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Best of 2011

Best of 2011

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Thank You Columbia For Voting

The Mather Company
“The Key to Your Real Estate Needs”

Charlie Mather 2011 BEST Realtor! Realtor!

This award means a lot to me because it came from the community. This country was built by entrepreneurs opening companies and building community support. My hero and role model is my grandfather, the late Guy Lipscomb Jr. A successful entrepreneur and artist, he spent his life giving back to his community. Columbia is a great city, and living and working here is such a gift. I am very proud to live where the American dream still lives on. As a Realtor, I began pursuing my dream in 2009, when I opened The Mather Company Inc. The key to my success in real estate is to never view the clients as dollar signs. It is more important to make the Charlie Mather client happy. When you treat people with honesty, integrity, and truly look out for their best interest, it always harlie Mather Bro Broker-in-Charge pays off in the future. My goal is to do such an incredible job for them that they cannot wait to tell someone in-Charge else about me. Realtor® altor®

Our vision: To sell you not only your first home but your second, third, and fourth. visio Our mission: To provide quality service to our clients, and to perform above and beyond their expectations. We will conduct our ission:
business in a professional manner by committing ourselves to hard work, honesty, and integrity. We believe our emphasis on teamwork will set us apart from other real estate companies. Our ultimate goal is for God to be glorified through this company.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for in God the Lord, we have an everlasting Rock.” Isaiah 26:4

Our services: u services:
In addition to the traditional marketing - open houses, flyers, newspaper ads, mailings, etc. - The Mather Company offers:  A professional photographer on all our listings.  A videographer to film your house and make DVDs  Utilize the Internet to its fullest on marketing all our properties  Provide furniture staging to help make your house show the best  Give you feedback after every showing  Provide lunches for agent open house  Offer a competitive fixed-rate commission  Communicate with you throughout the entire experience  Be on call 24/7 and will guide you smoothly through the entire process Property Management: The Mather Company not only works with buyers and sellers but also ropert Management manages rental property. We offer competitive rates and manage every property as if it were our own. New Office: The Mather Company has been very blessed and will soon move to a new office at ffice: 3722 Devine Street Our new building will give us the ability to expand and provide more jobs Street. for families in Columbia. Now Hiring!: We are looking for new and experienced real estate agents who share a similar Now Hiring!: passion for helping people with all their real estate needs. Come by and talk with us about what we have to offer you!

NEW Office! Our NEW Office!

D OTEF” V ST O
“BE
4 YEAstaS 1 Real E R te
Best he ompany in t C

AIN! AG
of the Readers By Newspaper! The State

Midlands!

BEST OF 2011 3

Readers' Choice Best of 2011
July 31, 2011 ABOUT THIS SECTION
The Readers’ Choice Best Of 2011 is an unscientific sampling based on the subjective responses of the readers of The State. The results of their voting appear in this special section. The information contained in the listings was obtained from the winners and other sources. Every effort was made to keep listings as complete as possible and to print information as it was provided. However, some entries have been edited for space and content.
President and Publisher The State Media Company Sales Manager / Advertising

Henry B. Haitz, III
(803) 771-8693 publisher@thestate.com Vice President of Advertising

Lauren Libet
(803) 771-8372 llibet@thestate.com Art Direction

Jeff Kuerzi
(803) 771-8351 jkuerzi@thestate.com Interactive Media Operation and Sales Manager

Louie Lanford
llanford@thestate.com Editor

Anne-Kathryn Flanagan
akflanagan@thestate.com (803) 771-8431

Ashleigh A. McAlister
(803) 771-8566 amcalister@thestate.com

Best Art Gallery Columbia Museum of Art Claim to Fame: World class art from around the world. Monet, Botticelli, Chihuly, Tiffany and more! Check it out for yourself: 1515 Main St., Columbia, SC 29205, 803.799.2810 On the Web: www.columbiamuseum.org Years in business: 61 WOW!: New Chihuly Chandelier- 800 pieces, one ton- wow!

Claim to Fame: Edventure is home to EDDIE ®, the world’s largest child. Check it out for yourself: 211 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201, 803.779.3100 On the Web: www.edventure.org Years in business: 8 years WOW!: The South’s Largest Children’s Museum

100 Scotland Drive, Lexington, SC 29072 803.957.3355 On the Web: www.goldenhillsgolf.com Years in business: 23 WOW!: Exceptional yearround playing conditions. Amenities include: 18 hole championship course, tennis, pool, clubhouse/banquet facility.

Best Movie Theater Regal Columbiana Grande Check it out for yourself: 1250 Bower Parkway, Columbia, SC 29212 On the Web: www.regmovies.com WOW!: “Best” place in town for a great movie experience.

On the Web: www.trustus.org Years in business: 26 WOW!: Our seats are comfortable because our plays sometimes are not.

Best Place for Children’s Birthday Monkey Joe’s Claim to Fame: Great parties parents bring a cake and relax; we do the rest. Check it out for yourself: 109 Park Place Court, Lexington, SC 29072, 803.808.5637 171 Newland Road, Columbia, SC, 803.788.1102

Best Live Music Best Golf Course Golden Hills Golf and Country Club Claim to Fame: Consistent quality of course conditions. Check it out for yourself: Jillians Check it out for yourself: 800 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201, 803.799.1688 On the Web: www.jillians.com

Best Stage Theater Trustus Theatre Claim to Fame: Professional theatre in a comfortable setting with free popcorn. Check it out for yourself: 520 Lady Street, 803.254.9732

Best Children’s Entertainment EdVenture Children’s Museum

BEST OF 2011 5

On the Web: www.monkeyjoes.com Years in business: 2 WOW!: Huge Inflatables, Great games, clean and safe, a lot of fun!

Years in business: 11 WOW!: Best rooftop bar in Columbia ; coldest beer in town

Best Deli/ Sandwich Shop Groucho’s Deli Claim to Fame: 48 sauces Check it out for yourself: 611 Harden St., Columbia, SC, 803.799.5708 On the Web: www.grouchos.com Years in business: 70 WOW!: Helping hangovers since 1941!

2332 Sunset Blvd. West Columbia, SC 29169, 803.796.5034, Nine locations in the Midlands On the Web: www.Rushs.net Years in business: 71 WOW!: Voted top five in Nation for customer satisfaction!

Years in business: Company 29

Best Japanese Restaurant Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar Claim to Fame: We pride ourselves in having great food and excellent service in a classy yet entertaining atmosphere. Check it out for yourself: 442 Columbiana Drive Columbia, SC 29212 803.407.1264 Years in business: 12 years (New Location: 2 years) WOW!: Breathtaking interior design

Best Chinese Restaurant Miyo’s

Best Bar Carolina Ale House Claim to Fame: We are a sports-themed family restaurant with over 50 HDTVs, 40 beers on tap. Check it out for yourself: 708 Lady Street, Columbia, SC 29201, 803.227.7150 277 Columbiana Drive, Columbia, SC 29212, 803.407.6996 On the Web: CarolinaAlehouse.com

Claim to Fame: Quality, healthy Asian foods; friendly efficient service and warm hospitality, comfortable and tasteful ambiance Check it out for yourself: 7 locations - Vista, Main Street, Sumter Street, Forest Acres, Lexington, Sandhills, Harbison On the Web: www.miyos.com Years in business: 16 WOW!: The whole experience, a restaurant for longevity and pleasure.

Best Greek Restaurant Zorba’s Claim to Fame: Scrumptious Greek salads and pizzas. Zorbas is a family-owned restaurant known for their homemade baklava, it’s to die for. Check it out for yourself: 6169 St Andrews Road, Columbia, SC 29212, 803.772.4617 Years in business: 32 On the Web: www.myzorbasgreek.com WOW!: Once a month, belly dancers and musicians entertain diners on Greek night. Best Italian Restaurant Olive Garden Claim to Fame: Stuffed chicken marsala and the never ending pasta bowl Check it out for yourself: 10136-112 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC (788-3131) and 274 Harbison Blvd., Columbia, SC (732-0471) On the Web: www.olivegarden.com

Best Fast Food Restaurant Rush’s Fabulous Food…Fast! Claim to Fame: Burgers, shakes and service Check it out for yourself:

Best Mexican Restaurant Eric’s San Jose Claim to Fame: Good food, great service and a family friendly atmosphere. Check it out for yourself: 6118 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC, 803.783.6650

6 BEST OF 2011

Mon, Tues 10-7 Wed 10-8 Thurs, Fri, Sat 10-7 Sun 12-5 70 Polo Road Columbia, SC 29223

803-736-5446

www.myroundabouts.com

check us out on facebook!

BEST OF 2011 7

STAJI2576-40-1

Roundabouts consignments is a 36,000 sq foot showroom FULL of gently used upscale furniture, decorative accessories, artwork, jewelry, antiques and clothing for the ENTIRE family! We specialize in brands ranging from Abercrombie to Prada! We are locally owned and operated in Columbia for 9 1/2 years... our mission is to consistently provide efficient and friendly service to our consignors in their pursuit of selling and to our shoppers in their quest for items that will enhance their homes and wardrobes at value pricing! Recycle, RESALE.. shop!

On the Web: www.san-jose.com Years in business: 21 WOW!: Authentic Mexican cuisine and all natural fruit margaritas.

5579 Sunset Blvd. (Lexington) 803.996.1442 On the Web: www.ryans.com Years in business: 34

Years in business: 35 WOW!: Thanks for voting us Best Biscuit in Columbia!

Best Hot Dog Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs Claim to Fame: Serving premium pure beef hot dogs grilled up just right with freshly made chili, slaw, pimento cheese or kraut. Plus 32 flavors of gourmet ice cream. Check it out for yourself: Main Street at USC; Hope Ferry Center, Lexington; Ashland Park Center, St. Andrew’s Road; and Broad River Road near Dutch Square Center. Years in business: 32 WOW!: Recently featured in Rachel Ray’s magazine as having on e of the bet hot dogs in the USA. Proud to have won Best Of every year since the contest began!

(Catering Headquarters) On the Web: www.hudsonssmokehouse.com Years in business: 9 WOW!: “Pig In or Pig Out!”

Best Burger WOW!: Everyone gets what they want without the wait. Five Guys Burgers and Fries Claim to Fame: Handmade patties, made to order. Hand-cut Idaho potatoes, cooked to order in peanut oil. Hand-made bread, great customer service Check it out for yourself: 931 Senate Street, 803.799.0441 4 other Columbia locations On the Web: www.fiveguys.com Years in business: 6 in Columbia WOW!: Fresh meat, fresh potatoes, fresh bread, fresh toppings, YUM!

Best Family Dining To Eat With Kids Ryan’s Buffet Grill & Bakery Claim to Fame: Huge selection of salads, entrees and desserts. Check it out for yourself: 1304 Bower Parkway (Columbia) 803.732.3603 10052 Two Notch Road (Columbia) 803.462.0247 1707 Charleston Hwy. (West Columbia) 803.796.2728 Best Biscuit Bojangles Restaurants, Inc. Claim to Fame: Madefrom-scratch buttermilk biscuits, world famous chicken and legendary iced tea Check it out for yourself: 31 Columbia area locations On the Web: www.bojangles.com

Best Brunch Di Prato’s DELICATESSEN Claim to Fame: Di Prato’s is known as a great place for lunch and brunch. Check it out for yourself: 342 Pickens Street, Columbia, SC 803.779.0606 On the Web: dipratos@yahoo.com Years in business: 7 WOW!: Pimento cheese and pita chips, pimento cheese and pita chips, pimento cheese and pita chips

Best Barbecue Hudson’s Smokehouse and Hudson’s Classic Catering Claim to Fame: BBQ, ribs, chicken, catfish, brisket, shrimp, all the fixings and much much more! You can order off the menu, get the buffet, or even grab a cold beer. We have also been in the catering business for over 15 years. We cater your most casual backyard BBQs or your classic black tie affairs Check it out for yourself: 4952 Sunset Blvd., Lexington, SC 2907 301 Park Terrace Drive, Columbia, SC 235 Two Notch Road, Lexington, SC 29072

Best Chicken Best Business Lunch Harpers Restaurant Claim to Fame: Best business lunch Check it out for yourself: 700 Harden St., Columbia, SC 29205, 803.252.2222 On the Web: www.harpersgroup.com Years in business: 21 WOW!: A favorite in Five Points for over 20 years. Zesto of West Columbia Claim to Fame: Been serving the best burgers, ice cream and chicken since 1949.

Check it out for yourself: 504 12th Street, West Columbia, SC, 803.794.4652 On the Web: www.zestowestcolumbia.com Years in business: 62 WOW!: Huge ice cream cone on top of building!

8 BEST OF 2011

Best Dessert Nonnah’s Claim to Fame: Best desserts Check it out for yourself: 930 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC, 803.779.9599 On the Web: www.nonnahs.com Years in business: 15

Best Ice Cream Marble Slab Creamery Check it out for yourself: Now serving at five locations throughout Columbia. On the Web: www.marbleslabcreamery.com WOW!: Ice cream made fresh daily using only the finest ingredients.

7385 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209 4711-26 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29206 2721A Emmanuel Church Road, West Columbia, SC 29170 1467 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201 2420 Marion Avenue, Columbia, SC 29207 621 Saint Andrews Road, Columbia, SC 29210 4611 Hardscrabble Road, Columbia, SC 29229 6432 Two Notch Road Suite S, Columbia, SC 29223 1320 Bush River Road

Unit 400, Columbia, SC 29210 On the Web: www.pizzahut.com Years in business: Pizza Hut has been in business for 53 years WOW!: Master of pizza innovation

Years in business: 28 WOW!: Serving $1.95 house brand liquor and $3.95 late nighte bar bites daily.

Best Steak Longhorn Steakhouse Claim to Fame: Longhorn is known for more than its signature hand-seasoned Flo’s Filet and the bone-in Outlaw Ribeye. Longhorn chefs love to grill fresh fish and chicken in addition to steak. Items such as Longhorn Salmon, a fresh, hand-cut salmon filet seasoned with a bourbon marinade; fall-off-the-bone tender Baby Back Ribs; and Parmesan Crusted Chicken, two juicy chicken breasts grilled and topped

Best Salad California Dreaming Claim to Fame: Salads, BBQ and ribs Check it out for yourself: 401 South Main Street Columbia, SC 29201 On the Web: www.californiadreamings.com

Best Pizza WOW!: Freshly made desserts; 24 different desserts on daily menu plus three to four weekend special desserts and five flaming desserts prepared tableside. Pizza Hut Claim to Fame: Originator of the stuffed crust pizza Check it out for yourself: 9702 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223 2725 Sunset Blvd., West Columbia, SC 29169

Thanks for Voting Us Best Plumbing
The State 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards... 20 years in a row!

BEST OF 2011 9

STAJI9592-99-0

Taking care of families like yours for more than 30 years.

with a parmesan cheese and garlic crust, are just some of the other specialties guests will find on the menu. Check it out for yourself: 902 A Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29229, 803.254.5100 On the Web: www.longhornsteakhouse.com Years in business: 30 WOW!: Longhorn serves steak, chicken and fish that are always fresh!

Columbia, SC 29201, 803.312.9911 (Harbison) 1290 Bower Pkwy., Columbia, SC 803.407.3873 On the Web: www.tsunamicompany.com Years in business: 4.5 years WOW!: Fresh food, fun dining and awesome daily specials.

Years in business: 15 WOW!: 9 Year Winner Reader’s Choice “BEST” Wings!

Best Bicycle Shop Cycle Center Claim to Fame: The Cycle Center gives you more choices of bicycles and accessories than any other store in South Carolina. Check it out for yourself: Two locations: 1001 Harden Street Columbia, SC 29205 9003 Two Notch Road Columbia, SC 29223 On the Web: www.cyclecenter.com

275 Harbison Blvd. (Columbia) 803.749.9378 164 Forum Drive (Columbia) 803.788.4349 918A North Lake Drive (Lexington) 803.951.3674 On the Web: www.booksamillion.com Years in business: Founded 1917 WOW!: Over 250 stores in 22 states.

Best Appliance Store Lowe’s Claim to Fame: World’s second largest home improvement retailer. Lowe’s has more than 1,600 home improvement stores in all 50 states. Ranked 48 on the Fortune 500. Check it out for yourself: Five locations in the Midlands serving you On the Web: www.lowes.com WOW!: We offer hundreds of thousands more products by special order.

Best Wings Carolina Wings & Ribhouse Claim to Fame: Winning The State Newspaper’s Readers Choice for 9 years for best wings. Born locally in Columbia with 12 locations in South Carolina. Check it out for yourself: (CORP) P Box 926, Irmo .O. SC 29063; all location addresses can be retrieved

Best Children’s Clothing Store (TIE) The Children’s Place Claim to Fame: We sell the best high-quality, value-priced children’s merchandise for ages newborn to 10 years old. Check it out for yourself: Village at Sandhill, Columbia 803.736.1540 On the Web: www.childrens-place.com WOW!: What’s most important to us is keeping customers happy.

Best Sushi Tsunami Claim to Fame: A new approach to hip, sophisticated Japanese cuisine that is sure to please your palate. Check it out for yourself: (Vista) 700 Gervais St.,

Best Boat Sales Adventure Carolina Claim to Fame: Outdoor outfitters providing canoes, kayaks and tubes for paddling the Midlands’ rivers. Our unique customer service creates a way to bring people and nature together. Check it out for yourself: 1107 State Street, Cayce, SC 29033, 803.796.4505 On the Web: www.AdventureCarolina.com Years in business: 24 WOW!: Your outdoor adventure experts for over 24 years.

Best Art Supply/ Craft Store Michaels Claim to Fame: Largest specialty retailers of arts, crafts, framing, floral, wall décor and seasonal merchandise for the hobbyist and do-it-yourself home décor. Check it out for yourself: 244 Harbison Blvd., Columbia, 803.407.7813 10204 Two Notch Road, Columbia, 803.462.0624. On the Web: www.michaels.com WOW!: Ideas, inspiration and education.

Best Children’s Clothing Store (TIE) Gymboree 696 Village at Sandhills Claim to Fame: Legendary customer service, knowing our customers by name…Making a friend for life, not just a customer. ? Having the customer share their experience with others. Check it out for yourself: 671-6 Town Centre Place

at our website (sorry- too many to list here), 803.732.4124 On the Web: www.carolinawings.com
10 BEST OF 2011

Best Bookstore Books-a-Million Claim to Fame: There is a little something for everyone. Check it out for yourself: 4840 Forest Drive (Columbia) 803.782.4475

Thank You for voting us
best dance studio for back to back years 2010 & 2011

996-1150
www.southcarolinadancecompany.com

ecclesiastes 3:4

Welcome To...

COLLEGE & MAIN AT USC HOPE FERRY CENTER, LEXINGTON • KNOX ABBOT DR IN CAYCE BROAD RIVER RD AT DUTCH SQUARE CENTER • ASHLAND PARK, ST. ANDREWS ROAD

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BEST OF 2011 11

STAJI9588-99-1

1332 E. North Lake Drive Lexington, SC 29072

“Celebrate…a time to dance.”

Columbia, SC 29229 803.736.4704 On the Web: www.Gymboree.com Years in business: 4 years (Village at Sandhills) WOW!: Creating an experience for the customer that exceeds their expectation, makes them want to return again and again. ?

accessories, artwork, jewelry, antiques and clothing for the entire family! Check it out for yourself: 70 Polo Road, Columbia, SC 29223, 803.736.5446 On the Web: www.myroundabouts.com Years in business: 9

Years in business: 123 years- founded May 29, 1888, by William Henry Belk. WOW!: Latest fashions, quality merchandise, friendly service, fair prices and satisfaction guaranteed!

803.779.5123 On the Web: www.whitash.com WOW!: Whit-Ash has a 40,000 square foot showroom floor full of quality furniture, oriental rugs and mattresses at discounted prices.

Check it out for yourself: 2600 Delk Road Marietta, GA 30058 770-952-6601 ext.3649 On the Web: www.publix.com Years in business: 80 WOW!: The largest and fastest growing employee owned supermarket chain in the U.S.

Best Florist WOW!: 36,000 sq. feet of resale heaven! Rosewood Florist Claim to Fame: Serving Columbia for more than 30 years. Check it out for yourself: 2917 Rosewood Drive Columbia, SC 29205 803.256.8351 On the Web: www.RosewoodFlorist.com Years in business: 33 Years WOW!: Your first choice for flowers and more! Best Gardening Center Lowe’s Claim to Fame: World’s second largest home improvement retailer. Lowe’s has more than 1,600 home improvement stores in all 50 states. Ranked 48 on the Fortune 500. Check it out for yourself: Five locations in the Midlands serving you On the Web: www.lowes.com WOW!: We offer hundreds of thousands more products by special order.

Best Computer Store Best Buy Claim to Fame: Intersection of electronics and life. Check it out for yourself: 370 Harbison Blvd., Columbia, 803.749.2188 7006 Two Notch Road, Columbia, 803.736.2529. On the Web: www.bestbuy.com Years in business: 17 WOW!: Thousands of possibilities. Get yours today. Best Department Store Belk Claim to Fame: Belk, Inc. is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with more than 300 fashion department stores in 16 southern states, totaling sales of $3.5 billion in its past fiscal year. Check it out for yourself: Belk Columbiana (Harbison) 803.781.4100 Belk Village at Sandhill 803.419.7878 Belk Midtown (Forest Drive) 803.782.2600 Best Consignment Store Roundabouts Consignments Claim to Fame: One-stop shopping! We carry gently used furniture, decorative Belk Dutch Square 803.772.8430 On the Web: www.belk.com

Best Local Hardware ACE Hardware Claim to Fame: We pledge to be Ace Helpful. Helping you is the most important thing we have to do today. Check it out for yourself: 2930 Emmanuel Church Road, West Columbia, SC 29170 On the Web: www.acethreefountains.com Years in business: 21 WOW!: ACE maintains top 10 spot in ‘Customer Service Champs’ list.

Best Furniture Store Whit-Ash Claim to Fame: Furniture, mattresses, accessories, oriental rugs, decorator services, window treatments and much more. Check it out for yourself: 919 Gervais St. Columbia, SC

Best Grocery Store Publix Claim to Fame: The supermarket customer service leader. Our mission is to be the premier quality food retailer in the world.

Best Jewelry Store Jewelry Warehouse Claim to Fame: Official jeweler for Miss South Carolina for over 25 years! Offering quality merchandise fit for a queen; at prices the whole kingdom can afford. Check it out for yourself: 5140 Sunset Blvd. 803.996.0485 1270 Bower Parkway 803.772.1470

w w w. my z o r b as g r e e k . c o m

Check out aLl three of our Convenient locations
6169 Saint Andrews Rd Columbia, SC 29212-3146 7320 Broad River Road Irmo, SC 29063 1260 Chapin Rd Chapin, SC 29036

(803) 772-4617
Senior citizens

(803) 749-7000
Military and Uniform

(803) 345-8884 10% off
Student id

10% off

10% off

Thank you Columbia for all your support and voting Zorba’s the

C h i l d r e n e at f r e e o n M o n day n i g h t s 12 BEST OF 2011

best Greek Restaurant.

2909 Platt Springs Road 803.749.0303 10136 Two Notch Road 803.788.0189 On the Web: www.jewelrywarehouse.com Years in business: 34 WOW!: More than just another jewelry storeprice, service and selection are our specialties!

4530 St. Andrews Road, 803.772.8694 On the Web: www.sleeponittonight.com Years in business: 25 WOW!: The most in stock bedding in the Midlands!

Best New Car Dealer Jim Hudson Automotive Group Claim to Fame: Customer satisfaction is our top priority — period. Check it out for yourself: Lexus: 5717 Two Notch Road, Columbia 803.754.9500 Hyundai 310 Greystone Blvd., Columbia 803.799.1234 Toyota 970 Columbiana Drive Irmo 803.407.5678

Buick/ Sabb 7201 Sumter Highway, Columbia 803.783.0110 On the Web: www.jimhudson.com Years in business: 30 WOW!: Experience it once, you’ll never forget it. This is the Jim Hudson promise.

Best Outdoor Furniture Lowe’s Claim to Fame: World’s second largest home improvement retailer. Lowe’s has more than 1,600 home improvement stores in all 50 states. Ranked 48 on the Fortune 500. Check it out for yourself: Five locations in the Midlands serving you On the Web: www.lowes.com WOW!: We offer hundreds of thousands more products by special order.

Best Men’s Clothing Store Belk Claim to Fame: Belk, Inc. is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with more than 300 fashion department stores in 16 southern states, totaling sales of $3.5 billion in its past fiscal year. Check it out for yourself: Belk Columbiana (Harbison) 803.781.4100 Belk Village at Sandhill 803.419.7878 Belk Midtown (Forest Drive) 803.782.2600 Belk Dutch Square 803.772.8430 On the Web: www.belk.com Years in business: 123 yearsfounded May 29, 1888, by William Henry Belk. WOW!: Latest fashions, quality merchandise, friendly service, fair prices and satisfaction guaranteed!

Best Used Car Dealer Jim Hudson Automotive Group Claim to Fame: Customer satisfaction is our top priority — period. Check it out for yourself: Lexus: 5717 Two Notch Road, Columbia 803.754.9500 Hyundai 310 Greystone Blvd., Columbia 803.799.1234 Toyota 970 Columbiana Drive Irmo 803.407.5678 Buick/ Sabb 7201 Sumter Highway, Columbia 803.783.0110

Best Lighting Center The Lite House Claim to Fame: Largest residential lighting distributor in the state. Check it out for yourself: 321 Bush River Road, 803.798.5400 8402 Two Notch Road, 803.788.3113 350 Columbia Ave., 803.356.0091 On the Web: www.thelitehouse.com Years in business: 38 WOW!: Winner EVERY year since Readers’ Choice Awards began.

Best Pet Supply Store Pet Smart Claim to Fame: Customer service and care in handling pets. Check it out for yourself: 246 Harbison Blvd., Columbia, 803.781.6339 On the web: www.petsmart.com Years in business: 25 (11 in Columbia) WOW!: A wide selection.

Best Mattress Store Michaelis Mattress Company Claim to Fame: Buy It Today…Sleep On It Tonight. Check it out for yourself: 350 Columbia Ave., 803.359.2238 1131 Sparkleberry Lane, 803.736.8684
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On the Web: www.jimhudson.com Years in business: 30 WOW!: Experience it once, you’ll never forget it. This is the Jim Hudson promise.

Best Plant Nursery Woodley’s Claim to Fame: Woodley’s offers unique houseplants, shrubs, trees, flowers, annuals and perennials that you won’t find anywhere else. With their exclusive “We Plan, You Plant” program, Woodley’s will help you design the

perfect outdoor living space. They will help you choose the plants and advise you on where to place them. They also offer exquisite pottery, fountains, and container plants, as well as the inspiration you need to get started. Check it out for yourself: 10015 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223, 803.788.1487 2840 Dreher Shoals Road- Hwy 6 Irmo/Ballentine 803.407.0601 On the Web: www.WoodleyGardenCenter.com Years in business: 30 WOW!: Friendly staff providing information and inspiration to make gar-

dens beautiful. WOW!: First in Columbia: Best Shopping Center or Mall Columbiana Centre Claim to Fame: Columbiana Centre is the first shopping center in the Midlands for retailers such as Aeropostale, Banana Republic, Bebe, Build-ABear, Coach, Coldwater Creek, Hollister, Loft and Williams-Sonoma. Check it out for yourself: 100 Columbiana Circle, Columbia, SC 29212, 803.781.6255 On the Web: www.columbianacentre.com Years in business: 21 Best Sporting Goods Store Dicks Sporting Goods Claim to Fame: Knowledgeable, welltrained associates who are always ready to assist. Check it out for yourself: 1110 Bower Parkway, Columbia 803.749.0756 On the Web: www.dickssportinggoods.com Years in business: 11 WOW!: Friendly, available, customer-focused associBare Escentuals and Francesca’s Collection.

ates who are excited about their job. Best Tire Store Tire Kingdom Claim to Fame: Lowest Prices Guaranteed! Check it out for yourself: Columbia -10180 Two Notch Road, 803.736.4788 Columbia- 7422 Garners Ferry Road, 803.776.1113 Lexington- 5450 Sunset Blvd., 803.356.0777 Columbia- 183 Harbison Blvd., 803.407.2223 Columbia Mall- Adjacent to JC Penny 803.736.5995 St. Andrews – 640 St.

Andrews Road, 803.731.0050 On the Web: www.tirekingdom.com Years in business: 39 years WOW!: $200 price guarantee! See store for details

Best Toy Store Toys R Us Claim to Fame: Everybody here is a kid. Check it out for yourself: 140 Columbiana Drive Columbia 803.781.1002 On the web: www.toysrus.com Years in business: 18

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WOW!: Biggest toy store ever.

Check it out for yourself: Five locations in the Midlands serving you On the Web: www.lowes.com WOW!: We offer hundreds of thousands more products by special order.

(Harbison) 803.781.4100 Belk Village at Sandhill 803.419.7878 Belk Midtown (Forest Drive) 803.782.2600 Belk Dutch Square 803.772.8430 On the Web: www.belk.com Years in business: 123 years- founded May 29, 1888, by William Henry Belk. WOW!: Latest fashions, quality merchandise, friendly service, fair prices and satisfaction guaranteed!

redesigned apartment interiors!

Customer satisfaction is our top priority — period. Check it out for yourself: Lexus: 5717 Two Notch Road, Columbia 803.754.9500 Hyundai 310 Greystone Blvd., Columbia 803.799.1234 Toyota 970 Columbiana Drive Irmo 803.407.5678 Buick/ Sabb 7201 Sumter Highway, Columbia 803.783.0110 On the Web: www.jimhudson.com Years in business: 30 WOW!: Experience it once, you’ll never forget it. This is the Jim Hudson promise. Best Bank Bank of America Claim to Fame: With Bank of America branches in Columbia, S.C., the services you need are just minutes away. Check it out for yourself: 1901 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201 On the Web: www.bankofamerica.com/

Best Unique Gift Shop HandPicked, Inc. Claim to Fame: Provideing fun and affordable jewelry and accessories for over 20 years. Check it out for yourself: Irmo: 150-C Harbison Blvd Lexington: 5135 Sunset Blvd Devine: 2822 Devine Street Northeast: 481-9 Town Center Place On the Web: behandpicked.com Years in business: 20 WOW!: Unique gifts and original accessories at fabulous prices.

Best Assisted Living Center Agape Senior Assisted Living Claim to Fame: Agape Senior is proud to serve the midlands by providing faith-based Assisted Living Communities throughout Columbia. Check it out for yourself: Harbison 990 Columbia Ave. 803.749.7889 Kathwood 4520 Trenholm Road 803.787.1234 Lexington 5422 Augusta Road 803.520.5850 West Columbia 2705 Leaphart Road 803.939.3000 On the Web: www.agapesenior.com Years in business: 13 WOW!: Agape Senior provides each Assisted Living Community with the support of integrated senior health care services, which include: physician, therapy, and pharmacy services onsite, Agape Medical Mart/home medical equipment and supplies, Agape Hospice, Exit-Agape Real Estate, and GMM Insurance.

Best Women’s Clothing Store Kohls Check it out for yourself: 10136 Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29229 120 Harbison Blvd., Lexington, SC 29072 On the Web: www.kohls.com Years in business: 49 years

Best Apartment Complex The Fairways Apartments

Best Women’s Shoe Store Belk Claim to Fame: Belk, Inc. is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with more than 300 fashion department stores in 16 southern states, totaling sales of $3.5 billion in its past fiscal year. Check it out for yourself: Belk Columbiana

Claim to Fame: Located on the Northwoods Golf Course. The Fairways offers tranquil, lush, award-winning landscaping. Check it out for yourself: 350 Powell Road Columbia, SC 29203 803.691.1430 On the Web: www.thefairwaysapts.com Years in business: 19 WOW!: Check out our

Best Windows and Siding Lowe’s Claim to Fame: World’s second largest home improvement retailer. Lowe’s has more than 1,600 home improvement stores in all 50 states. Ranked 48 on the Fortune 500.

“Thank you Columbia for voting Di Prato’s Best Brunch 2011!
342 Pickens Street Columbia SC 29205

Best Builder Mungo Homes

Best Auto Repair Jim Hudson Automotive Group Claim to Fame: Claim to Fame: Mungo continues to expand and now builds in seven markets in S.C., N.C., and Ga., proof of financial security

779-0606
www.dipratos.com
If you like DiPrato’s, check out our sister Restaurant “Dianne’s on Devine” with live Jazz every Saturday from 7-10. 2400 Devine St Columbia, South Carolina 29205 • (803) 254-3535 • www.diannesondevine.com

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during a down economy. Check it out for yourself: 441 Western Lane Irmo, SC 29063, 803.749.9000 On the Web: www.mungo.com Years in business: 57, Since 1954. WOW!: In May 2011, ranked by Builder magazine as the 35th largest builder in the country.

Years in business: 38 years- since 1973 Best Credit Union Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union Claim to Fame: Still offering fee-free checking with no minimum balance that earns dividends and reward points. Also, financing new to 2008 vehicles at the same low rates and extended terms with no payments for 60 days. Check it out for yourself: 12 Midlands locations and over 35 ATMs On the Web: www.palmettocitizens.org Years in business: 75 WOW!: Unlike banks, we’re not-for-profit; returning earnings back to you.

ers-adults.

On the Web: www.causeydentist.com Years in business: Since 2000 (11 private practices; 18 total) WOW!: Advanced dental techniques where all patients are treated like family!

Years in business: 25 years in Columbia – Since 1986 WOW!: Almost 200,000 square feet of gym space in Columbia

Best Day Spa Urban Nirvana Claim to Fame: At Urban Nirvana, we offer a resort spa experience right in our own neighborhood. We strive to offer the perfect environment for our guests to relax. Check it out for yourself: Urban Nirvana Spa 4840 Forest Drive 15D Columbia, SC 29206 803.727.1010 Urban Nirvana Hair 4840 Forest Drive 15C Columbia, SC 29206 Urban Nirvana Spa 920 North Lake Drive Lexington, SC 29272 803.356.0119 On the Web: www.urbannirvana.com Years in business: 10 years WOW!: Our skilled team of massage therapists, skin care experts and stylists

Best Hair Salon Bliss Claim to Fame: We consider each client as an individual with his or her own needs and desires. We strive to fulfill those needs and desires with the best talent available. Check it out for yourself: 446 Old Cherokee Road, Ste A, Lexington, SC 29072, 803.359.0288 On the Web: http://blisssalonandspasc.com/

Best Dry Cleaner Tripp’s Fine Cleaners Claim to Fame: Best Dry Cleaner Check it out for yourself: 13 Locations in Columbia! On the Web: www.trippsfinecleaners.com Years in business: 45 years serving the Midlands! WOW!: Only certified master dry cleaner FREE home pick up/delivery

Best Car Wash Frank’s Car Wash Claim to Fame: Over 7 million cars washed Check it out for yourself: Columbia 601 Bush River Road Columbia 4741 Forest Drive Columbia 120 Clemson Road Lexington 516 Columbia Ave. Lexington 4530 Augusta Hwy. Lexington 4578 Sunset Blvd. Irmo 1113 Lake Murray Blvd. Orangeburg 976 John C. Calhoun Sumter 1008 Broad St. Greenwood Calhoun Ave. On the Web: www.frankscarwash.com
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Best Dance Studio SC Dance Claim to Fame: Nationally recognized students have received scholarships to LA, NYC and NJ. This Christian-based dance studio has not only won overall and platinum awards but also a Sponsorship Award! Check it out for yourself: 1332-E North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072, 803.996.1150 On the Web: www.southcarolinadancecompany.com Years in business: 7 WOW!: World renowned instructors and choreographers teaching syllabusbased dance to preschool-

Best Heating and Air Conditioning Service 2nd Wind Heating & Air

Best Fitness Center Gold’s Gym Claim to Fame: Largest co-ed gym chain in the world Check it out for yourself: Irmo 800 Columbiana Drive Lexington 619 N. Lake Drive Forest Acres 4114 Forest Drive Northeast 240 Forum Drive in Village at Sandhill Phone: 45-GOLDS On the Web: www.goldsgym.com

Best Dentist G. Franklin Causey DMD PA Claim to Fame: Family and aesthetic dentistry based on years of advanced training and experience as well as his own personal faith, which is rooted in kindness, compassion and fairness. Check it out for yourself: 7319 College Street Irmo, SC 29063 803.781.1990

Claim to Fame: Since 1985, 2nd Wind has been providing residents of Greater Columbia, Lexington and all of the Midlands with superior heating and air conditioning technical service and installation. Check it out for yourself: 6130 Shakespeare Road, Columbia, SC 29223 803.786.7433 On the Web: www.2ndwindhvac.com Years in business: 27 years WOW!: We are now on Facebook and Twitter so Like or Follow us today!

Best Hospital System Palmetto Health Claim to Fame: Palmetto Health is the region’s largest, locally owned nonprofit healthcare system, with nearly 9,000 employees and more than 1,000 medical staff members. Hospitals include Palmetto Health Richland, Palmetto Health Baptist, Children’s Hospital and the Heart Hospital. Areas of specialty include behavioral care, cardiology, obstetrics (including high-risk), oncology, orthopedics, neonatology, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, trauma and women’s care. Palmetto Health has a large primary care and specialty physician network as well as a comprehensive array of outpatient services in con-

venient locations. Palmetto Health continues to work toward building a new hospital, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, in Irmo. Check it out for yourself: Palmetto Health P Box 2266 .O. Columbia, SC 29202 Corporate Office 1301 Taylor Street Columbia 803.296.2273 Richland 5 Richland Medical Park (off Harden St. Extension) Baptist Taylor at Marion Street Children’s Hospital 7 Richland Medical Park

Heart Hospital 6 Medical Park On the Web: www.PalmettoHealth.org Years in business: Palmetto Health: 12; (Richland: 118; Baptist:96) WOW!: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. Best Hospital Facility Palmetto Health Baptist Check it out for yourself: Baptist Taylor at Marion Street

On the Web: www.PalmettoHealth.org Years in business: 96 WOW!: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves.

Best Place to Have a Baby Palmetto Health Claim to Fame: Palmetto Health is the region’s largest, locally owned nonprofit healthcare system, with nearly 9,000 employees and more than 1,000 medical staff members.

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Hospitals include Palmetto Health Richland, Palmetto Health Baptist, Children’s Hospital and the Heart Hospital. Areas of specialty include behavioral care, cardiology, obstetrics (including high-risk), oncology, orthopedics, neonatology, neurology, pediatrics, surgery, trauma and women’s care. Palmetto Health has a large primary care and specialty physician network as well as a comprehensive array of outpatient services in convenient locations. Palmetto Health continues to work toward building a new hospital. Check it out for yourself: Palmetto Health Richland: 5 Richland Medical Park (off Harden St. Extension) Baptist: Taylor at Marion Street On the Web: www.PalmettoHealth.org

Years in business: Palmetto Health: 12; (Richland: 118; Baptist:96) WOW!: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves.

Best Interior Design Firm Verve/Ford Boyd Interiors Claim to Fame: Verve has been featured in more than 10 national publications including Southern Accents, Décor and Beautiful Southern Homes. Check it out for yourself: 1127 Gregg Street Columbia, SC 29201 803.799.0045 On the Web: www.verveinteriors.com Years in business: Since 1993 WOW!: Verve’s talented designers create timeless and sophisticated interiors throughout the Southeast.

On the Web: prettypictures.net

Best Real Estate Agent The Mather Company, Inc. Claim to Fame: Exceptional customer service and truly looking out for our clients best interest. Check it out for yourself: 3722 Devine Street Columbia, SC 29205 803.622.9480 On the Web: TheMatherCompany.com Years in business: 6 years WOW!: A Real Estate Company rapidly growing in a slow market

Best Plumbing Gene Love Claim to Fame: Gene Love plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians love to make you happy. We’ve been taking care of families in the Columbia, South Carolina, area for the past quarter century. Check it out for yourself: 1336 Methodist Park Road, West Columbia, 803.794.1399 On the Web: www.genelove.com

Best Insurance Provider State Farm Claim to Fame: #1 insurer of autos and home in South Carolina Check it out for yourself: Visit your local agent or log onto www.statefarm.com today On the Web: www.statefarm.com Years in business: 89 years nationwide WOW!: Providing insurance and financial services. Discounts up to 40%.

Best Pool Company Griffin Pools and Spas Best Pest Control Terminix Claim to Fame: The most respected name in the termite and pest control industry. Check it out for yourself: 1-800-Terminix On the Web: www.TrustTerminix.com Years in business: 64 WOW!: Residential and commercial termite, pest, moisture, mosquito and fire ant control. Check it out for yourself: 1601 Atlas Road, Columbia, SC, 803.776.1034 and 9201 Two Notch Road, Ste. A, Columbia, SC, 803.865.8888 On the Web: www.griffinpoolsandspas.com WOW!: Griffin Pools and Spas, We make you feel good!

Best Real Estate Company Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate Claim to Fame: Locally owned real estate company. Market leader in the Midlands. Check it out for yourself: 1022 Calhoun Street Columbia, SC 29201 803.779.6000 On the Web: www.russellandjeffcoat.com Years in business: 47 years

Best Quick Oil Change Jiffy Lube Check it out for yourself: There are several locations, including Devine Stree, Broad River Road, Forest Drive and Hardscrabble Road. On the Web: jiffylube.com WOW!: The number one real estate company in the Midlands.

Best Photographer Pretty Pictures Check it out for yourself: 1912 Memorial Drive, Cayce, SC 29033, 803.739.2275
20 BEST OF 2011

Best Employment Agency Roper Staffing Claim to Fame: We’re experts in the people business. We’ve got a track record of finding and placing the most desirable workers in the state. When you’re the best, you attract the best. That keeps us ahead of our competition – and puts you ahead of yours. Check it out for yourself: Five Locations throughout the Midlands: 125 Outlet Pointe Blvd., Columbia, SC 29210 – 803.798.8500 9300-B Two Notch Road, Columbia, SC 29223 – 803.788.2203

101 S. Wise Drive Sumter, SC 29150 – 803.938.8100 1223 Wilson Road, Newberry, SC 29108 – 803.276.3034 1222 N. Harper Street, Laurens, SC 29360 – 864.983.2500 On the web: www.RoperStaffing.com Years in business: 30 years WOW!: Voted “Best Temporary Agency” every year since 1994!

over 30 years. Specialists in the art of travel. Check it out for yourself: 4617 Forest Drive, Ste. B Columbia, SC 29205 On the Web: www.forestlaketravel.com Years in business: 31 years

Best Weight Loss Program Weight Watchers Claim to Fame: The PointsPlus program is based on the latest nutritional science, and factors in the way your body actually processes food. Combined with the proven advantages of the Weight Watchers approach, the program helps you make healthy choices. Check it out for yourself: 1410 Colonial Life Blvd. W Ste., Columbia, SC 803.731.7953 On the Web: www.weightwatchers.com

Best Wireless Phone Service Verizon Claim to Fame: “Our 3G Network gets better everyday.” Check it out for yourself: There are a variety of locations throughout the Midlands including Gervais Street and Forest Drive. On the Web: www.verizonwireless.com

Best Vision Wear Walmart Claim to Fame: “Save Money. Live Better” Check it out for yourself: Multiple locations throughout the Midlands. On the Web: www.walmart.com

Best Travel Agency Forest Lake Claim to Fame: Locally owned and operated for

22 BEST OF 2011

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