Top of the Town 2009

A peek at our must-read annual round-up of who's who and what's what in the Mile-High City.

July 2009


Top Dog Grooming
Editors' Choice

Kevin & Friends
Our Australian shepherd has thick, knotted fur and an even thicker and knottier attitude. Yet the pooch seems to feel right at home with Kevin Sweets—and, even more surprising, looks like a show dog after $45 worth of bathing and grooming services with this longtime canine makeover artist. After working across the street at Remington & Friends for years, Sweets started out on his own about three years ago. And although his shop's interior is unexceptional, his way with dogs is anything but. 269 S. Downing St., 303-295-2400

Readers' Choice

Amenities like 14 outdoor play yards, 74 climate-controlled kennels, and the promise of plenty of TLC for your dog will have you wagging your tail just as ardently as Buster. Beds-N-Biscuits offers top-notch boarding, daycare, and a doggie day spa as well as bathing and grooming treatments. And with fairly reasonable boarding prices ($20-$27 daily) you can also bark about how full your wallet is even after a long weekend away. 4219 Xenon St., Wheat Ridge, 303-940-9188

Top Shave
Editors' Choice

Clips on Sixth
There's something unsettling about letting a stranger hold a sharp razor next to your jugular. (What if you gulp at the wrong time?) But with more than 25 years of barbershop experience, Tony Loicono has gained our complete trust. Located in the back of Cigars on Sixth, Clips' setting allows you to nab a stogie, practice your best Al Capone impersonation, and lean back for an old-school shave (creamy, warm lather and hot towels)—a luxury every man should experience now and then, especially considering the low $15 price tag. 707 E. Sixth Ave., 303-830-8100

Readers' Choice

Floyd's 99 Barbershop
Readers love this mini-chain, voting it the top barbershop year after year. While Colorado's rustic set may love its beards, when they're in need of a clean-cut look they head here for 30 minutes of pampering complete with steamy towels, lots of lather, and nary a nick. Multiple locations

Top Ski/Snowboard Tune
Editors' Choice

Edgeworks and the Bicycle Doctor
You can tell a good ski shop by the smell of melted wax hanging in the air—and at Edgeworks it smells like a candle factory. These guys know what they're doing, and though tunes might be a tad more expensive than at area competitors, you get what you pay for—expert handling of your edges. 860 Broadway, 303-831-7228

Readers' Choice

Colorado Ski and Golf
Year in and year out, our readers love Colorado Ski and Golf. And with good reason—the retail shops sprinkled around the metro area hang up their clubs come winter and spend their time selling, repairing, and fine-tuning all manner of boards and skis. Multiple locations

Top Flower Shop
Editors' Choice

Little Flower Market
As neighborhood shops go, it doesn't get much cuter than this quaint, family-owned space in Bonnie Brae. One step inside transports you to a vibrant fantasy world of two-toned roses, delicate blue-lace blooms, and exotic birds of paradise stalks. The apron-clad florists—four sisters and a mother who know their clients on a first-name basis—are most recognized for their customer service, colorful design in the style of European flower markets, and cheery outlook. "How could anyone have a bad day working with flowers?" one of the sisters told us on a recent visit. Good point. 709 S. University Blvd., 303-765-2008

Readers' Choice

The Perfect Petal
The back room of this Highland treasure chest is a beehive of friendly floral designers plucking, snipping, and arranging picture-perfect bouquets for a loyal clientele, which swears by their talents for special occasions. With a wide local delivery range and creations that go from exotic and edgy (think artful branches and red anthurium) to traditional and sweet, the Petal has our readers swooning. Want to learn more about this charming floral and gift boutique? Visit "Classically Denver." 3600 W. 32nd Ave., 303-480-0966

Top Customer Service
Editors' Choice

SOL (Store of Lingerie)
Let's face it ladies, sometimes we need a more personal version of customer service. After all, it's just not as easy as it might seem to find the perfect undergarments. The staff at SOL has understood this for 12 years. Using adept measuring and a keen eye, these experts will get you out of those tattered unmentionables and into a perfectly fitted Marie Jo or Prima Donna bra in no time flat. Have a sassy T-strap dress that you've never sported because you couldn't quite figure out what to wear underneath? Bring that in too, and let the professionals show you how it's done, fashion tape and all. 248 Detroit St., 1-800-466-1356

Readers' Choice

Honestly, we're starting to lose count of the nods we've doled out to Nordstrom over the years. But as they say, why fix what's not broken? It's good to see that the personable and upbeat staff at your favorite department store hasn't lost its golden touch. Multiple locations

Top Manicure and Pedicure
Editors' Choice

The Sweet Life Nail Bar and Lounge
If there weren't 200 bottles of nail polish in the entryway, you might confuse the Sweet Life for a chic LoDo bar. Dressed in grays, whites, and blues, this Stapleton-based nail shop is upbeat, elegant, and inviting. Plus, with a drink menu that rivals your favorite Friday-night haunt, the Sweet Life caters to women looking for a little relaxation in a glass (we enjoyed a glass of Ménage À Trois, $8) along with the kind they're getting for their hands and feet (we recommend the Essential Plus mani and pedi, $65 booked together). 2373 Central Park Blvd., Suite 105, 720-496-4565

Readers' Choice

Tootsies, the Nail Shoppe
For three years running, this purveyor of polish has wooed our readers with its excellent customer service, sassy decor, expert technicians, hygienic bent, and Wash Park and Highland locales. For the best deal, make a reservation for the Express mani ($15) and Express pedi ($30). 1021 S. Gaylord St., 720-570-0971; 4230 Tennyson St., 303-433-0898

Top Massage
Editors' Choice

Massage Envy
You know you've scored big when you check in for your massage appointment and the receptionist coos about the therapist with whom you've been paired. And score we did with Kimber Fournier, a 20-year veteran of the massage trade, who seems to know exactly how to manipulate workout-weary muscles. Our advice: Book the hour-and-a-half trigger-point massage. You'll feel like putty—in a really good way—on your way out the door. 201 Steele St., Unit 1-A, 303-962-8900

Readers' Choice

We have to give props to our savvy readers: After 5280 editors chose Elixir as last year's top massage winner, our readers took note, made appointments, and then made it their top spot for a good rubdown this year. Elixir's easy-access LoDo location, casual atmosphere, and monthly membership benefits make it a spot-on choice for folks looking for a no-frills, less spa-y way to ease the tension. 1518A Wazee St., 303-571-4455

Top Bikini Wax
Editors' and Readers' Choice

Waxing the City
Not that anyone really wants to spend part of her day getting this mildly unpleasant procedure, but hey, it's gotta be done. And if you're going to do it, at least make an appointment at a place like Waxing the City, where there's an air of discreetness, a no-tipping policy, and the ability to reserve a time online. Multiple locations

Top Eyebrow Wax
Editors' Choice

Promila Kashyap, Centre Salon and Spa
If you have sensitive skin, use topical acne treatments, or simply don't love the idea of hot wax near your eyeballs, you might want to look into the ancient Indian art of threading. Unlike tweezing, where a single hair is pulled out at a time, threading—which is done using a white cotton string—can remove an entire row of hair, resulting in a straighter line. At Centre Salon and Spa in Arvada, Promila Kashyap wields the thread ($20) with impressive speed and accuracy, giving your brows a perfect arch and vacuuming up all those blondies you never would've plucked yourself. 15400 W. 64th Ave., Unit E-11, Arvada, 303-425-0931

Readers' Choice

Waxing the City
Let's face it, tweezing at home just isn't cutting it. After all, you never get the desired results (mismatched brows anyone?). Instead, book an appointment at one of Waxing the City's three locations and get those arches cleaned up in one fell swoop (OK, two or three swoops). Multiple locations

Top New Spa
Editors' Choice

Ritz-Carlton Spa, Denver
Yes, it's the Ritz, so it should be nice, but the spa at Denver's first Ritz-Carlton hotel exceeds expectations—and thinks outside of the corporate box—with its Colorado-centric therapies like the Hops N' Honey pedi, the High Altitude Oxygen facial, the High Country Tranquility wrap, and the Organic Veggie Body Cocktail. If we had to choose between the four, the pedi (75 minutes, $125) is a no-brainer—after all, it does come with beer. 1881 Curtis St., 303-312-3830

Readers' Choice

Nectar Cherry Creek
You'll have to walk through Pura Vida health club—a journey that can make you feel slightly guilty that you're not breaking a sweat—to get to Nectar, but all your stress (and guilt!) will fade away once you snuggle down onto the massage table for the Melt Down treatment, a 50-minute Swedish massage designed to soothe your aching muscles. Located on the fourth floor of Pura Vida Fitness and Spa, 2955 E. First Ave., 303-999-2900

Top Salon
Editors' Choice

Luxe Salon
Luxe may have a new location (just across the street from its old digs) and a fresh vibe, but fear not: The same great services and staff remain. For an innovative look, we recommend stylist Dawn Addington. Need a natural-looking highlight? Sign up with Kelli Potthoff. Or try Lisa Pride for a simple blowout and style. Learn more about this classic Denver salon in "Classically Denver"  . 1720 Wazee St., 303-296-0166

Readers' Choice

Bang Salon
Bang has a lot of things going for it—skilled stylists, chic interior space, and a full roster of top-notch services. But it's Bang's two neighborhood locations—Washington Park and Park Hill—that really set this salon apart. Readers love the cozy residential vibe, the relatively easy parking, and the access to adjacent shops and eateries. These two spots feel like integral parts of their respective neighborhoods—and that's something we can all appreciate. 1207 E. Alameda Ave., 303-282-5444; 2200 Kearney St., 720-241-0355

Top Shoe Repair
Editors' Choice

Perry Shoe Repair
Boulderites don't trust their tired old soles to just anyone—they've sworn by the Perry family's experienced hands since 1922. In fact, residents of the Republic became so addicted to Perry's that the company had to create a repairs-by-mail system for clients who moved just a little too far away. Wanna try it yourself? Go to Perrysshoe.com, fill out a repair form, drop it and your shoes in the mail, and you'll get your spiffed-up kicks back in about 14 days. 1711 15th St., Boulder, 303-443-4580

Readers' Choice

Dardano's Shoes and Repair
In fairy tales, the shoe always fits. But in the event that yours doesn't—or doesn't fit like it used to—you can depend on Dardano's. Denver residents have proudly stood behind this locally owned family business for more than 60 years to keep their glass slippers (OK, hiking boots) in shape. 1550 S. Colorado Blvd., 303-692-9355

Top Bicycle Shop
Editors' Choice

The Cherry Creek Bike Rack
There is no shortage of fine bike shops in Denver, so to pique our interest a shop has to offer something out of the ordinary. The Cherry Creek Bike Rack does just that. A bike shop for our times, the Bike Rack is the only shop in Colorado that provides free indoor bike parking for commuters—no need to worry about snow or thieves when your two-wheeler is parked safely in those cozy confines. Of course, you can get your bike tuned, rent equipment, and, yes, buy the requisite spandex and Lycra, too. 171 Detroit St., 303-388-1630

Readers' Choice

Wheat Ridge Cyclery
On those rare years when we editors don't pick Wheat Ridge Cyclery, there's got to be a good reason (see above), because this Front Range cycling mainstay is just about as good as any bike shop anywhere for nearly anything. To learn more about this local cycling shop's success story, see "Classically Denver". 7085 W. 38th Ave., Wheat Ridge, 303-424-3221

Top Health Club
Editors' Choice

Qi Athletic Club
With a wide array of wellness and fitness opportunities, including yoga, yoga-spin classes, Kinesis, cardio, free weights, and top-of-the-line training equipment, this independently owned fitness center offers a more intimate workout environment than your typical big-box gym. And Qi, which has two Denver locations, hits the right balance between a Zenlike atmosphere and a high-intensity vibe. 3121 E. Colfax Ave., 303-993-4041, www.qidenver.com; 2636 Walnut St., 303-593-1593, www.qidowntown.com

Readers' Choice

24 Hour Fitness
With about 20 metro-area locations, sweet membership deals, high-quality equipment, and a host of different classes (boxing anyone?), 24 Hour Fitness' amenities might actually make you want to work out. Multiple locations

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