Best of Lexington 2011

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This article appears on page 8 of the September 15 Ace print edition.

cover by John Lackey (voted best artist 2010, 2011)

The BEST OF LEXINGTON
Ace Readers’ Poll 2011

Welcome to the 2011 Ace Best of Lexington Readers’ Poll. Every year, themes emerge in the voting and the handwritten comments. One year, the rallying cry was “bring back the Wrocklage.” (That theme continued for at least a decade, and still hasn’t fully subsided.) Every year, since 1989, there has been a constant clamor for a downtown grocery store, so it isn’t surprising that Shorty’s registered in multiple categories this year (not quite as resoundingly as the year multiple readers wrote Coach Cal into every single category, including “Best Taqueria.”)

As always, there are conflicting sentiments among the readers, sometimes even within the same ballot. New sidewalks are the “best thing to happen to downtown” according to some readers, but they are also the “best example of taxpayer wasted dollars,” in the opinion of others. “Free Enes” was both the Best UK Story of the year, and it was also the Best Example of Media Overkill. Depends on who you ask.

There are new categories this year, while old ones retire or sit out. The “Best Use for Lexington Mall” category finally disappeared this year now that the space has been allocated. The perennial winners had always been Farmers’ Market or grocery, and often, Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s was a chronic contender in the “best store you wish Lexington had” category, which is sitting out this year — but apparently someone was listening, as one is planned for Nicholasville Road.

Our favorite answer of the year is bumper-sticker ready, in response to the new entry Best Hipster Crossing: “Loudon is the new Jefferson.”

ARTS and ENTERTAINMENT 

Best arts group
1. LEXINGTON ART LEAGUE
2. Living Arts and Science Center
3. Balagula Theatre

Returning Champion: voted Best Artist 2010, 2011

Best local visual artist
1. JOHN LACKEY
2. Blake Snyder Eames
3. Kurt Gohde

Best Kentucky author
1. SILAS HOUSE
2. Ashley Judd
(Both Silas House and Ashley Judd have graced the covers of Ace.)

Best local theater production
1. ROCKY HORROR
2. Three Viewings
3. Belle Brezing

Best live music venue
1. COSMIC CHARLIE’S
2. Buster’s
3. Green Lantern

Best local band
1. IDIOT GLEE
2. Ben Sollee
3. Coralee and the Townies

Best bar to watch a UK game
1. PAZZO’S
2. Two Keys
3. Harry’s

EAT and DRINK  (non-chain)

Best NEW restaurant (opened in last year)
1. NICK RYAN’S SALOON
2. Table 310 
3. Windy Corner

Best VETERAN local restaurant (decade or older)
1. DUDLEY’S
2. a la lucie
3. Columbia’s

Best Chef
1. JEREMY ASHBY
2. Jonathan Lundy
3. Johnny Shipley

Best restaurant for Eating Locally
1. WINDY CORNER
2. Good Foods
3. Stella’s

Best $10 buck lunch
1. HANNA’S ON LIME
2. Stanley J’s (now closed)
3. Sidebar

Best dinner $100 bucks+
1. AZUR
2. Jonathan’s
3. Holly Hill Inn

Best breakfast
1. DOODLE’S
2. Josie’s
3. Joseph Beth

Best hot brown in town
1. WINCHELL’S
2. Ramsey’s
3. Dudley’s

Best place for cocktails and people watching
1. BIGG BLUE MARTINI
2. Cheapside
3. Drake’s

Best decadent desserts

BraveTart’s Orange Creamsicle Float for Table 310. Photo by Sideshow Photo.

1. TABLE 310 
2. Ramsey’s

Best vineyard/winery
1. TALON
2. Equus Run
3. Lovers Leap

SHOPPING AND SERVICES

Best new store
1. SHORTY’S MARKET
2. Crushed Violet

Best $10 buck gifts
1. TWO CHICKS
2. Third Street Stuff
3. Joseph-Beth Booksellers

Best fear-free dentist
1. DR. FRED SCHROEDER
2. Dr. Billy Forbess

Best fear-free mechanic
1. LOWELL’S
2. Charlie’s

Best salon
1. PRIVE
2. Voce
3. Color Bar

Best dog groomer
1. CF ELEGANCE
2. PetSmart

Best local movers
1. SWEAT BROTHERS
2. Two Men and a Truck

Best realtor

1. WHITNEY PANNELL
2. Karen Deprey
3. Rick Queen

LOCAL COLOR: PEOPLE and PLACES 

Best hipster crossing
1. MELLOW MUSHROOM
2. Al’s Bar/Sidecar

Best Answer: “Loudon is the New Jefferson.”

Best Lexington Landmark
1. KEENELAND
2. Lexington Cemetery

Best UK personality
1. COACH CAL

Best grassroots organization
1. PROGRESSLEX
2. Moveable Feast
3. Bluegrass Pride

Best old building rehab this year

Dudley’s Rooftop Reno

1. DUDLEY’S ROOF
2. Shorty’s Market
3. the old Spalding’s

Best thing to happen to downtown this year
1. NEW SIDEWALKS
2. A grocery

Best Lex politician you’d like to have lunch with
1. MAYOR GRAY
2. Kelly Flood
3. Kathy Stein

Best local example of taxpayer-wasted dollars
1. NEW PARKING SYSTEM
2. Double Diamond Interchange
3. Streetscapes/Sidewalks

 MEDIA/SOCIAL MEDIA/NEW MEDIA

“Enes in Repose” at Tolly Ho (photo by Jessica Newman)

Best example of local media overkill
1. “FREE ENES”
2. Snow

Best UK story of 2010
1. “FREE ENES”
2. “Jorts”

Best Lex Twitter
1. @kysportsradio
2. @ukcoachcalipari
3. @rexchapman

Best local blog (non corporate)
1. Kentucky Sports Radio
2. Barefoot and Progressive
3. Recovering Pol

Best local TV news personality
1. KRISTEN PFLUM
2. Nikki Burdine

Best DJ
1. TWITCH
2. Mick Jeffries

Best local radio show
1. WOODSONGS OLD TIME RADIO HOUR
2. Trivial Thursdays
3. Jack Pattie

ESSAY QUESTIONS

What Lexington needs….(a sampling)
“Fix the bike lanes.”
“More direct flights”
“Two Way Streets”
“more Limestone block parties”
“more affordable concerts”
“another WEG”

Best Reason to Love Lexington…..(a sampling)

“If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Allergy-wise.”

Keeneland; The Kentucky Theatre; Bourbon; Gallery Hop; Thursday Night Live; horses; bluegrass; the Arboretum; basketball

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Ace Favorite Things 2011 
This Year’s Models 2010: Randall Cobb, Matt Jones, Shane Tedder, Joe Sonka, John Lackey
Ace Best of Lexington 2010



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