Willard Bay Gardens
Since 1988, Barney Barnett and his wife, Della, have operated this retail nursery in Box Elder County specializing in perennials. Their catalog lists hundreds upon hundreds of perennials, including Utah favorites like ornamental oregano, aster “Monch,” helenium, heliopsis, helianthus, hibiscus, Ceratostigma plumbago, Gaura, garden Phlox, Rudbeckia, fall sedum and fall aster. You’ll also find waterwise plants, ornamental grasses and hardy plants. Every March, you can visit Willard Bay and order your flower baskets. They’ll show you your options, sell you the plants and then plant them for you (or you can if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty). Then they’ll grow your baskets in their greenhouses until you pick them up in early May.
7095 S. Highway 89, Willard, 435-723-1834, WillardBayGardens.com
BEST BREAKFAST & BRACELETS
Red Rock Inn Bed & Breakfast
Utahns have a primordial need to visit Zion National Park. It restores our sanity and reminds us why we live in Utah. And there is no place better to rest up and prepare for a day in the park than at this unbelievably cozy bed & breakfast in nearby Springdale. The inn, one mile from the entrance of Zion, features five cottages, all with Jacuzzi tubs and handmade quilts on the beds and breathtaking views of the red-rock cliffs of Zion. Breakfast baskets are delivered each morning, consisting of an egg dish, breads and muffins, seasonal fruit, juice and hot drinks. The office features a gallery with hand-crafted jewelry made by one of the owners.
998 Zion Park Blvd., Springdale, 435-772-3139, RedRockInn.com
BEST YEAST FOR THE LEAST
Lots of home brewers know about a certain shop on State Street where they can buy supplies. But not all are aware of another shop in town that keeps to itself and quietly provides just about everything needed to brew beer and wine at home. Shhhh … home-brewers are kind of a secret society in Utah. It’s OK for shops to sell brewing supplies but not OK for customers to use them to ferment grains and grapes with a license. So just pretend we never had this talk, OK? In the meantime, take a walk on the wild side to Art’s unassuming supply shop and you’ll discover why competition is a good thing. Not only is Art willing to share his expertise, but he’s a fun character to get to know and one of the city’s forefathers of brewing—after Brigham Young, that is.
642 S. Washington St., Salt Lake City, 801-533-8029, Users.Qwest.net/~ArtsBrew/
BEST KITCHEN APPLIANCE
BEST WAY TO GET FRAMED
Kathy Young and Gudrun Owen of Framer’s Nook, located around the corner from Carl’s Café in Cottonwood Heights, are knowledgeable about color and art trends. They truly care about what you’re having framed and take time to recommend matting and treatments to work with your image and your décor. Plus they can work with any budget. From prints and posters to shadow-boxed keepsakes, they know their stuff and can do justice to your objet d’art. With hundreds of moulding samples and matboards to choose from, the creative possibilities are endless.
2338 Fort Union Blvd., Cottonwood Heights, 801-733-0058
BEST HAND-PRINTED THREADS
Full Spectrum Clothing
Visit Etsy, the online retailer for handcrafted goods, and you’ll meet up with Clinton, Utah-based Full Spectrum Clothing. Sonja Evans’ hand-printed clothes, kitchen accessories and pillows are getting rave reviews. She started her business by brainstorming how she could stay home and raise her daughter. She began making wrap-style baby carriers and baby clothes, naming her line “beanchild,” after her “little bean.” She taught herself to manually screen-print in her garage and stretch her own screens. Look her up and dig her “random acts of creativity.”
BEST EASY, BREEZY HAIR SALON
Mid City Salon
At any given time of day, Teresa and her team of Mid City stylists are busy resolving bad-hair days for Broadway denizens. It’s a salon well-suited for the impulsive among us who prefer to walk-in. Getting seen for a hair or beard trim, brow wax, manicure or pedicure is often easily accomplished. No brooding stylist will rain on your parade saying there’s a two-month wait to get in. But, conversely, don’t be surprised if your stylist cuts two heads of hair while you wait for your highlights to kick in. It’s always a busy day in the neighborhood.
44 W. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-363-3223
BEST AT “GOT YOUR BACK”
Stephen J. Warner, M.D.
When City Weekly circulation manager Larry Carter began experiencing chronic pain in his lower back, he went to see Dr. Stephen Warner. Carter suffered from a narrowing of the space around the spinal cord called spinal stenosis, and it required surgery. This is not a procedure any patient approaches lightly, knowing that one possible result of the surgery is paralysis. But in Carter’s view, nobody had his back better than Warner, a doctor whose specialty is spine surgery. The doctor tells it like it is, Carter says, and shines above the rest as an advocate who ensures his patients receive the best of care.
440 D St., No. 206, 801-408-2900, ESurgeon.com/Warner
BEST CLEAN SWEEP
Need a housekeeper who is detailed, fearless, willing to go where no broom has gone before—even clean your windows and wash your laundry if need be? Kellee is that person. Take it from the head of a very busy household with two-working parents and two-active middle-school kids. Kellee is family tested. Better get her while you can because she’s always in demand.
BEST LEGAL (?) SUPPLIERS
The Beer Nut
It’s been legal for unlicensed beer enthusiasts to brew up to 200 gallons yearly of custom suds in their own free American homes since 1978—but not so much in Utah. A bill was introduced in the 2008 Utah Legislature to finally decriminalize the act of spending months brewing a couple of gallons of the perfect pale ale in your kitchen (not exactly a bootlegging epidemic), but it was held up and eventually allowed to go flat with no resolution. That said, The Beer Nut has all the supplies you need to make a nice batch of root beer without obtaining a license and a $10,000 state bond.
1200 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-531-8182, BeerNut.com
A good contractor asks the right questions. He or she not only understands the drawings and the design intent, but is thorough, organized, thinks ahead, meets the timeline and payment schedules, handles change orders, listens to the client, and then says: “We’ll take care of it.” That pretty well describes licensed and insured contractor Mel Barry. So why is he the best? Because, in addition to all of the above, he shows up. Call him before the busy season kicks in.
BEST SPANISH SCISSORS
Guatemalan Abedelena Ibarra emigrated to Salt Lake City six years ago from Italy where she trained to be a stylist. Her salon is a bustling affair just off State Street, full of mothers and their children awaiting their turn. Whether it’s the Italian influence or just her own natural skills, Ibarra cuts hair so quickly, you’re done almost before you sit down. She has a way of sizing up your mop and then flowing over your scalp with her scissors with ease and precision. For those who want to practice their Spanish, Nuova Imagine offers the additional pleasure of Ibarra’s central American accent and her partner’s Mexican tones. It’s a simple, unadorned and charming establishment, lit up by the sheer passion Ibarra brings to her clients’ hair. 145 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-328-4511
BEST ROCK & ROLL PRE-SHOWS
The Heavy Metal Shop
Whenever road-rockers like the Drive-By Truckers, Michael Dean Damron, Hell’s Belles, Kleveland, Neutral Boy and others hit Salt Lake City, you can count on an afternoon in-store appearance at the evil-peddlin’ Heavy Metal Shop on Exchange Place. And not just a sit-down-and-sign-stuff session, either: Full-on (and free) electric sets behind the shop’s counter make for loud and intimate face-time you’ll never get at Best Buy or Hot Topic. Before you go to the bar, don’t forget to catch the matinee.
63 Exchange Place, Salt Lake City, 801-467-7071, HeavyMetalShop.com