Here are SFGN's "Best of 2018" winners in the Business category in Broward County.
Best Gift Store
To The Moon
2205 Wilton Drive
This marks the fourth year that To The Moon has won in the Best Gift Store category and the second year it has won Best Business.
When you walk into Moon, you might feel overwhelmed, but in a good way. Over 19,000 items for sale are packed into one small store. You can find chocolates, marzipan, and imported foods. You could find classic toys, lunch boxes, and pop culture collectibles. For an item queen, it can be almost orgasmic.
Antonio Dumas, the owner, said that the smell of candy, or the sight of metal lunch boxes, can take you back to your childhood. Dumas described the store's secret.
“We give great customer service to all. We sell anything the public needs. We do it with a smile, a greeting and a big thanks. And we do it affordably."
Best Pet Groomer
Wilton’s Manor Doggie Daycare, Resort & Spa
2155 N. Dixie Hwy.
South Florida is a pet friendly place and there are dozens of grooming and spa businesses out there for people who pamper their furry loved ones.
It can be hard to stand out from the crowd, but that’s something Josh Meneses and Alan Aghazadian have done in Wilton Manors since opening in 2011.
The duo are the owners of Wilton’s Manor Doggie Daycare, Resort & Spa. They’ve got a running groomer on staff — Jodie Arrington — who has a “comforting and Zen approach” to her style that keeps customers coming back.
Meneses and Aghazadian also share a strong history of caring for animals.
“We don't bring our work home with us, we bring our home to work with us,” Aghazadian said. “We own our own dogs, plus we get to say we enjoy being among other amazing local pups too.”
You are likely to see the two at venues and restaurants across Wilton Manors with their dogs. They say proof that Wilton Manors is an extremely friendly area for dogs is its current renovation of Colohatchee Park and its various dog play areas.
“When you're along Wilton Drive, it would be impossible to miss a friendly pup or two taking a little stroll with dad,” Aghazadian said.
Best Hair Salon
Dick’s Service Station
3528 NE 12th Ave.
Most people would not think the ambiance of a gas station would mix well with a full service hair salon. Somehow Dick’s Service Station pulls it off. It opened in 2016 and has won in the Best Hair Salon category every year since then.
Staff at Dick’s Service Station cuts and highlights hair, trims beards, waxes away ear and nose hairs, and gives manicures, which they call hand-jobs. They also trim hair in other areas of the body.
Eric McKnight, co-owner of Dick’s Service Station, said that the salon gives “back to the community with a portion of every service performed. That portion goes to support a multitude of local community based non-profit organizations.”
Best Live Theater
201 SW Fifth Ave.
When it comes to live theater in South Florida, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts is in a league of its own. In the coming weeks, the smash musical Hamilton debuts in our area, making its first stop at the Broward Center. R&B legend Gladys Knight, the South Florida Symphony, and rock band Kansas also drop in for performances soon.
Located in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale, the Broward Center offers a slice of entertainment for the cultural gumbo that is South Florida. The venue also hosts operas, ballets, plays, children’s shows, multi-cultural performances, lectures, workshops, and educational events. It is home to more than 700 performances each year to more than 700,000 patrons.
Recently, the Broward Center has begun offering special performances designed for people with autism and sensory processing disorders.
For more information about upcoming shows or tickets, visit BrowardCenter.org.
Best New Business
Drynk Bar & Lounge
2255 Wilton Drive
Two days before Halloween 2017, Drynk Bar & Lounge opened its doors on Wilton Drive. Since then, scores of visitors to Wilton Manors have discovered the new business.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Stephan Rioux, one of three owners of Drynk. “We found a niche on the Drive that was not explored.”
The niche is for those who like an urban energy and warmth – those who appreciate a lounge with a speakeasy feel, where you can catch up with friends without the lasers and loud music.
And then there’s the back patio area – Rioux calls it the “backyard.”
“People enjoy the tropical feel with soft lighting. You don’t have to look at cars and you feel like you’re in your own backyard,” Rioux said.
Beyond the aesthetics, Drynk is all about the … well … drinks.
“You can come relax for a midweek cocktail or a Friday or Saturday night out,” Rioux said.
The owners felt it was important to hire experienced and seasoned bartenders. They say Drynk has its entire original staff still in place today.
“It’s a great team of people who are genuinely excited to be here,” Rioux said.
Drynk is the sole venture – so far – for the trio of owners, but they say it’s not out of the question that they’ll explore other opportunities on the Drive.
“For now, we’re focused on making Drynk the best we can,” Rioux said.
Best Spa And Best Guesthouse
2209 N.E. 26th Street
For the fourth year in a row, the Cabanas has won in both the Best Spa and the Best Guesthouse categories.
Christian Pérez, the Cabanas Day Spa manager, described the spa as “a full service men’s day spa providing treatments including massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, and hair removal.”
The Cabanas Guesthouse is a clothing-optional male guest house with two pools, a jacuzzi, and a tropical garden. Larry Arnett, spokesperson for the Cabanas Guesthouse, said most guests were on vacation. Arnett said the staff “wants to do everything possible to make their experience a memorable one. Over 50 percent of our guests return every year and we take a great pride in that.”
Best Movie Theater
AMC Dine-in Theatres – Coral Ridge
3401 NE 26th Terrace
It’s the third straight year that readers named AMC Dine-In Theaters Coral Ridge 10 as their favorite location for dinner and a movie. Maybe it’s the reserved seating, the MacGuffins bar, or the dine-in full service.
“We are the only dine-in service in this area,” Manager Ron Augustine said. “That may be why people enjoy coming here so much.”
Deals on ticket prices are another big draw. When was the last time you paid $5 for a movie? $5 Ticket Tuesdays makeit affordable to see all of your favorites on the silver screen.
This location also has film nights for families with autism. The ample parking and proximity to the Coral Ridge Mall doesn’t hurt either.
Best Place To Work Out
3500 N. Andrews Ave.
Crunch/Oakland Park has won in the Best Place to Work Out category for the third consecutive year. It opened for business in August of 2014.
Steve DiGuardi, General Manager of Crunch/Oakland Park, said, “We are a 30,000 square foot gym, complete with cardio, resistance, free weights, functional [fitness and strength training] equipment, group fitness classes, advanced high intensity interval training, tanning beds, and hydro massage. We also offer personal training with our NASM [National Academy of Sports Medicine] certified personal trainers.”
Crunch prides itself on its “No Judgment” attitude.
“We treat everyone like they are part of our family,” DiGuardi continued. “We want the time that our members spend with us at our gym to be the best part of their day.”
Crunch/Oakland Park had a float at Pride this year and will take part in Halloween festivities.