Here are SFGN's "Best of 2017" winners in the business category in Broward County.
Best Gift Store/Business
To The Moon
2205 Wilton Drive
Have a sweet tooth? To The Moon is the way to go.
They sell over 18,000 products, including the most popular candies from 1806 to today. That’s what makes them a winner of SFGN’s 2017 Best Gift Store for the third year on top of the new Best Business category.
“I try to get unique products that no one else has,” said store owner Antonio Dumas. “I try to think of every category someone is coming in for. Whether it’s Bette Davis or whatever else, I try to find niche products.”
Open for the last 13 years, the store sells a variety of knick-knacks and merchandise covering Pop! Figures, Golden Girls, presidents, and so much more.
“You can get one great gift for anyone under $20.” Top that off with one of the store’s 2,000 greeting cards for any age or gender, and you’re set for the ultimate gift.
And for the holiday season, To the Moon has you covered. They have over 700 different glass ornaments of all shapes, sizes and types in “any category you can imagine.” Need a hunky fairy? Or a cute bear? They really have it all.
Best Pet Groomer
Wilton's Manor Doggie Daycare, Resort & Spa
2155 N. Dixie Hwy.
Dawn Dellapina can’t imagine taking her “precious Bentley anywhere else” besides Wilton's Manor Doggie Daycare, Resort & Spa.
It’s a sentiment shared by many other customers and one that helped Wilton's Manor win “Best Pet Groomer” for the fourth year in a row. “Such an amazing place. From the minute you walk in the front door you know your pet is going to get the best possible care,” said Bryan Schaefer, who praises Jodie Arrington, the groomer at Wilton's Manor.
He’s not alone.
“I took my puppy, Riley, in for a grooming with Jodie today. She was so patient with my shy pup. He came out with an awesome and beautiful groom and a wagging tail,” Debbie Puia said.
Arrington’s grooming skills, done cage-free, are just one of the services offered by Wilton's Manor. There are 900 square feet of indoor doggy playground and 1,200 square feet of outdoor recess area that includes a doggie pool. There’s also daycare services, pods for overnight boarding, and a shuttle service for owners who want their dogs dropped-off, picked-up, or both.
2209 N.E. 26th Street
There is no shortage of gay guesthouses in South Florida. Getting to the top of the list takes hard work and a loyal following. For the third year in a row, readers of South Florida Gay News have placed their trust in Cabanas Guesthouse.
“Travelers certainly have a multitude of choices and we appreciate them choosing us time and time again,” said John Dorry, co-owner of Cabanas.
The guesthouse’s close proximity to Wilton Manors makes it an ideal spot for vacationers. Dorry and his partner Bill Barnish have owned the Cabanas for 19 years. It’s a tropical setting with heated saltwater pools, 10-man hot tub, aromatherapy steam room and canal access for kayakers and paddle-boarders.
Guests can relax in an all-male, clothing optional environment. Locals can purchase day passes and make appointments for massages or pedicures at the spa.
Tripadvisor awarded Cabanas its Certificate of Excellence in 2015.
There are 18 rooms ranging from one and two bedroom suites to standard rooms with queen and king size beds. Guests enjoy a continental breakfast, DVD library, secured off-street parking and high-speed internet access.
Best Hair Salon
Dick’s Service Station
3528 NE 12th Avenue
Dick’s Service Station is all about attitude. The vibe at this Oakland Park barbershop is fun and friendly while the overall décor goes all in on the garage/service station theme. There aren’t many other places where manicures are referred to as hand jobs, are there?
Barbers wear pit crew shirts and the workstations look like mechanic tool stations. The ten television monitors overhead show something for everyone ranging from Sex in the City to the Dick Van Dyke show. Services range from haircuts, color, beard trims and hand jobs aka manicures.
Dick’s pit crewmember Dustin Caudill (who also won as Best Hairstylist this year) said it’s the level of customer service at Dick’s that keeps clients coming back for more. “I always tell people I feel like I’m going to a sleepover when I go to work,” Caudill said. “The atmosphere is great and everyone gets along. There is no drama and no competition.”
Dick’s Service Station is open seven days a week. All appointments are made online.
Best Movie Theater
AMC Dine-in Theatres–Coral Ridge
3401 NE 26th Terrace
For a second consecutive year, AMC Dine-In Theatres have taken readers’ favorite spot to catch dinner and a movie—a convenient consolidation of two of our favorite activities.
Lounge over dinner on too much red wine at the full-service restaurant before your movie begins, without fear of showing up tardy to the box office. The menu, which is modeled on the kitchen-sink ethos, honors an anything-goes mentality — from nachos to tater tots with scallions to lettuce cups filled with bacon and red onions and chives and eggs; from sushi to pizza to Gumbo Mac, Grilled Chicken Quinoa, Brussels sprouts, and poutine.
It is a smart concept, the dine-in theater, a brilliant spin on the drive-in.
2209 N.E. 26th Street
For the third year in a row readers of SFGN awarded Best Spa to Cabanas.
Located in eastern Wilton Manors, Cabanas offers a wide array of packages and treatments from massages and facials to pedicures and other grooming services. Owner Norman LaChance earned his certification from Dr. Babor of Aachen, Germany and the spa carries the Babor cosmetics line.
LaChance has owned Cabanas Spa for nine years and understands the importance of rejuvenation and stress reduction for his guests.
“We have a very strong and experienced staff,” LaChance said.
The spa offers full body treatments, including hair removal, microdermabrasion, back facials and sugaring. Sugaring, LaChance said, is the alternative to waxing.
Clint Bridges manages daily operations of the spa, which employs licensed massage therapists David Morais, Oscar Gomez and Mario Martinez, and aestheticians Jimmy Cohen and Joey Zinn.
Appointments at the spa give you access to the grounds of Cabanas Guesthouse, which includes pools, hot tub and steam room. The spa and guesthouse are for men only.
Hours: Open seven days a week; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Staff available by appointment.
Best Live Theater Company
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 Southwest 5th Avenue
Performances at The Broward Center for the Performing Arts will appeal to high-culture snobs from the snooty northeast as well as the aspiring bourgeois—with their docket of big-name productions and their educational programs for teenagers and adults alike.
There is also, quite progressively, a program for senior citizens of the LGBT community called the LGBT Summer Senior Cabaret Camp, so that the lonely and infirm of our community need not live out their golden years in idle torpor.
As it is written on the Broward Center's website: "Loneliness and isolation have a significant impact on seniors' physical and mental health.” The LGBT Summer Senior Cabaret Camp is free and designed to get seniors up and out of the house, join in a social activity and express themselves.
Performances at this theater house range in tone and type from opera to ballet to speaker series engagements. Broadway's latest big name in experimental theater, Hamilton, is scheduled for a run in the 2018/2019 season.
Upcoming you’ll see Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Love Never Dies: The Phantom Returns," a sequel to his long-running "Phantom of the Opera.” It will run from November 7 through November 19.
Best Place to Work Out
3500 N. Andrews Ave.
It takes at least two things to make a good gym: a good staff and good equipment. Michael Osburn says Crunch has both. Osburn has had a gym membership since he was 16. Now, at 48, he says Crunch is the best gym he’s ever seen.
It’s that love of Crunch by Osburn and others that earned it “Best Place to Work Out” three years in a row.
“No gym I've ever belonged to in the past provided me with broad spectrum equipment and apparatus like Crunch Oakland Park. Just this week I needed to go down a few. The equipment to mix up my routine and adjust my workout was right in front of me: clean, well maintained and available.”
The cost of membership increases when services are added. Basic membership comes with access to the equipment, locker rooms, showers, free orientation, free online nutrition program, and Power Half Hour Circuit Training. Crunch says its goal is to fuse “fitness and entertainment” and “make exercise fun.”
Over and over, members say it’s the staff that makes it so.
“This is a great gym and it's the staff that puts it up at the top,” said Augustus Slaven.