Best Auto Repair
Visit allentireva.com for locations.
Don’t be fooled by the name; Allen Tire offers more than just a good set of wheels. Stop by any of its five Richmond-area locations for routine tune-ups and oil changes alike, plus more involved work that’ll get your motor running so you can head out on the highway lookin’ for adventure in whatever comes your way. The Allen Tire team is gonna make it happen with preventive maintenance, engine repair, electrical work, certified Goodyear tires and more.
2. Wallace Automotive
3. Tie: Complete Automotive of Richmond; Paradise Garage
Best New Car Dealership
9319 W. Broad St., 755-9200
“We are Richmond!” finance manager Ed Adams says, laughing. He isn’t kidding; the company began in 1955, when the grandfather of the current owner started a popular River City dealership. The company became a certified Toyota seller in 1968. Currently, there’s a new program where customers can buy a car entirely online and a representative will drop off the new wheels at their home.
2. Tie: Pearson Honda; Lexus of Richmond
3. Whitten Brothers
Best Collision Repair
Conner Brothers Body Shop
Visit connerbrothers.com for locations.
Richmond’s favorite collision center just added a Chester location, which means there are now four top destinations to mend your whip in need of some TLC. Master technicians complete repairs you can track through the company’s online update system. Conner Brothers also guarantees its repairs for as long as you own your vehicle. What’s the cherry on top? Conner’s Recycled Rides Program, which provides used cars to Richmond families in need.
2. Baugh Auto Body
3. Bruce’s Super Body Shop
Best Dry Cleaners
Visit puritancleaners.com for locations.
What makes Puritan clean up the competition? “I just think it’s our people,” says company president Gary Glover. Or it’s the home delivery service, where Puritan will come to your door, pick up your laundry, then return it three days later, all at the same price you’d find in the store. Then there’s the company’s Coats for Kids program, which donated 17,000 coats to charity in a three-week span alone last year.
2. HandCraft Cleaners
3. Rambo Dry Cleaners
Best Grocery Store
Visit kroger.com for locations.
“We’re devoted to sourcing as many products as we can from within the Richmond community, including Sausage Craft sausage, Billy Bread, Blanchard’s Coffee, Reginald’s Homemade nut butters and White House Rolls,” says media relations representative Megan Irvin. “If we don’t carry something, just ask for it. We’ll find a way to make it available for our customers.” Earlier this year, Virginia locations launched ClickList: an online shopping tool for curbside grocery pickup.
2. The Fresh Market
3. Trader Joe’s
Most Anticipated Grocery Store Opening
Wegmans Short Pump
12200 Wegmans Blvd.
Wegmans’ new Midlothian location in the Stonehenge Village shopping center drew 24,000 customers on opening day — yes, really — and the beloved grocery chain’s Short Pump location, due to open Aug. 7 at 7 a.m., may draw just as many. In Short Pump, expect 120,000 square feet of organic produce, specialty appliances, a coffee shop, a full-service pub, a bakery and more. And don’t forget to snag a few samples when you visit.
3. Whole Foods Market/Downtown
2924 W. Cary St., 342-1272
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this Carytown gift store has become synonymous with the word unique. Co-owner Stan McCulloch says that return customers tell the staff why they keep coming back. “They see new things every time they come in.” The store has new stock every day. Another reason, he says, is because patrons know they will find items that are in line with current trends. “We keep abreast of what’s in and new.”
Best Framing Shop
11 S. 15th St., 643-7263
From basic black to modern styles to reclaimed wood, Frame Nation stocks just about any frame. Fresh from a California trade show, there are now two lines of welded and riveted steel frames. Owner Mary E. Fender says, “People have called us a boutique frame shop just because the number and styles that we offer are different from things they might find somewhere else.”
2. Fan Frame & Fine Art
3. Frame of Mind
Best Cigar Shop
Visit havanaconnections.com for locations.
“We’re probably the oldest locally owned [cigar store] in Richmond,” says owner Shorty Koebel. “And our selection is massive and our staff is well-trained.” Every shop keeps up with the industry’s ever-revolving trends, which can include hundreds of new cigars that hit the market each week. Each storefront also offers meet-and-greet events with cigar makers and company owners, plus luxury pipe tobacco and more.
2. Old Virginia Tobacco Co.
3. Mona Lounge and Cigar Bar
Best Local Shop for Locally Made Goods
3007 W. Cary St., 257-9800
What began as a shop selling work from only four artists has blossomed into Richmond’s premier store for locally made goods, be it furniture or greeting cards. “We’ve grown quite a bit,” says owner Cathy Davis, noting that Orange now represents 108 artists, and 98 percent of them are from the Richmond area. The other 2 percent live elsewhere in Virginia.
2. Ellwood Thompson’s
Visit stranges.com for locations.
In business for more than 80 years and fourth-generation family-owned and operated, Strange’s has remained local. The Creighton Road wholesale greenhouse supplies homegrown plants that can be found at four locations throughout the region. Meg Gouldin, human resources assistant, says Strange’s prides itself on the quality of its products and the unique varietals of plants and flowers that you can’t find at big box stores.
2. Coleman Brothers Flowers, Inc.
3. Vogue Flowers
Best Pre-school Education
Ms. Babs’ Nursery School
2319 Grove Ave., 353-5019
Where can RVA’s little ones find age-specific activity rooms, homemade meals and a vegetable garden that helps them learn all about making things grow? Right in the Fan, where Ms. Babs’ Nursery School educates children 20-months-old through 5-plus with activities such as music programs, field trips, costume days and time in the kitchen.
2. Tie: The Goddard School; Rainbow Station
3. Tie: Reveille Weekday School; Richmond Montessori School
Best Day Care Provider
Ms. Babs’ Nursery School
2319 Grove Ave., 353-5019
At Ms. Babs’ Nursery School, whether tykes are taking children’s yoga classes or studying cultures through the summertime “80 Days of Around the World” program, they’ll find a place to laugh, learn and grow with class ratios as intimate as one teacher to every four toddlers. “It’s kind of a mom-and-pop nursery school,” says owner and director Joe Cafarella, whose mother started Ms. Babs’ in 2003.
2. Rainbow Station
3. Tie: The Goddard School; Tuckaway
Best After-school Day Care
Visit ymcarichmond.org for locations.
The Village People said it best: It’s fun to stay at the YMCA, and according to our readers, it’s fun for Richmond’s young’uns to learn there after school, too. The largest provider of child care in Virginia, the Y offers more than 100 locations throughout the state through YMCA facilities and campus learning centers. Elementary and middle school students can find homework help, healthy snacks, sports and other activities, plus passenger buses to help get them there.
2. Tie: Ms. Babs’ Nursery School; Rainbow Station
Best Family-owned Business
Cutz for Guys
11530 W. Broad St., Suite 16B, 360-8175
Founders, owners and sisters Tammy Record and Tracy Kondracki have a hands-on approach with their business. Record, a licensed hairstylist, says, “I am in the salon almost every day, and I cut right alongside my stylists.” She says this breeds camaraderie and relationships with her employees, facilitating a pleasant work environment.
2. Ukrop’s Homestyle Foods
3. Tie: Candela’s Pizzeria & Ristorante Italiano; Joe’s Inn
Best Credit Union
Virginia Credit Union
Visit vacu.org for locations.
Financial education has always been a high priority for the company, and the Virginia Credit Union began in 2007 ramping up efforts to teach the community. Director of public relations Glenn Birch says, “We have a team that goes out into the schools to work with young people, [imbuing] skills that they need to learn in preparing for their future.”
2. Henrico Federal Credit Union
3. Call Federal Credit Union
Best Financial/Retirement Planner
Visit edwardjones.com for locations.
Ashland-based financial advisor Andrea Brown says that Edward Jones emphasizes quality investments along with a well-balanced portfolio, but it’s the one-broker branch offices that really forge personalized service. She says, “I live and work in the town of Ashland. It’s incredible for me to serve the community that my husband and I live in, and where our daughter goes to school.”
2. Tie: Morgan Stanley; Wells Fargo
3. Tie: MassMutual; Merrill Lynch
Best Law Firm
Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
Visit allenandallen.com for locations.
Though the personal-injury firm’s founding Allens are no longer around (this practice did begin in 1910, after all), our top-voted law practice has a few of their descendants, including a fourth-generation Allen, in its staff of 33 attorneys (24 of which are in the Richmond area). “Our attorneys here have a combined level of experience that’s close to 600 years,” says Karen Hester, director of marketing.
3. Troutman Sanders
Visit wellsfargo.com for locations.
Wells Fargo certainly knows a thing or two about finance. As one of the three largest banks in the world, its branches reach as far as the port of Hong Kong all the way to the tip of Tasmania. But it also knows a thing or two about local banking, tailoring Richmond customers’ needs whether they’re small businesses, individuals or major corporations.
2. Union Bank & Trust
Best Tax Service
Visit hrblock.com for locations.
Bruce Pinsky, district general manager, says, “We’ll get you the largest refund you’re entitled to or your tax preparation is free. And if we make an error on your return, we’ll pay any resulting penalties and interest.” Added bonuses, including offices open year-round and the ability to file online, via mobile app, in an office, or even a combination of the three, assist in easing the dreaded tax season.
2. Liberty Tax Service
3. Tie: Keiter; West End Tax Service
Best Mortgage Broker
Visit suntrust.com/mortgage for locations.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a brokerage vet, SunTrust loan officers can help you find the perfect home, land the perfect home and pay off the perfect home. And with four dedicated mortgage offices in the Richmond region, plus a comprehensive customer support and education center online, there’s no reason to fear taking the home-ownership plunge.
2. Tie: CapCenter; Wells Fargo
3. Tie: Movement Mortgage; TowneBank; Union Bank & Trust; Village Bank
Best New Business in Scott’s Addition
Ardent Craft Ales
3200 W. Leigh St., 359-1605
What’s sudsy, seasonal and collaborative all over? Ardent brewery is, with a sleek and industrial taproom that’s open seven days a week, and it even comes complete with a perfect patio. It’s fast become one of Scott’s Addition’s most popular hangout spots. Stop by for one of Ardent’s flagships— the farmhouse-style saison, the ale-lager Virginia Common or the medium-bodied IPA — and be sure to sample its seasonal beers like the Honey Ginger ale.
3. Boulevard Burger & Brew
Best New Business in Jackson Ward
Lucy’s Restaurant 404 N. Second St., 562-1444
Saison 23 W. Marshall St., 269-3689
Saison Market 323 N. Adams St., 269-3982
Amanda Lucy owns and operates Lucy’s Restaurant and her parents’ farm purveys the grass-fed beef for Lucy’s tender steaks, burgers and more. Saison’s restaurant and adjoining market serves award-winning cocktails and some of the finest fried chicken in town.
2. The Rogue Gentlemen
3. Max’s on Broad
Best New Business in the Far West End
5000 Cabela Drive, 340-7300
Live your life to the rugged-est thanks to Cabela’s, which can outfit you in everything from hunting gear to colorful floaties perfect for summertime river adventures. The new Short Pump store offers 97,500 square feet of camping gear, an indoor archery area, a deli, wildlife replicas, a fudge shop, a gun library, a bait shop, an aquarium, a shooting gallery and more. Now you can answer the call of the wild.
2. Tie: Cutz for Guys; The Boathouse
3. Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants
Best New Business in South Side
3036 Stony Point Road, 918-5431
When two of the city’s biggest chefs announced a restaurant partnership headed for the Stony Point Shopping Center, South Side — and Richmond in general — went into a tizzy. A year and a half later, Southbound still delivers, serving up elevated, family friendly fare including its most recent addition, brunch. “It’s great to be part of the neighborhood,” says co-owner and co-chef Lee Gregory.
2. Tie: Kinsfolk; Wegmans
3. Tie: Outpost Richmond; Tazza Kitchen
Clover (Photo by Chenla Ou)
Best Baby/Kids Boutique
3024 W. Cary St., 355-3517
This children’s consignment boutique sells top brands at a fraction of the retail cost. This year, Clover acquired the popular Franklin Goose toys and apparel when that store closed its doors in Carytown. Due to the demand of the products, Clover is in a transition stage, rebranding to Clover + Franklin Goose. Cloth diapers, nursing products and teething items have all been added to the inventory.
2. Buttons & Bows
3. Kid to Kid
Best Clothing Consignment Store
3118 W. Cary St, 358-2357
Co-owner Lyn Page says this women’s consignment shop is possible because they work with “women who have the best closets in Richmond.” With that in mind, for those who can’t make it to the store, Clementine has recently launched a concierge service (clementineconcierge.com) where someone comes to you to pick up the clothing. The store also receives items from around the world, keeping the inventory fresh.
2. The Hall Tree
Best Local Shop for Women’s Semi-formal Dresses
Lex’s of Carytown
3020 W. Cary St., 355-5425
Lex’s of Carytown is the go-to for prom and wedding attire, but don’t skip them when you’re looking for a semi-formal ensemble. Whether it’s a cocktail event or a fundraiser, Lex’s has a large selection of dresses, with most priced under $100. Owner Lisa McSherry says, “Whatever the occasion is, we have what they need to wear.” The staff even assists with matching appropriate attire to the event.
2. Cynthia Steele
Best Local Shop for Women’s Clothing
Monkee’s of Richmond
5003 Huguenot Road, 360-4660
Lynne Butz, who moved her shop from Short Pump to River Road Shopping Center in 2015, says Monkee’s is a place for friends to meet, have coffee and catch up while browsing the latest fashions. On that note: “Our fall buy was heavily influenced by fringe, faux fur, longer lengths and shiny embellishments taken from vintage collections.” For footwear, high heels are out. “We are introducing more mules, kitten heels and sneakers this year.”
Best Local Shop for Men’s Clothing
Franco’s Fine Clothier
5321 Lakeside Ave., 264-2994; 11800 W. Broad St., 364-9400
A man walks in on Saturday and says he needs a coat to wear by Tuesday at noon. He’s shaped like Alfred Hitchcock, and the coat off the rack needs adjustments, so Franco’s in-house tailors get to work. “We took the sleeves off, narrowed the shoulder, shaped the body and it came out great,” says co-owner Mark Ambrogi, offering an example of what sets the business apart. “We got it done.”
Best Shoe Store
11800 W. Broad St., 285-3473
Saxon Shoes’ boots, heels, dress shoes, sandals and sneakers were made for walkin’. Between the Short Pump and Fredericksburg locations, Saxon stocks around 50,000 pairs of shoes, with customers given a foot measuring option upon arrival. “It’s still got that old-school feel: You’re going to walk in and get full service with a smile and you don’t really find that anymore,” says Amanda Weiner, special projects coordinator, whose grandparents launched the company in 1953.
Best Place to Be Fitted and Buy Your Glasses
Virginia Eye Institute
Visit vaeye.com for locations.
Mark Johnson, director of optical services, says, “We all use eyeglasses for many different things … whether it be for hobbies, sports, or for our work environment, we want to match the right set of glasses to each individual that will best fit their lifestyle.” And with the added perks of fashionable frames and the latest technology for exams, Virginia Eye Institute is a one-stop optical shop.
2. Tie: Grove Eye Care; Patterson Eye Clinic
3. Nilsen Eye Care
Best Fine Jewelry
11800 W. Broad St., Suite 1312, 967-0800; 1200 Alverser Plaza, 344-0150; 3144 W. Cary St., 355-2136
You’ll find big names in jewelry, but what makes this local jewelry shop a must-see are the exclusives. Greek jeweler Konstantino creates intricate sterling silver and 18-karat gold pieces exclusively for Schwarzschild. And Steven Lagos’ “Caviar” pieces (currently at the Short Pump location) will be expanded to all three stores this fall.
2. Tie: Adolf Jewelers; Fink’s Jewelers
3. Tie: Carreras Jewelers; Diamonds Direct
Best Place for Antique or Vintage Jewelry
2916 W. Cary St., 353-1919
With more than one thousand vintage jewelry pieces from the Victorian era through the 1950s and most priced below $100, Bygones is making what’s old new again. A representation of the times, you’ll find selections such as artfully crafted costume jewelry from the 1940s, when certain metals were being rationed. Can’t get to the store? No problem — a limited jewelry selection is now available online at bygonesvintage.com.
2. Tie: Anthill Antiques; West End Antiques Mall
3. Carreras Jewelers
Best Hair Salon
10 S. Crenshaw Ave.; 2243 Old Brick Road; 4821 Commonwealth Centre Parkway, 342-0051
Co-owner Scott Black says that Bombshell’s stylists are always on the cutting edge of hair practices, keeping up with trends. A combination of techniques learned through Bombshell Beauty School, UNITE Academy and “Curly Girl” classes in New York City provides the stylists with the tools to tame any mane. “We’re constantly educating our stylists and keeping them on the forefront of the beauty industry,” Black says.
3. Cutz for Guys
High Point Barbershop & Shave Parlor
112 N. Meadow St., 980-6982
This is the barbershop where everybody knows your name. “I don’t think we necessarily offer a service different from anything that’s been done over the past 100 years,” says co-owner and head barber David Foster. “What’s more important is the general atmosphere … we have really dialed in on the community atmosphere in the shop.” Expect that same feeling when the second location opens this fall in Scott’s Addition.
2. Cutz for Guys
3. Parkside Barber Shop & Grooming Lounge
Fusion Nail Spa
2909 W. Cary St., 355-2626
The Carytown spa is known for its nail services, and gel manicures are the most requested. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Fusion Nail Spa has about seven nail professionals who communicate with clients to achieve that perfect manicure. Owner Linda Ta says, “We make sure our clients’ nails look good before we let them leave. We do what we can to really make their polish last.”
3. Tie: Atir Natural Nail Care Clinic; Escape Nails & Spa; Royal Nails & Spa
Visit massageenvy.com for locations.
There are six Richmond Massage Envy locations, and with about 35 massage therapists at the Willow Lawn location and 50 at Short Pump, you’ll be hard pressed to not find a specialist to fit your needs. “I think one of the big things that we do is make sure our massage is customized to the particular client [at no extra charge],” says Jesse Waller, director of operations.
2. Hand & Stone
3. Red Door Spa
10 S. Crenshaw Ave.; 2243 Old Brick Road; 4821 Commonwealth Centre Parkway, 342-0051
Relaxation is the name of the game when it comes to Bombshell’s spa services and targeted skin treatments. Popular choices include the Red Carpet Oxygen Facial using plant-derived skin cells and enzymatic botanicals, and the Vitamin C Peel, which is a non-chemical peel. And don’t neglect your posterior — there’s a Bombshell Fanny Facial that eliminates those little bumps on your rump.
2. Red Door Spa
3. Glow Med Spa