Alibi V.17 No.14 • April 3-9, 2008 ››
Best Pet Supply Business
Clark's Pet Emporium
This ever-expanding pet paradise has it all. You can choose from a huge selection of pet foods, toys, leashes, litterboxes, cages and more. Of course, if you don't have a pet to begin with, Clark's stocks a wide selection of fish, birds and the occasional exotic reptile. Pet a bunny, buy a neon-colored skull for your saltwater fish tank and have a chat with the animal-loving staff.
2) Long Leash on Life, 3) Tie: Three Dog Bakery, Pet Vet
Best Music Equipment Store
Grandma's Music and Sound
It has all the guitars, drums, keyboards and pro-audio gear for seasoned music vets and beginning musicians alike. That's why Grandma's Music and Sound gets the nod for Best Music Equipment Store. The folks at Grandma's are also more than happy to let you take their instruments for a test-jam in one of their soundproof rooms.
2) Guitar Center, 3) Marc's Guitar
Best Local Music Store
Behind the Natural Sound counter, you'll be greeted by knowledgeable music lovers who’ll help you get the albums you're hankering for without making pretentious quips at your expense.
2) Charley's 33s and CDs, 3) Grandma's Music and Sound
Best Independent Bookstore
Page One Bookstore
Open, airy and inviting, Page One Bookstore is Albuquerque bibliophiles' favorite place to browse the shelves. And it really knows how to host a book launch party. (We wish there were more Harry Potter books just so we could go hang out at Page One with other Potter nerds. Sigh.)
2) Bookworks, 3) Bird Song Used Books
Best DVD/Video Rental Store
A hodgepodge of eclectic titles and a superb Downtown location put Burning Paradise at the top of the DVD/video rental store list. Perhaps you want a movie you haven't found anywhere else, or maybe you just want to browse. Either way, Burning Paradise satisfies the cine-phile in us all.
2) Hastings, 3) Alphaville Video (R.I.P.)
Best Thrift/Antique Store
Whether you're after cups, vintage hand towels, used exercise machines, the sparkly garments of yesteryear or mere serendipity, our voters say Bargain Box (from the Assistance League of Albuquerque) is the best place to find it. Here's to hoping your thrift/antique store dreams come true.
2) Thrift Town, 3) Buffalo Exchange
Best Comic Book Store
There are comic book stores in Albuquerque with larger selections, but this Nob Hill institution crams its walls with more than just the latest issue of Mighty Avengers. LPs, CDs, action figures and loads of collectible toys compete to wrestle your attention (not to mention your paycheck) away from that wicked Gloomcookie trade paperback.
2) Addicted to Comics, 3) Noble Comics
Best Sexy Shop
This relatively new upper-Nob Hill one-stop nabbed so many votes it wasn't worth tallying a second place. Your friendly neighborhood “sexuality resource center” stocks the latest and greatest in adult toys, bondage gear and naughty books. What sets it apart are owners/operators Molly and Matie, who support ethical manufacturers, local businesses and eco-friendly products. They also know their stuff, sponsoring monthly workshops and masterminding the recent Pornotopia Film Festival.
Delana Veirs at Mar y Sol
Year after year, Delana Veirs lands first place in this category. What can we say? The lady knows how to cut hair, and so, apparently, do two of her employees.
2) Chrystyne Doeller at Mar y Sol, 3) John Sena at Mar y Sol
Best Fitness Facility
Tie: Defined Fitness, New Mexico Sports and Wellness
Sculpt your glutes, wail on your pecs, become a muscle man or woman, or just dream about those things at a Defined Fitness and/or New Mexico Sports and Wellness location, both of which tied in a landslide over others in this beefy category.
Mar y Sol SalonSpa
When it comes to looking stunning for a special occasion (or just feeling pretty for whenever), Mar y Sol SalonSpa delivers splendidly time and time again. It’s in the business of making Burque feel wonderful, after all.
2) Betty's Bath and Day Spa, 3) La Bella Spa and Salon
Judy at Abitha's Herbary
Miss Judy has this category on lockdown (pulling in the top spot for multiple years). Judy knows how to make sense of the indescribable, the intangible and the great unknown,.
2) Cynthia Hess, 3) Mindy Lou
Best Bicycle Shop
If you have a bicycle, you probably already know the Bike Co-op is the place to go for tune-ups, gear and a new set of wheels. If you don't have a bicycle, you should get one--seriously. And you should consider getting it from the Bike Co-op.
2) Tie: Two Wheel Drive, Albuquerque Bicycle Center
Best Boutique Clothing Store
Lola Bella Boutique
This addition to the retail community resides inside La Bella Spa and Salon in ABQ Uptown. Only open a short time, it's already climbed its way to the top of this clothes heap with great customer service and designer labels.
2) Tie: Free Radicals, Elsa Ross, 3) Aqui
Best Pet Groomer
Scott's Dog Grooming
If you couldn't tell by the decidedly awesome sign (Scott's won Best Neon Sign previously in this poll), Scott's knows how to do your dog right. Trust in the electrode glow.
2) Bath, Brush and Beyond, 3) Ali Kat Pet Spa
Best Place to Smoke Indoors
Albuquerque Press Club
It's rare these days to find a place where you can light up indoors, huddled over a tall tankard of beer. (Come to think of it, it's pretty hard to find a tankard.) Being a private club, the venerable Albuquerque Press Club offers one of the city's last, lingering opportunities to smoke up and drink up simultaneously. You need to be a member, but the prospect of private parties, historic atmosphere and the chance to buy an impoverished journalist a shot make it worth the effort.
2) Hunab Hookah
Best Skateboard Shop
Silver Board Shop
The cozy store nestled in the heart of the University area has all the skateboarding gear you desire, and it'll make sure you get exactly what you're looking for.
2) Skate City Supply, 3) 4 D's Board Shop
Best Auto Shop
Independent Volvo Service
Whoa, Volvo folks really get behind their Volvo mechanics in this town. We suppose it makes sense, being that Albuquerqueans can observe seaworthy '80s model Volvos routing around town all the time.
2) Jeff's Gasoline Alley, 3) Jay Walton Automotive
Best Aerobics Instructor
Our local boxing queen also packs a mean workout. Catch her at Winkeljohn's Kick Boxing.
2) Beth O'Neall, 3) Kesha Luttrell
Best Yoga/Pilates Studio
There's nothing like stripping down to your skivvies, getting in a 100°F room and contorting your body into previously unknown positions. Really, there's nothing like it--which is why Bikram's Yoga has garnered such a following in Albuquerque and beyond. Want to do your yoga hot and sweaty? You know where to go.
2) Tie: High Desert Yoga, Engage Pilates, 3) Midtown Sports and Wellness
Best Dance Class/Studio
Keshet Dance Company
The welcoming environment, as well as its mission statement, makes Keshet Dance Company more of a community than a company. While mounting professional productions, Keshet also offers classes designed to inspire and build confidence for people of all ages and abilities.
2) Studio Sway, 3) Maple Street Dance Space
Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts
Albuquerque and the MMA go together like beans and tortillas. We love mixed martial arts, and with very good reason—Burque's home to one of the best gyms in the nation: Jackson's. Here's another first place to hang in your trophy case, Jackson, from Albuquerque to you.
2) Tie: Chinese Cultural Center, Lotus Dragon Authentic Chinese Kungfu and Tai Chi, Niju-Te Budokai School of Martial Arts
Best Business That Closed in the Last Year
Martha's Body Bueno
Before anyone else was doing it in Albuquerque, Martha Doster was selling all-natural body care products in the University district. Over the course of three decades, she helped Nob Hill become Nob Hill, all the while asking women to remember to nurture themselves.
2) Blue Dragon Coffeehouse (now re-opened under new owners!), 3) Alphaville Video