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There were several new categories in 2006 for voters to mull over in the Goods & Services section of the Readers' Poll. We asked you for your favorite doctors, and you answered. Most of those M.D. categories ended up with a Readers' Choice award, which means the results were too close to call and -- this is good news -- that we've got a lot of good doctors.

Two of the new categories pulled in Best of the Best of Memphis. This is no small feat. Best of the Best of Memphis winners received more than 50 percent of the total vote in their category, and this distinction is going out like the dodo. It's increasingly rare -- only six winners out of 110 categories this year. The two new categories that won the prize in the Goods & Services section were Bumpus Harley for "Best Place To Buy a Motorcyle" and Petco for "Best Pet Store." Congrats to both. Burke's Book Store also nabbed a Best of the Best of Memphis for "Best Bookstore (used)," hopefully a happy reminder that in these trying times for small booksellers, Burke's still has its backers.

Best Florist

1. Pugh's Flowers

2. Holliday's Flowers

3. Rachel's Flower Shop

How bad did you screw up? Don't make it worse by not getting the best. Whether you're saying "I'm sorry" or "I love you" or just want to brighten your dinner party, Pugh's offers expert advice and beautiful flower arrangements at a reasonable price.

Best Grocery Store

1. Kroger

2. Schnucks

3. Fresh Market

Maybe it's the Kroger PlusCard; maybe it's the self-check-outs; maybe it's just the chance to go "Krogering." Whatever the reason, Memphians think Cincinnati-based Kroger is the best grocery store in town.

Best Liquor Store

1. Buster's Liquors & Wine

2. Joe's Wines & Liquor

3. Kirby Wines & Liquors

Buster's has a lot of things going for it: namely, lots of alcohol. And then there's the huge selection of little bitty airline bottles. They have your standards -- the vodka, the rum -- but they also have travel-sized Pucker's, amaretto, and just about anything else you might want. Sure, you can't actually bring them on an airplane with you anymore -- bah! -- but you can try to sneak them into other places such as concerts or football games or the movies. And if you get caught with them, they're small enough to down really fast. Cheers!

Best Department Store

1. Target

2. Macy's

3. Dillard's

Ever since Target began dominating television with its clever ads, it's been hard to look at red and white in quite the same way. Arguably one of the savviest companies around, Target has a winning strategy of teaming up with high-end designers such as Michael Graves and Isaac Mizrahi and bringing their wares to the masses.

Best Shopping Mall

1. Oak Court Mall

2. Wolfchase Galleria

3. The Avenue at Carriage Crossing

The theory goes that retail is almost always about the next big thing. So what to make of Oak Court? There are newer malls out there -- runners-up Wolfchase and Carriage Crossing, for two -- and yet Oak Court has been in the top three for more than 10 years. They must be doing something very right. We can only conclude that Oak Court isn't a trend or fad but a Memphis classic.

Best Gift Shop

1. Babcock Gifts

2. Kirkland's -- tie -- Pier One

3. Hallmark Cards & Gift Shop

-- tie -- Maggie's Pharm

One of the best gifts -- when you're shopping for someone else -- is good service. And Babcock Gifts has that down pat. Not only do they have a bridal registry -- where the lucky couple can ask for lovely flatware, crystal pieces, china, or pottery -- they also offer complimentary gift wrap and local delivery.

Best Bookstore (new)

1. Davis-Kidd Booksellers

2. Barnes & Noble

3. Bookstar

This Tennessee born-and-read bookseller has been a local favorite for years. Founded in 1980 by two Nashville women, Davis-Kidd opened in Memphis in 1985 and has been enlightening people ever since. And it's the only bookstore we know of with a carry-out menu. Brontë, the scrumptious café inside the bookstore, serves "real" food, not just scones and cookies.

Best Bookstore (used)

BOM 1. Burke's Book Store

2. Tiger Book Store

3. Midtown Books/Sip

Though it's been around for more than a century, Burke's hit a rough patch this year, and the owners feared the store wouldn't last through the summer. But being a 122-year-old literary landmark has its perks, among them loyal customers. The readers rallied, money was raised, and so far, Burke's is living happily ever after.

Best Bank

1. First Tennessee Bank

2. Regions Bank

3. SunTrust

Southerners may be hospitable -- asking ya'll to come back now, y'hear -- but they still like insiders better than outsiders. And First Tennessee, being headquartered in Memphis, is definitely an insider. Maybe the alignment with local sports teams has helped the bank score fans -- who doesn't like to see a man dressed as a dollar bill reeling in customers with Grizzlies tickets? But First Tennessee has also been awarded with numerous honors such as being one of Fortune magazine's 100 Best Companies to work for from 1998 to 2005.

Best Wireless Phone Service

1. Cingular Wireless

2. Sprint

3. Verizon Wireless

Static, dropped calls, dead batteries, overage charges ... there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a cell phone. Cingular has been pretty excited about their fewest-dropped-calls designation (bestowed upon them by an independent research company), but we still like the rollover minutes. You don't have to worry about "use it or lose it." You can talk when you have something to say. Or not. Whatever. That's the beauty of the rollover.

Best Women's Clothing

1. Macy's -- tie -- Ann Taylor

2. Target

3. Old Navy

We're trying to figure out what this category's winners say about Memphis women: They like an easy, sophisticated style? They're professional but never stuffy? They love a bargain? We suspect it's all three. At both winning stores, women can find clothes that make them look not only career-driven but also feminine. And the prices aren't bad, either.

Best Men's Clothing

1. James Davis

2. Oak Hall

3. Old Navy -- tie -- Macy's

Clothing at James Davis ranges from work (Armani Collezioni) to day (Lacoste) to play (Hugo Boss), all with a sense of worldliness and confidence. But the store also has one of the city's largest collections of men's accessories, including table upon table of beautiful ties.

Best Vintage Clothing

Burke's Book Store - 1st Place - Best Bookstore (used) - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

1. Flashback

2. Goodwill

3. Salvation Army

If you're living in the past -- and you know who you are -- you should do so with style. That's where Flashback comes in. The longtime Midtown re-retailer has great clothes, fun window displays, and housewares that are a virtual time machine.

Best Shoe Store

1. Designer Shoe Warehouse

2. Rack Room Shoes

3. Payless Shoe Source

See all those guys heading across the parking lot to DSW (as those in the know call it)? No, they don't have a fetish for women's shoes. Well, not all of them. More and more people are beginning to realize that this spacious Germantown store offers a wide-ranging and ever-changing selection of women's and men's shoes, at great prices. We've got only one gripe with this place: There's only one location in town. Open up more.

Best Home Furnishings

1. Pottery Barn

2. Bed Bath & Beyond

3. Ashley Furniture Homestore

Pottery Barn is not only the "best" in this category, but it would also win in any competition looking for the "most." Searching for bed linens, dishes, picture frames, posters, furniture, kitchen utensils, bookstands, books, clocks, even vintage telephones? It's one-stop shopping at Pottery Barn.

Best Pet Store

BOM 1. Petco

2. Hollywood Pet Star

3. PetSmart

Before Petco, where did all the thousands of animal-lovers in Memphis go for such a huge selection of pet food, flea dip, cat beds, jeweled collars, and -- come to think of it, more stuff than you can even find for your kid?

Best Hair Salon

1. Gould's Styling Salon

2. Hi Gorgeous

3. Dabbles Hair Company

Excellent choices. See the next category.

Best Day Spa

1. Gould's

2. Serenity Day Spa

3. Germantown Day Spa

More good choices, but keep going. See the next category too.

Best Manicure/Pedicure

1. Gould's

2. Rose Nails

3. Kathy's Nail

And it's a win-win-win situation for Gould's, taking first prize in all three "personal-enrichment" categories. It's easy to see why. Not only is Gould's a beautiful place, but their range of services is astonishing: deep-tissue massages, complete makeovers, aromatherapy wraps, acne-clearing treatment, even something called "saltglow." And if you've got the time, make a day of it with their "Grand Spa Experience" which includes a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, lunch, and even complete limousine service.

Best Health/Fitness Club


2. French Riviera Spa

3. 24 Hour Fitness

Don't lecture us about personal fitness. We get plenty of exercise lifting those heavy cans of Budweiser and chewing on Snickers bars throughout the day. Not to mention the eye-hand coordination workout we get as we type things like this. But if you feel you need just a bit more, you'll have a great time at the above places. And boy, hasn't the Y come a long way since all they had was a swimming pool and a tiny gym?

Best MD/General Practitioner


Cary Finn

Jeffrey Warren

Travis Lunceford

The voting was too close in this all-important category to declare a clear winner, but our personal experience with these particular doctors allows us to agree with our readers here. If you need their services, you'll be in good hands with any of these fine physicians.

Best Pediatrician


Ed Perry

Kip Frizzell

Charles Yukon

Herman Crisler

Landon Pendergrass

Voting was too close to call for these docs who care for your kids.

Best Plastic Surgeon

Flashback - 1st Place - Best Vintage Clothing - JUSTIN FOX BURKS


Robert Wallace

Allen Hughes

Neumon Goshorn

See all those stunning, beautiful people strolling around Memphis? Yep, it's the staff of the Memphis Flyer. Being the stunning, Godlike creatures that we are, we have no need of cosmetic surgery, but we will certainly trust our readers to pick the best in town. The voting was too close in this category to call a clear winner, so we present "Readers' Choice" awards to the top three.



Lea Bannister

Diane Long

Susan Murrmann

Mary McDonald

Crista Crisler

Penn Joe

Memphis women are lucky to have so many skilled physicians in this area -- so many, in fact, that it was impossible to award a "Best of Memphis" prize to just one, so we present "Readers' Choice" awards to the six doctors who received the most votes.

Best Chiropractor

1. Rick Hurst

2. Larry Cole

3. David Lee

Carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders can cause all sorts of aches and pains. Believe us, we know. And sometimes a good dose of spinal manipulation is all it takes to make everything all right again. Congratulations to the top three winners. We feel better just thinking about them.

Best Jewelry

1. Mednikow Jewelers

2. Las Savell Jewelry

3. Kay Jewelers -- tie -- Zales Jewelers

The Flyer wasn't around in 1891, which is when Jacob Mednikow first opened a jewelry store in Memphis, creating a business that has been run by the family ever since. Our guess, though, is that they would've won "Ye Olde Flyer's Best of Memphis" honor that year and many an intervening year.

Tattoo Parlor

1. Underground Art

2. Trilogy

3. Ramesses Shadow Tattoos

Three things to consider before getting inked: One, make sure you really know what that awesome-looking Chinese character means. Two, make sure you're going to love that person forever. Three, make sure the joint giving you the tat is clean and capable. The first two are up to you. For number three, you can't go wrong with Underground Art.

Best Antiques Store

1. Bojo's Antique Mall

2. Flashback

3. Antique Mall of Midtown

-- tie -- Toad Hall Antiques

The best antiques stores offer a mix of stuff you didn't know existed that you now MUST have and stuff you forgot existed and now don't want to go on without. Bojo's has got so much of both, you'll want to carry a pen and paper with you to prioritize what you're buying now and to refer to on later shopping adventures.

Best Smoke Shop

1. Tobacco Corner

2. Wizard's

3. Young Avenue Deli

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud purportedly once said. He's right, but he'd probably agree that not all cigars are created equal, and Tobacco Corner has the finest selection of the best -- be it in terms of taste, potency, or, ahem, size -- in Memphis. They also offer a full complement of excellent blended pipe tobacco, pens, and a newsstand.

Best Dry Cleaners

1. Bensinger's Fine Cleaners

2. Dryve Cleaners

3. Mercury Valet -- tie --

Happy Day Laundry and Cleaners

Whether it's a white shirt, a tailored pair of pants, or a wedding dress, Bensinger's can handle your cleaning. They're conveniently located across Shelby County, and they can do alterations and repairs and can clean leather and suede. Carl Perkins would be so happy.

Best Sporting Goods

1. Bass Pro Shop

2. Outdoors Inc.

3. Sports Authority

No final word yet on if Bass Pro Shop is Pyramid-bound, but their current location in East Memphis is already mind-boggling in size. Buying a boat? Check. Going camping and need, well, everything? Check. Angling for the elusive Old Bessie at your favorite fishing hole? They'll get you outfitted for your pursuit, and, if she exists, you'll be grilling her up soon enough.

Best Place to Buy A Computer

1. Best Buy

2. Dell

3. Apple Store

Mulling a computer purchase can be an overwhelming endeavor that will leave you gridlocked. Never fear: Best Buy hired a bunch of smart people to explain to you the difference between a processor's capability and the quantity of DDR SDRAM featured (or better yet, to translate your budget realities into the computer that will give you the most bang for your buck).

Best Place To Buy a Bicycle

1. The Midtown Bicycle Co.

2. The Peddler

3. Outdoors Inc.

Why do cyclists usually look so happy? Sometimes tired, sure, but usually happy. Maybe it's because there's no substitute for the sensation of gliding down a hill going really fast, the wind streaming through your hair made by your whole body's efforts and not just your gas-pedal foot. And no, the A/C on high blowing on your face in your car isn't the same. Midtown Bicycle is your best connection for this au naturel high.

Best Video Store

1. Blockbuster Video

2. Black Lodge Video

3. Hollywood Video -- tie -- Midtown Video

Blockbuster: File their locations' convenience under "Romance." File their customer service under "Action." File the extent of their selection under "Drama." File the ease of your overall experience under "Comedy."

Best record store (new)

1. Cat's Compact Discs & Cassettes

2. Tower Records

3. Best Buy -- tie -- Spin Street

For more than 30 years, Memphians have been buying the latest music releases at Cat's. That old smoking cat in a hat on their sign has seen disco come and go, punk come and go underground, hip-hop come and stay, and watched as grunge and boy-band sensations supernovaed and left large segments of the music industry in creative shambles. And through it all, that cat keeps smokin'.

Best Record Store (used)

1. Shangri-La Records

2. Cat's Compact Discs & Cassettes

3. Pop Tunes Record Shops

How appropriate is this place named? If you're looking for a taste of authentic Memphis music, it can be had at Shangri-La. Just one visit and you'll be hooked, and you'll leave with some kind of treasure, obscure or essential, on vinyl or disc.

Best Music Equipment

1. Strings & Things

2. Amro Music Stores

3. Yarbrough's Music -- tie --

Guitar Center -- tie --

Memphis Drum Shop

In the 1970s, Gibson started reissuing 1950s-style Les Pauls due in part to the constant badgering of a fussy Memphis music store called Strings & Things. Even if this Midtown music mall wasn't stocked with all your rock-and-roll needs, the Gibson reissues would be a fair enough reason to declare them number one and keep them hovering in that position for 30 or so years.

Best Car Dealership




Performance Toyota


Wolfchase Honda/Jeep

Too close to call for this category.

Best Place to Buy a Motorcycle

Robert Wallace - Readers' Choice - Best Plastic Surgeon - JUSTIN FOX BURKS

BOM 1. Bumpus Harley-Davidson

2. Al's Cycle

3. Vespa Memphis

Bumpus isn't a motorcycle shop. For 20 years, it's been the hub for an obsessive community of Harley enthusiasts who don't have time to fool around with a bunch of Kawasaki people.

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