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The Best of Arkansas goes digital 

With on-line balloting comes some changes in the lineup.

click to enlarge PUTTING ON THE DOG: Sonya Lavergne and client at Best Vet winner Hillcrest Animal Hospital.
  • PUTTING ON THE DOG: Sonya Lavergne and client at Best Vet winner Hillcrest Animal Hospital.

Call it a mid-summer's Dream Team — Arkansas Times' readers' choices for the Best of Arkansas in dozens of categories from retail to restaurants.

We've been at this voting for a decade now, but this is the first time we've conducted voting on-line, in addition to paper ballots printed in two successive issues of the Times in May.

On-line balloting (the survey tool prevented multiple votes from the same computer) was a big success with more than 1,500 votes.

We note some changes among perennial winners in a number of categories. Whether this is just a sign of changing times or some difference between electronic and paper readers, only the readers know for sure.

Following are the winners (accompanied by features on some of them). They are in Little Rock unless otherwise noted:

 

Goods and Services

 

SHOPPING CENTER

Midtowne Little Rock

Runners-up: Park Plaza, Pleasant Ridge Town Center, McCain Mall, Conway Commons.

 

GROCERY STORE

Kroger in the Heights

Runners-up: Fresh Market, Wal-Mart Super Center, Wild Oats.

 

ANTIQUES

Morris Antiques of Keo

Runners-up: Fabulous Finds, Blackwell's, Blue Suede Shoes Antique Mall of Bryant.

 

FURNITURE

Ashley's

Runners-up:  I.O. Metro, Hank's Fine Furniture, Haverty's.

 

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Larry West

Runners-up: Garry Mertins, Tobi Fairley, Tom Chandler.

 

MUSIC (CDS) STORE

 

Best Buy

Runners-up: Barnes and Noble, Hastings, Been Around Records.

 

MUSIC EQUIPMENT

Guitar Center

Runners-up: Jack's of Conway.

 

SHOES

Dillard's

Runners-up: Warren's, Solemates, Shoe Carnival.

 

VIDEO STORE

Blockbuster

Runners-up: Movie Gallery, Best Buy, RAO Video.

 

BOOKSTORE

Barnes and Noble

Runners-up: Wordsworth, Books-a-Million.

 

WOMEN'S CLOTHING

Dillard's

Runners-up: Chico's, Beyond Cotton, Belk's.

 

MEN'S CLOTHING

Bauman's

Runners-up:  Dillard's, Greenhaw's,

Mr. Wick's.

 

HIP CLOTHING

Scarlet

Runners-up: Forever XXI, E.M. Jeans

of Conway, Minx Boutique.

 

VINTAGE CLOTHING

Poor Little Rich Girl

Runners-up: Savers, Paddywack's, Goodwill, Cheap Thrills.

 

CHILDREN'S CLOTHING

The Toggery

Runners-up: Cupcakes and Caterpillars, the Children's Place, Dillard's.

 

LINGERIE

Victoria's Secret

Runners-up: Barbara Graves, Cupid's, Understatement.

 

ELECTRONICS

Best Buy

Runners-up: Circuit City, Radio Shack, Custom Audio.

 

SPORTING GOODS

Academy

Runners-up: Sports Authority, Gene Lockwood's, Gander Mountain.

 

TOYS

Toys R Us

Runners-up: Heights Toy Center, Toy Up, Wal-Mart.

 

FLORIST

Tipton and Hurst

Runners-up: About Vase, Friday's, Empty Vase.

 

PLUMBER

Ray Lusk

Runners-up: Russell and LeMay,

Roto-Rooter, Associated Plumbers.

 

GIFT/HOME ACCESSORIES

The Crown Shop

Runners-up: Full Moon, Vesta's,

Kirkland's.

 

OFFICE SUPPLIES

Office Depot

Runners-up: Staples, Pettus, Office Max.

 

VETERINARIAN

Hillcrest Animal Hospital

Runners-up: Pleasant Valley Veterinary Clinic, Allpets, Dr. Laura Mehaffy.

 

DRY CLEANER

Comet

Runners-up: Schickel's, Cuffs, Moose.

 

BANK

Metropolitan National Bank

Runners-up: Regions, Bank of America, Arvest, Twin City Bank.

 

BARBER

Jerry's

Runners-up: Sports Clips, Morrison's, Hood's.

 

SALON

Joel's

Runners-up: Fringe Benefits, Caracalla, That French Salon.

 

SPA

Rejuvenation Clinic

Runners-up: Caracalla, Quy's Salon and Spa, Andrea Rose Day Spa of Hot Springs.

 

JEWELER

Mary Healey's

Runners-up: Roberson's, Sissy's Log Cabin, Stanley's

 

PHARMACY

Walgreens

Runners-up: Kroger, USA Drug, Cornerstone Pharmacy, Tanglewood Pharmacy.

 

CAR WASH

Best

Runners-up: Splash, Suds, Razorback Car Wash of Bryant.

 

MATTRESS

Denver Mattress

Runners-up: Bedding Mart, Dillard's.

 

CAR DEALER

Landers Automotive

Runners-up: Bale Honda, Landers Toyota, Parker.

 

AUTO SERVICE

Bale Honda

Runners-up: Landers Automotive, Landers Toyota, Parker, Helmich Auto Service, Austin Brothers.

 

CAR STEREO

Best Buy

Runners-up: Auto Audio, Music Mart.

 

TRAVEL AGENCY

Poe Travel

Runners-up: Goodwin Travel, Dillard's, Sue Smith Vacations.

 

HOTEL

Capital Hotel

Runners-up: The Peabody, Embassy Suite of Rogers, Doubletree Hotel.

 

PRIVATE SCHOOL

Pulaski Academy

Runners-up: Mount St. Mary Academy, Catholic High School for Boys, Episcopal Collegiate School.

 

PUBLIC SCHOOL

Little Rock Central High School

Runners-up: M.L. King Elementary, Fulbright Elementary, Forest Park Elementary.

 

APARTMENT COMPLEX

The Park at Riverdale

Runners-up: Riverwalk, Chenal Lakes Apartments, The Links of Sherwood.

 

NURSERY

Good Earth

Runners-up: Hocott's, Cantrell Gardens, Lowe's.

 

HARDWARE

Kraftco

Runners-up: Fuller and Sons, Home Depot, Lowe's

 

EYEWEAR

LensCrafter

Runners-up: Wal-Mart, Burrow's-Mr. Frank Optical, Success Vision Express.

 

FRESH VEGETABLES

River Market

Runners-up: Fresh Market, Kroger, North Little Rock Farmers Market.

 

OUTDOOR GEAR

Ozark Outdoor

Runners-up: Academy, Lewis and Clark, Gander Mountain.

 

CYCLING

Chainwheel

Runners-up: Lewis and Clark Outfitters, Competitive Cyclist, Arkansas Cycling and Fitness.

 

GUN SHOP

Fort Thompson

Runners-up: Don's Weaponry, Gander Mountain, Wal-Mart.

 

COMMERCIAL ART GALLERY

M2 Gallery

Runners-up: Heights Gallery,

Stephano's, Gallery 26.

 

CELL PHONE CARRIER

AT&T

Runners-up: Alltel, Sprint, Cricket.

 

INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER

Comcast

Runners-up: AT&T, Aristotle,

Windstream.

 

REAL ESTATE COMPANY

Janet Jones

Runners-up: Crye-Leike; Adkins, McNeil, Smith; Pulaski Heights Realty.

 

PAWN SHOP

USA Loans

Runners-up: Pawnderosa, Braswell and Son, Big Daddy's.

 

 

Recreation

 

PLACE TO SWIM

Little Rock Racquet Club

Runners-up: Little Rock Athletic Club, Wild River Country, Jim Dailey Fitness and Aquatic Center.

 

PARK

Burns Park of North Little Rock

Runners-up: Allsopp Park, Murray Park, Pinnacle Mountain State Park.

 

CHEAP DATE

Movies in the Park

Runners-up: Big Dam Bridge walk, Arkansas Travelers game, Senor Tequila.

 

WEEKEND GETAWAY

Hot Springs

Runners-up: Eureka Springs, Mount Magazine Lodge, Branson.

 

RESORT

Mountain Harbor

Runners-up: Red Apple Inn at Eden Isle, Hot Springs, Gaston's on the White River.

 

MARINA

Mountain Harbor

Runners-up: Jolly Roger's, Brady Mountain Marina, Heber Springs Marina.

 

GOLF COURSE

Chenal Country Club

Runners-up: Pleasant Valley Country Club, Rebsamen Park, Alotian.

 

GYM

Little Rock Athletic Club

Runners-up: Little Rock Racquet Club, 10 Dollar Fitness, North Little Rock Athletic Club.

 

TENNIS

Little Rock Athletic Club

Runners-up: Little Rock Racquet Club, Burns Park in North Little Rock, Walker Tennis Center.

 

 

Entertainment

 

BAND

The Gettys

Runners-up: The Rockets, Ferris Wheel Junkies, Big John Miller.

 

PLACE TO DANCE

Discovery

Runners-up: Electric Cowboy,

Cajun's Wharf, Sticky Fingerz.

 

LIVE VENUE

Sticky Fingerz

Runners-up: Juanita's, Revolution,

Cajun's.

 

PICKUP BAR

Cajun's Wharf

Runners-up: Ciao Baci, Ernie Biggs,

the Fountain.

 

GAY BAR

Discovery

Runners-up: Backstreet, Easy Street, Sidetracks.

 

SPORTS BAR

West End Smokehouse and Tavern

Runners-up: Gusano's, Fox and Hound of North Little Rock, Zack's.

 

LATE NIGHT

Midtown Billiards

Runners-up: Discovery, West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Ciao Baci.

 

PLAY POOL

West End Smokehouse and Tavern

Runners-up: Fox and Hound of North Little Rock, Midtown Billiards, the Fountain.

 

MOVIE THEATER

Rave

Runners-up: Regal Breckenridge 12, Riverdale 10, Market Street Cinema.

 

MUSEUM

Arkansas Arts Center

Runners-up: Museum of Discovery, Clinton Library, Historic Arkansas Museum.

 

PERFORMING ARTS GROUP

Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Runners-up: Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Red Octopus, Wildwood Center for the Performing Arts.

 

GAMBLING

Oaklawn Park

Runners-up: Gold Strike, the Grand, Horseshoe, all in Tunica, Miss.

 

PLACE TO SEE SOMEONE FAMOUS

Clinton Library

Runners-up: River Market, the Peabody, Doe's.

 

 

People, Places and Things

 

ARTIST

Ashley Saer

Runners-up: Barry Thomas, Stephano Sutherlin, Jason Gammell.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHER

Sarah Bussey

Runners-up: Nancy Nolan, Bob Ocken, Amy Carper.

 

BEST POLITICIAN

Mike Beebe

Runners-up: Mike Huckabee, U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder, Bill Clinton.

 

BEST ATHLETE

Darren McFadden

Runners-up: Jermain Taylor, Joe Johnson, Felix Jones.

 

NEIGHBORHOOD

Hillcrest

Runners-up: The Heights, Chenal Valley, Pleasant Valley.

 

EYESORE

Clinton Library

Runners-up: Jennings Osborne's family compound, University Mall (now demolished), “Six Flags Over Jesus” or the church on I-430.

 

LIBERAL

U.S. Rep. Vic Snyder

Runners-up: Gov. Mike Beebe, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, state Rep. Kathy Webb.

 

CONSERVATIVE

Mike Huckabee

Runners-up: Bill Vickery, Rex Nelson, the late Winthrop Paul Rockefeller.

 

BEST LOOKING

David Bazzel

Runners-up: Jason Harper, Joan Early, Whitney Mosley.

 

CHARITY

Susan G. Komen Foundation

Runners-up: Easter Seals, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Heifer Project, Sheriff's Youth Ranch.

 

 

Media

 

RADIO STATION

Alice 107.7

Runners-up: The Buzz, 103.7; KUAR Public Radio; Tom 106.7.

 

TV STATION

KATV, Channel 7

Runners-up: Today's THV, KARK, Channel 4; Fox 16.

 

RADIO PERSONALITIES

Heather, DC and Poolboy

Runners-up: Tommy Smith and David Bazzel; Bob Robbins.

 

TV WEATHER

Ed Buckner

Runners-up: Ned Perme, Barry Brandt, Mike Francis.

 

TV NEWS

Jancey Sheats

Runners-up: Dawn Scott, Christina Munoz, Scott Inman.

 

TV SPORTS

Craig O'Neill

Runners-up: Steve Sullivan, Aaron Peters, Aaron Nolan.

 

NEWSPAPER WRITER

Wally Hall

Runners-up: Max Brantley, John Brummett, Kyle Brazzel.

 

LOCAL BLOG

Arkansas Blog

Runners-up: Blake Rutherford's Think Tank, Tie Dye Travels, Out on the Rock.

 

 

Cuisine

 

FRIES

McDonald's

Runners-up: Buffalo Grill, Cheeburger Cheeburger, Cheers in the Heights.

 

ONION RINGS

Sonic

Runners-up: Cheeburger Cheeburger, Cotham's in the City, the Hop.

 

CHEESE DIP

Senor Tequila

Runners-up: Mexico Chiquito, El Porton, Blue Coast Burrito.

 

RIBS

Whole Hog

Runners-up: Corky's, Sims, Chili's.

 

WINE LIST

Ferneau

Runners-up: Crush, Acadia, Capers.

 

LIQUOR STORE

Colonial Wine and Spirits

Runners-up: Popatop, Lake Liquor, Grapevine.

 

COCKTAIL

Ciao Baci

Runners-up: Ferneau, Cajun's Wharf, Bonefish Grill.

 

BUSINESS LUNCH

Trio's

Runners-up: Brave New Restaurant, Vermillion Water Grille, Copper Grill.

 

MILKSHAKE

Purple Cow

Runners-up: Cheeburger Cheeburger, the Hop, Sonic.

 

PLACE TO EAT VEGETARIAN

Lilly's Dim Sum Then Some

Runners-up: Cafe Bossa Nova, Wild Oats, Boulevard Bread Co.

 

BREAD

Boulevard Bread Co.

Runners-up: Old Mill, Community Bakery, Silvek's.

 

CATERER

Catering to You

Runners-up: Simply the Best, Blue Coast Burrito, Palette Catering.

 

OUTDOOR EATING

Brave New Restaurant

Runners-up: Acadia, Capers, Cheers in the Heights.

 

GOURMET TO GO

Boulevard Bread Co.

Runners-up: Catering to You, Diane's, Fresh Market.

 

BRUNCH

Satellite Coffee Co.

Runners-up: Loca Luna, Mimi's, Mickey's Bluefish Grill in Conway.

 

SALAD

U.S. Pizza Co.

Runners-up: Trio's, Jason's Deli, Olive Garden.

 

DOUGHNUTS

Shipley's

Runners-up: Krispy Kreme, Community Bakery, Daylight Donuts.

 

SUSHI

Sushi Cafe

Runners-up: Igibon, Sekisui, Mount Fuji.

 

Drawing winner: Antje Harris of Little Rock.

 

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