Bob: Spending

Best Independent Bookstore

7 min read
Best Spa: Betty’s Bath and Day Spa (Eric Williams)
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The movers and shakers behind New Mexico’s largest independent bookstore recently shut the doors at Page One Two, folding most of that store’s used stock into the original Page One. While it’s sad to see Page One Two gone, it makes Page One even more vital. Where else can you find such a locally owned superstore filled with literary treasures both new and used?

2) Bookworks, 3) Bird Song Used Books

Bob: Spending Best Thrift Store

These days, it’s difficult to scrounge up enough cash for new threads, or new anything, really. Thrift Town has helped stimulate the economy for years, and now its existence is more precious than ever. Whether it’s a T-shirt, sports coat, summer dress, winter coat or mini skirt you’re looking for, Thrift Town has it. You can also sift through home decor items galore, stereos, TVs, furniture and almost anything else you can dream up. Whatever you find will always be cheap, and it might even be on sale.

2) Buffalo Exchange, 3) Savers

Bob: Spending Best Antiques Store

It’s hard enough to find an antiques store that stocks large and small pieces from many eras in many price ranges. Finding one that’s smartly edited with items of consistently excellent quality gets tougher. Add a back room where everything is always half off and, well—there’s only one place like that in the whole world. And it’s on Morningside.

2) Tie: Luka’s Funky Stuff, Classic Century Square, 3) Antiques & Things

Bob: Spending Best Comic Book Store

The longtime winner in this category (eight years and running) is in the process of moving four doors down from its current location, which means there will be more room for comics, action figures, collectable toys and classic LPs—plus the new-and-improved Ceiling of Fame. Grab a copy of Marvel Zombies and check out the new digs at the end of March.

2) Noble Collectibles, 3) Comic Warehouse

Bob: Spending Best Sexy Shop

What’s your pleasure? Some light erotic reading material? A class on cunnilingus? Perhaps a gift for your newly pregnant friend and a bar of chocolate? Or are you eyeing that strap-on dildo in the corner? At Self Serve, there’s no wrong answer, and Molly and Matie, the erudite and effervescent proprietresses, are willing and waiting to help you get your sexy back.

2) Castle Superstore, 3) Seventh Goddess

Bob: Spending Best Fitness Facility

More tight asses and beefy biceps prefer the reasonably priced, amply equipped and variously located Defined Fitness.

2) New Mexico Sports and Wellness, 3) Tie: Engage Pilates, UNM Johnson Gym

Bob: Spending Best Spa

Soak in one of its gorgeous outdoor hot tubs, sign yourself up for a blue corn body polish treatment, then finish your day with some hot stones. Whatever you choose from Betty’s extensive menu, you’re guaranteed to leave happy. And that’s the reason why Betty’s takes first in the category every year.

2) La Bella Spa Salon, 3) Tie: Sandia Resort & Casino Green Reed Spa, The Back Porch Day Spa

Bob: Spending Best Bicycle Shop

Albuquerque’s a great town for biking. The weather’s fine, the terrain’s moderate and, while the city’s bicycling infrastructure could be better, there’s no shortage of trails around. And where do you go to procure and maintain your urban steed? For new and used bicycles, many of you said the Bike Coop in Nob Hill. Since 1977, it’s kept you stocked with goathead-proof inner tubes—balm for the source of every Burque rider’s misery.

2) Fixed and Free, 3) ABC (Albuquerque Bicycle Center)

Bob: Spending Best Pet-Oriented Business

People suck. They don’t use turn signals, they make fun of your hair and they say things like, “Omagod! I know, right?” Infuriating. But you know who doesn’t do any of those things? Fish. And birds. And kitty cats and doggies. They love you, and you said Clark’s Pet Emporium is the place to go to make sure that love is rewarded. With two locations, it’s been in the biz of chew toys and fish flakes for more than 30 years and will probably be for many more; after all, taking care of your best friends is recession-proof.

2) Bow Wow Blues, 3) Tie: Three Dog Bakery, Long Leash On Life

Bob: Spending Best Veterinary Clinic

Attractive, airy and conveniently located in the East Nob Hill district, this small-animal care facility boasts six doctors, five exam rooms and an on-site pharmacy. It’s Albuquerque’s top choice for treating pet boo-boos with care.

2) Blue Cross (especially Dr. Wheeler), 3) Northview Animal Hospital

Bob: Spending Best Tobacco Or Head Shop

We’ve said it before: There are an awful lot of head shops in this town. Therefore, we can presume that many denizens of Albuquerque are connoisseurs of smoking supply proprietors. The Zone wins this year … dooood , hands are weird.

2) Gas Pipe, 3) Monte’s Pueblo Pipe Shop

Bob: Spending Best Auto Repair Shop

Makes a car owner feel like a VIP to have a reservations-only tune-up and a texted confirmation. Not only is Independent the Best in Burque: It’s been honored as the National Shop of the Month by the National Volvo Directory. One of the best car services in the country right here in Burque? It’s enough to rev anyone’s engine.

2) Tie: Jim’s Automotive, The Mechanic, 3) Tie: Milo’s Automotive, Quanz Advanced Auto Care

Bob: Spending Best New Business

This cozy North Valley bakery is still off most people’s radars, but not for long. Stop in for made-from-scratch cookies and other delectables, and take a seat in an adobe sitting room or back patio. The views are gorgeous, and the baked goods are out of this world.

2) Cheba Hut, 3) Tie: Hip Stitch, The Barber’s Shop (the one at 3716 Central SE)
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