Posted on 26 July 2012.
We asked for your favorite businesses and organizations in Atlanta, and you happily obliged. Below you’ll find the gay-owned and gay-friendly venues you picked as the 2012 Best of Atlanta.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Local Art Gallery
BILL LOWE GALLERY
“My gallery’s great passion has been to expose people in our wonderful city to art that reflects their highest aspirations; provides them with spiritual, emotional and intellectual stimulation; and contributes to cementing Atlanta’s status as a true cultural center. Atlanta’s gay community has been at the forefront of moving this conversation forward. It has provided much of the fuel for my gallery’s evolution.” –Bill Lowe
Oscar Wilde said, “No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” So go see art by people who saw things as they really weren’t.
Best Chorus Line or Choir
ATLANTA GAY MEN’S CHORUS
“We are honored by this award, considering the tremendous contributions of all the nominees. The AGMC is proud to continue programming concerts that are not only of the highest musical quality, but are also socially relevant. Having just returned from presenting the closing performance of the festival of GALA Choruses, International, we are thrilled to be recognized by the Atlanta community in this way. Thanks to all who voted for us. We are your chorus, Atlanta!” Kevin Robison, AGMC Artistic Director
Best Live Performing Arts
“I love variety, ambiance at my entertainment venue and easy access to the locale of choice. The Fox Theatre delivers consistent quality in programming suitable for a night out with my husband or children. We are always able to enjoy easy parking, a great meal and friendly service when we attend a show at the Fox.” —Melody Baker, Fenuxe Sales Associate
Best Local Cinema
You don’t need a sugar daddy to sit in the lap of luxury. You just need to by a movie ticket.
Best Comedy Club
These people will make you gay. “Gay” as in “happy.” Not “gay” as in “man-on-man action.” Although, the latter has happened on stage there on more than one occasion.
Best Oil Change
HAVOLINE XPRESS LUBE
We could make an inappropriate comment about a sweaty mechanic and lube, but we’re classy.
Best Car Repair Shop
ATLANTA CAR CARE
We can’t go to our gay events if our little gay cars don’t work. Thank the rainbow for mechanics!
Best Car Dealership
Buying a BMW from Nalley is just like wearing a kilt. You instantly look sexy, and guys wonder if you’re wearing underwear. Well, the two are mostly alike.
DWIGHT HARRISON VOLKSWAGEN
Best Gay Bar, Best Patio & Best Overall Value
The people have spoken, and Burkhart’s Pub is Atlanta’s gay mecca. Crowds come for the drag shows, reasonably priced food and cocktails, special events, and man hunting. Simply put, Burkhart’s has it all!
Best Drag Show & Best Weekly Event
Best Themed Event
ARMORETTES EASTER DRAG RACES
For over 33 years, we’ve just tried to put on a good show to raise money in the fight against HIV and AIDS. But the real credit should go to the people that come out and support the show and the charities we work with. One dollar can make a difference! —Ally Yankadic, Armorette
Best Trivia & Best Sports Bar
Sports-loving beefy, hairy fellas with brains—now, that’s a complete package. Teehee.
No other venue works those vocal cords harder than this East Atlanta Village bar.
Best Drink Special
“Despite rumors of me being a total lightweight, I assure you I can handle my alcohol. I can easily drink one … maybe two … fishbowls at Amsterdam before I start making out with a barstool.” —Shannon Jenkins, Fenuxe Writer
Best Bar Inside a Hotel
The most incredible hotel bar in Atlanta is somewhere in between ten and twelve. Get it? Get it?
Best Place to Dance
Keep on dancing till the world ends. Listen to Britney. She knows what she’s talking about.
Best Bar with Stiffest Cocktails
Strong drinks mixed with naked hunks—sounds like a good time is about to slap you in the face.
Best Place to Meet Women
MY SISTER’S ROOM
“We are very excited to win this award and we are very honored to be the longest running lesbian bar in the southeast! Thank you Atlanta for supporting MSR for 16 years!” –Jen and Jami, Owners
Best Place to Meet Men & Best Bartenders
Is there a coincidence that Atlanta’s finest bachelors and popular bartenders can be found in the same place? It’s time to investigate for ourselves.
Pamper your face. Otherwise guys will never check out your Grindr profile.
DR. DOUGLAS GURLEY
Many local guys know where to find the fountain of youth. Luckily those fellas can’t keep a secret.
Best Place to Get a Haircut
“We’re honored that Atlantans look to us when collaborating on their personal style. You are what you do, and we want to make sure you look good doing it!” –Randy Addison, Helmet Founder
“Few people enjoy having dental work done, but we try to make the experience as pleasant as possible. The key is my team that works together like family. I have amazing people that help me include our patients in the decisions about their treatment rather than simply telling them what to do. By knowing each patient as a friend, we take the time to earn their trust and with that our family grows.” –Chip Hill
“For more than 75 years, Dermatology Consultants, P.C. has been advancing the practice of dermatology in the metro Atlanta area. Our full-service practice encompasses the full array of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology services. Led by eight board-certified dermatologists, our experienced team is dedicated to serving Atlanta area patients and their families.” –Dr. Anna Pare
Best Place to Get Your Nails Done
ROOSTERS MEN’S GROOMING CENTER
A refined gentleman takes care of his appearance, and that includes shaping his nails. Otherwise he’s just a caveman.
Best Overall Gym
“I am a fitness fanatic, and I love this gym. It is in a great convenient location and has plenty of great amenities. I love group fitness and they offer some great fitness classes. The staff is friendly and I feel like they have something for everyone there.” –Nicholas Jacobs, Fenuxe Sales Associate
Best Tanning Salon
HOLLYWOOD TANS MIDTOWN
There’s nothing wrong with being pale. But when you take your shirt off and blind a pilot flying a jet overhead, it may be time for some help.
Best Plastic Surgeon
MORGAN COSMETIC SURGERY
“It is a privilege for me as a physician to serve the LGBT community in Atlanta. I take pride in having a practice where all patients are treated with respect, dignity, and kindness.” –Dr. Elizabeth Morgan
Best Place for Massage
Your boyfriend likes to pretend he’s a masseur but those knots in your back prove otherwise. Send him on a wild goose chase and go to the people who know what they’re doing.
HEAVENLY FOOT MASSAGE
Best Spa for Men
RYAN’S CALIFORNIA THERAPIES
Between your ex-boyfriend and the city’s horrific traffic, it’s no wonder you’re so stressed. Relax before end up in a padded room.
Bath towel hanging dangerously low on the hips? Check. Cruising the hot guy in the sauna? Check. Local guys voted Flex as the best place to fill out their sexy checklists.
Best Outdoor Event
“I think Atlanta Pride resonates with people because many have a personal connection to the event. Most LGBTQ folks remember their first Pride and, whether it was in Atlanta or somewhere else, it had an impact on them. For some LGBTQ people, attending Pride is one of the few times of the year where they can truly be themselves without any worry about how they are perceived. Our festival provides them an oasis, if you will, to express who they are and live an authentic life, at least for the weekend.” –Buck Cooke, Atlanta Pride Managing Director
Best Drag Pageant/Series
AID ATLANTA COTILLION
“I think the Atlanta Cotillion deserves this because it’s not really about the dresses in our event. It’s about raising awareness and much-needed funds for AID Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fun to dress up but it’s awesome to help a great non-profit organization.” –Ronnie Mallette, Chair of the Atlanta Cotillion
As one of the most anticipated events of the year, For the Kid’s annual toy fundraiser draws thousands of guests.
Best Gay Sports Team
“The Bucks are very proud to win Best Sports Team again this year. We work hard to be first-class athletes and competitors, and we do our best to make the Atlanta community proud. It’s great to get recognized for our efforts.” —Max Alvarado, Former Bucks President
Best House of Worship/Spiritual Center
SAINT MARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
Maybe it’s the spectacular stained-glass windows people like so much about this Midtown landmark. Perhaps it’s the welcoming atmosphere and genuine goodness of its members. Who knows?!
Best Local Non-Profit LGBT Organization
“AID Atlanta has been at the center of Atlanta’s LGBT response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and we continue to lead the way in caring for people living with HIV/AIDS and stopping this epidemic through HIV testing and prevention efforts.” –Jon Santos, AID Atlanta Development Director
Best Law Firm
KITCHENS NEW CLEGHORN
“Our law firm fights for LGBT people and their families in courtrooms across the State of Georgia because we take issues of fairness and equality personally.” –Jeff Cleghorn, Esq.
RANDY E. FRY
“Growing up, I watched my parents not just ‘talk the talk’ but ‘walk the walk’ in helping people taken advantage of by others, or not as blessed, as we were as a family. Their daily example inspired and excited me then, as it does today. As a trial attorney/personal injury, I often make a real difference in people’s lives when they are seriously hurt, and lives affected through others’ wrong-doing.” –Randy Fry
“I love serving Atlanta’s LGBT real estate needs. I was born in East Point, went to school in Atlanta, left a thriving Real Estate Brokerage in Cobb County around 1995 during the ‘Olympics-out-of-Cobb’ movement, and that risky move gave me a unique perspective, appreciation, and pride for us all equally. The community supported me then, and I continue to serve and support it now. I have seen and participated in the progress, and have enjoyed the friendships that I have made along the way of doing business. Life is good.” –Chris Hough
Best Insurance Group
KELLERMAN & ASSOCIATES
Cocktails may soothe your nerves but they won’t give you peace of mind. That’s what insurance is for.
“I feel so lucky to be able to get up each day and do something that gives me such deep personal fulfillment. Helping people has always been part of my make-up, ever since I was a little kid. I believe that therapy is something everyone should try. It’s such a wonderful opportunity to get to know yourself better and to grow as a person. I’m fortunate, in that I can be present and help my clients go forward with their exciting journey of self-exploration.” –Brett Rozen
Best Local Boutique & Best Place to Get Sexy Underwear
BOY NEXT DOOR
Besides the whole man-on-man lovin’ the only thing that separates us gay men from our straight counterparts is our passion for sexy skivvies.
Best Gifts & Novelties Store
Whether you need a copy of “The Big Penis Book” or lube, everyone knows this is the place to go. They also have a ton of other stuff that has nothing to do with male genitalia. If you’re into that.
How dark and dank the world would be without flowers. (Kind of like a world without Ben Cohen).
Would you rather have a virtual lover or a flesh-and-blood person? Sometimes you might feel the same way about a book. For the best place to find books with actual binding and paper, Atlantans have chosen Charis.
Best Jewelry Store
Sorry, Jessie J. Sometimes it is all about the ba-bling, ba-bling.
Best Liquor Store
When you’ve had a hard week nothing soothes your nerves better than meandering through Tower’s rows of alcohol and running your fingers over all the bottles as anticipate a weekend of drinking. Or maybe that’s just us.
Best Place to Shop Till You Drop
Forget your aching feet and blurry vision. If your shopping trip doesn’t end with you collapsing, you can’t really call yourself a power purchaser.
Best Thrift/Secondhand Store
SACK’S THRIFT AVENUE
Exploring 45,000 square feet of showroom space full of bargains and antiques would make any thrifty shopper’s head spin.
Best Shopping Mall
If malls were drag queens, Lenox Square would be RuPaul. You better work it!
Best Eye Wear Provider
ANSLEY EYE CARE
Since 2008 Ansley Eye Care has been providing Atlanta men with stylish eyewear so they can properly check out other guys.
Best Quality Furniture
ROOM & BOARD
If it weren’t for this high-end furniture gallery, all the loft owners in Atlanta would be sitting on milk crates. That would just be cruel.
Best Trendsetting/Modern Furniture
INTAGLIA HOME COLLECTION
Just like women need Vogue to tell them what to wear, Atlantans look to Intaglia for guidance in furnishing a modern home.
Best Gay-Owned Restaurant & Best Mexican Food
NO MAS CANTINA
Oh, Castleberry Hill. You’d still be a great neighborhood without No Mas, but you’d definitely lose some of your awesome factor.
Who doesn’t love a good brunch? But if you desire a euphoric brunch that will curl your toes and send your eyes rolling to the back of your head…well…now you know where to go.
Best Bloody Mary
It doesn’t take a genius to find Atlanta’s best cure for a hangover. But just in case, here’s a hint: it’s located at the intersection of 12th and Juniper.
Best Coffee House
OCTANE WEST MIDTOWN
We suspect this place grounds its coffee beans with “artsy” and “hip” because all the cool people sip here.
Best Yummy Desserts
Fight those urges to strip naked and grind your body against the dessert display. Apparently it’s illegal. We wished someone had warned us, but, you know, live and learn.
Best Italian Food
The only thing that could make this Cheshire Bridge eatery better is receiving a complimentary Italian stud with every authentic meal. They do that in Rome, right?
Best Ethnic Food
We love a tasty kebab, especially when chunks of juicy meat are involved. Goodness, Mediterranean cuisine is hot.
No human could ever make jalapeno focaccia bread or cupcakes this delicious. There’s some supernatural hocus pocus going down in the Old Fourth Ward.
After a pitcher of their tequila-based cocktails you may feel the need to express your uncontrollable attraction to one of the cute waiters and maybe potentially stalk him after his shift. We’re just guessing.
A bad-ass burger requires more thought than just slapping some hunk of meat between two buns. Luckily for Atlanta, the Vortex chefs know how to handle their beef.
Best Pizza Joint
“I got into pizza when I first moved to Atlanta. I just craved all of the foods that I had in New York—the cannoli, the bagels, the hot dogs. But the one I couldn’t live without was the pizza. I was determined to try and make it at home. I didn’t realize it would take six years to make one decent slice.” –Jeff Varasano
Best Gay-Friendly Restaurant
The day this Cheshire Bridge staple isn’t full of homosexuals will be the day Fred Phelps self-combusts in an explosion of rainbow sprinkles.
The every friendly staff at Ru San’s knows how to rock some rolls.
“Top Spice’s spring salad rolls with peanut sauce are dreamy. The coconut soup and pad thai are tasty, and I would sell my mother into a ring of Russian prostitutes if need be to get the curry panang chicken. Portions are good sized while not making a huge dent in your wallet (or man purse).” –Jim Balarillo, Fenuxe Sales Associate
Best New Restaurant
For the past few months Atlanta’s diners have three letters on the tips of their tongues, and they’re not talking about PB&J.
Best Chiropractic Center
LIVE WELL CHIROPRACTIC
Kinks have a time and a place, but not when it comes to your back.
Unless you’re scouting for a handsome doctor husband, you most likely don’t want to visit a hospital. But when life throws you a curve ball, it’s helpful to know locals prefer Piedmont. Hopefully your physician is cute and single.
Best HIV/AIDS Care & Treatment Facility
Compassion and professionalism mean a lot when infectious disease health care is concerned, and Atlantans know exactly where to find those qualities.
Best Place for a Blind Date
“Fifth Ivory is a great place to meet family and friends. It’s a cool neighborhood spot where everybody is welcome!” –Aaron Born, Owner
Best Neighborhood to Live
How can a neighborhood that houses both Mary’s and My Sister’s Room not be cool?
Generic hotels are a dime a dozen in Atlanta. But when it comes to luxury accommodations, Loews sets the standard.
Best Apartment Community
Who would want to live in a beautiful apartment conveniently located near Atlantic Station with easy access to Atlanta’s major roadways? Duh, a lot of people do.
Best Townhouse Community
Not only does living on Monroe Drive in a fabulous townhome mean Piedmont Park and other favorite gay locations are nearby, but it also guarantees you that your Scruff account will always be busy.
Best Hidden Gem
The gays have explored the city for undiscovered treasures and they have deemed Kudzu Antiques as the holy grail of vintage finds.
Best Dog Day Care
“The gay community has supported us from day one for the past ten years, and our business wouldn’t be what it is today without them.” –William Campbell, Piedmont Bark Owner
Best Pet Groomers
THE PET SET
Even the Real Housewives don’t get pampered as well as the feline and canine clients of The Pet Set’s grooming spa.
Best Pet Supply
HIGHLAND PET SUPPLY
If you don’t buy your pets pretty things, they’ll poop in your shoes.
Best Veterinary Care
“The great staff at Village Vets saved my dog Bucky’s life, and they calmed me down without vodka. I love them.” –Candace Hunziker, Fenuxe Assistant to the Publisher