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Drusilla Rogers, Sugar Shack owner. PHOTO BY TERRY HAGERTY


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Bastrop businesses go above and beyond during COVID-19 pandemic By DAVID WILFONG • Statesman Content Marketing

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t’s been anything but business as usual in Bastrop in 2020. Like throughout the country, businesses in the local area have had to contend with a host of new restrictions and added safety precautions. Residents in Bastrop have recognized the local H-E-B plus! as the Best Essential Business during this period. Store Manager David Seeker says his business benefited from having a plan in place as a result of the H1N1 “swine flu” scare which happened years ago. The widespread pandemic that was feared back then never really materialized, but it left a game plan in place which was easily adapted to the circumstances faced today. “These guys have worked really hard, and been put through some tough situa-

tions over the past several months,” Seeker said. “They’ve just hung in there amazingly well. We’ve had a lot of plans that, luckily, we’ve never had to put into place. If we had extreme absenteeism and that kind of thing, what would we do, but luckily we’ve never had to do that kind of thing. Our team has been very steadfast and stayed in there, just like troopers.” The curbside service offered by H-E-B plus! was already in place before the pandemic hit, but it became a very popular feature of the store’s service. Seeker said curbside service was maxed out a few times during the crisis, and the store has had to make adjustments to meet the increased demand. Meeting the challenges created by the coronavirus was difficult at times, and

Bastrop’s H-E-B plus! was named Best Essential Business during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. PHOTO BY LESLIE NESSELHAUF

Seeker said he believed the recognition received from the community will be greatly appreciated by his team members who went the extra mile to stay on top of things for the customers they serve. “During times when it’s really hard to get product and things like that; that was, I think, frustrating for us,” Seeker said. “When you looked at shelves and they were bare and empty because we weren’t able to get stuff from our suppliers for that period there, and toilet paper was out, and disinfectants and cleaners were out; it was frustrating for the team because we weren’t able to deliver on what we needed to for the community.” In addition to Best Essential Business, the local H-E-B plus! was also named Local Business Who Gave Back to Community, with the First National Bank of Bastrop as the runner up. The Bastrop Chick-fil-A was the recipient of a host of awards; including Best Customer Service, Most Kid Friendly and Best Fast Food. They were also lauded for Most Creative Marketing Campaign During a Pandemic. The local Bastrop restaurant came up with a “Spot the Cow” event where employees hid “Mini Moo” cows in the drive-through area and challenged customers to find them all.

Local employees found themselves dealing with a host of new procedures during the pandemic, like at Bastrop Chick-fil-A. COURTESY PHOTO

“Chick-fil-A Bastrop is incredibly honored to receive this award,” said owner Ryan Saum. “We are so proud of our Team Members and are extremely grateful, as always, for our community’s support. By hosting drive-thru activities like Spot the Cow and Craft

Night for families, our Team Members aim to help our community have fun with one another during this challenging time. It’s been our pleasure to serve all of our Bastrop guests, and we strive to continue providing an exceptional dining experience.” •


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New categories in the Best of Bastrop competition include restaurants in Cedar Creek, Elgin, Smithville T

By APRIL BAMBURG • Statesman Content Marketing

he Best of Bastrop expanded this year to include naming the best restaurants in several county towns, including Cedar Creek, Elgin, Bastrop and Smithville. These restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, but all make a difference in their communities by serving fresh food and creating community. LEO’S ITALIAN GRILL 887 State Highway 21 W, Cedar Creek Leo and Michelle Gaertner are the owners of Leo’s Italian Grill, the Best Restaurant in Cedar Creek. Their most popular menu items are chicken Parmesan and fettuccine Alfredo, as well as a variety of desserts. “We are honored and humbled to receive this award,” said co-owner Michelle Gaertner. Leo’s passion for cooking and the restaurant business spans more than 34 years, and at Leo’s Italian Grill, all of the sauces, meatballs, pizza crusts, breads, most salad dressings and desserts are made from scratch. “We take great pride in offering fresh, quality product accompanied with great customer service. We also provide catering services,” said Michelle Gaertner. “We want everyone to feel like they are coming over to have dinner with friends. We really enjoy connecting with everyone and have met some amazing people.” The restaurant offers prime rib on Friday and Saturday, hand-cut rib eye steaks daily, sandwiches, burgers and chicken wings. There’s

Paw-Paw’s Catfish House was named Best Restaurant in Bastrop. PHOTO BY CHERI RICE

Southside Market and Barbecue sells fresh meat and barbecue in Elgin. PHOTO BY BRYAN BRACEWELL

also live entertainment each month and karaoke Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

SOUTHSIDE MARKET AND BARBECUE

1212 Highway 290, Elgin Southside Market and Barbecue was named the Best Restaurant in Elgin. It has served Elgin residents since 1882, when William J. Moon sold fresh meat from the back of a horse-drawn wagon doorto-door. In 1968, current owner Bryan Bracewell’s grandparents bought the expanded business, known as Southside Market, which evolved from a butcher shop to barbecue restaurant to “barbecue joint that still sells fresh meat on

the side,” said Bracewell. “It feels great to be awarded the recognition as Best Restaurant in Elgin. Our hometown community of Elgin is one of our top three priorities as a company: our team, our guests, our community. And we strive to do our best daily, serving our community top quality, authentic central Texas barbecue with excellent customer service and hospitality that makes a lasting impression,” Bracewell said. “We are very thankful for our team, who truly earned this award, and for our guests who have stuck with us, even during the pandemic of 2020 while we’ve been forced to adjust how we do business

and how they’ve grown accustomed to dining with us for decades.” Sausage is the bestseller, and it’s made on-site fresh, daily. Brisket and pork ribs round out the top three best-selling items.

PAW-PAW’S CATFISH HOUSE

1014 Main St, Bastrop Bastrop’s Paw-Paw’s Catfish House was named a Best Restaurant in Bastrop, and owner Cheri Rice says that being voted Bastrop’s Favorite Restaurant is an honor. “We work hard every day to give our customers a great experience, and winning this really showed our hard work pays off. We love Bastrop and all of our customers,” Rice said. The restaurant offers several varieties of catfish, shrimp, chicken, burgers and more. “The Paw-Paw’s platter is our best-selling plate. It is a combination of our catfish and shrimp, served with French fries, pinto beans and

spicy coleslaw,” Rice said. Another customer favorite is the deep-fried deviled eggs. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have been hunting and fishing with my Paw-Paw and Maw-Maw. We would catch fish that were bigger than I was, and I always remember how much fun we had. We would have big fish fry [events] in the backyard and all of our friends and family would come. Paw-Paw would always fry catfish and hushpuppies until everyone was so full they could not eat any more,” said Rice. “I remember running around and playing and enjoying life! As I grew up, I spent my last 20 years in the restaurant business learning, and one day hoping that I would have a restaurant of my own. It finally happened, and I know my Paw-Paw and Maw-Maw are smiling down on us.”

COMFORT CAFÉ

111 NW 1st St., Smithville Comfort Café was named the Best Restaurant in Smithville and is open Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for indoor and outdoor dining and to-go orders. The restaurant offers stuffed French toast, sweet cream pancakes, omelets, scramblers, pasta and salads, among others. Comfort Café is part of Serenity Star, a 501(c)3 organization that offers families a safe, sober place to recover from addiction and support along the way. More information about the café is available on their Facebook page, https://www. facebook.com/ComfortCafe. •


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Drusilla Rogers is the owner of the Sugar Shack, which has been serving up sweet treats in Bastrop since 1995. TERRY HAGERTY

Sugar Shack is celebrating 25 years of making Bastrop smile By DEBBIE DENNY • Statesman Content Marketing

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he Sugar Shack will be celebrating its 25th anniversary during the month of November. When the shop opened on Nov. 5, 1995, in The Crossing down by the Colorado River, it was only 300 square feet. Since then, the Sugar Shack has become a landmark in the Bastrop area, making customers feel like kids in the candy store. The store features bulk candy, Blue Bell ice cream, homemade fudge, nostalgic candy and many gift items for the young — and the young at heart. The Sugar Shack is also celebrating its 16th year winning the “Best Gift Store” category in

the Best of Bastrop County contest. “It’s not so much what you’re buying, it’s more the experience you have when coming to the Sugar Shack,” said owner Drusilla Rogers. She said she tries to keep the selection fresh and current with unique items you can’t get anywhere else. It helps to have young employees, too, who don’t mind giving suggestions, Rogers said. The shop carries many Texas-made products, Jelly Bellies, flavored popcorn, savory seasonings, dips and cheese ball mixes, baby gift items, and everything needed to celebrate a birthday. Parties can be celebrated on the back patio

of the Sugar Shack. Plus, it has balloons for every occasion. Known for events such as photos with the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, and specializing in chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine’s Day, the store specializes in holiday fun. The Sugar Shack’s 25th anniversary kicks off with a Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 10:30 a.m. at 114 Loop 150 West, Bastrop. Find out more about anniversary festivities taking place throughout the month by checking the Sugar Shack’s Facebook page at www. facebook.com/sugarshackbastrop.•


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AROUND TOWN Recognizing hard-working businesses that keep the community running ADVERTISING/ MARKETING SERVICES Winner: Debbie Denny Media Solutions Runners-Up: • 365 Bastrop • Visit Bastrop, DMO

ATTORNEY (PERSON)

Winner: Joe Grady Tuck, Tuck Law Group Runners-Up: • Will Jenkins, Kershaw & Jenkins • Amanda Carter, Abreo & Carter Law Firm

AUTO BODY

Winner: Lonestar Collision Repair Center Runners-Up: • Ken’s Auto Body • Hampton Body Works

AUTO REPAIR

Winner: Barnard’s Tire & Auto Runners-Up: • Texas Pride Automotive • Jay’s Tire & Automotive Repair

AUTO SUPPLY STORE

Winner: B&B Auto and Small Engine Supply Runners-Up: • Smithville Auto Parts • Lost Pines Toyota Auto Parts

BANK EMPLOYEE

Winner: Reid Sharp: First National Bank Runners-Up: • Tinesha Seel, Austin Telco • Wanda Rucker, Frontier Bank

BED & BREAKFAST Winner: Pecan Street Inn Runners-Up: • Katy House • 9E Ranch Cabins

CAR DEALERSHIP

Winner: Lost Pines Toyota Runners-Up: • Covert Chevrolet Buick GMC • Sames Bastrop Ford

CAR SALESPERSON

Winner: Harry Greene, Covert Chevrolet Runners-Up: • Chester Deshay, Sames Ford • Carrie Kaspar, Covert Chevrolet

COMPUTER & COMPUTER REPAIR Winner: Computer Literate Runner-Up: • Sean Orr • BITS/Charlie Charlesworth

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

Winner: Film Alley Bastrop Runners-Up: • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard • Sherwood Forest Faire

FLORIST

Winner: Bastrop Florist Runners-Up: • Brenda Abbott Floral Design • Smithville Florist

HOTEL/MOTEL

Winner: Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa Runners-Up: • Hampton Inn & Suites Bastrop • Pecan Street Inn

INSURANCE AGENT Winner: James Allen, State Farm Runners-Up: • Lori Tuggle, State Farm • Mark Lee, Allstate

NEW BUSINESS (LESS THAN 1 YEAR OLD)

Winner: Base Camp Deli Runners-Up: • Lejeune Boudin and Crackings • Stem & Stone Craft Beer, Wine & Eats

PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS/SIGNS

Winner: Bastrop Signs and Banners Runners-Up: • We Logo Anything • Signs & Banners Texas

REAL ESTATE AGENT Winner: Dawn Kana, Kana Real Estate Runners-Up: • The Janis Penick Team RE/MAX Bastrop Area • Valerie Navejas, Rainey Real Estate

REAL ESTATE FIRM

Winner: RE/MAX Bastrop Area Runners-Up: • Kana Real Estate • Jeanette Shelby Realty

RV PARK

Winner: Bastrop/Colorado River KOA Runners-Up: • Lake Bastrop South Shore Park • Hwy 21 RV Park and Storage

SELF STORAGE FACILITY Winner: Lone Star Storage Runners-Up: • Solid Ground Storage • Bastrop Self Storage

TIRE DEALER

Winner: Discount Tire Runners-Up: • Barnard Tire & Auto • Leal’s Tire Service

TRAVEL AGENT

Winner: Gale Branecky, Bastrop Travel Runners-Up: • Sherrill Schier, ETX Travel • Tracey Younes, GTS TRAVEL

WEDDING VENUE

Winner: Red Ridge Runners-Up: • The Mansion at ColoVista • Red Rock Vineyards & Wedding Receptions

WIFI HANGOUT Winner: Coffee Dog Roastery Runners-Up: • Tough Cookie Bakery • Chemn Cafe •


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Lonestar Repair Center: Best Auto Body Lonestar Repair Center 2773 N. Main St., Bastrop, TX, 78602 512-321-7827 • www.lonestarcollisionrepaircenter.com We want to thank you for your vote in Bastrop’s annual Best of Bastrop County for 2020. Lonestar Collision Repair Center is locally family owned and operated along with our sister company, Lonestar Towing & Recovery, since 2006. 2020 has been a year to remember but it would not be possible if it was not for the continual business we receive from Bastropians. We are honored to be your First Place Auto Body Shop for 2020. Remember to see us first for auto body, paint, glass, towing and auto sales in 2021. God Bless America and Bastrop County. •

Lost Pines Toyota: Best Car Dealership Lost Pines Toyota 806 Highway 71 West, Bastrop, TX, 78602 512-303-1200 • lostpinestoyota.com Lost Pines Toyota calls city of Bastrop home and treats customers as family members in their growing green community. Together we have conquered struggles presented by the pandemic by organizing food and blood drives. In addition to that, we’re approaching our solar anniversary that has generated energy to save trees. Our customers recently voted us as the Best Car Dealership in the Best of Bastrop County Contest and it’s a testament to everything we stand for as a community-driven business. “This is an award voted by our customers and that makes it so special,” said Carlos Liriano. •


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Lone Star Storage: Best Self Storage Facility Lone Star Storage 807 Highway 71W., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-332-0111 • www.lonestar-storage.com Lone Star Storage is locally owned and operated by Bobby and Teri Harriman since 2006 and they are committed to excellence service. Harriman believes in personal, face to face transactions with tenants. Whether you are storing personal or business items, they are your convenient and affordable storage solution. With over 440 climate and non-climate units, the state-of-the-art facility is clean and well-maintained. Come by and visit to see these and the many extras that will make Lone Star Storage your first choice. Boat and RV storage is also available. •

Bastrop Florist: Best Florist Bastrop Florist 806 Chestnut St., Bastrop, TX, 78602 512-321-2424 • www.therealbastropflorist.com Blessed to be serving the same community for 51 years, Bastrop Florist is owned/ operated by an established hometown family. Each arrangement is handmade by the creative design team of Aya and her daughter, Dara. They’re not just florists, they’re artists! Customer relationships are paramount to them. Their cousin, Chrystal now joins them in providing exceptional service. Fresh arrangements for birthdays, anniversaries, special events, weddings and funerals are all created with the utmost talent and care. Plants, Texas-made gourmet, spa items and candles are carefully chosen for the shop as well. When it comes from Bastrop Florist, you’ll know it! •

Bastrop Signs and Banners: Best Promotional Products/Signs Bastrop Signs and Banners 248 Highway 304, Bastrop, TX, 78602 512-332-0803 • bastropsigns.com Bastrop’s Original Large-format Print Shop is family owned and operated. At Bastrop Signs and Banners, we know that sometimes bigger is better. What better way to catch the attention of future customers than with signage they can’t miss? Our printing experts are specially trained to handle any large format printing project. We can help you plan, design, and print any banner, poster, sign, vehicle graphics, or oversized photo. With over 100 five-star reviews, we know you will not be disappointed with the final product and customer service we have been providing for over 15 years. •


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Dawn Kana: Best Real Estate Agent Dawn Kana, Kana Real Estate LLC 806 Spring St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-413-3988 • www.kanarealestate.com Dawn has been a licensed Realtor in Texas since 1986! She has a marketing/business management degree from Concordia University. Dawn has been a resident of Bastrop for over 40 years and has seen the area grow and prosper. She and her husband, Chris, were raised in Bastrop. As a second generation Realtor, Dawn believes that delivering quality service to her clients is crucial to ensuring she helps them achieve their specific goals. If you are thinking about buying or selling property in Bastrop, Smithville, the Lost Pines area, or anywhere in Bastrop County, call Dawn Kana today. “Home is Where Your Story Begins.” •

Joe Grady Tuck, Tuck Law Group: Best Attorney Tuck Law Group 906 Main St., Bastrop, TX, 78602 512-321-4944 www.tucklawgroup.com Tuck Law Group, PLLC is the largest law firm in Bastrop County. We are home to four fulltime attorneys, a team of legal assistants, and a fully staffed fee closing office. We offer legal services, real estate closings, and PO box rentals. Despite the pandemic, we have remained open, and are available by appointment to help serve all your real estate and legal needs. •


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James Allen State Farm: Best Insurance Agent James Allen State Farm 815 Highway 71 W., Suite A, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-581-3535 • www.mybastropagent.com At James Allen State Farm, we are truly grateful for being voted Best of Bastrop in the Insurance Agent category. Our policyholders are our number one priority and we will continue to provide them with the best customer service that they deserve. Our mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. We would love for you to stop by our office and experience the way we do business and why James Allen State Farm continues to be our customer’s first and best choice. Again, we are truly grateful. •

The Janis Penick Team ~ RE/MAX Bastrop Area: Best Real Estate Agent Runner Up The Janis Penick Team ~ RE/MAX Bastrop Area 87 Loop 150 West, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-921-9134 www.JanisPenick.com The Janis Penick Team ~ RE/MAX Bastrop Area was honored to be named the #1 Team for RE/MAX Austin Council and #26 of all RE/MAX Small Teams in the entire country for the first and second quarters of 2020. Also ranked as the Top Producing Team by the Bastrop County Board of REALTORS®, we have helped hundreds of clients find their perfect property including homes, country estates, weekend retreats and recreational or working ranches for over 19 years. We would love to include you as a happy client! •


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Barnard Tire & Auto: Best Auto Repair Barnard Tire & Auto 1501 Chestnut St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-4506 • www.barnardtireandauto.com Barnard Tire & Auto’s reputation speaks for itself. The business is family owned and operated by Mike and Pam Oldham who believe in fair and quality service and to strive to deliver that to their loyal customers. They carry Cooper tires and all major brand tires, and have hazardous roadside protection on passenger tires. They offer full service auto repair on domestic and foreign cars. Road service mechanics A to Z — no repair job is too small or too big. They also offer Diesel service. •

RE/MAX Bastrop Area: Best Real Estate Firm RE/MAX Bastrop Area 87 Loop 150 West, Bastrop TX 78602 512-303-4441 • www.bastropforsale.com RE/MAX Bastrop Area is a top producing, award winning real estate firm independently owned and operated and made up of community-minded individuals. Our professionals are here for all of your real estate needs, whether it be buying or selling a home, farm and ranch land, or commercial property. We are the hometown experts with a world of experience. WE ARE LOCAL! WE ARE GLOBAL! WE ARE RE/MAX! •

City of Bastrop Main Street Program City of Bastrop Main Street Program 1311 Chestnut St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-332-8996 • downtownbastrop.com The Lost Pines Christmas season is once again heading to Downtown Bastrop so please come be part of the magic by sipping, shopping, eating, and playing Downtown. While Lost Pines Christmas may look different this year, we are keeping the joy alive by hosting our 5th Annual Wassail Fest on November 28th with live music and homemade cider. Join us again December 11th-13th for our Downtown Open House because Downtown is the perfect place to find some one-of-a-kind gifts and holiday cheer! Follow us on Facebook @DowntownBastrop or visit Lostpineschristmas.com for all things Lost Pines Christmas in the Downtown Bastrop! •


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RECREATION

Discover top opportunities for outdoor activities, arts, and entertainment ART GALLERY

LOCAL ARTIST/ PAINTER

Winner: Lost Pines Art Center Runners-Up: • The Foundry • The Clever Tiger: Art Studio and Gallery

Winner: Jo Watts Runners-Up: • Ashley Smith at The Clever Tiger • Tosha Carnes

ARTS AND CRAFTS

Winner: Lost Pines Art Center Runners-Up: • The Clever Tiger: Art Studio and Gallery • Yarnorama!

LOCAL BAND/ MUSICIAN Lost Pines Art Center was named best art gallery and best arts and crafts. COURTESY PHOTO

DANCE SCHOOL

Winner: Liberty Dance Center Runners-Up: • Smooth Moves Dance • Heart and Sole Dance

OUTDOOR RECREATION COMPANY

Winner: Bastrop River Company Runners-Up: • Cotton Bowl Speedway • Sherwood Forest Faire

GOLF COURSE

Winner: ColoVista Golf Club Runners-Up: • Pine Forest Golf Club • Wolfdancer Golf Club

PHOTOGRAPHER

Winner: • Erica Kana, Erica Kana Photography Runners-Up: • Echo Zinsmeyer, Image’s By Echo Photography • Amanda Hurst, RidgeDog Photography

HAPPY HOUR

Winner: The Front Room Wine Bar Runners-Up: • Copper Shot Distillery • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard

KARAOKE BAR

Winner: Old Town Restaurant and Bar Runners-Up: • Ranch House • American Legion - Post 533

Winner: Peterson Brothers Runners-Up: • Wyatt Ellis Band • Briana Adams

Copper Shot Distillery is a popular spot for happy hour and to take guests from out of town. COURTESY PHOTO

LIVE THEATER

Winner: Bastrop Opera House

Runners-Up: • Smithville Playhouse • Sherwood Forest Faire

PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF TOWN GUESTS

Winner: • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard Runners-Up: • Copper Shot Distillery • Cotton Bowl Speedway •


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Bastrop Opera House: Best Live Theater Bastrop Opera House 711 Spring St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-517-6422 www.bastropoperahouse.com

Film Alley Bastrop: Best Family Entertainment Film Alley Bastrop 1600 Chestnut St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-0123 • www.filmalleybastrop.com Film Alley Bastrop (from Schulman Theatres) sincerely appreciates the community support and vote for Best of Bastrop County competition for Best Entertainment Venue. You have many choices for where you spend your time and money and we appreciate you continuing to choose Film Alley Bastrop. WE ARE OPEN! 2020 has been a challenge for us all. We are working to keep you and your family safe by practicing social distancing in our theatres, at our bowling lanes and in arcade. We thank you again for your vote! •

The historic Bastrop Opera House is an award-winning theater that produces a season of plays, musicals, dinner theater shows as well as special event performances. The Bastrop Opera House is also home to the award-winning Bastrop Youth Performing Arts Academy which has classes for youth ages 9-19. In addition to live performances, patrons can also purchase live stream tickets to many of our performances. To see the current season productions or to purchase tickets, please visit www. bastropoperahouse.com. •


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LOCAL SERVICES ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY

Winner: Argent Court Assisted Living Runners-Up: • New Haven Assisted Living of Bastrop • Towers Nursing Home

BARBER SHOP

Winner: Chubby’s Barbershop Runners-Up: • Margie’s Barber • His and Her Barbershop Salon

CAR WASH

Winner: Rapid Express Car Wash Runners-Up: • Lost Pines Full Service Car Wash and Oil & Lube Center • Lost Pines Toyota

CHIROPRACTOR

Winner: Dr. Jason Trowbridge: Atlas Pain Institute Runners-Up: • Dr. Matthew Mix: Adjust Chiropractic • Dr. Amanda Gibson: Airrosti

CUSTOMER SERVICE Winner: Chick-fil-A Runners-Up: • First National Bank of Bastrop • Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning

DENTIST

Winner: Dr. Chad Byler, General & Cosmetic Dentistry Runners-Up: • Dr Matthew Lassen: Spring Street Dental • Dr. Jaclyn Smith: The Dentist

DRY CLEANER

Winner: Lost Pines Cleaners Runners-Up: • Comet Cleaners • Modern Cleaners

EMERGENCY ROOM

Winner: Physicians Premier Emergency Room Runners-Up: • Ascension Seton Bastrop • St. David’s Emergency Center

ESTHETICIAN

Winner: Clara Thomas: Heavenly Hair Salon and Spa Runners-Up: • Cindy Cordova: Cherry Blossoms Spa • Shaylee Fleming: Turquoise Salon & Spa

FINANCIAL ADVISER Winner: Wanda Rucker, Frontier Bank Runners-Up: • Derrick Formby, First National Bank • Ethan Jones, First National Bank

FINANCIAL SERVICE COMPANY

Winner: First National Bank of Bastrop Runners-Up: • Austin Telco Federal Credit Union • Frontier Bank of Texas

FITNESS/HEALTH INSTRUCTOR

Winner: Trinity Lindsley: HT Fitness Runners-Up: • Cody Skinner: Strive

Strength Fitness & Conditioning • Carey Klaus, Anytime Fitness

GYM/FITNESS CENTER

Winner: HT Fitness Runners-Up: • Anytime Fitness • Strive Strength Fitness & Conditioning

HAIR SALON

Winner: Turquoise Salon & Spa Runners-Up: • Heavenly Hair Salon & Spa • Margie’s Barber and Hair Salon

HAIRSTYLIST

Winner: Christie Love Runners-Up: • Chris Higgins, Chubby’s Barbershop • Margaret Johnson: Heavenly Hair Salon & Spa

HOME HEALTH SERVICES

Winner: Serenity Hospice Runners-Up: • Advanced Home Health Services • Encompass Home Health

MASSAGE THERAPIST Winner: Martina “Sunny” Gonzales: Twelve Star Massage Runners-Up: • Shasta Lusk: Cherry Blossoms Spa • Julie Myers: Cherry Blossoms Spa

MEDICAL AESTHETICS

PHYSICIAN

MORTGAGE COMPANY

PHYSICIANS ASSISTANT/NURSE PRACTITIONER

Winner: Soulage Wellness and Aesthetics Runners-Up: • TruSkin Bastrop • Genesis Functional Medicine & Aesthetics

Winner: First National Bank of Bastrop Runners-Up: • Frontier Bank of Texas • First Centennial Mortgage

NAIL SALON

Winner: Y Nails Runners-Up: • DeLeon Nail Studio • Elysian Nail and Spa

OPTOMETRIST

Winner: Texas Vision Clinic Runners-Up: • Pam Solly: Bastrop Family Eye Care • Elgin Vision Source

PET BOARDING/ KENNELS

Winner: Best Friends Boarding Kennel Runners-Up: • Bastrop Veterinary Hospital • Hair of the Dog

PHARMACY

Winner: H-E-B Pharmacy Runners-Up: • Walgreens Hasler Blvd. • Walgreens Tahitian

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Winner: Garner & Riley Physical Therapy Runners-Up: • Airrosti • Elgin Physical Therapy Clinic

Winner: Dr. Sammy Lerma III Runners-Up: • Dr. Pompeyo Chavez: Family Health Center • Dr. Robert Dougherty: Genesis Functional Medicine & Aesthetics

Winner: Olivia Blankenship, FNP: Family Health Center Runners-Up: • Thresia (T.J.) Allen NP-C: Elgin Medical Center • Bea Smith: Genesis Functional Medicine & Aesthetics

SENIOR CARE FACILITY

Winner: Argent Court Assisted Living Runners-Up: • Towers Nursing Home • New Haven Assisted Living of Bastrop

SPA

Winner: Cherry Blossoms Spa Runners-Up: • Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa • Turquoise Salon & Spa

TITLE COMPANY

Winner: Austin Title Company Runners-Up: • Independence Title Bastrop • Trinity Title of Texas

VETERINARY CLINIC

Winner: Bastrop Veterinary Hospital Runners-Up: • Crossroads Animal Hospital • Riverside Veterinary Hospital •


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Genesis Functional Medicine & Aesthetics: Best Physician Runner Up Genesis Functional Medicine & Aesthetics 623 Highway 71 W., Suite 204, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-581-5016 • robertdoughertymdpa.com Genesis Functional Medicine & Aesthetics is excited to add SulpSure “warm sculpting” to their aesthetics practice. SulpSure produces non-surgical, permanent fat loss in 25 minutes with no down time! In addition to treating your abdomen, love handles, thighs and back, we offer submental treatments that target the chin. We offer a full line of laser services including skin tightening and resurfacing, scar, stretchmark and cellulite treatments, wrinkle reduction, and laser hair removal. Dr. Dougherty continues in his third year of concierge family practice offering personalized care with same day appointments, no wait time and 24-7 access via personal cell phone or email. •

Austin Title Company: Best Title Company Austin Title Company 815 Highway 71 West, Building 1, Suite 1100, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-303-9633 • www.austintitle.com Austin Title has been providing title insurance and escrow services for both residential and commercial transactions in Bastrop, Travis, Williamson, Hays County and around the country since 1953. Our experienced Escrow Officers, Karen Cannon and Brittney Davis, are diverse in their knowledge and close both commercial and residential transactions. We are excited to announce our expansion into downtown Elgin with an office opening soon on Main Street. We are a member of the largest title insurance company in the nation, Fidelity National Financial, which provides our customers with the best of both worlds. Local Roots and National Strength. • •


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Austin Telco Federal Credit Union: Best Financial Service Company Runner Up Austin Telco Federal Credit Union 530 TX-71, Bastrop, TX 78602 • 512-302-5555 • www.atfcu.org Austin Telco has been serving the Austin Area since 1941 and is a strong financial institution with over $2 billion in assets. This year marks 15 years that Austin Telco has been a part of the Bastrop County area. They opened their doors in July of 2005 because they wanted to better serve the members of Bastrop county with products and services such as free checking with no minimum balance and low loan rates. The Bastrop location is managed by Tinesha Seel, a longtime resident and volunteer of the Bastrop area since 1999, who provides outstanding member service. •

Frontier Bank of Texas: Best Financial Advisor Frontier Bank of Texas 1500 Chestnet St., POB 695, Bastrop TX 78602 512-303-5000 • www.frontierbankoftexas.bank/bastrop FBT is an independent, community bank headquartered in Elgin and has been recognized as one of the top 50 fastest growing companies in the Austin metro. The bank has assets of more than $350 million with locations in Bastrop, Manor, Elgin, Austin & Leander. Chartered in 2007, Frontier serves customers in Central Texas and is owned by the local community, benefiting from the support of 600 shareholders across Texas. Frontier is launching numerous initiatives, putting the bank on the cutting edge of customer service and community responsibility. The Frontier footprint now extends from Bastrop, across the Austin metro and into Williamson County. •

Texas Vision Clinic: Best Optometrist Texas Vision Clinic 85 Loop 150 West, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-2106 • txvisionclinic.com Dr. Matt Schukar, Dr. James Spinuzza, and the team at Texas Vision Clinic thank you for all of your support and for trusting us with the care of your vision. Without all of you, this could not be possible. We have made great strides to provide the best possible patient care and to keep the community as safe as we can during the Covid-19 pandemic. We want the absolute best for every person that walks into our office. We hope you trust in our care for many more years to come. •


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First National Bank of Bastrop: Best Financial Service Company, Best Mortgage Company, Best Bank Employee First National Bank of Bastrop 512-321-2561• www.fnbbastrop.com During their 131 years of being in business, First National Bank has seen many ups and downs. 2020 was no exception! Through it all, they remained open and always stood ready to help their customers. FNB offers a variety of deposit accounts, loan products, and convenient banking tools to help customers during these times. Whether it was difficult economic conditions or natural disasters, customers have always been able to count on First National Bank – not only to serve their needs but to be a force for good in the communities they serve. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. •

Argent Court: Best Senior Care Facility, Best Assisted Living Facility Argent Court 508 Old Austin Highway, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-921-9552 • www.argentcourt.com Thank you to all those who voted for us. We’re devoted to continuing to make the Best even better. It’s an honor to be recognized in this way. Best of all, Argent Court is a true community of friends, where good times and good meals go together. It’s a comfortable, beautiful, upbeat environment. It’s our staff who genuinely care about our residents. It’s the way we make each day enjoyable. It’s the food, the services, the meaningful conversations. Honestly, it’s not just one thing—it’s everything. We are so pleased that you noticed. We’re offering virtual visits currently; see you soon. •


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

DINING & DRINKING

From burgers and brew pubs to cupcakes and cocktails, get a taste of Bastrop County’s best BAKERY

FRIED CHICKEN

Winner: Simply Sweet Cupcakes Runners-Up: • Tough Cookie Bakery • Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery

Winner: Chicken Express Runners-Up: • The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” • Chick-fil-A

BAR

HAMBURGER

Winner: Copper Shot Distillery Runners-Up: • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard • Bastrop Beer Company

The award for best cupcakes goes to Simply Sweet Cupcakes in Bastrop. COURTESY PHOTO

BARBECUE

Winner: Billy’s Bar-B-Q Runners-Up: • Zimmerhanzel’s Bar B Que • Southside Market and Barbeque

BARTENDER

Winner: Rebecca Smith: Chili’s Runners-Up: • April Baker: Copper Shot Distillery • Travis Seberger: The 602 Brewing Company

BREAKFAST

Winner: Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery Runners-Up: • Comfort Cafe • Jalisco

BREAKFAST TACO

Winner: Yoli’s Tacos & More Catering Runners-Up: • Jalisco • Fitties BBQ

Runners-Up: • Simply Sweet Cupcakes • Sugar Shack Roadhouse Bastrop and Paige is the winner for best hamburger in the 2020 Best of Bastrop County awards. COURTESY PHOTO

BREW PUB/ DISTILLERY

Winner: Copper Shot Distillery Runners-Up: • The 602 Brewing Company • Iron Bridge Icehouse

CATERER

Winner: Southside Market and Barbeque Runners-Up: • Catering by Chabot • Yoli’s Tacos & More Catering

CHICKEN FRIED STEAK

Winner: The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” Runners-Up: • Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery • Your Mom’s

CHICKEN WINGS

Winner: Rocco’s Hot Wings Runners-Up: • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard • Old Town Restaurant and Bar COFFEE Winner: Coffee Dog Roastery Runners-Up: • Chemn Cafe • Sertino’s Coffee

CUPCAKES

Winner: Simply Sweet Cupcakes Runners-Up: • Johnson’s Bakery • Tough Cookie Bakery

DESSERTS

Winner: Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery

DINING EXPERIENCE

Winner: Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard Runners-Up: • Piney Creek Chop House • Bassano Del Grappa Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

FAST FOOD

Winner: Chick-fil-A Runners-Up: • Whataburger • Schlotzsky’s

FOOD TRUCK

Winner: Yoli’s Tacos & More Catering Runners-Up: • Jalisco’s Food Truck • Taco Stop

FRENCH FRIES Winner: McDonald’s Runners-Up: • Chick-fil-A • Whataburger

Winner: Roadhouse Bastrop & Paige Runners-Up: • Whataburger • Watterson Hall

HOME COOKING

Winner: The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” Runners-Up: • Maxine’s Cafe & Bakery • Comfort Cafe

ITALIAN

Winner: Bassano Del Grappa Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria Runners-Up: • Cedar’s Italian and Mediterranean Grill • Leo’s Italian Grill

KID FRIENDLY RESTAURANT

Winner: Chick-fil-A Runners-Up: • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard • Pocket’s Grill

MARGARITA

Winner: Casa Chapala Runners-Up: • El Nuevo Mexico Restaurant • Chili’s • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard CONTINUED ON PAGE 40


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

DINING & DRINKING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 36

MEXICAN FOOD

Winner: Jalisco Mexican Restaurant Runners-Up: • Las Cocinas Mexican Restaurant • El Nuevo Mexico Restaurant

OVERALL RESTAURANT Winner: The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” Runners-Up: • Paw-Paw’s Catfish House • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard

PATIO/OUTDOOR DINING

Winner: Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard Runners-Up: • The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” • Roadhouse Bastrop and Paige

PIZZA

Winner: Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard

Runners-Up: • Honey’s Pizza • Bassano Del Grappa Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria

RESTAURANT IN BASTROP Winner: Paw-Paw’s Catfish House Runners-Up: • The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” • Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery

RESTAURANT IN CEDAR CREEK Winner: Leo’s Italian Grill Runners-Up: • Chinese Dragon • Jalisco Mexican Restaurant

RESTAURANT IN ELGIN

Winner: Southside Market & Barbeque Runners-Up: • Joseph’s Steak House • Lucy’s Kitchen

There’s a reason The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” was named Best Overall Restaurant, for serving up delicious dishes in a welcoming atmosphere. COURTESY PHOTO

RESTAURANT IN SMITHVILLE

SEAFOOD

QUESO

STEAKHOUSE

SANDWICH SHOP

WAITER/WAITRESS

Winner: Comfort Cafe Runners-Up: • Your Mom’s • Honey’s Pizza

Winner: Jalisco Mexican Restaurant Runners-Up: • Casa Chapala • El Nuevo Mexico Restaurant Winner: Base Camp Deli Runners-Up: • Schlotzsky’s • Philly Cheesesteak Corner

SANDWICHES

Winner: Base Camp Deli Runners-Up: • Schlotzsky’s • Olde World Bakery Maxine’s Cafe and Bakery boasts the best waitress, Bailey Cantwell, as well as a variety of other top awards that make it such a popular eatery in Bastrop County. COURTESY PHOTO

Winner: Paw-Paw’s Catfish House Runners-Up: • Kyoto Sushi & Asian Cuisine • LABC Kitchen Winner: Piney Creek Chop House Runners-Up: • Joseph’s Steak House • The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” Winner: Bailey Cantwell: Maxine’s Cafe & Bakery Runners-Up: • Jan Hudgins: Gracie’s • Madison Shone: Roadhouse Bastrop.

WINERY/WINE BAR

Winner: The Front Room Wine Bar Runners-Up: • Cripple Creek Wine and Gifts • Colorado River Winery


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Leo’s Italian Grill: Best Restaurant in Cedar Creek Leo’s Italian Grill 887 Highway 21 W., Cedar Creek, TX 78612 512-985-5302 • leositaliangrill.net

Yoli’s Tacos & More Catering: Best Breakfast Taco, Best Food Truck Yoli’s Tacos & More 1106 Chestnut St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-629-8410 • www.facebook.com/Yolis-Tacos-More-Catering THANK YOU for letting your belly vote. Your belly knows best, that’s why we aim for your belly every day. Every tortilla is handmade, so whatever deliciousness gets wrapped inside is a gift from us. We’ve been serving tacos, BBQ and lunch plates for five years. We cater weddings, parties and film sets. This “Best Food Trailer” is a miracle-making machine. We start at 5 a.m. and don’t quit until all bellies are served. Your belly called, it wants a taco. Order 1 or 300 — we got you. Enjoy it and know — you’re a gift to us. GRACIAS! •

Leo and Michelle Gaertner, along with the entire team at Leo’s Italian Grill, would like to thank the community for their overwhelming support this past year, and for voting us Best Restaurant in Cedar Creek! It is our goal to provide fresh, quality food with great service at an affordable price and all of you have helped us achieve that goal. If you haven’t been to Leo’s yet, what are you waiting for? Come try our homemade sauces, pizzas, desserts and prime-cut beef! There is something for everyone at Leo’s (gluten-free options available too). Now offering delivery (10 mile radius). •

Paw-Paw’s Catfish House: Best Seafood, Best Restaurant in Bastrop Paw-Paw’s Catfish House 1014 Main St., Bastrop TX 78602 512-321-9800 • www.pawpawscatfishhouse.com Locals and out-of-towners alike are flocking to the hometown favorite in downtown Bastrop. The service is outstanding and the food even better! It’s old school cooking at it’s best. Paw-Paw’s serves fried shrimp, burgers, chicken tenders and great salads as well as our specialty, fried catfish straight from Paw-Paw’s recipe. It’s 100% American farm-raised. Most of the food is created using the same recipes the owners enjoyed as kids. They serve up cold beer, wine and margaritas too. Great weekday lunch specials and open Tuesday through Sunday. Catfish and cold beer, now that’s American! We’ll “see ya at the house.” •


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Sugar Shack: Best Gift Shop Sugar Shack 114 Loop 150W, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-3777 www.sugarshackbastrop.com The Sugar Shack has been owned and operated by the Rogers Family since 1995. Step inside and find a shop packed with tasty confessions of all kinds such as bulk and wrapped candy, homemade fudge, truffles, chocolate-dipped Twinkies, Blue Bell ice cream and smoothies and so much more. They’ve been voted Best Gift Store for 16 years because you’re sure find special gifts among the items they carry such as candles, Texas jellies, plush animals, dips, as well as balloons, cards and gift bags too. The Sugar Shack loves all the holidays especially Valentine’s Day, Easter and Christmas when Old St. Nick pays a visit. •

Roadhouse Bastrop and Roadhouse Paige: Best Hamburger Roadhouse Bastrop and Roadhouse Paige 2804 Highway 21 E., Suite A, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-1803 roadhousebastrop.com or roadhousepaige.com We are honored to be voted the best burger for 17 years! We are committed to sourcing premium, fresh ingredients for our menu and work to provide friendly staff to complete the customer experience. Our menu is anchored by our delicious chargrilled burgers in addition to steaks, chicken sandwiches, and salads. Our Paige location has an expanded menu that includes seafood, such as salmon, shrimp, and catfish, and handmade, beer-battered onion rings. Our desserts are made from scratch and served with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream, which is the base for our handmade shakes. Dine-in or take out available! •


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Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard wins 13 awards in ‘Best of Bastrop’ competition By APRIL BAMBURG • Statesman Content Marketing

I

f you’re looking for a place to grab a bite to eat and hear great music, Neighbors Kitchen & Yard in Bastrop is a great option. Judging by the wins this restaurant racked up in the “Best of Bastrop” competition, many Bastrop-area residents and visitors think so, too. The restaurant and event space on Chestnut Street won in more than a dozen categories, including first place in Best Dining Experience, Best Pizza and Best Place to Take Out of Town Guests. The restaurant was also runner up in the categories of Best Bar, Best Chicken Wings, Best Family Entertainment, Best Happy Hour, Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant, Best Margaritas, Most Creative Marketing During a Pandemic and Overall Restaurant, and the Icehouse was a runner up for Best Brew Pub/ Distillery. General manager Cayce Moore attributes the restaurant’s popularity to the team that works there. “The team has worked really hard and had each other’s backs,” Moore said. “They’ve gone above and beyond. I couldn’t be happier with our team and their dedication to make it happen.” Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard is owned by Tom and Lori Dickey. Tom bought the restaurant three years ago, when it was simply “Neighbor’s Kitchen.” He expanded it to include an event space overlooking the Colorado River, where live music happens

Neighbor’s has ample outdoor seating. COURTESY PHOTO

Above: If you’re interested in a small plate, Neighbor’s has those, too. Below: The entrance to Neighbor’s in Bastrop. COURTESY PHOTOS

each weekend. At first, it was the home of the Bastrop Music Festival, but now, live music is much more frequent. It’s become a popular space. Moore said that before COVID-19 hit, the restaurant was doing a lot of private events, where people were taking advantage of the Yard and even renting out the restaurant for a day. Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard is now open for outside dining with 20 picnic tables on the weekend and the ability to seat

six to a picnic table. Staff members work as a team to provide the best possible

service for their patrons, and it shows. “It takes a lot of people and people working together,” Moore said. “Everybody has everybody’s backs and that’s probably why we won.” If you make it to Neighbor’s for dinner, you’ll find a full menu, starting with appetizers and ending with cocktails and dessert. The kitchen makes everything from scratch, and everything served is fresh. Among the more popular offerings is the comeback dip appetizer. The El Camino Real and the Farm Street pizzas are popular, too — the El Camino pizza is pepperoni, sausage, bell pepper, mushroom, red onion and black olives; Farm Street is white

sauce, chicken, bacon, red onion, spinach and jalapenos. The most popular dessert on the menu is probably the cheesecake, Moore said. The menu also includes beer from another venture of Tom Dickey’s — The Iron Bridge Icehouse. Popular seasonal offerings include Rivet IPA, and for the cooler months, there’s a black ale, a porter and a Marzen on tap. The restaurant is at 601 Chestnut St. in Bastrop. It is open for carryout Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Learn more about Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard, or order online by visiting www.neighborstx.com. •


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Maxine’s Cafe & Bakery: Best Breakfast, Best Desserts, Best Waiter/Waitress Maxine’s Cafe & Bakery, 905 Main St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-303-0919 • maxinescafe.com Maxine’s Café & Bakery looks forward every day serving our wonderful customers facing COVID 19 and appreciate the support from our community and our wonderful and supporting customers. Our customers have honored us again this year by voting for us to be the Best of Bastrop and we thank you for your continued support. We invite you to drop into Maxine’s to enjoy our award-winning food, outrageous service and don’t forget the delicious pies, cakes and espresso coffee. Maxine’s Café & Bakery is open for dine-in service daily 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., pick-up at curbside or deliver with Grubhub.•

Soulage Wellness & Aesthetic Center: Best Medical Aesthetics Soulage Wellness & Aesthetic Center 3101 Highway 71 E ., Suite 100, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-304-0302 • www.soulagemedspa.com At Soulage, we offer industry-leading treatments and products for all of your skin care, cosmetic and body enhancement needs. Our doctors and aestheticians are dedicated to rejuvenating and revitalizing your personal appearance. Our treatments, procedures, services and products speak for themselves. The results – simply amazing! Our wide range of aesthetic treatments includes the latest Botox techniques and application, dermal fillers, chemical peels, body contouring and permanent makeup. We also offer laser treatments for skin tightening, skin rejuvenation, age spots, and others. If you have been struggling to lose weight and need a little help, we can help! •


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Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard and Iron Bridge Icehouse: Best Dining Experience, Best Patio/ Outdoor Dining Experience, Best Pizza Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard and Iron Bridge Icehouse 601 Chestnut St., Bastrop TX 78602 512-413-8752 • www.neighborstx.com and www.ironbridgeicehouse.com

Billy’s Bar-B-Que: Best Barbecue Billy’s Bar-B-Que 110 Highway 71W, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-6453 Billy’s Bar-B-Que has been cooking it right for a long time. Ask Billy Reid, owner of Billy’s, what makes his barbecue so special and he’ll tell you he uses oak wood for that special flavor. Word of mouth has helped keep Billy’s BBQ a continual favorite in Bastrop County. The restaurant’s homemade sausage is a specialty, but the chopped beef sandwiches are really good, too. Buy it by the pound, by the dish or in a sandwich, along with all of Billy’s great sides. Billy’s also caters. Family owned and operated since 1982. Open every day except Tuesdays. •

Head towards historic Downtown Bastrop, between Main Street and the Colorado River, for scratch-made New York style pizza at Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard. This riverfront spot feels like unplugging and stepping back in time. As you watch the river flow by and the sun set over the Old Iron Bridge, enjoy a freshsqueezed cocktail, or cold craft beer made next door at newly opened Iron Bridge Icehouse brew pub. Save room for the shareable Apple Crisp dessert pizza. You won’t be disappointed! On the weekends, this haunt gets rockin’, so come early for the food, and stay for the live tunes. (See page 47 for an article about all 13 awards they won in 2020.) •

The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s”: Best Overall Restaurant, Best Chicken Fried Steak, Best Home Cooking The Grace Miller, “Gracie’s” 706 Pine St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-332-2991 • www.thegracemiller.com The Grace Miller/Gracie’s is thrilled to once again win the Best Chicken Fried Steak 15 years in a row. Owner Brenda Bush is equally as thrilled to win Best Overall Restaurant. “What an honor,” she said. Gracie’s is known for its good ol’ genuine home cooking with delicious weekday lunch specials like their famous chicken fried steak, hamburger steak or pork chops, just to name a few. On the weekends stop on by to hear some great live music on the patio. They have a full bar and will make you your favorite drink, beer or wine. •


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Milton’s Home of Fine Furniture: Best Furniture Store

Little Sheep Learning Center: Best Child Care Center

Milton’s Home of Fine Furniture 206 NW Loop 230, Smithville TX 78957 512-360-3262 • www.miltonsfurniture.com

Little Sheep Learning Center 202 Highway 71 W., Bastrop Texas 78602 512-988-1778 • www.goodshepherdbastrop.org

Milton’s Furniture & Bedding is your home store for name brand, quality furniture and bedding since 1948. They are proud to once again be chosen as your favorite furniture store and want to thank you for supporting them all these years. They carry everything from traditional to contemporary to country to modern and Texas styles and can be found in our showrooms. Come see our selection of bedding like the Sealy Hybrid, Stearns & Foster hand-stitched mattresses, and Golden Elegance in their 3,000-square-foot mattress showroom. •

Good Shepherd Bastrop - Little Sheep Learning Center is proud to be your 1st choice for childcare in Bastrop County. Our team of certified, dedicated teachers work endlessly to ensure your child is served spiritually and academically giving your child the best start to their formal education years. The relationships we build with our families last a lifetime, and allows us to better serve you and provide the peace of mind you deserve. We personally invite you to Good Shepherd Bastrop proudly serving ages 6 weeks to third grade, adding subsequent grades each year. God is GOOD! •


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Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning: Best Plumbing

Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning 329 Hoffman Road, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-303-4502 • www.parobekplumbing.com We would like to thank all of our customers for voting in this year’s Best of Bastrop County contest. We are honored to be nominated and voted for in so many categories. If it wasn’t for having the best customers and best employees we would not be where we are today. This has defiantly been a year like no other and this makes this year’s contest unique. We look forward to continuing to strive to be the best and we are here for you if any service issues should arise. •

Butler Contracting: Best Home Contractor/Repair/Remodeling Butler Contracting 123 Longhorn St., Bastrop, TX 78603 844-628-8537 • butler.contractors Butler Contracting has been an active member of the community and offered quality work for Bastrop County residents since 2014. We are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and members of the American Fence Association. We use products that provide longevity and increase durability on all projects so our customers won’t have to worry about the project again. Every project Butler Contracting works on is the chance to make a customer’s dream come true. Screening in a patio or building a privacy fence, Butler Contracting is here to serve all your residential and commercial general contracting needs. •

Maid In Bastrop: Best Cleaning Service

Maid In Bastrop 141 Tahitian Drive, Suite G, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-494-4484 • Maid-In-Bastrop.com Maid in Bastrop is thrilled to have been voted Best Cleaning Service again. Maid in Bastrop prides themselves on quality service, convenient online booking and “no surprise” flat rates. They have experienced professional employees and they are fully insured and bonded. MIB cleans residential, office and commercial. Visit our website homepage for our pricing slide which makes it easy for you to get an instant quote. “You book, we clean.” •


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Centex Mechanical Air & Heat: Best AC & Heating Centex Mechanical Air & Heat 514 Old Austin Highway, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-303-6060 • www.CentexMechanical.com

Runkle’s Custom Pools & Spas: Best Pool & Spa Services Runkle’s Custom Pools & Spas 304 Perkins St., Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-7838 • runklespool.com For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you hope and a future ... We are humbled and blessed by your support and confidence in our team. Although this year has been unusual, it has been a time to reflect and count our blessings. Our family, friends and customers are important to us and we are blessed by you. We are excited for this new year in our new location and invite each of you to stop by and say hi. We are looking forward to the future God has in store for us. THANK YOU! •

This year, more than ever, we know that supporting each other and our community is essential. Centex Mechanical Air and Heat made the decision to trust CDC guidelines and serve well during this pandemic. Keeping our customers comfortable and the air they breathe healthy, has never been more important. It is our pleasure to serve our clients. Their vote of confidence is especially meaningful in 2020. We are proud of our team and dedicated technicians who, despite the uncertainties of Covid-19, never hesitated to carry on. From our family to yours, thank you Bastrop County! •

Lost Pines Cleaners: Best Dry Cleaner Lost Pines Cleaners 1007 College St. #1B, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-964-0900 • www.lostpinescleaners.com Lost Pines Cleaners’ owner, Martha Salazar, is so appreciative to have won Best Dry Cleaners again. They’ve won best dry cleaners every year since she opened. Martha works hard to make sure her customer’s receive nothing less than quality service on all their dry cleaning needs. They offer same day service and early week specials at both their convenient locations in Bastrop and in Smithville. “Try us, we will serve you with a smile and guarantee we will take care of your clothes.” •


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

AC & HEATING

Winner: Centex Mechanical Air & Heat Runners-Up: • Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning • Bastrop Air Conditioning & Heating

CHILD CARE CENTER

Winner: Little Sheep Learning Center Runners-Up: • Grace Lutheran Learning Center • Bastrop ISD Child Development Center • The Hideout

CLEANING SERVICE

Winner: Maid In Bastrop Runners-Up: • Honey Bee Maids • Esquivel Janitorial Services

FOR THE HOME

ELECTRICIANS AND ELECTRICAL SERVICE

Winner: Shawn Hoskins, Easton Electric Runners-Up: • Josh Pucek, Pucek Power & Electrical Service • John Summarell, A&S Electric

FURNITURE STORE

Winner: Milton’s Home of Fine Furniture Runners-Up: • The Tattered Shutter • The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store

HOME BUILDER

Winner: Juarez Custom Homes Runners-Up: • Vince Kaiser Homes • Christopher David Homes

HOME CONTRACTOR/ REPAIR/REMODELING

Winner: Butler Contracting Runners-Up: • Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning • Workant.biz (Tied) • Spade Roofing and Exteriors (Tied)

LANDSCAPE SERVICES

Winner: Lum Landscaping Runners-Up: • Scotty’s Lawn Care • IHS Landscaping & Services

PLUMBER

Winner: Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning Runners-Up: • Doug’s Plumbing Co. • Osborn Plumbing

POOL & SPA SERVICES

Winner: Runkle’s Custom Pools & Spas Runners-Up: • Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning • Quality Pools & More Conditioning

PEST CONTROL

Winner: Hodges Pest Control Runners-Up: • All Starr Pest Control • Portus Pest Control

Atlas Pain Institute: Best Chiropractor

Rapid Express Car Wash: Best Car Wash

Atlas Pain Institute 1001 Chestnut St., Suite C, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-332-2777 • www.atlaspaininstitute.com

Rapid Express Car Wash of Bastrop 741 Old Austin Highway, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-412-6126 • www.rapidexpresscarwash.com

First and foremost, I want to say a big thank you to all our patients, friends and family who voted for me this year. For the success of any business, happy satisfied customers are essential, therefore I want to express my sincere appreciations to our patients for making us the Best of Bastrop for 2020. It would not be appropriate if I failed to mention my incredible team of staff who work tirelessly to fill the needs of our patients and make Atlas Pain institute a success. Thank you to all who voted! — Dr. B. Jason Trowbridge •

Rapid Express Car Wash is an eco-friendly express wash with convenient locations in the Houston, Central Texas and South Texas regions. Currently we have 15 locations for your convenience with more to come! We serve our fellow Texans the Rapid way, with the promise of clean and shiny that makes our wash and experience exceptional. Rapid Express is Texas proud and locally owned / operated, offering rapid wash services and our signature Rapid Clean Fast Pass for you to wash every day. As a customer you can enjoy our free vacuums, towel service, air fresheners , along with CDC-approved disinfectant. •


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Bits & Pieces: Best Resale Shop, Best Local Women’s Clothing Store

Kragh’s Jewelry Retail & Repair: Best Jewelry Store

Bits & Pieces 4107 Highway 71 East, Bastrop, TX 78602 512-321-7760 • bitsandpiecestx.org

Kragh’s Jewelry Retail & Repair 485 Highway 71 W., Bastrop TX 78602 512-321-2351 • www.kraghsjewelry.com

At Bits & Pieces, we endeavor to support this amazing community by offering a fun, friendly, and frugal shopping experience. Our commitment to excellence is driven by our support of the Family Crisis Center and its vital mission of addressing domestic and sexual violence. But our success, and the reason we’ve won the “Best Resale Store” title 16 times, is thanks to the generosity of this community. Your awesome donations are what make us successful. We’re also grateful for our wonderful customers. You’ve truly become our friends. Thank you, Bastrop County, for your continued support. This is truly an honor. •

Thank you to our loyal friends and customers for voting Kragh’s Jewelry Retail & Repair “Best of Bastrop County! We are honored to be your hometown jewelry store. We’ve been here over 60 years and under new ownership since 2016 when Ken Ladd purchased the store. We have friendly and helpful sales associates and the best trained jewelers working in-house. We can do anything from engraving to watch batteries and watch repair, jewelry repair, eyeglass repair and custom work — just about anything you can dream up, we can create! We can’t wait to see you in the store! •


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

SHOPPING

Where to go to find everything from gardens to gifts to guns BOUTIQUE

Winner: Golden Girls Boutique Runners-Up: • Southern Edge Boutique • Handpicked Boutique

GARDEN CENTER

Winner: Bloomer’s Garden Center Runners-Up: • Community Gardens • Grandma’s House Nursery & Florist

GIFT SHOP

Winner: Sugar Shack Runners-Up: • Living Room Books & Gifts • Smithville General Store

GUNS

Winner: • Crosshairs Texas Runners-Up: • Brothers in Arms • Keene Tactical Services

JEWELRY STORE

Winner: Kragh’s Jewelry Retail and Repair Runners-Up: • James Avery Artisan Jewelry • Dorothy’s Jewelry & Gift Shop

LOCAL WOMEN’S CLOTHING STORE

Winner: Bits & Pieces Thrift Store Runners-Up: • Golden Girls Boutique • Southern Edge Boutique

Above: Bits & Pieces Thrift Store was named Best Resale Shop. At left: Local candles and gifts are sold at Smithville General Store. COURTESY PHOTOS

PET SERVICES (NON-MEDICAL)

Winner: Best Friends Boarding/ Pampered Paws Runners-Up: • Hair of the Dog • Waggs 2 Wiskers

RESALE SHOP

Winner: Bits & Pieces Thrift Store

Runners-Up: • Born Again Emporium • Goodwill

VINTAGE/ANTIQUE STORE

Winner: Smithville General Store Home Runners-Up: • The Owl Wine Bar & Home Goods Store • Astro Record Store •

NEW COMMUNITY AWARDS BEST ESSENTIAL BUSINESS

Winner: H-E-B Plus! - Bastrop Runners-Up: • Parobek Plumbing & Air Conditioning • H-E-B Elgin

LOCAL BUSINESS THAT GAVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY Winner: H-E-B Plus! Runners-Up: • First National Bank of Bastrop • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard

MOST CREATIVE MARKETING DURING PANDEMIC Winner: Chick-fil-A Runners-Up: • Neighbor’s Kitchen & Yard • The 602 Brewing Company •


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Rapid Express Car Wash is proud to be part of Best of Bastrop County R

By CARRIE BRADEN • Statesman Content Marketing

apid Express Car Wash seeks to take away some of the hard work associated with car ownership by helping individuals keep their cars looking great, both inside and out. Rapid Express does its best to provide uncompromising results. This dedication to detail is evidenced by their recent election as the Best of Bastrop County in the new category of car washes. “Rapid Express Car Wash is an eco-friendly, family-friendly express wash with convenient locations in the Houston, Central Texas and South Texas regions,” Tiffany Rogers of Rapid Express Car Wash said. The family has owned and operated car washes since 2006 and now has 14 current locations operating, with several more in the central Texas area under construction. “We serve our fellow Texans the Rapid way, with the promise of clean and shiny that sets our wash apart and makes each member and custom- thorough results for Texas drivers, without er experience exceptional,” Rogers said. costing them a great sum of money. It is with this Rapid Express endeavors to provide fast and goal in mind that it has its unlimited Rapid clean fast pass, which allows customers to come by on a daily basis to freshen up their cars’ appearance. “As a customer you can enjoy our free vacuums, towel service (and) air fresheners, along with CDC-approved disinfectant,” Rogers said. Rapid Express is also proud to be a job provider for over 200 people throughout the state of Texas. “We’re proud to have been voted Best in Bastrop County and look forward to serving and continuing to support the community,” Rogers said. The logo above shows Rapid Express Car Wash, which is located at 741 Old Austin Highway in Bastrop, Texas. COURTESY PHOTO


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pandemic raises stakes for Best of Bastrop recognition I

n a year like no other, COVID-19 brought uncertainty to businesses, and even Best of Bastrop honorees were not unscathed by the disruptions. Many rose to the challenges presented, reaffirming their purpose or finding increased meaning in their work. The Roadhouse, long-reigning winner for best hamburger, adopted new business strategies. According to owner Amy Bruder, Roadhouse locations have increased take-out sales and initiated curbside service. “We are looking into delivery options in the near future,” she said. After increasing sanitation and expanding the business model, Bruder said she is proud that The Roadhouse still excels in providing a gourmet burger experience. “We are humbled that our customers have chosen us year after year as the Best Burger in Bastrop,” she said. The Grace Miller combined safety mitigations and unique perspectives to its popular home cooking to serve customers. “We slowed down just like everyone else; however, we kept our doors open and offered free toilet paper,” Gracie’s owner Brenda Bush said with a laugh. This perennial multi-category honoree trained staff to be sensitive, offering free masks rather than embarrassing customers. “I trained my staff to be humble and kind and to offer any guest one,” said Bush. Gracie’s weekend nightlife suffered but is returning. “Now we are starting up the music scene again, and wow, the people are ready to get out,” said Bush. Essential businesses providing critical in-home services had unique hurdles to overcome. Parobek Plumbing and Air Conditioning, nominated in several “Best Of ” categories, including plumbing, stocked up on masks and sanitizer,

By AMY ROBERTS • Statesman Content Marketing

Little Sheep Learning Center is committed to safety, supporting first-responder families and serving students. LITTLE SHEEP LEARNING CENTER

The staff at Physicians Premier ER remains committed to protecting the community. PROVIDED BY ANTHONY BARNUM/PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR PHYSICIANS PREMIER ER

then assessed how to safely conduct 20-plus service calls daily. Parobek dispatched calls from home, staggered shifts and moved meetings outside. Strong communication and personal protective equipment helped staff provide peace of mind to customers. “Our team had to be mindful that during this time everyone is on edge, and having issues with your home’s plumbing or air conditioning system already alone causes so much stress,” said general manager Derek Morse. Morse praised clients’ willingness to communicate concerns and to keep lines of communication open. “I cannot say enough about our staff and our customers. This year’s Best of Bastrop has definitely been an honor.” Establishing COVID-19 protocols was daunting but necessary for Centex Mechanical Air and Heat, winner for air conditioning service. Centex embraced CDC guidelines and began wearing both gloves and

masks while social distancing. “As Texans, not shaking hands with our clients was and is still the toughest transition of all,” said Jessica Workman for Centex. Other transitions went smoothly. “We implemented paperless invoicing years ago, so allowing customers to approve and pay without contact or signatures was easy,” Workman said. Some equipment was harder to come by or delayed, but the Centex team adopted good attitudes and sought to be grateful. “This year, more than ever, we know that supporting each other and our community is essential. We are especially grateful for [this] annual appreciation of each other,” Workman said. Health-care providers have been challenged more than anyone by the pandemic. Constantly changing and often conflicting information both professionally and in the media required the industry to adapt quickly. USA

Emergency Center Physicians Premier moved to safely and effectively establish separate zones, allowing separation of COVID-19 related emergencies. The goal? Keeping the curve flat in the community. “After seven months of adjusting, we feel a greater sense of confidence in managing COVID-19 patients, pride in our ability to adapt, and a deep sense of responsibility to keep our community healthy,“ a group marketing representative said. Child care is an overlooked service that helped so many other essential services to function during the crisis. “It’s a selfless industry, and it’s hard to put into words how we’ve had to help families,” said Alysa Johnson, campus principal and director at Little Sheep Learning Center. Johnson said the pandemic is a controversial issue fraught with emotion since children are involved. With numerous enrolled families working as first responders, LSLC saw remaining open safely as an ethical duty. LSLC adopted safety measures, including regular electrostatic disinfectant technology, screening, limiting visitors and more. The extra hours and added expenses have been worth it for this Best Of Bastrop winner. “The recognition definitely carries a heavier weight this time around,” said Johnson. •


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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Profile for Statesman Media

Best of Bastrop 2020  

Find out who made the list of Bastrop's top list!

Best of Bastrop 2020  

Find out who made the list of Bastrop's top list!

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