Meals are cooked on a coastal red oak fire — an important fact that sets the steakhouse apart from competitors. Prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients, Fansler says the most popular meals include baby back ribs, the combination plate of ranch steak and lobster

SANDWICHES: Marlene Goulet helps a customer at Sam’s Italian Deli and

Marketplace, which offers made-to-order sandwiches and a wide variety of food items.

tail, and seafood delights like shrimp, calamari and salmon, prepared in a variety of ways. You can enhance your dinner with cracked pepper and blue cheese, sautéed portobello mushrooms, firecracker prawns or pan-roasted scampi. The wine list includes varietals from the Central Coast, Napa Valley, Sonoma and Monterey, as well as champagne like Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon from France. Complete your dinner with dessert: the Ranch Kitchen Crème Brulee Cheesecake, the Yosemite Rangers “Contest Winning” Chocolate Cake or the Bread Pudding with Jack Daniel’s Bourbon Sauce.

2. Ruth’s Chris Steak House 7844 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 490-0358

3. Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar 639 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-5823

Sunday Brunch


Campagnia 1185 E. Champlain Drive (559) 433-3300

Sunday brunch at Campagnia offers the enjoyment of patio dining, a buffet with delicious options and music that wraps you in a welcome embrace. The restaurant has different dining areas to suit guests’ needs, but The Garden Atrium “plays very nicely into brunch, mimosas and live jazz,” says Tony Sciola, the owner of Campagnia. The Garden Atrium is open year-round — courtesy of misters, heaters and a state-of-the-art roofing system that accommodates all weather conditions. Served from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the buffet-style brunch offers made-to-order omelets, bacon and sausage, potatoes, cold salads, poached salmon, chicken piccata and hot pasta dishes. Two popular items are prime rib au jus with fresh horseradish cream and mixed berry French toast with homemade caramel sauce. The menu also includes soups and assorted breads, grilled vegetable or antipasto platters and peel-and-eat shrimp cocktail. The Ultimate Bloody Mary garnished with bacon, jalapeños, olives and shrimp is one of the drinks on the cocktail list. A complimentary glass of champagne is available — or order bottomless mimosas for $12. William Morris provides live jazz during Sunday brunch. He’s an “entertainer extraordinaire,” Sciola says. It’s no surprise that Campagnia is a popular destination on Sundays. In fact, Sciola recommends reservations. “Brunch is a day to relax and be with family,” he adds. “At your leisure, go up to our buffet and get some good homemade food and save room for dessert.”


Food and Drink

2. Fresno Breakfast House 2085 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 431-1385

3. Yosemite Falls Cafe Multiple locations



Wassabi 752 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 226-2233 2920 E. Nees Ave. (559) 797-4361

Escape reality and enter a world with more than 40 different sushi rolls. Without a doubt, Wassabi hooks customers with the eclectic atmosphere, enthusiastic employees and to-die-for rolls. Wassabi is at the northwest corner of Willow and Nees avenues. The name: Wassabi on Fire. The second location, Wassabi Off The Hook, remains in Fig Garden Village. The most popular rolls on the menu include the OMG, the Booty Booty and 3M. The three rolls feature crab and spicy tuna. If you don’t have a palate for sushi, try the Nemo with salmon or the Yoda with deep-fried calamari and asparagus topped with avocado. Wassabi also plays tribute to the Golden State by featuring the Super California: imitation crabmeat and avocado topped with shrimp tempura. The Fresno consists of salmon, yellowtail, shrimp and green onions wrapped with soy paper and spicy tuna. If you want to be bold, order the Smells Like My EX, the Crazy Monkey, the Lobster, the Dynamite and the Red Dragon. The menu also features vegetarian-friendly rolls with avocado, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms or cucumber. But if you want to skip sushi, Wassabi has you covered with teriyaki chicken, Chilean sea bass, deep-fried wontons, crab cakes, salted or garlic edamame, fried rice and deep-fried green beans.

2. Pokiland 950 Herndon Ave., Suite 101, Clovis 1189 E. Champlain Drive (559) 433-8980


People’s Choice 3. Roll One For Mi 1512 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 103 (559) 434-1464

Tea House


Teazer World Market Multiple locations

Teazer World Tea Market takes your taste buds on a tropical adventure. The tea shop, which boasts more than 100 types of tea, was founded by Ann Liao in 2003. The tea shop has locations throughout the Fresno area, starting with the original location in the Tower District. Employees, called Tea Tenders, help customers navigate through the menu. You can order tea with fresh fruit, cream or soy milk. The tea shop is known for featuring seasonal blends like Cherry Blossom Green Tea, Lavender Cream Earl Grey, The Royal Blue, Peachy Lichee, Shanghai Lichee Jasmine and Nerola Orange Oolong in the spring. Tango Mango, Vanilla Sky, Green Lantern, Brazilian Coconut, Lavender Lemonade and Pomegranate Hibiscus are top picks in the summer. There are caffeine-free herbal teas — infused with flavors like peppermint, ginger, spearmint, lavender, lemongrass and rose petals — with medicinal properties to relax and soothe your mind and body. The tea shop also offers unfermented green tea.

that Kim Rang recommends to customers trying Thai food for the first time. “It is very popular in my restaurant,” says Rang, who co-owns the business with her husband, Bob. Pad Thai (the dish) is ideal for first-timers because it doesn’t have “heat” — no chilies or spices that give other entrees their zip. (That zip comes in four levels: mild, medium, hot and super hot.) Pad Thai noodles are made with egg, green onions, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts. They can be ordered with beef, chicken, pork, seafood or a combination of meat. Rang also recommends basil chicken (also called Pad Kra-Pao) for customers exploring Thai food. It features yellow onions, bell peppers and mushrooms stir-fried with fresh chili, garlic, sweet basil leaves and a special secret sauce. Pad Thai’s menu features a dish with an intriguing name: Drunken Noodles (also known as Pad Kee Mao). A traditional Thai food, it’s spicy, panfried, flat rice noodles with chili, garlic, yellow onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and sweet basil. One theory about the name says a drunk came home and used what was in the kitchen to make a meal.

The Rangs opened Pad Thai in 2014 because she likes to cook and enjoys serving people. “I love talking to customers,” Rang says.

2. The Thai House 1069 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 221-7245

3. Thai Country Restaurant 151 W. Bullard Ave., Clovis (559) 298-6697

Wedding Cake


Eddie’s Bakery Cafe 7089 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 323-0900

Eddie’s Bakery Cafe makes about 400 wedding cakes each year — tiered creations of moist sweetness influenced by what couples can find on the internet.

2. Little Leaf Tea 6011 N. Palm Ave. (559) 261-2699

3. 1920 Tea Club 732 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 412-4727

Thai Restaurant


Pad Thai Restaurant 198 Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 324-1235

Pad Thai Restaurant is named for its signature dish — stir-fried rice noodles


2. Batter Up Pancakes 8029 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 440-1221


28 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Food and Drink

People’s Choice

Kogetsu-Do 920 F St. (559) 237-2670

Lynn Ikeda continues a centuryold family tradition of making Japanese pastries from her grandfather’s secret recipes in Fresno’s Chinatown. She owns the Kogetsu-Do, which is the only one of its kind in the San Joaquin Valley. Kogetsu-Do is Japanese for “lake moon.” Her immigrant grandfather, Sugimatsu, chose that name when he opened in 1915 on Kern Street. The business moved to its current location on F Street in 1920. People come to the bakery from throughout the state. “I wouldn’t be here without my customers, friends and people who find me on Yelp,” Ikeda says. Mochi — a sweet rice flour dough wrapped around fruit or bean paste — is among the most popular pastries. Fruit options include apricot, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cinnamon apple and peach. Ikeda gets her fruit from local farmers, and she features whatever fruit is in season. She also uses her grandfather’s small branding irons to imprint a crane or a rose on the pastries, displayed in the same wooden boxes and glass cases he used. As a child, Ikeda watched her grandfather work and heard his stories of continuing his craft even when the family was wrongly imprisoned with other Japanese-Americans during World War II. Her father, Mas, and her uncle, Roy, worked with their father in the bakery after the war. Ikeda was a girl in the 1960s when she started sweeping the floor and cleaning the windows at the bakery. She earned a degree in criminology from Fresno State but took over the bakery in the late 1970s when her father became ill. “There is a lot of history here. I think of all the families who knew my parents and my grandparents,” she says. “I just didn’t want to see it die.” Ikeda, now 62, says her daughter is not interested in running the bakery. “It’s going to go with me. It’s a dying trade,” she says. But the good news is that Ikeda has no plans to retire anytime soon. Her grandfather — who continued to work into his 80s — set an example she hopes to follow. “I might move a little slower, but I’m going to keep on doing it,” Ikeda says with a smile.

KOSETSU-DO: This picture from

1920 shows Sugimatsu Ikeda, grandfather; Sakino Ikeda, grandmother; and Roy Ikeda, uncle of its current owner, Lynn Ikeda, seen below.

Pinterest and Google supply pictures and ideas to brides and grooms, and consultants guide them toward a final selection. “We help them mix and match to get something more personal,” says manager Sophia Myers. Champagne custard remains the most popular filling, but a colorful trend in cake decoration emerged in the last year. Blush pink or shades of plum and purple were among couples’ favorites. Greenery such as ferns, eucalyptus and succulents (mostly real plants) also provided color. “Bright cakes were a nice change for the year,” Myers says. An earlier trend — dessert tables — remained strong in 2017. Couples would choose a smaller, two-tiered cake and then complement it with mini dessert items: brownie bites, small cupcakes and fruit tarts. “Variety is the spice of life, and everyone is embracing it,” Myers says. Choosing a cake is a careful process at the bakery. Consultants take at least an hour with each customer, with family and friends sometimes present to also enjoy the experience in the consultation room. Two years ago, the bakery redid the consultation room to provide more space to see the cakes on display. Cakes, of course, come in all sizes, which suggests a question: what’s the tallest one the bakery ever made? It had six tiers and measured almost three feet, Myers says. Just right to help 400 guests celebrate the start of a couple’s wedded journey.

2. Frosted Cakery 1292 N. Wishon Ave. (559) 917-8880

3. La Boulangerie French Bakery and Cafe 730 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-0555

Athletic Club

eight complete lines of circuit machines, group exercise classes, like cycle, Pilates, Zumba, yoga and kickboxing, giant LCD TVs throughout, a 75-foot indoor pool and sauna and a daycare with a four-level space maze for the kids (a nominal fee applies). “The response has been tremendous,” Brown says, and if you’re already a Gb3 member, you’re welcome to use the Super Club at no additional cost. The Super Club features new machines like a VersaClimber, and functional training areas allowing members to do CrossFit-style training with pulleys, balls, ropes and climbing apparatuses. In addition to the new club, Gb3 boasts four more clubs throughout Fresno and Clovis. Each club offers more equipment choices than its competitors, Brown says. “We keep all our equipment new, clean and up to date,” he says. All clubs feature leading fitness equipment with brand names like Star Trac, BodyMaster, Precor, Cybex, Hoist Roc-It and LifeFitness. Working the late or swing shift? Gb3 at Milburn and Herndon avenues is open 24 hours, four days a week. Other clubs are open from 4 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “We give so much value for basically $1 a day,” Brown says. “We work really hard to please our members. Everything in the club is included [in the membership price]. And, members are in charge of their membership. They can freeze their membership any time.” Gb3 offers a free one-week trial for perspective members, who can sign up online or in the gym. “It’s low-key — no pressure,” Brown says.

2. Planet Fitness Multiple locations

3. Fort Washington Fitness 9471 N. Fort Washington Road (559) 434-0700




Gb3 Multiple locations “The latest and greatest” is now open, says Gb3 owner George Brown. The new 50,000-square-foot Gb3 Super Club at Champlain Drive and Shepherd Avenue opened at the end of December with

Feel Good Chiropractic 5132 N. Fresno St. (559) 225-3335

Feel Good Chiropractic offers com-


Health and Fitness plete chiropractic care and massage therapy using a holistic approach. “We treat every patient how we want to be treated,” says Dr. London Jones, D.C. “We treat all aspects of their problems. When they leave, we want them feeling better than when they came in.” Feel Good Chiropractic appeals to all the senses in the human body, Jones says, with soft music, pleasant scents and a saltwater aquarium in the lobby. “Right away, it puts their stress at ease,” Jones says. “It’s an escape. We’re like a chiropractic spa.” The office features different stations that work patients’ muscles. There’s a table with massaging water jets (that won’t get you wet), a roller table, massage chairs, tables for electric stimulation and ultrasound machines. And, for a full head-to-toe massage, Feel Good Chiropractic has massage therapists on staff. Jones has been practicing since 1996. He has treated patients of all ages, including patients who have been injured in auto accidents as well as athletes from high school to professionals. Jones adjusts the full spine by using techniques to fit each individual on a patient-by-patient basis in order to



People’s Choice achieve optimum results. He uses the Diversified technique, which is a combination of the top techniques commonly used in chiropractic institutions. “We accommodate the patient according to their needs,” Jones says. “We also give them the information and knowledge they seek.” At Feel Good Chiropractic, patients can receive expert advice on diet, nutrition and exercise. Jones has extensive post-doctoral training in different areas of chiropractic care. “Our goal is to get the patient back to a quality lifestyle so they can enjoy life to the fullest,” Jones says.

2. Schroeder Family Chiropractic 2535 N. Fresno St. (559) 226-2535

3. Ritter Family Chiropractic 1706 E. Bullard Ave., Suite 107 (559) 432-3332

Diet Headquarters


Weight Watchers 393 W. Shaw Ave., Suite A10, Clovis 7859 N. Blackstone Ave.

Weight Watchers has always believed that dieting is just one part of long-term weight management. A healthy body results from a healthy lifestyle — which means mental, emotional and physical health. Weight Watchers does not tell members what they can or can’t eat. It provides information, knowledge, tools and motivation to help members make the decisions that are right for them about nutrition and exercise. It helps members make healthy eating decisions, and encourages them to enjoy themselves by becoming more active. Weight Watchers recently launched the new WW Freestyle program. In a sixmonth clinical trial, participants who

followed WW Freestyle saw great weight loss and impressive changes on and off the scale. The new program is still based on WW’s science-backed SmartPoints system, which encourages members to eat more fruits, veggies, lean protein and less sugar and unhealthy fats. New to the program are more than 200 zero Points foods, that you don’t ever have to portion or track. Even Oprah endorses the new WW Freestyle program: “Less counting, more enjoying. I have never felt better!” Nearly 60 years ago, Weight Watchers founder Jean Nidetch began inviting friends into her home once a week, to discuss how best to lose weight. Today, that group of friends has grown to millions of women and men around the world who use the products and services of Weight Watchers to lose unwanted pounds. After that first meeting, an estimated 1 million people, from Brazil to New Zealand, come together each week to help each meet their weight-loss goals at Weight Watchers meetings. Watch for a new Clovis location later this year. Learn more on the Weight Watchers app or online.


Thank you for voting us People’s Choice for Best Seafood, Best BBQ and Best Fine Dining

30 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Health and Fitness

People’s Choice

2. GNC Multiple locations

3. The Vitamin Shoppe 1205 Herndon Ave., Clovis (559) 324-8606 7641 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 436-8204

Eye Doctor/Group


Eye Medical Center of Fresno 1360 E. Herndon Ave., MARTIAL ARTS CENTER: Cameron Baird spars with Ryan Walker at Pacific Suites 301 and 210 Martial Arts in Fresno, which features classes in karate, judo, jiu-jitsu, eskrima, boxing, wrestling and more. 1122 S St. (559) 486-5000 2. Fogg, Maxwell, Lanier & at the Marjorie E. Radin Breast Care ter. Patients find imaging, diagnostics, Remington EyeCare Tracing its roots back more than 75 surgery, radiology, emotional support Multiple locations years, Eye Medical Center of Fresno is and other services under one roof. proud of its legacy. The founding eye doctors established a long tradition of high-quality eye care, and their professional prestige attracted the first doctors to the Central Valley with subspecialty training in retinal, corneal and oculoplastic surgery. The tradition of superior eye care continues today with 19 eye doctors currently practicing at the Eye Medical Center, making it one of the largest eye care medical facilities in the Central Valley. The fellowship trained doctors perform refractive laser eye surgeries (LASIK, PRK and Clear Lens Exchange), retinal vitreous surgery, corneal transplant surgery and cataract and glaucoma surgeries. The optometrists at Eye Medical Center perform primary eye care exams, eyeglass and contact lens services, as well as medical eye examinations. The center has specialized pediatric ophthalmology, optometrists and optical staff specifically trained to work with children of all ages. The mission of Eye Medical Center of Fresno is to offer comprehensive personal eye care to patients of all ages in a dignified setting by specialists with the highest qualifications in the region. The team provides comprehensive eye care services ranging from routine eye examinations to very complex medical and surgical eye needs. Eye Medical Center also specializes in cosmetic procedures, including brow lift, blepharoplasty, Botox, laser skin resurfacing, oculoplastic surgery, injectable fillers and Latisse.

3. Eye-Q Vision Care 726 N. Medical Center Drive East, Suite 101, Clovis 7075 N. Sharon Ave. (559) 486-2000



Clovis Community Medical Center 2755 Herndon Ave., Clovis (559) 324-4000

Clovis Community Medical Center provides quality care and expanding patient services across a broad spectrum of medical needs. One of its latest projects is a 100,000-square-foot cancer center, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2018. It will be the first of its kind in the Central Valley, says vice president John Strubert, who adds: “We are creating a seamless experience for our cancer patients using best practices to provide timely, coordinated and high-quality care.” In one location, the center will provide imaging, radiation, chemotherapy and other vital services — designed to ease a patient’s journey through treatment. Clovis Community already has earned a reputation for excellent cancer treatment

Meanwhile, babies bring a joy to Clovis Community, and in fiscal year 2016, 5,508 babies were delivered. The Leon S. and Pete P. Peters Future Generations Center serves families with compassionate, personal care during their pregnancy and childbirth experience, says Bonnie Brock, the assistant chief nursing officer. She adds: “From prenatal testing to parent education to the big-day excitement of the baby’s birth, our nurses and doctors are here to give the best care possible to our growing community.”

2. Valley Children’s Hospital 9300 Valley Children’s Place, Madera (559) 353-3000

3. Kaiser Permanente Multiple locations

Martial Arts Center


Pacific Martial Arts Multiple locations (559) 436-4641

Pacific Martial Arts offers students the opportunity to get a physical workout while learning self-defense skills.

Classes offer “a sense of community and allow students to overcome obstacles with the help of teammates,” says Matt Smith, owner of Pacific Martial Arts. “It helps them develop confidence through competence.” The most popular classes are Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, karate and Muay Thai (Thai boxing). The classes challenge students physically and mentally as well as providing a balance of traditional martial arts and modern training, Smith says. “They’re also the arts that are widely used in MMA [mixed martial arts], so people are somewhat familiar with them,” he adds. Pacific Martial Arts has a class in Samurai Combat Arts. It focuses on traditional Japanese swordsmanship and how those skills can be applied to modern self-defense against knives or other weapons. “It’s a niche class, but students who do it love the class,” Smith says. A variety of other classes are available: Wrestling, taught by Olympic silver medalist Stephen Abas. Historical European Martial Arts. Pacific Martial Arts is the only academy between the Bay Area and Los Angeles that offers the class, Smith says. Eskrima — a Philippine stick and knife martial art. The grand master who still teaches the class on occasion started training in 1941. Taekwondo — a traditional Korean martial art, which combines kicking techniques and extreme flexibility.

2. Aikido Fresno 3333 W. Sussex Way (559) 237-2454

3. Fresno Ultimate Martial Arts 7731 N. First St. (559) 261-2805

Women’s Fitness Center


Whole Body Boot Camp 1519 Tollhouse Ave., Suite 102, Clovis (559) 978-6163

Whole Body Boot Camp is a bit of a misnomer. Boot camp classes are offered, but so are Pilates/barre fusion classes, cardio kickboxing, mobility classes, plus an indoor rowing team, run clubs and


Health and Fitness running clinics. Yoga, spin and kettlebells are offered along with HIGH Fitness. The two-building “compound” also features an obstacle course training program. “We bring the variety because it’s out there,” says owner Debbie Coate. “Our women, 35- to 60-year-olds, are more concerned with being healthier.” Coate’s mission is to combine healthy habits with clean eating and fitness. Whole Body Boot Camp brings all three of those to the table. Coate and her staff address the whole body by educating clients on the principles of clean eating without dieting through classes, blogs and recipes. They address healthy habits by educating clients on concepts like the importance of drinking water and getting enough sleep. “It’s fitness with a purpose. Hence, ‘whole body,’ ” Coate says. And, they’re good at it. Last year, Whole Body saw three to four people lose 100 pounds or more. “Oodles hit 50 pounds,” Coate says, and even more hit a 25-pound loss. Whole Body Boot Camp recently began collaborating with Ride 54. “Cycling is the gold standard,” for cardiovascular improvement, Coate says, so joining with Ride 54 brings cycling to more people. Clients can workout at either or both Whole Body and Ride 54.

2. Gb3 Multiple locations

3. Fitness Social 7060 N. Recreation Ave., Suite 108, Fresno (559) 324-8500

Yoga Studio


Blue Moon Yoga 1144 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 104 (559) 434-2469

Owner Britney Easton fell in love with yoga during a transitional period in her life. In 2010, she attended a teacher training and went on to teach in “really cool places, like Nice, France, and New York City,” she says. “I always wanted to open my own studio,” so two weeks after moving home from France in 2013 to be with now-



People’s Choice husband Mike, she bought Blue Moon Yoga. So what makes Blue Moon Yoga different from other studios? “The biggest difference is the heat — we heat the room to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity,” Easton says. The proven combination of heat and humidity increases your heart rate providing an incredible cardiovascular workout while increasing your metabolism. It also warms your muscles, making them more pliable, and makes you sweat (a lot) allowing you to release toxins, cleanse your body and melt away excess fat. “Once you get used to the heat, it just works,” Easton says. “Try it, feel it for yourself.” Easton, who runs the studio with husband Mike, is proud to have some of the finest, most experienced yoga instructors the Valley has to offer. With decades of combined experience, the staff provides a warm, welcoming environment to all. Low lights give Blue Moon Yoga a relaxed atmosphere. “It feels private — it’s not as intimidating,” Easton says. “Yoga is growing in popularity in Fresno, and it’s really exciting to see,” Easton says. Blue Moon will open a second location soon in the Trading Post Shopping Center at Clovis and Herndon avenues.

2. Perfect Balance Yoga 5091 N. Fresno St., Suite 133 (559) 222-6212

3. Coil Yoga 292 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 353-2336

Company to Work For


Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino 711 Lucky Lane, Coarsegold (866) 794-6946

More than 1,100 people work at Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino. Offering

everything from hospitality, food and beverage, marketing, finance, facility and gaming positions, Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is a leading employer in the Central Valley. Marketing Director Deann Kamalani says there is a family atmosphere among team members. And with good reason. The incentives and benefits are great, she says. The company offers training to enhance career opportunities, promotes from within, offers a 401K match of up to 4 percent, gives a free meal daily and has incentive programs, contests and events. To get a job at Chukchansi, apply online at under the “About Us” tab and careers link.

2. Granville Homes Multiple locations

3. Guarantee Real Estate Multiple locations

Family Fun


Fresno Chaffee Zoo 894 W. Belmont Ave. (559) 498-5910

It’s a pretty wild choice, but The Fresno Bee readers know the best family fun can be had at Fresno Chaffee Zoo. “Fresno Chaffee Zoo provides families with a unique, exciting and educational experience and offers an opportunity to get close to wildlife,” says Ciara Castellanoz, the marketing manager. Visitors can also talk to a zookeeper, touch a sea creature or two, feed a giraffe, take a walk with a kangaroo and have lunch overlooking the African Savannah. Fresno Chaffee Zoo, located in Roeding Park, is home to approximately 190 species, with more on the way. In fact, if you haven’t been recently, it’s time for you to go. Fresno Chaffee Zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and

32 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Local People and Places Aquariums for more than 25 years. In 2016, Fresno Chaffee Zoo had an attendance of 964,091 guests, making it one of the most visited zoos in the country. The first phase of the African Adventure opened in October 2015. The 13acre exhibit is home to more than 100 animals including African elephants, cheetahs, rhinos and lions. It also houses the Kopje Lodge, which offers a café and a panoramic view of the savanna. “This year, Fresno Chaffee Zoo plans to open its newest exhibit, Wilderness Falls, which is a children’s water play area,” Castellanoz says, offering children a respite from Fresno’s heat during the summer. Fresno Chaffee Zoo also hosts more than a dozen annual events that are fun for children, adults and families, like ZooBoo, ZooLights, Frogs and Fairytales, Producers Ice Cream Zoofari and Roar & Pour. Watch for upcoming events, Ag Day, to be held on Saturday, March 24, and Breakfast with the Animals, to be held on Saturday, April 14. Memberships are available, and offer unlimited trips to the zoo for families. In addition, memberships give visitors a discount at the gift shops, free admission to Stingray Bay and discounts on educational programs and events. The City of Fresno charges $5 per car to enter Roeding Park. Annual parking passes are available for members for $50.

2. Woodward Park 7775 N. Friant Road (559) 621-2900 3. MB2 Raceway 1200 Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 298-7223

FAMILY FUN: A cheetah is shown at Fresno Chaffee Zoo, the People’s Choice for Family Fun.

People’s Choice

Local Festival/ Event


The Big Fresno Fair

The Big Fresno Fair has something for everyone at an affordable price, so it’s the perfect place for families to gather for adventure. “We pride ourselves ourselves on providing not only new entertainment and attractions each year to keep it fresh, but also providing lots of free activities and attractions for people to enjoy once they get into the fair,” says John Alkire, CEO of The Big Fresno Fair. It’s no wonder then, that The Fresno Bee readers selected The Big Fresno Fair as Best Local Festival/ Event in the first year of competition. “We are honored to be named the winner of this new category as part of The Fresno Bee’s People’s Choice Awards,” Alkire says. “We pride ourselves in being an asset to our community and providing an affordable entertainment option to families for 135 years.” The fair is an October tradition, with this year’s festivities set for Oct. 3 to 14. You can feast on everything from cinnamon rolls to turkey legs and can see exhibits like cooking contests, arts and livestock. “I think The Big Fresno Fair is a longstanding tradition for many in the Central Valley — something that is shared among generations of family members. It provides the venue to truly create lasting memories with one another in a safe environment,” Alkire says. The Big Fresno Fair is the largest attended public event from Sacramento to the Los Angeles county line with 609,036 people attending. When the fair isn’t happening, the Fresno Fairgrounds serves as a venue for more than 250 events throughout the year providing an incredible economic impact for the region. “The Table Mountain Rancheria Park is a family favorite, especially for those with younger kids,” Alkire says, explaining that the entire Table Mountain Rancheria Park is focused on kids, as is the Ag Ventureland in the Livestock Pavilion. Children and adults alike also enjoy the roaming entertainers who are ready to pose for photos, make an animal balloon or put on a quick show or contest. The Kiddie Land Carnival is also a family favorite because it is an isolated area for carnival rides for children. It just got a major upgrade last year with the addition of paved concrete walkways. Kids’ Town, which changes every year, is dedicated to families and activities that

LOCAL FESTIVAL/EVENT: The Big Fresno Fair is the People’s Choice winner for

Best Festival/Event. With everything from traditional fair fun and food, The Big Fresno Fair is also home to a history museum, the Table Mountain Rancheria Park, Ag Ventureland and Kids’ Town.

everyone in the family can do together. This year’s theme for the Kids’s Town exhibit is “Let’s Play.” Look for interactive games like giant board games, video games, virtual reality stations and a family game show. Alkire says there will be a lot of new things to see at the fair this year. “We have some very exciting new additions to the Fresno County Historical Museum that will debut at this year’s fair,” he says, “including a new projection mapping exhibit telling the story of Fresno’s history from settlement to modern day, as well as a refurbished race car from the old Kearney Bowl. Additionally, just south of the Paul Paul Theater near the Table Mountain Rancheria Park there will be a new 32-foot tall “Tractor Tree” that is built with antique tractors and will feature storyboards telling the history of tractors in the Valley and their role in agriculture. Also featured will be an actual tractor cab that kids can sit in and steer.”

2. Christmas Tree Lane

3. BIG Hat Days

Local Radio Personality/Team


Jody Jo & Gnarley Charley KISS Country 93.7 FM

Jody Jo and Gnarley Charley sprinkle fun into the morning drive time as they play country music’s best songs. “If we can make each other or ourselves laugh then we’ve done our job,” she says. “If we think something is funny, somebody else has to think it’s funny, too.” Jody Jo says her partnership with Charley, which started in 2010, works because they’re opposites. She describes herself as “the loving mom who wants to take care of everyone.” Charley says he’s the “little-bit crazy uncle you want at Thanksgiving, but you don’t want too drunk.” Friendship underlies their relationship, Charley says: “We can give each other crap, but you can tell there’s also love there.” Jody Jo says the best part of the job is connecting with listeners. “They’re like family to us. We bond together over the love of country music,” she says. Speaking of music, Jody Jo is a fan of Russell Dickerson’s “Yours” and Thomas Rhett’s “Marry Me.” Charley likes anything by Lee Brice or Keith Urban. A final note: Jody Jo says people might see Charley as a “silly, goofy, overgrown kid,” but he’s actually sincere and emotional. Charley responds: “That’s really nice. You’re trying to make me cry. It almost worked.”

2. Greg & Dre Q97.1 FM

3. Ray Appleton KMJNOW 105.9 FM


Local People and Places a new Facebook Live postgame show. “It was something that had never been done in our market,” he says. Finally, Tran traveled to Idaho in November for the Mountain West Championship game between Fresno State and Boise State. “The atmosphere was amazing despite the ’Dogs losing,” he says. “We all know, of course, they ended up with a terrific year under first-year head coach Jeff Tedford.” Away from work, Tran participates in Muay Thai (Thai boxing). “It’s a great workout in addition to being a great physical and mental sport,” he says. In mid-February, Tran announced he would be leaving ABC 30 for an anchor/ host position with CBS Sports Digital based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Stephens, “Great Day” reporters Jim De La Vega and Tayhana Garcia plus the show’s production staff. He says he’s also grateful to KMPH management for giving him “quite a bit of freedom.” The key to his success is simple, Sotiropulos says: “What you see is what you get. I haven’t let this TV thing get to my head. It’s here today. It could be gone tomorrow. I’m the same person on the air and off the air. I do the best I can when I meet our viewers to make them feel appreciated.”

2. Ralph Wood KMPH, FOX TV26

3. Paul Loeffler ESPN Radio, 940 AM

the People’s Choice winner for Best Weathercaster.



Tommy Tran KFSN, ABC TV30

Tommy Tran jokes when asked about the teams and sports he roots for. “Boy, putting me on the spot, huh?” he says. “It’s like asking the political affiliation of a news journalist. Let’s just say my pro sports compass is all over the place.” That compass points to current quarterbacks Derek Carr and Tom Brady, as well as retired pro athletes Kobe Bryant and Carlos Beltran. Tran says he has “a ton of respect” for how those athletes prepared and competed. “I try to emulate that with my position within the sports department,” he says. Three sporting events he covered in 2017 stand out as memorable. In January, Tran traveled to Houston to report on a National Football League playoff game between the Oakland Raiders and the Texans. (The Texans won.) Then, in the summer, he covered the National Basketball Association Finals Media Day in Oakland. Tran then started


People’s Choice



Television Anchor


Kopi Sotiropulos KMPH, FOX TV26

Kopi Sotiropulos gets up early to make sure his television audience has a great day. How early is early? Try 2 a.m. Then he’s off to the television studio where he co-hosts the “Great Day” morning program weekdays from 5 to 10 a.m. “I’m fortunate to have a job that I really enjoy,” Sotiropulos says. “Performing on TV — I get a kick out of it. The interaction with our viewers, from elementary schools to senior citizens throughout the Valley, energizes me.” Sotiropulos’ energy — coupled with his exuberant personality and trademark Hawaiian shirts and colorful ties — makes him one of the recognizable media personalities in the Valley. He started his career at KMPH as a copywriter, then went to Hollywood to act, and returned to the station as a weathercaster in 1992. In 2003, he joined “Great Day.” His long career in Fresno has created a bond with Valley residents. One day, for example, he appeared in a classroom only to find that he made a similar visit to the teacher’s class when she was in fourth grade. Sotiropulos is a generous colleague. He praises his “Great Day” co-host Kim

2. Warren Armstrong KFSN, ABC TV30

3. Graciela Moreno KFSN, ABC TV30



Kevin Musso KFSN, ABC TV30

Kevin Musso started his media career on radio. He spent 12 years waking up people as “Moose in the Morning” on various stations. Then one day, former Channel 30 weather forecaster Angelo Stalis appeared as a guest on Musso’s show. Stalis encouraged Musso — who’d always had an interest in the weather — to pursue a television career, coaching him even before he got his first TV job. Musso now has been forecasting Valley weather for 22 years. He completed his meteorological studies at Mississippi State University and Penn State University. “It’s critical to have credentials and classroom knowledge,” Musso says. He also is a member of the American Meteorological Society and has its Seal of Approval, which requires continuing education. “So we never stop learning,” he says. Recent drought years have presented his biggest challenge because viewers are so anxious for rain. “It’s funny,” Musso says. “If you show an icon that has rain drops, the tendency is to think, ‘Kevin said it’s going to rain tomorrow.’ When in fact, just below it reads ‘Possible’ or ‘Chance.’ We really strive to qualify things nowadays.” Winter “hands down” is his favorite season, Musso says. Summer poses a big challenge. “It’s hard to keep the story fresh and remind people we are going to be hot all summer.”

2. Kopi Sotiropulos KMPH, FOX TV26

3. AJ Fox KSEE, NBC TV24

Air Conditioning/ Heating Repair


Valley Air Conditioning and Repair 825 S. Topeka Ave. (559) 487-3188

For more than 45 years, Valley Air Conditioning and Repair has been serving Central Valley communities with its air conditioning and heating needs. Customers consist of homeowners, business owners, property managers, plant managers, general contractors, investors and national accounts. However, it’s surprising that the company ever happened. “In 1969, my dad, Tobbie, nearly died in a construction accident that left him with a broken neck in two places, a shattered face and arm,” says his daughter, Tobbie Biglione, Valley Air Conditioning and Repair co-owner and CEO. “He shocked the medical professionals by walking and regaining use of his right arm. He retrained to repair air conditioning. He started his business in his garage, opened his shop in 1972 and never looked back. “Nothing will strengthen a business better than a good reputation by unpublicized word of mouth. ... This is the philosophy on which Valley Air Conditioning and Repair was founded. We are successful in business when we have happy customers and talented employees who both choose to stay with our company.” VAR offers a comprehensive array of services, including maintenance and pre-season preparation plans, design, installation, maintenance of air conditioning, heating, sheet metal fabrication, energy conservation management and much more. The diverse management team has at least 20 years experience in each of their fields of expertise. The owners have at least 28 years experience and Steve James has 33 years of experience in mechanical systems. “Our staff has never been driven by heavy commissions, rather their passion

34 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

for wanting to do their jobs well,” says Biglione. “We do not employ ‘salesmen’; we employ caring, trained, experienced people who can provide the best advice and service to help accomplish our customers’ goals.” Because Valley Air Conditioning and Repair holds six contractor’s licenses, it’s able to keep the work in-house. “All of our services are offered for new construction, replacement, remodel or retrofit. From the ground up, our lineage is everything,” says Biglione.

2. Lee’s Air Conditioning, Heating & Building Performance 5456 W. Mission Ave. (559) 227-9569

3. Allbritten 2705 N. Larkin Ave. (559) 292-4919



Sew-N-So Multiple locations

For more than 32 years, the familyowned Sew-N-So has performed skilled alterations for customers. Beginning with the parents’ original store at 1418 W. Shaw Ave., the business grew with the opening of three additional stores run by sons — two locations in Fresno and one in Clovis. “Most of our alterations are done by hand,” says Patrick Tran, who, along with his wife, has operated his own store at 6751 N. Blackstone Ave. for 17 years. “You can’t tell the garment’s been altered, we match the original look. It’s something we’ve been taught by our parents.” The busiest time of year for Sew-N-So begins when the school year starts and runs through the holidays, followed by prom season. The customer’s time frame is important and last-minute alterations are a possibility. “I especially give priority to jobs having to do with funerals because those aren’t planned,” said Tran. According to the tailor, trending requests are currently for a slimmer look in pants, jackets and suits and are tighterfitting than in previous years. At present, new locations aren’t planned for the near future. “We’re running out of family members,” Tran says with a chuckle.

2. Gili Couture 3035 W. Bullard Ave., Suite B (559) 229-0712 3. Alterations Etc. 7412 N. Fresno St. (559) 438-7260 3. Becky’s Alterations 1175 Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 325-7979

Animal Boarding


Elaine’s Pet Resorts 3912 N. Hayston Ave. (559) 227-5959 40373 Brickyard Drive, Madera (559) 432-5959

For almost 30 years, Elaine’s Pet Resorts has been the go-to vacation home for dogs and cats when they can’t be with their humans. For dogs, it’s like canine camp: They’re given play time with others of similar size, activity level and temperament. “Many of the services we offer provide our guests with a positive and personal experience customized to fit our customers’ pets’ needs,” says Kristine Wolverton, the marketing coordinator. “We offer overnight lodging, day care and training, but our most popular pet service to date is playtime in our water parks. Both our Fresno and Madera locations have two water parks equipped with beach-entry pools lined with fountains, large canopies for shade and 8,000 square feet of artificial turf for our guests to run and play on. Our play yards are a place where our guests can socialize, make new friends and most of all, have fun.” Elaine’s Pet Resorts is a third-generation family-owned company. Elaine is still part of the day-to-day operation. Her son, Howard, oversees both locations and her grandchildren help with the business. “We are excited for many more years of pet care to come and we are so happy to provide a place ‘where best friends stay,’ ” says Wolverton.

2. Petsmart Multiple locations

3. Pet Medical Center & Spa 621 W. Fallbrook Ave. (559) 436-4444

Auto Service Center


Michael Automotive Center Blackstone and Bullard avenues (559) 431-6000

When you need routine maintenance on your vehicle, it’s important to get it in and out of the shop as quickly as possible. Michael Automotive has the solution. “We have express maintenance six days a week,” says David Boggs, the service director. “It’s a separate department with separate service advisors and technicians who work in two-man teams to get vehicles in and out quickly for routine maintenance. “We also have a separate call center that handles all of our incoming calls to schedule appointments, provide pricing and answer many of the questions customers call in for. This eliminates being transferred to already busy service personnel and being put on hold. These are just a couple of the things we do that are designed to provide prompt, stress-free service to our customers.” Other conveniences include the ability to make service appointments on the company’s website. Appointments are available in the afternoon, so there isn’t a big push during the morning hours. “We also use text messaging, instant messaging and with a smart phone, you can authorize or decline work, keep updated on service on your car,” says Boggs. Customers can wait in comfort. The customer lounge has complimentary beverages, a rental service, complimentary shuttle service, complimentary Wi-Fi and early drop-off. The service department has a body shop, factory-certified technicians with 10-plus years of experience, factorycertified service center, parts and accessories and more than 25 service bays. Serving Central California since 1985, Michael Automotive Center is the local authorized sales, service and parts dealer for Toyota, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Volkswagen and Scion and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

2. Pep Boys Multiple locations

3. Good Guys Tire & Auto Repair Multiple locations



Wells Fargo Bank Multiple locations

Wells Fargo is a banking tradition. Since 1852, Wells Fargo has been helping clients meet their financial goals. Founded in San Francisco, Wells Fargo helped customers with services that were popular at the time — like buying and selling gold during California’s Gold Rush. Today, Wells Fargo customers have far different financial needs, and the banking institution is well-equipped to meet those needs. It offers an array of financial services, including checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, lines of credit and investment services. With more than 40 branches and nearly 150 ATMs in the Central Valley, plus 24-hour phone, online and mobile phone access, it’s easy for customers to stay on top of their finances.

2. Chase Multiple locations

3. Bank of America Multiple locations

Car Wash


Red Carpet Car Wash Multiple locations

For more than half a century, Red Carpet Car Wash has helped keep its customers’ cars sparkling clean. You can get a quick wash or a feel-like-new wash and detail. There’s also a Ride and Shine Express Wash, with access to vehicle care products at vending machines, complimentary use of high-performance vacuum cleaners, a mat cleaner, air chucks to eliminate water from crevices of your





People’s Choice

vehicle and last but not least, free lollipops for children. You can choose from the different plans to decide which best suits your needs. The Golden Ticket has always been a big hit with unlimited full-service “Best” washes, plus you get 10 cents off each gallon of Chevron gas you buy at the Blackstone Avenue location. Need a smog check, oil change, new filter or a lube job? The location at Blackstone Avenue is Star Certified and, along with the location at Shaw and Marty avenues, can provide these services by skilled employees. “We’ve got a wonderful management staff who really tries to build relationships with customers,” says Michael Bowie, the owner of Red Carpet Car Wash. “We opened in 1967 and have had a lot of time to make great connections with some wonderful people.” The locations are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. Sunday hours at the Blackstone Avenue location are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Red Carpet Car Wash takes pride in helping the community through fundraising efforts intended for Fresno County youth (18 years or younger) schools and nonprofit sponsored organizations.

2. Surf Thru Express Multiple locations

3. Jack’s Car Wash 8995 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 435-7335 6745 N. West Ave. (559) 438-8201

Closet and Garage Storage and Organization


California Closets 7638 N. Ingram Ave., Suite 107 (559) 398-0355

What a successful road California Closets has traveled. Founded in 1978, by an 18-year-old Southern California college

student who wanted to maximize space in his dorm room closet, this successful small enterprise gradually grew into a large franchise business. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, California Closets has built a reputation as a leader in premium and luxury space management with nearly 130 showrooms and more than 700 design consultants across North America. The company debuted its Showroom 2.0 design in San Francisco and recently opened its latest retail showroom in Burlingame offering a state-of-the-art environment where clients can experience the company’s design tools. In 2017, the company earned a Shop! Silver Award in the Service Retailer category for its reimagined Showroom 2.0 environment designed by Boston-based architecture and interiors firm, Bergmeyer Associates Inc. “Collaborating with our professional design consultants, our clients can now visualize and experience their custom organizational solution even before making a purchase,” says California Closets CEO, Bill Barton. “Closets” is in the name, but consultants can easily organize media centers, pantries, craft storage areas, offices, garages, bedrooms, living rooms —

wherever customers need help with managing their space. Initial consultation is free and consultants pride themselves on customizing their products to the needs of the customer. A professional design team works with clients to understand their space, what they hope to achieve and what they want and need. Products are manufactured using the finest materials and processes and are guaranteed to last. The company’s website has helpful articles, advice and photos. You can sign up online for an in-home consultation or make an appointment at the Fresno store to see and feel the quality of good organization.

2. Storage Systems Inc. 2910 E. Heaton Ave. (559) 225-5313

3. Closets by Design 5531 E. Lamona Ave. (559) 453-7034


Thanks for all your years of support! SAME LOW PRICES LAST 2 YEARS!

(559) 221-0227

4011 North Blackstone • Fresno •

8029 N. Cedar Ave. (at Nees) Fresno, CA 93720 559-440-1221 |


Lion Dance Every Chinese New Year! Check The Events Calendar! Open 7 Days a Week Gift Certificates Available!

7 Years 0003501904-01

To Go Orders, Banquet Hall, Catering Available!

36 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

College or University


Fresno State 5241 N. Maple Ave. (559) 278-4240

Discovery, diversity, distinction — words that describe Fresno State’s institutional values. “Universities like Fresno State are places where a full range of ideas can be discussed and debated,” President Joseph I. Castro told the faculty and staff assembly at the Save Mart Center on Jan. 11, 2018. “It is through discussion and debate that we discover new ways of thinking and it is how we grow as individuals. If we all do this, I am confident that Fresno State will continue its ascension as one of the nation’s leading universities.” In 2017, Fresno State was recognized as the nation’s No. 17 university for its focus on social mobility, research and service. It was the No. 1 school in the

COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY: Fresno State students on campus on a warm Friday. national university category committed to spending federal work-study funds on public service. Sixty-nine percent of work-study funds are used for this purpose. The honors were bestowed by Washington Monthly, a Washington, D.C.based magazine that performs an annual

ranking of American college and universities. Fresno State and the community continue to work together. As announced in fall 2017, the university now offers the only bachelor of science degree in city and regional planning, in the Central Valley.

Scholarship funds were donated by McCaffrey Homes, Bonadelle Homes, Granville Homes, Penstar Group and Silkwood Ventures. Community officials and business corporations offered strong support. The Transportation Institute is another joint project. The venture involves 15 cities within Fresno County, Fresno State’s Lyles College of Engineering, Sid Craig School of Business and College of Social Sciences. The Transportation Institute will address issues on education, research, technical service and public outreach. The Chevron partnership will accelerate science, technology, engineering and math programs and a $1 million anonymous gift will support genetics and molecular biology research. Two new science laboratories were able to open thanks to a mix of state, campus and private funding. On the horizon: During the summers of 2018 and 2019, 12 classrooms will be upgraded.

2. Fresno Pacific University 1717 S. Chestnut Ave.





People’s Choice

3. Fresno City College 1101 E. University Ave.

Cosmetic/ Medical Spa


Mystique Medical Spa 7161 N. Howard St., Suite 101 (559) 447-5273

3. Body Del Sol 1648 E. Herndon Ave. (559) 432-7222

Credit Union


Educational Employees Credit Union Multiple locations

The Educational Employees Credit Union is the largest locally based credit Established in 2005, Mystique Medical union in the Central San Joaquin Valley Spa is a leading provider of aesthetic and has been in business for 84 years. As services, including injectables, dermal a not-for-profit corporation, each of the fillers, laser hair removal, laser skin tight- more than 275,000 member-owners has ening and fat reduction procedures. equal standing. Membership consists of educators, school employees, students, In a relaxing and professional office members of school organizations and environment, you can consult with family members of these groups. trained and professional staff to learn The credit union has assets totaling about the latest technology and how it more than $2.9 billion, with 19 branches could help to make you look and feel serving 10 counties. A new Sanger your best. There is a licensed medical branch recently opened at the corner of director on-site and every new patient is Bethel and Jensen avenues — look for offered a complimentary, no obligation, skin care consultation. the sleek branch architecture. Mystique now offers the nonsurgical Checking accounts are free and pay fat reduction procedure, CoolSculpture, dividends when balances are more than that safely targets and freezes fat cells $500. Both online and mobile banking beneath the skin. Those frozen fat cells are available. The partnership with the shrink, die and go away for good. It’s Co-Op ATM Network gives members permanent results with no surgery, no access to their accounts at more than pain and no downtime. 30,000 ATMs nationwide. “We have two machines and two full Share savings accounts, certificate sets of comfort applicators,” says manag- accounts and individual retirement acer Barbara Krikorian. “That cuts the treat- counts offer some of the best rates, as do ment time in half. We can sculpt any area credit cards and personal loans. of the body; we are the only med spa in “We’re excited about our EcoLogical Fresno to have all of the newest applicahome loan that is green in nature, says tors. It’s the best thing ever, if you want to Jim Lowe, EECU’s director of marketing. feel better in your clothes. We also pro“We’re very sensitive to sustainability in vide CoolSculpting treatments in our this area and want to encourage green Body Contouring Suite where we provide practices like drought-tolerant landa selection of snacks, beverages and scaping, solar panels and other enviNetflix for all body contouring services.” ronmentally friendly methods.” Mystique is an Allergan Top 250 AcFor EECU, it’s important to give back to count Provider, which puts the spa in the the local communities it serves. The top 0.5 percent nationwide for sales of credit union makes donations to many Botox Cosmetic, Juvederm XC, Voluma organizations and sponsors local events, XC and Latisse. like Excellence in Education and its grant The Mystique website showcases vidprogram. Since 2003, more than $1 mileos and information that explain services lion in student grants have been awardand procedures offered, introduces staff ed. and gives additional details for those EECU offers a variety of workshops for considering a cosmetic procedure. students and adults with its award-winning Wise Up program, Fun with Money class and Credit Wise workshop. 2. Dr. Kathleen Behr

1125 E. Spruce Ave., Suite 207 (559) 435-7546

2. Noble Credit Union Multiple locations

TOP DOG PET WASH: Fancy gets a blow dry from Ken Leferink at Top

Dog Pet Wash. The service allows pet owners to clean pets without the worry of an at-home bath mess.

Top Dog Pet Wash 9415 Fort Washington Road, Suite 106 (559) 231-5667

Doggone it, it’s not easy washing a pooch at home. And when Fido decides to shake off, get ready for a shower. Enter Top Dog Pet Wash to solve your problems. It’s a do-it-yourself pet wash with all the necessary equipment and accessories. “We have everything you need to wash and dry your dog,” owner Chris Topjian says. “You leave the mess here.” Top Dog has six tubs of various sizes with steps and ramps to make access easier. Water temperature is kept at about 82 degrees. “Most dogs do fine, and the more you and your dog do it, the easier it gets,” Topjian says. Customers don’t have to bring anything because Top Dog supplies shampoo, combs, brushes, towels and dryers. “The dryers do an amazing job, especially on dogs that shed,” Topjian says. “We can get rid of a lot of hair.” Prices are $12 for a small dog, $15 for a medium dog and $18 for a large dog. Weekends are the busiest at Top Dog, and business has grown steadily since its September 2015 opening. Topjian — who retired after 36 years in retail — saw a do-it-yourself pet wash in Las Vegas while on vacation and decided to bring the concept to the Fresno area. “It’s the best thing I ever did,” Topjian says. “Dog people are the best.”




38 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

3. Golden 1 Credit Union Multiple locations

Day Spa


Estancia Day Spa & Hair Salon 2950 E. Nees Ave., Suite 101 (559) 298-0200

The very word “spa” envisions a sense of luxury and well-being amid a tranquil setting. By offering resort-style day spa relaxation, the goal at Estancia Day Spa is to provide clients with the finest treatments available in a beautiful, Zen environment, right in the Central Valley. The professional staff provides services that include massage therapy, custom facials, body treatments, spa pedicures, nail services, hot-stone massages and eyelash extensions. In the hair salon, ombre and balayage hair services are highly requested, along with Bumble and Bumble hair products. “Estancia has been my baby for 10 years now,” says owner Erin Salisch. “What makes it so special is the team I’ve been lucky to work with all these years. We love what we do.” The day spa is well-known for massages for couples, which take place in the Villa — a cozy room with a fireplace. “It’s gorgeous, relaxing and in Fresno,” says Salisch. “The getaway without travel!” The newest service additions to the day spa include red and blue light facials, microblading and spray tanning. Descriptions of services are on the company website. You can also schedule appointments, check for special offers, and buy gift cards. “Estancia service providers aim to offer the Valley the best customer experience along with offering a broad spectrum of services to keep you looking and feeling your best,” Salisch says.


Muses Day Spa and Salon 8525 N. Cedar Ave., Suite 101 (559) 440-0772

Muses Day Spa and Salon offers just about whatever you need to relax and be indulged or pampered. Choose updated spa packages that combine hair and body treatments, pedicures, manicures, as well as hair and cosmetic services.

You’ll come away with a sense of renewal and rejuvenation. In July, the day spa had a small fire that led to a rejuvenation of its own. “We took our lemons and made lemonade by taking that opportunity to remodel,” says manager Courtney Baker. “We now offer new treatments, including our signature Moroccan oil pedicure and our exclusive Image Cellulite Body Treatment. I always recommend our Classic Package. It will allow you to experience a bit of everything we have to offer; a customized European facial and a booster, a 60minute massage and a spa pedicure. As a client, you receive a complimentary mimosa or glass of wine. You can also add lunch from Piazza Del Pane on to your service for $15. Now available is a new skin care line, Sorella Apothecary, which is used for the Signature Lactic Peel. The day spa continues to use the Image Skin Care line.

2. The Spa at Fig Garden Village 680 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 101 (559) 229-9553

like rugs and carpeting, upholstery, shades and draperies, tile and grout and air ducts.” Since 2011, the company has used the eco-friendly System K4 for textiles. It offers cleaning and laundry of household linens, including down comforters, down pillows and European feather beds. Tablecloths, napkins, sheets, duvet covers and bedding sets are finished by hand. Services include pick up and delivery and a 24-hour drive-thru kiosk available at the Remington location. Bridal, formal, specialty and designer items receive ultimate care and handling. Jones Cleaning was a founding sponsor of Crime Stoppers, sponsors Coats for Kids and supports the Sweet Nectar Society of Valley Children’s Hospital.

2. Miller’s Cleaners 7775 N. Palm Ave., Suite 103 (559) 431-9225 1122 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 104 (559) 434-3925

3. Amenities Spa & Salon 5054 N. Palm Ave. (559) 224-2667

3. Martinizing Dry Cleaning (Bullard and Palm location) 786 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 439-3033

Dry Cleaners


Jones Cleaning Centers 7280 N. Remington Ave. (559) 431-6892 2083 W. Shaw (559) 229-1896

In 2018, Jones Cleaning Centers will celebrate 50 years of serving the Central Valley with home and office cleaning needs. It has won numerous awards and holds an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. The company uses safe cleaning technology, which is healthy and efficient for customers. In 2002, the company was selected as an affiliate of America’s Best Cleaners, a prestigious international organization with high standards of eligibility. “Since 2002, we have been using three different type of cleaning methods,” says Robin Kraemer, the owner of the company, about the GreenEarth cleaning system. “We get the most requests for garment cleaning, but we also clean textiles

Employment Agency


PrideStaff 585 W. Nees Ave., Suite 101 (559) 432-2022

Headquartered in Fresno for 40 years, PrideStaff has provided temporary staff and recruiting for a multitude of industries and job openings locally and across the country. More than 5,000 clients are served by 75 offices in North America. “What makes PrideStaff different is our focus on living our mission statement: ‘Consistently provide client experiences focused on what they values the most.’ At PrideStaff, we never take for granted what we provide people,” says Sean Akin, strategic-partner at PrideStaff. “We offer people hope and can change their lives by providing them work. Every person is different just like every employer is different. Our goal is to make the right fit the first time and match the great people of Fresno with the best employees in town.”

PrideStaff actively gives back to the community by supporting organizations such as Marjorie Mason Center, Valley Children’s Hospital, Leadership Fresno, Fresno State and a wide variety of local sports organizations. The full-service employment agency is also supportive of candidates by providing help with writing résumés, computer testing and training. “At PrideStaff, our goal is to not be just a vendor, our goal is to be a partner,” Aiken says. “We offer more than just employees, we offer information and, in today’s world, that’s valuable. We have helped companies write employee handbooks, salary information, safety training and even basic accounting and payroll functions. PrideStaff’s goal is to not just help you when you’re in a pinch; we’re here to help you grow.”

2. Denham Resources 567 W. Shaw Ave., Suite C1 (559) 222-5284

3. Hire Up Staffing Services 155 E. Shaw Ave., Suite 108 (559) 579-1331

Hair Salon


Michael Blunt Salon, Bistro & Boutique 1158 E. Champlain Drive, Suite 101 (559) 434-3300

Luxurious. Inviting. Chic. That’s how clients describe their experience at Michael Blunt Salon, located at the southeast corner of Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue in northeast Fresno. Clients can shop for the perfect outfit, get a bite to eat and sip their favorite beverage while having their hair styled in a relaxing atmosphere. “I added a bistro to the salon experience due to the demand,” Blunt says. “Most clients who come in are super busy with work in or out of the home. And to be able to provide, say, a fresh salad prepared by our in-house chef and a glass of wine while you process your color is a plus. However, we also have a full bar so martinis are always nice after a long day. I believe we are the only salon in town with a full kitchen and in-house chef and licensed full bar.”




40 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice products and connect them to a home network. It can also set up home Wi-Fi and program your remote control. Free in-home consultations are available. In addition, Best Buy offers its Geek Squad to offer assistance and support if one of your electronics isn’t working to your liking. Have a virus? The Geeks will remove it. Have a device running slow? The Geeks will fix that too. A monthly tech support plan is available for $9.99 each month (plus an initial $99.99 set up to get you started.) For that small fee, you get tech support for three computers or tablets, unlimited access to online and in-store services, unlimited virus removals, computer tune-ups and software and printer troubleshooting. If you’re just getting started on a home theater installation, Best Buy also has buying guides available. In-store staff is also trained to help you shop for what you need for a full theater setup.

2. Hi-Tech Home 2565 Alluvial Ave. (559) 521-1400

HAIR SALON: Vivian Hernandez, Michael Blunt, Kathy Huizar and DeDe Maldanado at

Michael Blunt Salon, the People’s Choice winner for Best Hair Salon. Dedicated and talented stylists provide haircuts for women, men and children as well as a wide range of services, including perms, highlights, color, glaze, formal styling, Brazilian Keratin treatments, extensions and relaxer services. A complete list of stylists, services and pricing is on the website, along with planned special events. “We have hosted several events in the salon for birthday parties, hair shows, Art Hop and private dinners with wine pairings,” says Blunt. “We recently had the pleasure of having two chefs from Erna’s Elderberry House host a dinner with wine pairings for 25 guests at the salon. It was a beautiful event ... I certainly see the salon hosting more events and that is an area of growth I did not expect.”

2. Studio Fifth Avenue 520 Clovis Ave., Clovis (559) 325-2521 3. La Vogue Beauty Shoppe 832 E. Olive Ave. 1490 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 237-5986

Home Theater/ Technology Company


Best Buy/Geek Squad 655 W. Herndon Ave., Clovis (559) 298-9077 7550 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 446-0195

3. Central Valley Entertainment Systems 360 W. Bedford Ave., Suite 111 (559) 432-8600

staying local always. Representing the top energy-efficient products on the market and our timely, professional service is at the core of what we do.” Their mission statement: Never have a single unhappy customer. JZ Construction gives free, no-pressure estimates, asks for no money down and has a policy of offering only the best-quality products and superior workmanship. Doors and windows are available in vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum and wood. The CraneBoard siding has a lifetime warranty and has the look of authentic cedar shingles. The quality of the products adds both beauty and energy efficiency to a home. “Our customers have always been the focus of our attention,” Teri says. “We offer free consultations and estimates, no money down and Hero financing options. Our skilled workmen take pride in their work and treat each customer’s home as if it were their own.”

2. Clovis Glass Company 99 Sunnyside Ave., Clovis (559) 299-2819

3. San Joaquin Glass 150 E. McKinley Ave. (559) 268-7646

Home Window Replacement


JZ Construction 145 Sunnyside Ave. (559) 324-0555, (559) 434-3535

When you’re shopping for electronics, there are just some businesses that come to mind first. Best Buy is an industry leader and its big-box stores demonstrate why. From the moment you enter the front doors, the sights and sounds of the industry’s top electronics greet you. From cell phones to televisions, appliances, drones, video games or computers and the accessories you can imagine, Best Buy has what you need. It also has an extensive TV and home theater department designed to help you get the technology you need to experience all the movie, gaming and entertainment you want from the convenience of your own home. Best Buy can help you mount our TV, set up your audio/video

For 13 years, JZ Construction has been serving customers in Fresno, Tulare and Merced. Joe and Teri Zingarelli started their business by going door-to-door giving flyers for siding. Soon, they offered the installation of windows and doors to their customers. The business has earned years of being voted a People’s Choice winner and given Angie’s List Super Service Award for multiple years. “We sell and install Clovis manufactured Anlin windows and doors, Pella fiberglass entry door systems, Crane Insulated Siding and Hunter Douglas window coverings,” Teri says. “We service the San Joaquin Valley and plan on

House Cleaning Service


The Cleaning Authority 5494 E. Lamona Ave., Suite 136 (559) 565-5110

“Life’s too short to clean your own home” somehow has a luxurious ring to it. Who hasn’t wanted to come home to a sparkling clean home after a hard day at work? The Cleaning Authority has been providing house cleaning services for more than 25 years while staying friendly to the environment by using environmentally responsible and sustainable cleaning products. A sample of the services the company offers: apartment cleanings, carpet cleaning, clean up after remodeling, postconstruction cleaning, commercial cleaning, green cleaning, housekeeping, movein/move-out cleaning, one-time cleaning, and oven and refrigerator cleaning.













C O M I N G S O O N : 7 0 9 0 N PA L M AV E .

42 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

Initially founded in the BaltimoreWashington metro area in 1977, the company grew, and franchising began in 1996. There are now more than 215 locations across the United States and Canada. The service is locally owned, has fully trained employees and includes a satisfaction guarantee. Services and cleaning frequencies vary by location. Free estimates are available and the website has information on packages that best match your needs.

2. Molly Maid 2310 E. Gettysburg Ave. (559) 225-4387

3. The Master’s Helping Hands 5816 E. Shields Ave., Suite 115 (559) 348-2100

Licensed Day Care Center


Kids Kare Schools Multiple locations (559) 275-1169

Since 1960, parents have trusted family-owned and -operated Kids Kare with their children. It started with one center caring for 14 children; now the child care center has grown to 12 locations caring for more than 2,200 children in the Central Valley. “We offer various educational and fun programs to help in transitioning children through their most informative years in our safe, secure and familyoriented centers,” says Adriana Morales, the program director. “Our programs start for children as young as 18 months and run through 13 years old. We offer potty training for our youngest children, a full pre-K readiness curriculum as well as transitional kindergarten. “Once the children are old enough to attend public school, we provide busing to and from more than 125 local elementary schools. While in our centers before and after school, the children engage in our exclusive Club Kids Kare activities, including help with homework, fully stocked game rooms and spacious play yards. “We also offer special, fun-filled programs for out-of-school times, including

Kids Kare Summer Blast. Each summer, we take the kids on numerous adventures that include various field trips to local areas of interest, guest speakers and in-coming events, as well as time to just kick back and relax with their friends in our amazing centers. Most of all, we offer love and support for the kids and families in the community.”

2. Brighten Academy Kinder-Prep Preschool Multiple locations

3. Bright Beginnings Learning Center 2080 Tollhouse Road, Clovis (559) 299-5247

Mortgage Company


Resource Lenders Multiple locations

For nearly 30 years, Resource Lenders has offered real estate financing throughout California. “Getting a mortgage is a complicated process,” says John Vartanian, loan officer at Resource Lenders. “Sometimes it helps to meet and talk face-to-face.” Because customers’ situations and needs are different, the company offers a variety of products, among them: conventional fixed rate, adjustable rates, FHA, VA, USDA and jumbo loans. Applying for a loan online is a streamlined process. Resource Lenders’ secure home loan portal allows borrowers to apply for and track their loan. The comprehensive website explains the various loan options, gives branch locations and has easy-to-understand forms and applications. A video explains how to use the portal. “The process can be as digital as they want it to be,” Vartanian says. “They can upload pay stubs and documents or bring in the paper copies, whatever they feel the most comfortable doing.”

2. McCaffrey Home Mortgage 7020 N. Van Ness Blvd., Suite 101 (559) 256-7050

3. Wells Fargo Bank Multiple locations

Nail Salon


Aqua Nail Salon Multiple locations

“Our theme for the nail salon is water,” says Homes Vu, the president/manager of Aqua Nail Salon in Clovis. “Inside the shop, we have a double-sided glass waterfall approximately 14 feet high by 14 feet wide.” The eye-catching display coaxes tension from customers who walk in the door. The salon states its mission “is to provide you with a warm atmosphere so you can relax, unwind and enjoy the moments when time is yours alone.” Experienced staff members perform manicures, pedicures, waxing, facials, eyelash extensions and acrylics. Manicures include French tip, gel and manicure repairs. Facials include a masque and massage. Waxing treatments can be just for the face, bikini or the entire body. “Our signature services are manicures and pedicures,” Vu says. “The manicure comes with hot towels and the pedicure comes with hot towels, hot stone between the toes and hot paraffin for the feet, massage, trim and polish.”

2. Envy Nails & Spa 132 W. Nees Ave. (559) 261-9983 3. QueenBee Nails & Spa 7723 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 439-3981

New Home Builder


Granville Homes Multiple locations

The mission of Granville Homes is “to build happiness, design timeless architecture, offer unmatched service, create healthier lifestyle neighborhoods and provide for those less fortunate.” Since 1977, more than 5,800 homes in the Central Valley were constructed with this philosophy, from starter homes to

semi-custom estates. Recently, the new-home builder was recognized for exceptional quality when named as the first builder in the nation to receive a perfect score of 100 on Builder Risk Assessment from consultant Stan Luhr, CEO of Access Point. “What gives us an immense sense of fulfillment is knowing we are contributing to the improvement of schools, building healthier communities and raising the level of social awareness,” says Katie Burchfield, market manager for Granville Homes. “We are committed to this mission and therefore everything we do derives from these principles because we know it isn’t just about building a better home, but creating a brighter future for all we serve. Each of our homes will forever be known as a ‘Granville,’ and for this legacy we are grateful. We will continue to design, build and serve with love and passion.” Among the new communities are The Canvas Collection, located on the corner of Friant and Copper roads in Copper River Ranch.

2. McCaffrey Group 7020 N. Van Ness Blvd. (559) 256-7000

3. De Young Properties 677 W. Palmdon, Suite 208 (559) 354-9898

Oil Change Center


Jiffy Lube Multiple locations

No matter what type of vehicle you have, Jiffy Lube provides a wide rage of services that meet or exceed the manufacturer’s requirements for your vehicle. “No appointment is necessary,” says Frank Moya, the service manager at the location in Clovis. The Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change is “more than just an oil change, it’s a comprehensive, preventive maintenance program that helps maintain the value and longevity of your vehicle.” Jiffy Lube wants to go the extra mile to keep your ride running smoothly. Certified technicians provide services for transmissions, radiators, drivetrains, fuel systems and air filters. They perform warranty services for domestic and foreign manufacturers. Oil change products and fluids are recycled.





People’s Choice

PET GROOMER: Sonia Taylor grooms Sienna at Tail Waggers. 2. Lube Plus 4796 E. Shields Ave. (559) 255-2219

3. Midas Multiple locations

Pet Groomer


Tail Waggers 1155 N. Fowler Ave., Suite 100, Clovis (559) 325-3647 8967 N. Cedar Ave., Suite 102 (559) 435-7387

When you want your pet to feel pampered, there’s nothing quite like a visit to the groomer for a luxurious bath, tho-

rough brushing and maybe a new look, delivered with affection. The friendly and animal-loving staff at Tail Waggers is happy to oblige. “We groom both dogs and cats. We’ve even had a bunny rabbit and a guinea pig come in,” says Nicole Graham, the owner of Tail Waggers. “We customize our grooming services for each pet and do whatever is in their best interests.” The staff has in total of more than 100 years grooming experience and are experts at both standard and specialty cuts. Customers can discuss with their groomer what services they want done for their pet. Bathing, conditioning, dematting, styling, hand-scissoring, teeth brushing, ear cleaning, nail trimming and filing are all done with patience and loving care. Anesthetic-free ultrasonic teeth cleaning is offered at Tail Waggers at a substantial savings. The salon is open seven days a week. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or whenever the last client goes home. Pets that are brought in around 7:30 a.m. are ready by noon; late morning arrivals are ready by 3 p.m. The salon has other pet-related services.

The boutique in the Fresno location has exclusive selections of fashionable pet collars and accessories, including designer wear, high-quality shampoos, flea treatments and holistic organic pet food. It’s a one-stop shop for gifts. The pet bakery has different kinds of gourmet baked goods that your pet will love. Each of the hand-rolled gourmet cookies contains healthy, high-quality ingredients. Tail Waggers can also provide in-home pet-sitting services. Visits include, but aren’t limited to, feeding, supplying fresh water, providing attention and exercise for furry friends, light plant care, bringing in mail, leaving lights on or off and securing your home.

2. Pet Medical Center and Spa 621 W. Fallbrook Ave. (559) 436-4444

3. Happy Tails Pet Salon 8885 N. Chestnut Ave. (559) 322-7387

Photo Processing


Horn Photo 7899 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 225-5080

For more than 80 years, Horn Photo has served the Central Valley with anything and everything that has to do with photography. Photo processing is the most often-requested service; the store also offers a wide range of equipment and accessories, services and classes. Owners Stan and Shelly Grosz purchased the store from the Horn family more than 25 years ago. “Some of the most requested items are prints from smartphones, restorations of old photos, scanning slides and negatives, large prints and framing, prints on metal, graduation and Christmas photo cards, passport photos, and film developing,” Stan says. “Christmas and June weddings and graduations are the busiest



New and Consignment Home Furnishings • Décor & Collectibles 5761 N. Palm Ave. Fresno, CA 93704 (559) 255-7433 • • 6105 E. Kings Canyon Rd. #104, Fresno, CA 93727

Phone: 559-225-9718 theemporiumfresno@gmailcom

44 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018




People’s Choice

time of year.” When Horn Photo processes 35mm, 110, 120 and 220 film, each image is analyzed for optimal color, density and sharpness. Each print is inspected to ensure the highest quality. Located in the Villaggio Shopping Center, the store doubled in size when Stan and Shelly moved to their present location in May 2017.

for all your support over the years and voting us

#1 People’s Choice!

2. Costco Multiple locations

3. Walgreens Multiple locations



We congratulate our exemplary employees and unsurpassed experienced management team!

John Dunbar

Pete Garcia

Steve James

Lisa Garcia

20 Years Experience Expert in Mechanical Systems

20 Years Experience Specialist in HVAC

33 Years Experience Expert in Mechanical Systems & EMS

24 Years Experience Expert Job/Administrative Coordinator

Shane Johnson

Steve Mendrin

Simon DeLaCerda

Brian Biglione

Tobbie Biglione

29 Years Experience Expert in Commercial/ Residential Plumbing

29 Years Experience Expert in Commercial/ Residential HVAC

22 Years Experience Expert in Commercial/ Residential HVAC

27 Years Experience Expert in HVAC/ Plumbing

27 Years Experience Business Operations

Field Supervisor

Plumbing Dept. Mngr

Field Supervisor

HVAC Dept. Mngr


General Mngr


Ellie Koleen Photography

Ellie Koleen has photographed more than 100 weddings since jumping behind the lens in 2010. She has a creative eye and loves to tell stories with photographs. Her inspiration? Her father, Paul Mullins. “He paved the way for me to launch my photography business by hiring me to work for his company, Mullins Studio, in 2010,” Koleen says. Shortly after getting married to her husband, Spenser, her father encouraged her to start her own photography business. In 2014, Ellie Koleen Photography was born. Her style is “honest and genuine storytelling in a modern way,” Koleen says. When behind the lens at a wedding, she looks to find the quirks and subtleties that make the couple unique. “I love watching moments unfold naturally from behind my lens,” she says. “I like to direct so the couple feels comfortable and at ease, but not pose.” Her photography business has taken Koleen to various cities like Carmel-bythe-Sea, Half Moon Bay and Santa Barbara in the Golden State, and a far as Ireland and Italy. Koleen offers packages that can accommodate a small, intimate wedding, elopement or a 12-hour celebration. In addition to weddings, she photographs family portraits, editorial shoots and boudoir sessions.

Office Manger


Since 1970 VAR’s goals have remained the same; to earn the trust of our customers by offering expert advice and quality service and conduct all service calls based on honorable intentions, never rushing to meet sales goals or quotas. We are committed to continuing the tradition we were founded on and hope to earn your vote year after year!

10% OFF

Repairs and Maintenance Services Expires. 12/31/2018. Can not combine with any other discounted plans or services.


LOCAL FAMILY OWNED SINCE 1970 and #fresnoproud!!!

2. Capture Life Events

2. La Bella Vita Photography

3. Michele Michaels Photography

Pool Builder


Holiday Pools 4961 E. Dakota Ave. (559) 291-5571

Who doesn’t relish the delightful feel of water on a hot summer day? Since 1970, family-owned and -operated Holiday Pools has been building swimming pools and spas for the San Joaquin Valley. More than 5,000 families have been served in the Fresno area, some of them second- and third-generation customers. Owners Michael Schaubschlager and Randy Smart feel that listening to a customer’s needs is the most important part of the process. Realizing that each client’s space and desires are different, the company offers individualized, customized designs to suit the backyard and expectations of their customers. Estimates are free and pricing plans are available. The company advertises “pricing plans to meet every budget.” One of the factors responsible for the company’s success is that most of the work is performed by Holiday’s crews, not sub-contractors. That way the high standards of the pool builder can be maintained. The few subcontractor relationships have been in place for decades and offer extensive experience. Holiday Pools is also up to date on technology innovations. “Our new pool construction consists of stubbing for future solar for pools,” says office manager, Julie Morgan. “We also build outdoor living areas like patios and barbecue areas.”

2. Wildwood Pools 320 W. Bedford Ave., Suite 106 (559) 439-7311

3. J&S Pool and Spa 338 N. Minnewawa Ave., Clovis (559) 297-7995







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Thank you to all our loyal Customers. Two Locations & online 416 Pollasky Ave Clovis, CA 93612 • 593-5127 1369 Draper Street Kingsburg, CA 93631 • 593-1006


46 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

RETIREMENT COMMUNITY: The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens is the People’s Choice winner.

Real Estate Company


London Properties 6442 N. Maroa Ave. (559) 436-4000

Whether you are buying or selling a home, commercial property or open land, London Properties can give an experienced helping hand. With more than 500 sales associates and support staff in 11 offices throughout the Central Valley, London Properties reigns over the residential real estate market with a ranking in the top 1 percent of all brokerage firms in the United States. Started in 1971 by Paula and Dan Conner, commercial and industrial real estate was the main focus of The London Company, as it was known then. Two years later, the business branched out to residential real estate and changed the name to London Properties Ltd. Since that time, London Properties merged with the largest of its local competitors, to become one of the largest real estate companies in the country. London Properties is affiliated with the prestigious real estate network, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This gives clients more specialists, more experience, more technology and more listings than ever before. Also, through this connection with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, London Properties can offer active duty and qualified military veterans cash back when buying or selling a home through a free real estate rebate program. London Properties is the only broker in the Valley that offers this free rebate. Prior to working with any London

Properties associate, it is necessary to contact and enroll at (559) 436-4070.

2. ReMax Gold Souza Group (559) 696-3905

3. Guarantee Real Estate Multiple locations

Retirement Company


The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens 5555 N. Fresno Ave. (559) 435-1999

The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens offers a plethora of life-enriching amenities for seniors as they transition through life. Since opening in 1966, TSJG has remained the only Life Plan Community in the area — presenting four levels of care for retirement options. “Throughout the years, we have expanded — offering more opportunities for seniors in the area,” says Jessica Lopez, executive director of TSJG. In 2014, TSJG completed a redevelopment project totaling $120 million. It was remodeled to include the Valencia, an information hub with a coffee shop that serves Peet’s Coffee & Tea, the Tolladay Theatre and two restaurants: the Monte Carlo and the Speranza Grille. Seniors can join a workshop or class, watch a performance in the Tolladay Theatre, jump on a stationary bike in the 24-hour fitness center and get pampered with a pedicure at the Spa Bella. The full-service spa and salon provides a

multitude of services using top-notch products by Ole Henriksen, Mary Kay, BIOTONE and Beyond Belief. Across from the Valencia is the Piazza and the Milano — multicolored, Mediterranean-inspired buildings that house independent-living apartments with a spacious kitchens, state-of-the-art appliances, granite countertops and balconies with a wrought-iron rail. The Tuscany and the Sequoia also house independent-living apartments. For assisted-living options, seniors can live in the Trivoli, the Antonella or the Tulipano. The Grove is for seniors with cognitive disabilities like Alzheimer’s disease, Lopez says. TSJG also offers rehabilitation/skilled-nursing options. “We have been quick to respond to the area’s changing demographic,” Lopez says. “As baby boomers begin to look at retirement options, we’ll continue to be here to meet their expected needs.”

2. The Windham Senior Living 1100 E. Spruce Ave. (559) 399-2567

3. Fairwinds Woodward Park 9525 N. Fort Washington Road (559) 434-6444 3. Fig Garden 6035 N. Marks Ave. (559) 474-4029 /fig-garden

Solar Company


Solar City/Tesla 3980 N. Chestnut, Suite 101 (855) 860-7652

SolarCity, one of the top-selling solar installation companies in the U.S., was founded in 2006 by brothers, Peter and Lyndon Rive and their cousin, Elon Musk, owner of Tesla Motors. In the summer of 2016, SolarCity accepted Tesla’s offer of $2.6 billion and the merger was completed later that year. “It’s totally logical that we’ll have sustainable energy in the long term, because unsustainable energy, by definition, is unsustainable,” Elon Musk has been quoted as saying. “So how quickly do we get there? And to what degree do we negatively impact the environment by getting there slower?” Now, the company has a new product

called the Solar Roof, a potentially transformative system that’s nearly visually indistinguishable from a traditional roof. “It’s not a thing on the roof. It is the roof,” advertises the company. The system is predicted to last longer and cost less while generating electricity. Plans are for installation to begin on commercial customers’ homes the first half of 2018. Another new product is the Tesla Powerwall, a home battery product designed to store surplus power, either from the tiles or from the grid, to provide back-up energy. During the day, the solar shingles can generate electricity and recharge the Powerwall. After sunset, the battery takes over, providing power independent of the traditional utility grid. Tesla has announced that it will be introducing these solar products at 800 Home Depot stores across the U.S. The idea behind this is to reach a wide customer base. Each store will have a special 12-foot-by-7-foot kiosk staffed by Tesla representatives providing information, product demos and purchase options.

2. Solar Universe/ Repower America 5096 N. Blythe, Suite 100 (559) 277-2000

3. Arise Solar 5390 E. Pine Ave. (559) 449-8989

Tanning Salon


Sunsational Tans Multiple locations

Want to get a tan yet avoid the sun? Consider Sunsational Tans. Its three locations, two in Fresno and one in Clovis, are conveniently located and offer your choice of methods to help you get that healthful-looking glow. The knowledgeable and friendly staff is on hand and happy to advise you and answer questions. If you prefer traditional UV tanning, the salon has the industry’s latest and most advanced tanning beds, designed to provide optimum comfort during use. If you prefer UV-free tanning, there’s the Mystic Spray booth, a full-body DHA tanning process that uses an all-natural Mystic solution, the new MagneTan technology. The process lasts only 60 seconds and gives a natural-looking tan that will last for days. According to a Sunsational Tan representative, the busiest time of year is usu-


SERVICE IS THE HIGHER IN ED There’s no higher calling than service to others, unless that service also teaches the next generation how to serve. This is learning by serving at Fresno State, where students, faculty and staff have spent over a million hours a year in community service and service-learning, 8 years running, understanding the complexities of our diverse community and enriching it with problem-solving and ideas. Nearly 200 classes create deeper academic and personal outcomes that students carry for a lifetime, touching thousands and generating over $40 million of economic impact each year. Student success is boldly re-de ned, and graduation rates rise for students who serve. Our goal is every student will have at least three meaningful high impact practices by graduation, learning that by serving others, you also learn a lot about yourself.

Find out more about our heart for student success at



Million+ Hours

over the past decade

Carnegie Classified Community Service


in the Nation


Million Annually


by Washington Monthly


Economic Impact

Where bold begins.


48 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Services ally from February through August or for weddings, proms and whenever people want a little color. “Sometimes people just want a base tan before going on vacation, so they won’t burn,” she said. The newest service Sunsational Tans offers is Red Light Therapy, which works from the inside out of the skin to treat the signs of aging using specific wavelengths of red light. The wavelengths have been proven to boost overall cellular energy, increasing the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin and increases microcirculation. Services take place in comfortable air-conditioned rooms, with in-room music, to ensure a relaxing and pleasant experience.

2. A Touch of Gold 1127 N. Willow Ave., Suite 108, Clovis (559) 297-8269 9463 Fort Washington Road, Suite 103 (559) 434-8266

People’s Choice 3. Four Seasons Tanning 8060 N. Cedar Ave. (559) 299-8266

Trade/Technical School


San Joaquin Valley College 295 E. Sierra Ave. (559) 448-8282

There are many options for getting an education. For those who know their area of interest in a trade or technical field, San Joaquin Valley College has many advantages. The school provides more than 20 accelerated, career-focused programs, is accredited and approved, has small class sizes, flexible class schedules and a staff to help find students the right career opportunities. In some fields, online programs are offered and for those who qualify, fi-

nancial aid is available. SJVC has an aviation college that is located inside the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. For more than 20 years, the aircraft maintenance program has been training students and providing the aviation industry with mechanics. “SJVC has a long-standing tradition of excellence in vocational education,” says Dr. Sumer Avila, vice provost teaching and learning. “Our focus on the student experience and commitment to student success is felt throughout campus. Students and graduates receive individualized support beginning with their career planning session, through their coursework and culminating with career placement services. “We offer 10 programs in business, medical and technical fields on the Fresno campus. These include both associate’s degree and certificate programs. Our two largest programs are medical assisting and veterinary technology.

2. Institute of Technology 564 W. Herndon Ave., Clovis (559) 297-4500

3. Clovis Adult School 1452 David E. Cook Way, Clovis (559) 327-2800

Travel Agency


AAA Multiple locations

AAA is a full-service travel agency that can help with the details of planning road trips, cruises, vacation packages, buying airline tickets, making reservations and even getting discounts in restaurants. Whether your destination is close by or halfway around the world, you can take advantage of discounts at 100,000 locations and an abundance of tips on the AAA Vacation Now blog. The website has information on every country in the world including entry and exit requirements, health and safety facts and information on how to deal with any

Thanks for Supporting Local & Voting us #1! Serving Our Community Since 1990 559.225.0500 |



EMPOWERING THROUGH EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE Serving Fresno, Madera, Kings and Tulare Counties

Fresno City College, Reedley College, Clovis Community College, Madera Community College Center, Oakhurst Community College Center, Career and Technology Center

Congratulations to Fresno City College, voted one of the top 3 Colleges in the Central Valley for the 2018 People’s Choice Awards and the FCC Tutorial Center, voted #1 again for the 4th straight year! Providing over 100 years of academic excellence to our students!

Reedley College is the #2 ranked community college in the STATE by! Motivating and inspiring students to succeed for over 90 years.

Clovis Community College nominated as a finalist for the prestigious Bellwether Award. Achieving student success through innovative teamwork and community partnerships. • (559) 244-5900


50 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

problems that arise. Also available is information for those with disabilities or medical conditions. AAA members can get a prepaid Visa debit card for a safe and convenient alternative to traveler’s checks and cash. If your destination country requires a visa as well as a passport, visit the website of AAA’s preferred visa partner, Travisa. For extra convenience, you can print out required forms and pay for processing. AAA is the largest leisure travel agency in the United States, which enables it to negotiate special rates and add-ons like priority check-ins on cruises, special credits and free hotel stays the night before a cruise. After 115 years in business with 55 million members and more than 1,100 branches in the U.S., AAA wants to make travel as stress-free and fun as possible.

2. Altour Travel 2788 W. Bullard Ave. (559) 431-1800

3. Best Tours and Travel 2609 East McKinley Ave. (559) 237-9410

Tree Service


Cobb’s Tree Care 6931 E. Belmont Ave. (559) 251-7907

Cobb’s Tree Care, along with Tree DoctoRx and Pest DoctoRx, operate under the umbrella of family-owned and -operated, Providence Horticulture Inc. Cobb’s Tree Care has served the Central Valley since 2000. The tree-care branch of the business specializes in tree planting, trimming, root pruning, tree removal and stump grinding. Employees are highly experienced and trained. Services are overseen by certified arborists. A certified arborist is a tree-care

specialist who has the experience, education and training to care for trees and shrubs. There are five on staff and two, John Pape and David Kuhtz, are also registered consulting arborists and belong to the American Society of Consulting Arborists. “We are super pro-active in training for safety and quality of work,” says Pape. “We want to be the best in the Central Valley. That means don’t sell what isn’t needed. We focus on the real problem. For example, if pruning is not necessary, we don’t recommend it, but look for what’s really causing the problem.” The company has provided services in the community to clients who are residential, commercial, industrial, governmental and municipal. “We have a good mix of residential and commercial clients,” says Pape. “One good thing to remember: Trees are the backbone of your landscape and aren’t easily replaced.”

2. Adolph’s A-1 Tree Service 6325 W. Olive Ave. (559) 222-0815

3. A-1 Expert Tree Service (559) 273-8271

Tutorial Center


Fresno City College 1101 E. University Ave. (559) 442-8209

In 1976, the Tutorial Center at Fresno City College was established by Susan Liberty, who served as the first coordinator. The Tutorial Center is located in the library building in Room 134. Walkins are welcome; appointments aren’t necessary. Tutors provide guidance and peer-assisted learning to students in a relaxed one-on-one setting. “The Tutorial Center offers free tutoring for FCC students on a walk-in basis in the multidisciplinary of areas such as chemistry, physics, biology, geology, accounting, health science and more,” says Eric Sanders, the coordinator of the

Please pardon the dust We’re gearing up for Five-Star Fun! We’re excited to announce that our vibrant community is undergoing renovations to be completed late March Experience the much talked about “Five-Star Fun” lifestyle for yourself! Call now to schedule your private tour Move-in Specials are available N E W R E N OVAT I O N S U N D E RWAY


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Thank you Fresno Bee readers for voting Wells Fargo ‘Best of the Best’*

This distinction inspires us to work even harder for you and for the good of the community. We strive to do our best today, in the future, and every day in-between. We’re proud to be a part of the community. * Online poll, 2017, The Fresno Bee’s People Choice Awards 2018 © 2018 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC. IHA-22121



52 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice 3. Sylvan Learning Center 3288 S. Mooney Blvd., Suite B, Visalia (559) 636-1502

Veterinarian/ Animal Clinic


Waterhouse Animal Hospital 1115 E. Champlain Drive (559) 434-4000

VETERINARIAN/ANIMAL CLINIC: Yevette Zavala, Dr. Alexandra Knudsen-Thorton, Tyler Combs, Dr. Heather Stopinski and Milo at Waterhouse Animal Hospital. Tutorial Center. “The program employs more than 150 peer tutors, who are either students or former students attending other local colleges,” he add. “Students are viewed as one-of-a-kind learners with unique learning styles and individual needs.”

2. Cullinan Education Center 8485 N Fresno St., Suite 104 (559) 435-3276

Waterhouse Animal Hospital at Woodward Park has been welcoming pet patients since being founded by Dr. Waterhouse in 1995. The pet hospital is AAHAcredited, a rating “recognized among the finest in the industry and at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine.” Practicing at the pet hospital are several veterinarians who specialize in different fields of care. Among the most common procedures, like vaccinations and wellness exams, the hospital offers serv-

ices in acupuncture, dentistry, diagnostics, cardiology, physical medicine, laser therapy, senior pet care, surgery, physical examinations, laboratory work, medicines, pet IDs, microchip placement, nutrition counseling and prescription diets, as well as urgent and emergency care. “We deal primarily with dogs and cats but do have one veterinarian on staff that will see rabbits, pocket pets and small birds,” says Denise Robertson, RVT, BSM, practice manager. “The team at Waterhouse Animal Hospital is a group of highly trained individuals dedicated to providing our patients with the highest standard of medical care. That care is given with compassion and concern for the pet, as well as the pet parent and we look forward to continuing to exceed the needs of the pet community.”

2. Abby Pet Center 4508 Ashlan Ave. (559) 442-1127

3. All Creatures Veterinary 6575 N. Santa Fe Ave. (559) 449-4551





2018 NOW SELLING | Riverstone - Highway 41 & Avenue 12 | Clovis - Ashlan Ave. & Highland Ave.


People’s Choice

Bicycle Store


Sunnyside Bicycles 6105 E. Kings Canyon Road, Suite 104 (559) 255-7433

Sunnyside Bicycles is a full-service bike shop in Fresno’s historic Sunnyside neighborhood. It’s been serving the Central Valley since 2002. Owners John and Vanessa McCracken specialize in taking the intimidation factor out of cycling. They love bikes! The mission is to educate, empower and inspire as many people as possible to ride bikes as much as possible, and use the power of bicycles to build up, engage and support the local community. “It’s a dream to do what we love while serving a community we love so much,” Vanessa says. In addition to earning the votes for The Fresno Bee’s People’s Choice Awards, Sunnyside Bicycles is a five-time America’s Best Bike Shop winner. “We’ve been selected every year this award has been given. It’s a huge honor, because it’s merit-based,” Vanessa says. “We’re scored on our operations, staff, expertise, service and commitment to advocacy and our community. It means a lot to be recognized by the industry for our commitment to being and doing our best.” But, to be named the winner of The Fresno Bee’s People’s Choice Awards is humbling and exciting. “To be voted for by our peers is one thing — to be voted for by the people we serve is an even bigger honor,” Vanessa says. “We’re extremely proud of our team, and are so happy that they’re being recognized for their commitment to our customers and community. This award means more to us a team than anything we’ve won. We are deeply grateful to everyone who voted for us.”

2. Steven’s Bicycles 1365 N. Willow Ave., Suite 150 (559) 797-0148 4045 W. Figarden Drive, Suite 105 (559) 229-8163

3. Rubber Soul Bicycles 132 W. Nees Ave., Suite 111 (559) 435-2453


Celebrating Our 28th Year!



Ooh La La 1305 N. Willow Ave., Suite 140, Clovis (559) 297-7770 7725 N. Via Del Rio (559) 439-7770

Mario H. Gonzalez, M.D., FACS,

is Board Certified in Venous Lymphatic Medicine, dealing in vein disease. He has been in medical practice as a Board Certified General Surgeon since 1989. Dr. Gonzalez is also bilingual.

Whether you have an eye for fashion or need help with filling your closet, Ooh La La can help you make a statement. The boutique opened the original location at Willow and Nees avenues in 2007. The second location opened at River Park Shopping Center in 2011. Norma Haynes and her sister, Janet Danielian, co-own the boutique, which sells the latest trends in clothing, accessories and shoes at affordable prices. The racks are stocked with off-theshoulder tops, knit sweaters and cardigans, two-piece outfits, chambray tunics and graphic T-shirts. There are dresses, rompers and jumpsuits for casual and formal occasions. Distressed, boyfriend-style jeans are stacked on shelves, along with nooks filled with handbags, belts, scarves and jewelry. Patterns and prints include polka dots, tie-dye, floral and checkered. The boutique also sells sunglasses, called “sunnies,” designed by Quay Australia in collaboration with Desi Perkins. The 11th anniversary of the boutique will be celebrated with a sale on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15. “We want to thank the community for the loyalty they have shown us through the years,” she adds.

2. Revival 23 416 Pollasky Ave., Clovis (559) 593-5127

3. The Foundry Collective 601 Pollasky Ave., Suite 104, Clovis (559) 960-2538

Experience & Knowledge


When seeking treatment for your vein problems, you need the comfort of knowing that your doctor is fully trained and has been Board Certified in Phlebology (the diagnosis and management of varicose veins and other vein problems). Elmore Medical was the first, and is still the only medical practice in the Central Valley specializing exclusively in Vein Disease. When it comes to your health, you deserve the most current and skilled care available.


Before After


• Endovenous Laser Therapy (EVLT) • Treatment of Leg Spider Veins • Duplex Ultrasound Imaging (in office) • Ultrasound Guided Sclerotherapy • Treatment of Spider Veins on Face & Body • Vein Treatment on Hands and Feet • Ambulatory Phlebectomy

Your Best Health

When it comes to your health care, you need the very best. We understand how important it is to have healthy, active legs. We know having attractive legs may also be an important part of your lifestyle. We have created a unique facility, not only dedicated to the care and treatment of patients with painful, unsightly spider veins and bulging varicose veins, but also skin problems associated with vein disease. You may be unaware that breakdown of the skin, which causes swelling, discoloration and even ulcers, can be associated with vein disease.

Skin Changes





Children’s Clothing


Target Multiple locations (800) 440-0680

Elmore Medical 559.435.0717

7131 N. 11th Street, Suite 101 - Fresno, CA 93720

Se Habla Español |

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People’s Choice

Parents continue to turn to Target for their children’s clothing. The clean and organized stores carry toddler sizes 2T to 5T in shirts, pants, rompers, leggings, socks and even underwear for girls and boys. Clothing ranges from X-small (sizes 4-5) to XX-large (size 18). Target also offers plus sizes for girls and husky sizes for boys, knowing that sometimes growing children are too big for children’s clothes, but not big enough for adult-sized clothing. School uniforms in a variety of styles are offered at Target. Khakis, navy blue bottoms and various styles of skirts can be found. An exclusive Umbro collection for kids debuted in February at Target. The exclusive kids’ assortment features more than 90 pieces of Umbro soccer apparel, footwear and equipment. “We’re always looking to connect with our guests in new and unique ways, and for families and kids, the introduction of Umbro will mean even more reasons to choose Target,” says Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer at Target. “Soccer is one of the fastest-growing sports in the U.S. and continues to grow in popularity among our guests. As the only mass retailer to

sell Umbro, we’re giving more families access to the sport through stylish and affordable apparel and gear.”

2. The Children’s Place Multiple locations

3. Old Navy Multiple locations

Consignment Store


Repeat Performance 1429 N. Van Ness Ave. (559) 442-0129

Being a fashionista doesn’t have to be tough on your wallet. At Repeat Performance, you can update your closet for a fraction of the cost. The 7,000-square-foot consignment superstore sells clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and chil-

dren, as well as furniture, kitchenware and decorations for your home. It carries items by designers like Coach, Dooney & Bourke, Michael Kors and Ralph Lauren, but also items from departments stores like Macy’s, Target and Anthropology. Repeat Performance was founded by Jill Delano in 1985. Three years later, Joyce Appleford and Dianne Giannoni became the owners. In 1999, Gwynn Clark became the owner — moving from the original location to a storefront on Van Ness Avenue. If you’re new to being a consignor, don’t worry — Repeat Performance will guide you through the process. “If you come to Repeat Performance, don’t be surprised when we offer to help,” Clark says. But what does consignment mean? In simple terms, you let Repeat Performance sell your items for you. When your items are sold, you get paid. Start the process by making an appointment.

2. Plato’s Closet 1053 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-6700

3. The Emporium 5761 N. Palm Ave. (559) 225-9718

Domestic Auto Dealer


Hedrick’s Chevrolet 961 W. Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 291-7711

Hedrick’s Chevrolet distinguishes itself as a go-to dealership for the backbone industries that support the economy of the Central Valley. “Many truck buyers in Valley agriculture and construction come to us to meet their needs,” says Brett Hedrick, the owner of Hedrick’s Chevrolet. In fact, the Chevy Silverado pickup truck — a workhorse for growers — consistently ranks as the top seller, outdistancing the rival Ford F-150, Hedrick says.

Thank you for voting us Fresno’s #1 Yoga Studio! Second Location Coming Soon to Clovis & Herndon Ave! TRANSFORM YOUR BODY, TRANSFORM YOU LIFE WITH HOT YOGA AND PILATES!

Congratulations to the residents & staff at Fig Garden for their People’s Choice Award from The Fresno Bee!


114 4 E . C H A M P L A I N AV E # 10 4 F R E S N O , C A


Thank you for making us #1 in

Bridesmaids, Tuxedos and Formalwear

Little Black Dress Call Today - 559.296.3038 Fig Garden



LBD Tuxedos (559) 439-2032 1731 W. Bullard Ave #128 Fresno, CA 93711 SE Corner of Bullard & West

Mon, Wed, Thurs: 11-6:30 Fri 11-5:30 • Saturday: 10-4:30 Sunday 11-3:30 • Closed Tuesdays


Central California’s “Hottest” Yoga Studio


Shopping “People love Chevys, and we enjoy that,” he adds. “It keeps them coming back. Chevrolet keeps up with technology, innovation and technology, which puts us at the top of consideration for consumers.” Case in point: A sleeker, lighter 2019 Silverado recently debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Poised to offer impressive fuel savings, the 2019 Silverado gives customers something to anticipate.

2. Selma Auto Mall 2755 Auto Mall Drive, Selma (559) 896-5000

3. Clovis Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram 395 W. Herndon Ave., Clovis

3. Michael Automotive 50 W. Bullard Ave., Suite 201 (559) 431-6000

People’s Choice

Electronics Store


Best Buy Multiple locations

In 1966, Richard Schulze and Gary Smoliak opened an audio specialty store called Sound of Music. In 1983, the electronic store was renamed and rebranded with more emphasis placed on consumer electronics. Today, Best Buy is a leading provider of technology products, services and solutions. The electronic store offers expert service at an unbeatable price more than 1.5 billion times a year to the consumers, small business owners and educators who visit the stores, engage with Geek Squad Agents or use or the Best Buy app. The electronic store has operations in the United States, where more than 70 percent of the population lives within 15 minutes of a location. Best Buy has more than 1,500 stores in North America, including large-format and Best Buy Mobile stores.

Nationally recognized, locally priced! THE LODGE AT RIVERSTONE MADERA

THANK YOU FOR VOTING | 559-439-7311 License #546839A 320 West Bedford, Suite #105 • Fresno, CA 93711





56 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Shopping 2. Costco Multiple locations

3. The Apple Store 645 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 244-3400

Flooring Store


Flooring Liquidators 6649 Blackstone Ave. (559) 227-7387 727 Clovis Ave., Clovis (559) 325-3664

Flooring Liquidators celebrated 20 years of serving customers last year. The distribution center’s goal is, and always has been, to provide customers the highest level of quality customer service in California. “Flooring is one of the top purchases that a family can make, so we take very

People’s Choice seriously that we meet the consumer’s expectations,” says Steve Kellogg, the president and owner of Flooring Liquidators. “We’re a leader in the carpet market and now there are more styles with more durability and people can have more fun with carpet than they used to have.” In addition to carpet, Flooring Liquidators features hardwood, tile, laminate and vinyl, as well as area rugs. Hardwood floors are rich with natural beauty and make a great investment for your home. Flooring Liquidators carries engineered hardwoods, solid, bamboo and click-lock in brands like American Guild, Armstrong Flooring, Artisan Hardwood and California Classics. Laminate flooring combines the beauty of real wood, tile and stone with the grit to stand up to everyday accidents.

2. Bedrosians Tile & Stone 3567 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 275-9990

3. A&M Flooring 160 E. Bullard Ave. (559) 448-1000


lilies, tulips, hydrangeas and chrysanthemums. For the spring, D&L Flowers has a number of selections like the FTD Sunny Sentiments Bouquet, the FTD All Aglow Bouquet by Better Homes and Gardens.

2. Stems at the Palatine 7455 N. Fresno St. (559) 256-2294

Flower Shop D&L Flowers 7280 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 431-7673 Since purchasing D&L Flowers about four years ago, Prisca Shiralian has maintained her mantra of bringing joy to the community. The mission is simple: “Great Flowers. Great Prices.” There are three kiosks in the FresnoClovis area: Shaw and Cedar avenues, Blackstone and Minarets avenues, and Blackstone and Shaw avenues. D&L Flowers has fresh-cut flowers for customers to create their own bouquets to give arrangements a personal touch, in addition to the traditional pre-designed arrangements. It has become known for selling bouquets for less than $20. There are flowers for every occasion, Shiralian says. The staff works with customers through the process if they aren’t familiar with the names of flowers. Flowers include roses, carnations, Peruvian

3. Lou Gentile’s Flower Basket 4918 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 243-9143

Furniture Store


Mor Furniture 5156 N. Blackstone Ave.

Whether you are changing your home, or moving into a new one, you will find a huge selection of quality living room





People’s Choice The Urban Umbrella 453 Pollasky Ave, Suite 102 (Dewitt Building), Clovis (559) 797-4295

Tracy Arredondo and Samantha Marin — mother/daughter co-owners of The Urban Umbrella — call their business a “lifestyle boutique.” It carries fashion and home arts that allow customers — as the store’s website says — “to decorate their hearts and homes.” In the process, the boutique shows and sells the work of local artisans “under one umbrella” — hence the business’ name. Merchandise includes frames, plants, rugs, light boxes, letter boards, ottomans, pillows, handwoven blankets, macrame art, string art and candles. Arredondo has a special appreciation for artisans because she’s one herself. “Before The Urban Umbrella, I used to make and sell different things at craft fairs and other events,” she says. “There are many local artists in the area, and we’re passionate about giving them space to publicly showcase their unique art, which helps them attract new customers.” The Urban Umbrella also carries clothes and accessories — tops, jeans, jewelry, purses and more. “We handpick all of our clothes ourselves,” Arredondo says. “They’re modern and refreshing and an extension of us, our lifestyle and everything we love.”

THE URBAN UMBRELLA: Owner Tracy Arredondo and Samantha Marin at The Urban Umbrella, a boutique with a unique concept of inviting customers in for classes on varied topics.

And here’s an added bonus: The store also is a gathering place to learn and socialize. It offers classes in how to make macrame wall art, leather wallets, jewelry, bath bombs and more. Other classes include cake decorating and calligraphy. “This gives our customers a place to come to be creative and learn to make the things they love and see in our store,” Arredondo says. “It also gives them an appreciation and understanding of how much work and love are put into the handmade items we carry. Plus, it’s a great excuse to have a day or night out with their friends.”

furniture, bedroom furniture, dining room furniture and name-brand mattresses offered at the best value at Mor Furniture. Mor Furniture believes in providing quality merchandise, with excellent customer service, while exceeding its customers’ expectations. As the West Coast’s largest familyowned and -operated furniture company, Mor Furniture believes in providing a fun and entertaining shopping experience, complete with family movies playing throughout the showroom and video games for the kids. Furniture shopping should be enjoyable, and that’s why customers are greeted by friendly staff with fresh-baked Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, warm popcorn, soft drinks and coffee. The carefully selected furniture selection is arranged into complete rooms, allowing customers to visualize the furniture as it would be in their home.

2. Fashion Furniture 255 W. El Paso (559) 440-9600


Tutorial Center selected as #1!

Fourth year in a row! Fresno City College is a college of the

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58 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



People’s Choice

3. Macy’s Home Store 1732 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 222-6611

Grocery Store


The Market 7088 N. West Ave. (559) 432-3306

The Market thrives as an independent, locally owned grocery store, and part of its success comes from buying local. “We support local food producers and carry as many of their products as possible throughout the store,” says Joe Pressutti, president of The Market. Shoppers, for example, can find fresh produce from Harvest Field Organic Farm, Peach on Earth Farms and Robert Johnson Farms, as well as from the Fresno State Agriculture Department. Raisins, grapes, wines, olive oils and sauces come from Fresno State. The list of local products also includes

beer from Tioga-Seqouia Brewing Company, milk and dairy products from Producers Dairy, and cracker breads from Valley Lahvosh Baking Company. In addition, the meat department features Harris Ranch USDA Choice Angus beef. The Market offers more than 800 gluten-free and organic items. In addition, The Market also offers customers grocery aisles stocked with specialty items. A full-service delicatessen features fresh salads and sandwiches. The menu of hot food entrées, soups, side dishes and grab-and-go items change each day. “Our commitment to cleanliness, presentation and selection is important for our success,” Pressutti says. “But what really makes the difference is our terrific team of associates and manager and their dedication to serving our customers.”

2. WinCo Foods Multiple locations

3. Save Mart Supermarkets Multiple locations


Home Improvement Store


Lowe’s 75 Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 322-3000 7651 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 436-6266

Founded in 1946, Lowe’s has grown from a small hardware store to a Fortune 500 home improvement company serving approximately 17 million customers a week in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 1982, Lowe’s earned a record profit of $25 million. Lowe’s stores then began serving a new type of customer: do-ityourself homeowners seeking to improve the value of their properties. Anticipating DIY needs while still accommodating contractors, Lowe’s began to enlarge stores and expand merchandise offerings. Lowe’s opened its first 100,000square-foot store in 1990, and the mod-

ern Lowe’s began in 1995 with the launch of the first Lowe’s website. Lowe’s offers more than 400,000 products online. A typical Lowe’s store offers more than 37,000 products, and features 13 product categories ranging from appliances and tools to paint, lumber and nursery products.

2. Fresno Ag Hardware 4590 N. First St. (559) 224-6441

3. Orchard Supply Hardware Multiple locations

Import Auto Dealer


Mercedes-Benz of Fresno 7055 N. Palm Ave. (559) 438-0300

Scott Biehl, the owner-operator of Mercedes-Benz of Fresno, has traveled to







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Shopping Germany to witness production of the iconic brand he sells to a loyal and growing number of clients. He last visited the Mercedes-Benz factory in 2011. He saw production of cars as well as models of vehicles in the design phase. “It’s an incredible experience that our customers can also do,” Biehl says. They can take delivery of a car in Germany and drive throughout Europe. At the end of their road trip, Mercedes-Benz of Fresno will ship the car to Fresno for them. The Fresno dealership sells more than 18 different models of Mercedes-Benz. That number includes the S-Class 550e Plug-In Hybrid, the C-Class 300 Cabriolet and the GLA 250 SUV. The number of models grows to more than 50 when you add AMG models (a high performance brand) and Sprinters (vans). “Our customer base continues to grow with the introduction of our entry-line models and certified pre-owned program,” Biehl says. “We also have very loyal customers who have bought new Mercedes for well over 40 years and multiple generations of families who drive our vehicles.”

2. Selma Auto Mall 2755 Auto Mall Drive, Selma (559) 896-5000



People’s Choice 2. Karkazian Jewelers 493 W. Shaw Ave., Suite B, Clovis (559) 297-0201 9447 N. Fort Washington Road, Suite 110 (559) 434-9009

3. Lewis Diamond Co. 7406 N. Fresno St. (559) 431-5373

JEWELRY STORE: Victor Morales, Melodie McColm, Linda Bencomo and James Orloff celebrate the victory at Orloff Jewelers at Fig Garden Village. count on informed and experienced sales and service representatives, jewelers and watchmakers who form a “complete support system” to deliver the “best results,” Orloff says. Orloff’s offers clients jewelry from top designers such as David Yurman and Maco Bicego as well as TAG, Michele and Shinola watches. Clients also can custom design jewelry with the CounterSketch computer pro-

gram. The result is a piece that’s “more personal, unique and, ultimately, more special,” Orloff says. Shopping for jewelry is a year-round activity with Valentine’s Day, the spring and summer wedding seasons, and the fall and winter holidays being particularly busy times. Women tend to buy for fashion while men buy to make a statement, Orloff says.

Local Hardware Store


Fresno Ag Hardware 4590 N. First St. (559) 224-6441

Fresno Ag Hardware has the staff and the stuff. The local hardware store’s

3. Fresno Lexus 777 W. Palmdon Drive (888) 709-6304

3. Lithia of Fresno Multiple locations (888) 328-3102

Jewelry Store

Thank You Fresno!

Orloff Jewelers 770 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 101 (559) 221-6622

g us for votin

Orloff Jewelers has served the Central Valley for more than 60 years — building longevity on a commitment to customer service. “To be the best at anything, you have to place your personal needs aside and focus on the desires and needs of those you serve,” says Mary Ann Orloff, the co-owner of Orloff Jewelers along with her husband, James. James’ father, Paul “Prince” Orloff opened the business in 1955. At Orloff Jewelers, customers can


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60 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Shopping ment of always working to be an asset to our community,” Williams says.

2. Clovis True Value 1890 Shaw Ave., Clovis (559) 325-6730

2. National Hardware 7173 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 439-2767

3. Mayson Ace Hardware 3071 W. Bullard Ave., Suite 106 (559) 435-1652

Luxury Auto Dealer


Mercedes-Benz of Fresno 7055 N. Palm Ave. (559) 438-0300

It starts and ends with engineering — that’s what makes a Mercedes-Benz a luxury vehicle, says Scott Biehl, the owner-operator of Mercedes-Benz of Fresno. “Mercedes-Benz engineers their cars for both performance and luxury,” he says. “This way you get to drive something that’s fun and sporty with great luxury seating and appointments inside.” Biehl knows about production firsthand, having visited the Mercedes-Benz factory in Germany. The Fresno dealership sells more than 18 different models of Mercedes-Benz. That number includes the S-Class 550e Plug-In Hybrid, the C-Class 300 Cabriolet and the GLA 250 SUV. Customers also can select from an inventory of certified pre-owned vehicles. Biehl says clients often look for extra customer service, and his dealership provides that in numerous ways, including a courtesy car wash and a complimentary latte and smoothie bar. He adds: “People choose Mercedes because of the reputation of the brand. They continue to purchase MercedesBenz for the exemplary service they receive during ownership, and they want to continue that relationship with us and our staff.”

LUXURY AUTO DEALER: Scott and Katie Biehl are the owners of Mercedes-Benz of Fresno. The company won for Import Auto Dealer and also Luxury Auto Dealer.


knowledgeable clerks have hands-on knowledge to share about plumbing, electrical and hardware. “We teach our community how to maintain their houses without having to spend a tremendous amount of money,” says Ian Williams, the manager and communications officer for Fresno Ag Hardware. Fresno Ag also is known for stocking vintage items such as cabinet hinges, drawer knobs and thermostats for older water heaters. The local hardware store can serve as a resource in fixing up older houses in neighborhoods where one home’s facelift can inspire other residents to follow suit, Williams says. His late grandfather, John Rosetta, bought the company in 1952. His wife, Rae, remains the owner. Fresno Ag is part of a cooperative of about 5,000 hardware stores connected to Ace Hardware. The local hardware store stocks national brands, including STIHL (chain saws and other power equipment), Valspar Paint, and Green Egg, Traeger and Weber premium line barbecues. It also has a STIHL repair shop plus large sporting goods and ammunition departments. Fresno Ag continues to thrive by following a core principle established by Rosetta. “We live by our mission state-

People’s Choice

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People’s Choice

2. Fresno Lexus 777 W. Palmdon Drive (888) 709-6304

Meat Market

3. Haron Motors 2048 Ventura St. (559) 237-5533

The Meat Market 1900 N. Fowler Ave., Suite 120, Clovis (559) 256-1390 454 Alluvial Ave., Fresno (559) 436-6688

Mattress Store


Mattress Land SleepFit Multiple locations

Selecting a mattress could be the most important purchase a person makes, says James Smith, chief executive officer at Mattress Land SleepFit. “Every aspect of our life, health and well-being is impacted by quality sleep,” he says. So, Mattress Land SleepFit considers it crucial to understand a customer’s body type and needs. That’s where BedFit technology comes in. Customers in Mattress Land stores can lie on a BedFit diagnostic bed for four minutes while the system identifies each individual’s support and pressure relief characteristics. BedFit then creates a digital map of the body, head and neck, and recommends the proper mattress type and pillow. The technology is exclusive to Mattress Land, and the evaluation is free. Mattress Land calls it the “SleepFit experience.” Mattress Land can meet the BedFit recommendation with inventory from eight manufacturers. The store also can customize in the same mattress the differing support needs of couples. Mattress Land — with corporate headquarters in Fresno — serves customers at 22 locations in four states (Idaho, Nevada and Washington, in addition to California). “I am very proud of our team’s accomplishments in a very confusing and competitive industry,” Smith says. “We are very passionate about sleep.”

2. Sleep Train Multiple locations (844) 219-2875

Macy’s Multiple locations


The Meat Market started as a small, family-owned meat distribution business in 1976. The market has blossomed into a two-location retail meat market that doubles as a specialty store known for sausages and tri-tip sandwiches. Professional butchers keep the meat counters stocked with custom-cut beef, chicken, lamb and pork, as well as seafood. The sausages — made in-house with fresh ingredients — come in a variety of flavors. The wine inventory includes a wide selection from Fresno/Madera wineries, including Engelmann Cellars, Cru Winery, Fresno State Winery, TOCA Madera and Solitary Cellars. Other wine selections come from Paso Robles, the Central Coast, Napa Valley, Sonoma and Lodi. Both the Fresno and Clovis locations feature an in-store restaurant, The Grill, which offers take-out service. Barbecue sandwiches, such as the Famous Santa Maria Tri-Tip, and grilled specialties, such as Philly Cheese Steak, are on the menu, as well as several salad choices.

2. The Market 7088 N. West Ave. (559) 432-3306

3. Sam’s Italian Deli & Market 2415 N. First St. (559) 229-9346

Men’s Clothing


Macy’s Multiple locations

No one would have guessed that the small, fancy dry goods store that opened on the corner of 14th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City in 1858 would grow to be one of the largest retailers in the world. Today, Macy’s serves customers through approximately 670 stores in virtually every major geographic market

in the United States, as well as online at A full range of men’s clothing is available, including formal wear, suits, blazers, casual wear, dress shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, jeans and even pajamas, lounge and sleepwear. More than a dozen brand names are available, including Alfani, Calvin Klein, Dockers, INC International Concepts, Levi’s, Michael Kors, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren, Sean John and Tommy Hilfiger. Activewear brands include Adidas, Champion, Golf Shop, Nike, Sports Fan Shop By Lids, The North Face and Under Armour.

2. Patrick James 780 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 224-5500

3. Kohl’s Multiple locations

Motorcycle/ ATV Dealer


Clawson Motorsports 6334 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 435-5020

Clawson Motorsports is a premier dealership for Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki motorcycles. The company has a rich history. In 1936, Jack Clawson started a boat building business that would evolve into today’s company. Jim McKoane bought the company in 1975. Today his children, Caroline, Larry and John, continue their father’s legacy. Customers can select from an extensive inventory of new and used motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The company is a go-to dealership for older Americans in the market for a motorcycle. Published reports indicate that increasing numbers of baby boomers — who have the time and money — are becoming motorsport enthusiasts. Motorcycle riders remains mostly male, but more women are embracing the sport, too. The company serves customers with a large parts department that also sells a wide variety of accessories. The staff can help riders customize their vehicles to have a distinctive personal look.

2. Harley Davidson of Fresno 4345 W. Shaw Ave. (559) 275-8586

3. Mathews Harley-Davidson 548 N. Blackstone Ave. 555 N. Abby St. 559-233-5279

Musical Merchandise


Guitar Center 5330 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 221-2222

Guitar Center meets myriad musical needs. The store carries instruments and many accessories, and it offers lessons and provides students the chance to perform in public. “We carry everything you would need for guitar, bass and most stringed instruments, as well as drums and percussion,” says Westin Conriquez, the manager of Guitar Center in Fresno. Customers can choose from many well-known brands. Fender, Epiphone and Gibson are three of the vendors for electric and acoustic guitars, while drums from DW, Ludwig and Zildjian and others are available. Keyboards from Yamaha, Williams and Akai are also are in stock. Customers can buy or rent used instruments and equipment, and instrument repair is also a service at Guitar Center. It started offering lessons for all ages and skill levels in July 2017. Professional instructors teach guitar, piano, band, orchestra and singing, and more than 200 students have participated. Conriquez describes the curriculum as student-driven, and the website states: “The confidence gained by learning music parlays with other areas, giving students the self-assurance to take on new challenges.” Every quarter, Guitar Center stages “The Rockshow Program” for students at Starving Artists Bistro in northeast Fresno. “It gives students a chance to perform on a real stage,” Conriquez says.

2. Patrick’s Music 769 E. Barstow Ave. (559) 224-7287

3. Gottschalk Music Center 328 Pollasky Ave., Clovis (559) 298-4400








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64 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018



Party Supply Store


Expo Party Rentals 3714 N. Valentine Ave. (559) 495-3300

It isn’t a party unless Expo Party Rentals is invited. The party supply store was founded by Mario Viramontes in the 1980s as Exposition Décor, a tradeshow management company. Later, the name was changed to Expo Party Rentals. Jared Medaris, the president of Expo Party Rentals, joined the party supply store in 2003. In 15 years, he has watched the party supply store grow from a handful of employees to occupying a 40,000square-foot warehouse on Valentine Avenue near Ashlan Avenue. It added a 2,500-square-foot showroom, which houses Kiku Floral, in 2015. Top products for rent include tables of various sizes, chairs, linens in dozens of colors and fabrics, dishes, flatware, vinyl and custom LED dance floors. The party supply store also rents food service and concession equipment.

People’s Choice But Medaris says the most popular items go with a theme: “For example, we have items that fit in a rustic outdoor theme like farm tables, wine barrels, fruitwood garden-style chairs.” The team members at Expo Party Rentals have also been trained by the American Rental Association to become Certified Event Rental Professionals.

2. Party City Multiple locations

3. Bargain Party Rental & Sales 453 W. Bedford Ave. (559) 431-1234

Pet Store


Whitie’s Pets 5215 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 438-4343

5215 N. Blackstone, Fresno CA 93710

559-438-4343 •

Whitie’s Pets has been keeping your pets happy and healthy for 75 years. The owner, John Shafer, started working at the store when he was 10 years old. His parents, Don and Sue Shafer, bought the store on Ventura Avenue and Hazelwood Boulevard in 1963. Five years later, they moved to a 7,000-square-foot building on Ventura Avenue and 5th Street. In 1986, the store was split into two locations to serve the north and south areas of Fresno. They found a permanent 28,000-square-foot home for the store on Blackstone and San Jose avenues in the early 1990s. Shafer says his favorite part about owning the store: “I like the interaction with the community.” Today, the store serves the needs — and wants — of pets by stocking shelves with supplies for dogs, cats, aquatic animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, exotic animals and rodents. The store is known for having a diverse selection of aquatic animals for sale, with hundreds of freshwater and saltwater fish. The neon tetra and the angelfish are the most popular species to purchase. The staff is trained and educated to teach you about proper care and maintenance to ensure the safety and longevity of your pets.

“Overtime, we’ve become experts,” Shafer says. “I like to hire employees who have the love and passion for pets.” The store also holds adoption clinics for dogs and cats — in conjunction with Animal Compassion Team, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Valley Animal Center.

2. Petsmart Multiple locations

3. 316 Reptiles 617 E. Olive Ave. (559) 448-6717

Photo Supply Store


Horn Photo 7899 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 225-5080





Premium Spas of Fresno

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Shopping In its new home across the Villaggio parking lot, Horn Photo now has double the room for double the inventory. “We have a secret back entrance by Sierra Nut House that allows our customers to get in and out, easy,” says owner Stan Grosz. “Avoid the busy parking lot in front.” Horn Photo has long been Central California’s oldest and most respected source for quality photographic equipment and supplies. It is the largest camera store and photo-finishing facility in the Central Valley and has experienced and helpful staff. “We are now a Panasonic dealer as well as a Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus and Sony dealership,” says Grosz. “Mirrorless cameras are the big rage now!” Horn also carries camera accessories such as lenses, memory cards, tripods, camera bags, smartphone lenses, studio lighting, flashes and film. If it has to do with photography, there’s an excellent chance Horn has it, for sale or to rent. But they don’t stop there. “We have beginning classes regularly, more advanced classes, on how to use your particular camera,” says Grosz. “Our staff teaches and we have several in-town and out-of-town photo experts that teach as well.”

People’s Choice 2. Costco Multiple locations

3. Walgreens Multiple locations

Plant and Garden Store


Gazebo Gardens 3204 N. Van Ness Blvd. (559) 222-7673

Gazebo Gardens embraces Fresno’s history while planting itself squarely in the here and now of home and commercial landscaping needs. For the last 96 years, the business has occupied the northeast corner of Van Ness Boulevard and Shields Avenue. That makes it the oldest continuously operating retail nursery in the San Joaquin Valley, says owner Scott Miller. (For the

PHOTO SUPPLY STORE: Horn Photo has been an industry leader for more than 80 years. It is now in a new location in the Villaggio Shopping Center on Blackstone Avenue.

record, the nursery was established in 1922 on what was then the outskirts of Fresno.) When people think of planting roses, many come to Gazebo Gardens for its stock. But the nursery’s inventory ranges from herbs to flowers to pottery to hand tools and more. Home listings in the neighborhood often mention that Gazebo Gardens is within walking distance. “We love that,” Miller says.

Some people think of Gazebo Gardens as a community center, Miller says. And for good reason. The nursery hosts a popular beer garden with food trucks and live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings year round. Gazebo’s Café Van Ness also operates seven days a week. People hold weddings at the nursery, and it’s also the traditional starting point for another Fresno tradition — Christmas Tree Lane.


66 SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 2018


Shopping 2. Belmont Nursery 7730 E. Belmont Ave. (559) 255-6645

3. Willow Gardens Nursery 10428 N. Willow Ave., Clovis (559) 299-5402

RV Dealer


Paul Evert’s RV Country 3633 S. Maple Ave. (559) 486-1000

Paul Evert’s RV Country serves people who like to hit the open road, see the country and take their accommodations along for the ride. The Fresno dealership sells motor homes, travel trailers, tent trailers, fifth wheels and toy haulers. Some recreational vehicles come with game systems, flat screen TVs and touch screens to



People’s Choice control the inside environment. “Our buyers are continuing to get younger as the RV lifestyle is beginning to gain traction with millennials,” says Charlie Power, director of operations at Paul Evert’s. “The RV lifestyle has a generational effect on families. If you camped in your formative years, you’re most likely to embrace the lifestyle for your family.”

2. Camping World 3672 S. Maple Ave. (855) 772-8275

3. RVs For Less 14334 CA-41, Madera (559) 822-7848

Shopping Center


Fig Garden Village Palm and Shaw avenues

The shopping center that opened in 1956 with stores like Candy Cane Toy Shop, Pollard’s Bakery, Sierra Foodland, Bilsten-Nusse Appliances and Alburts Village Liquor, has grown to 60 tenants offering a mix of high-volume national tenants and some of California’s and Fresno’s most popular brands. Fig Garden Village offers a village-like environment and an all-encompassing experience unlike anything else in the market. Featuring a high-quality retail and restaurant line-up, a robust familyfriendly event schedule, the shopping center promises to offer enjoyment for all ages. The property resonates with the community because, no matter if it’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday or 9 p.m. on a Friday, there is always fun to be had, be it from visiting one of its retailers or local partners, engaging in one of its events or congregating with family and friends at one of the many restaurants. Fig Garden Village offers an array of events throughout the year. Coming up next is Spring Fest on Saturday, April 21. And don’t miss Fig Gig, May 31 and Aug. 2. There will be live music, dancing and special raffle prizes, benefiting one local charity.

2. River Park Shopping Center Blackstone and Nees avenues, Fresno

3. Fashion Fair Mall 645 E. Shaw Ave. (559) 224-1591

Spa Dealer


Jacuzzi Premium Spas 6630 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 261-0326

Jacuzzi Premium Spas’ website describes stepping into one of its hot tubs and letting the foaming water surround you. “Social and private, fun and relaxing. Jacuzzi completely satisfies ... ” Customers can “test drive” — so to speak — a hot tub at the Fresno store. It

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Shopping has several current models full of clean water where shoppers can experience the soothing hydrotherapy. Sisters Bavette Vizzolini and Natalie Brauner — co-owners of the business — will spend time acquainting customers with how to use their new Jacuzzi hot tub. The store also carries parts and supplies. Vizzolini and Brauner are fulfilling the dream of their late father, Bruce Campbell, who came from a long line of small business owners. Vizzolini says her father put up his life savings so she and her sister could buy Jacuzzi Premium Spas. “He embodied the values of honesty, integrity and trust,” Vizzolini says. “We hold these values near and dear because of our father, and we’d like to thank our customers for their continued support.”

2. Energy House 122 E. Bullard Ave. (559) 432-1500

3. Homecrafters Spas & BBQ 70 E. Herndon Ave. (559) 435-7727

Specialty Gift Store


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JR’s Sports Collectibles 4249 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 103, Fresno (559) 277-3536 605 W. Herndon, Suite 800, Clovis (559) 575-8250




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JR’s Sports Collectibles is a go-to store for the faithful who follow America’s professional sports teams. “If you consider yourself a sports fanatic, we are the place for you,” says owner John Rosales, also known as JR. Let’s say, for instance, you want to decorate your son’s or daughter’s room with a theme featuring their favorite team from the National Football League, Major League Baseball or National Hockey League. JR’s stocks everything from pillow cases, curtains, rugs, bedding, trash cans, wall posters, wall clocks and more. And if your adult game room needs a makeover with a particular team in mind? JR’s sells team-specific pool tables, bar stools, recliners, sofas, dart boards and more. The store’s inventory also includes authentic NFL helmets, framed memorabilia, glassware, slippers, pajamas, blankets, wallets, watches, vehicle accessories and more. “You name it, we have it,”

People’s Choice Rosales says. It was only 20 years ago that he started the business in a small tent with two tables to showcase his merchandise. Today, the Fresno store has an 8,000square-foot showroom along with a 3,400-square-foot clearance store. The Clovis store opened in 2015 because of customer demand. Rosales says JR’s Sports Collectibles is the largest independent sports store in California.

2. Hallmark Gold Crown Multiple locations

3. RSVP Style 7455 N. Fresno St., Suite 102 (559) 435-7787

Sporting Goods Store


JR’s Sports Collectibles 4249 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 103, Fresno (559) 277-3536 605 W. Herndon, Suite 800, Clovis (559) 575-8250

JR’s Sports Collectibles sells a lot of Derek Carr jerseys. No surprise there since the Oakland Raiders’ quarterback played college football at Fresno State. The jerseys of Todd Gurley, running back for the Los Angeles Rams, and Dak Prescott, quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, also are big hits. Speaking of the Rams, they had something to do with John Rosales — also known as JR — opening the business in 1998. He says he couldn’t find collectibles or apparel for the Rams — his favorite team — in Fresno. “Local sports stores stocked products basically for two teams — the 49ers and Raiders,” Rosales says. “If you didn’t follow those two teams, you pretty much were out of luck.” Today, JR’s carries merchandise for all 32 National Football League teams as well as for Major League Baseball and National Hockey League teams plus some college teams. Rosales says his first “so-called store front” consisted of an 8-foot-by-10-foot E-Z UP tent and two 8-foot-long tables. Fast forward to today: The Fresno location has an 8,000-square-foot showroom and a 3,400-square-foot clearance store. And, Rosales opened a second store in


Shopping Clovis in 2015 because of customer demand. Back to popular jerseys. Among baseball players, top sellers are for Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants pitcher; Corey Seager, shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Cody Bellinger, Dodgers’ first baseman and outfielder. Rosales says he typically sells more Giants’ gear than Dodgers’ gear.

2. Dick’s Sporting Goods Multiple locations (877) 846-9997

3. REI 7810 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 261-4168

Tire Dealer


Les Schwab Multiple locations



People’s Choice The manager at a Les Schwab Tire Center once told the company’s chief executive officer that he knows when his store has made a successful sale. It’s when a customer comes back the next time he or she needs tires. Les Schwab believed in putting customers first when he started his business in Prineville, Oregon, in 1952. Schwab, who passed away in 2007, also held to other core values: Standing behind his products and services. Helping communities. Rewarding employees. “We keep Les’ vision at the heart of everything we do,” says Dale Thompson, the company’s chief marketing officer. “We believe these founding values are the reasons for our success, and they remain a part of the company’s DNA.” Les Schwab Tire Centers can be found in more than 480 communities in nine states. Besides California and Oregon, they’re in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Washington. Les Schwab Tire Centers provide a number of free services as part of the company’s warranty on new tires. Those services include old tire disposal, tire rotation, tire rebalancing, air checks and road hazard protection. “At Les Schwab, we’re focused on more than today’s transaction,” Thompson says. “We know

from our more than 65 years in business that customers come back because they trust our service and values.”

2. America’s Tire Company Multiple locations

3. Costco Multiple locations

Used Car Dealer


CarMax 7180 N. Palm Ave. (559) 490-7901

Customers at the Fresno CarMax store can choose from nearly 50,000 vehicles. That’s because the company makes its nationwide inventory available for viewing at its website and its mobile app. Upon customers’ requests, CarMax will transfer most used cars from the company’s 185 stores to Fresno.

The advantage is obvious: CarMax customers have access to a much larger inventory than can be found at any one store. But that’s not the only plus of shopping at CarMax. The company’s no-haggle policy and appraisal process are central to the consumer experience. No-haggling means the company offers one fair price on a vehicle, whether online or in the lot, without gimmicks, says company spokeswoman Dietta Slayton. “CarMax revolutionized the auto industry by delivering the honest, transparent and high-integrity car buying experience customers want and deserve,” she adds. CarMax extends the same customerfriendly philosophy to people interested in the company buying their old vehicle. The appraisal process can be completed in as little as 30 minutes. “After we give the customer a written offer, they have the option of completing the transaction and going home with payment in hand, or taking up to seven days to think it over,” Slayton says.

2. Michael Automotive 50 W. Bullard Ave., Suite 201 (559) 431-6000

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People’s Choice

2. Selma Auto Mall 2755 Auto Mall Drive, Selma (559) 896-5000

Wedding and Formal Attire

Wine Selection

Watercraft Dealer


BevMo 7639 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 431-2626 1095 Herndon Ave., Suite 101, Clovis (559) 472-7871


Little Black Dress Boutique 1731 W. Bullard Ave., Suite 128 (559) 439-2032

Little Black Dress Boutique is the onestop shop for dresses, wedding gowns and tuxedos for formal occasions. Keri Frazier is the owner behind the boutique, which opened at Bullard and West avenues in 2012. In 2016, Frazier expanded the inventory to include wedding gowns and tuxedos — courtesy of Jim’s Formal Wear, the largest rental company in the United States. The seasonal trends include two-piece prom and formal dresses, Frazier says. The boutique also maintains a registry to ensure dresses aren’t duplicated at the same high school. As for wedding gowns, she says detachable skirts and trains are on the rise among brides. The best part? Wedding gowns are less than $1,200. “The average price is about $800,” Frazier says. “We do have wedding gowns as low as $250.” In fact, the bridal party is set with dresses at affordable prices for bridesmaids, the mother-of-the-bride and the flower girl. Frazier also takes pride in helping the community. The boutique is part of the Girls World Expo and the Dream Dress Drive — a partnership between the Assistance League of Fresno and The Cinderella Project to collect prom and formal dresses for junior and senior girls in high school. Last year, Frazier says, more than 250 dresses were donated. To hear about deals and promotions, follow the boutique on Instagram and Facebook @LittleBlackDressFresno.

3. Clovis Marine 2475 N. Fordham Ave. (559) 291-5737

2. David’s Bridal 455 E Shaw Ave. (559) 230-2748

Clawson Motorsports 6334 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 435-5020 Clawson Motorsports began on the water. In 1936, Jack Clawson started a boat building business known as Clawson Boatworks. Selling motorcycles later became part of the business, which led to the present-day company. Clawson Motorsports retains a link to its beginning by selling a variety of personal watercraft. Kawasaki, Yahama and Sea-Doo models are included in the dealership’s inventory. It stocks new and used watercraft and also offers service and parts. The dealership can meet the varying needs of watercraft owners, whether they’re interested in touring/cruising, tow sports or high performance. Increasingly, owners of personal watercraft can participate in activities that go beyond zipping around a lake (as much fun as that is). Published reports indicate that owners also ride together, sometimes on longer trips, or participate in activities such as poker runs. There’s no question that personal watercraft remain popular with the boating public. In 2016, the latest year for which statistics are available, 59,000 new units and 133,100 used units were purchased across the nation, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

2. Bohner Lacefield Marine 10740 CA-41, Madera (559) 431-0336

3. Semper Speed & Marine 10854 CA-41, Madera (559) 436-1888

3. Madeleine’s Bridal Boutique 457 Pollasky Ave., Clovis (559) 299-2619


BevMo! was deemed to have the best wine selection, and it’s easy to see why. With more than 3,000 varietals to choose from, there’s something for every taste bud. Last year, BevMo! celebrated the 10th anniversary of its world-famous 5-cent wine event. The company partners with some of the world’s finest vineyards and wineries, allowing it to offer premium varietals and blends at the most affordable prices. BevMo! features hundreds of 5-cent wines year-round including new, limited and medal-winning wines, many of which are exclusively available at BevMo! Don’t know anything about wine? That’s OK. BevMo! offers wine and beer tasting every week from 4 to 7 p.m. Fridays, and the store’s knowledgeable staff can help point you in the right direction. Already know what you love? You can order online and pick up your order in store in an hour. And customers who join ClubBev! get the best pricing and personalized discounts — plus, it’s free to join. BevMo! has nearly 170 stores located throughout California, Arizona and Washington. It provides a uniquely friendly and welcoming environment for competitively priced alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The store also has a wide assortment of specialty foods and snacks, cigars, glassware and related bar and wine accessories.

2. Costco Multiple locations

3. Sam’s Italian Deli & Market 2415 N. First St. (559) 229-9346

Women’s Clothing


Macy’s Multiple locations

Macy’s delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at approximately 670 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as to customers in the U.S. and more than 100 international destinations through its leading online store at Via its stores, e-commerce site, mobile and social platforms, Macy’s offers distinctive assortments including the most desired family of exclusive and fashion brands for him, her and home. Women’s clothing runs the gamut from activewear to dresses, jeans, lingerie, sweaters and swimwear to wear to work. Women’s sizes include petite, petite plus, plus and maternity. Popular brands include Alfani, Calvin Klein, Charter Club, Free People, INC International Concepts, Lauren Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Style & Co, The North Face and Tommy Hilfiger. Women can also find shoes, handbags and jewelry to complement their new outfit. The JILL Jill Stuart collection, which includes fanciful dresses and lightly structured tops, skirts and pants, brought her unique point of view to Macy’s stores and in February. A hallmark of the JILL Jill Stuart collection is the combination of beautiful floral prints and exceptional fabrics to create garments that are rich in texture and silhouette. The JILL Jill Stuart collection is lightly whimsical, yet architectural, and channels the ultimate Jill Stuart girl who is effortlessly trendy and always on the scene. “Jill Stuart is rightly a favorite among the celebrity and scenester set, with covetable collections that are romantic and flirty with a modern, cool edge,” says Cassandra Jones, senior vice president of Macy’s fashion. “The beautiful collection she’s created for Macy’s is quintessentially Jill Stuart, a range of dreamy ‘It’ Girl pieces that we’re thrilled to share with our customers.” The JILL Jill Stuart collection, priced from $89 to $199, officially launched in Macy’s stores on Feb. 15.

2. Ooh La La 1305 N. Willow Ave., Suite 140, Clovis (559) 297-7770 7725 N. Via Del Rio (559) 439-7770

3. Nordstrom Rack 7883 N. Blackstone Ave. (559) 440-0111




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11413 East Shaw Avenue • Clovis, CA 93619 • (559) 299-9453




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