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Best of Arkansas 2018

The winners and more.


When you're blue, and that describes a lot of us both emotionally and politically, it helps to think of the good things we see around us, such as the people, places and things that never let us down.

In keeping with our theme of Hollywood and happiness, this year's list includes such new categories as best cosmetic dentist (extremely important to our smiles), bowling alley (because what makes us laugh like "The Big Lebowski"?) and commercial insurance (being prepared, like for the apocalypse, is good for our nerves).

Along with the winners list, we offer features on several of our winners and throw in our own two cents on the best in life if life is in Arkansas. Like a Hot Springs dairy bar. Finding world culture in a bottle. The Mountainburger. The Art Department exhibitions. A $3 sandwich that will knock your socks off.

An ISP to love
Hyperleap offers no-hassle, blazing internet speeds.
by Lindsey Millar

Children in danger
And also in charge, in Trenton Lee Stewart's books.
by Leslie Newell Peacock

Pushing the reset button
Lisa Fischer retires – sort of.
by Stephanie Smittle

Drifting South
Acclaimed Little Rock photographer Tim Hursley has turned his camera closer to home.
by Benjamin Hardy

Don't forget the party: It starts at 6 p.m.; tickets are $40 a person or $75 a couple; buy them at


Local Entertainment
Food & Drink
Good & Services
Local Media
People & Politics

Local Entertainment


Barry Thomas

Runner-up: Sally Nixon


Trenton Lee Stewart

Runner-up: Charles Portis

Bowling alley

Dust Bowl

Runner-up: Professor Bowl


Adam Hogg

Runner-up: Brett Ihler

Country band or artist

Bonnie Montgomery

Runner-up: The Salty Dogs

Dance club

Club Sway

Runner-up: Discovery



Runner-up: Yuni Wa


Daniel Campbell

Runner-up: Mark Thiedeman

Gay bar

610 Center

Runner-up: Club Sway

Hip-hop artist or group

Big Piph

Runner-up: Rah Howard

Jazz band or artist

Rodney Block

Runner-up: Matt Treadway Trio

Late-night spot


Runner-up: Four Quarter Bar

Live music festival


Runners-up: King Biscuit (Helena-West Helena)

Live music venue

The Rev Room

Runner-up: Stickyz Rock 'n' Roll Chicken Shack

Local actor or actress

Mary Steenburgen

Runner-up: Brittany Sparkles

Local theater

The Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Runner-up: Murry's Dinner Playhouse

Movie theater

Riverdale 10 Cinema

Runner-up: Movie Tavern


Museum of Discovery

Runner-up: Arkansas Arts Center

Neighborhood festival

Hillcrest HarvestFest

Runners-up: Chili Fights in the Heights

Performing arts group

Ballet Arkansas

Runners-up: Arkansas Circus Arts


Tim Hursley

Runner-up: Katie Childs

Place for karaoke

Town Pump

Runner-up: EJ's Eats and Drinks

Place for trivia

Flying Saucer

Runner-up: Diamond Bear Brewery

Place to gamble

Oaklawn Racing & Gaming

Runner-up: Southland Park Gaming and Racing (West Memphis)


Bryan Borland

Runner-up: R.J. Looney

Rock band or artist

Amasa Hines

Runner-up: Adam Faucett

Sports bar

The Tavern Sports Grill

Runner-up: Prospect Sports Bar

Food and Drink

Arkansas-brewed beer

Lost Forty

Runner-up: Flyway Brewing Co.

Baked goods

Community Bakery

Runner-up: Boulevard Bread Co.


Boulevard Bread Co.

Runner-up: Old Mill Bread


Red Door Restaurant

Runner-up: @ the Corner

Business lunch

Cache Restaurant

Runner-up: Samantha's Taproom & Wood Grill


Catering to You

Runner-up: Trio's Restaurant

Cheese Dip

Mexico Chiquito

Runner-up: Dizzy's Gypsy Bistro


South on Main

Runner-up: Capital Bar and Grill

Food festival

Greek Food Festival

Runner-up: Food Truck Festival

French fries

Big Orange

Runner-up: David's Burgers

Happy hour

Big Orange

Runner-up: Fassler Hall

Liquor store

Colonial Wines and Spirits

Runner-up: Legacy Wine and Spirits


Big Orange

Runner-up: Purple Cow

Onion rings

Sonic Drive-In

Runner-up: Dugan's Pub

Outdoor dining

The Root Cafe

Runner-up: Brave New Restaurant


Whole Hog Cafe

Runner-up: Sims Bar-B-Que


ZAZA Fine Salad & Wood Oven Pizza Co.

Runner-up: U.S. Pizza



Runner-up: Sushi Cafe


The Root Cafe

Runner-up: 4square Deli

Wine list

Petit & Keet

Runner-up: Cache Restaurant

Goods and services


Mid-Towne Antique Mall

Runner-up: Sweet Home/Clement

Apartment complex

The Pointe Brodie Creek

Runner-up: Bowman Pointe


Bang-Up Betty (jeweler)

Runner-up: Adrian Quintanar (ceramics)

Auto dealer

Landers Toyota

Runner-up: Bale Chevrolet

Auto service

Austin Brothers Tire & Service

Runner-up: DJ's Auto Repair (North Little Rock)

Auto stereo

Arkansas Car Stereo

Runner-up: Auto Audio


Arvest Bank

Runner-up: First Security Bank


Jerry's Barber Shop

Runner-up: V's Barbershop

Bicycle shop


Runner-up: The Meteor


WordsWorth Books & Co.

Runner-up: Dickson Street Bookshop (Fayetteville)


Subaru Outback

Runner-up: Ford Fusion

Children's clothing

The Toggery

Runner-up: The Children's Place (Conway)


John Vincent (Wellness Revolution)

Runner-up: Darren Beavers

Commercial art gallery

Boswell Mourot Fine Art

Runner-up: M2 Gallery

Commercial insurance agency

Hatcher Agency

Runner-up: Stephens Insurance

Commercial real estate agency

Moses Tucker Real Estate

Runner-up: Flake & Kelley

Company to work for

Arkansas Children's Hospital

Runner-up: Youth Home Inc.

Cosmetic dentist

DJ Dailey

Runner-up: John Dean


Tom Chandler

Runner-up: Tobi Fairley

Diet/weight loss center

The Diet Center

Runner-up: Weight Watchers

Dry cleaners

Schickel's Cleaners

Runner-up: Moose Cleaners


James Eye Care

Runner-up: Burrow's and Mr. Frank's Optical

Farmers Market

Hillcrest Farmers Market

Runner-up: Little Rock Farmers Market


Tanarah Luxe Floral

Runner-up: Tipton & Hurst

Funeral home

Griffin Leggett Healey & Roth

Runner-up: Ruebel Funeral Home


Hank's Fine Furniture

Runner-up: Bassett Home Furnishings

Garden store or nursery

The Good Earth Garden Center

Runner-up: Plantopia

Gift shop

Box Turtle

Runner-up: The Crown Shop

Grocery store


Local winner: Edwards Food Giant

Runner-up: Whole Foods Market

Hair salon


Runner-up: Red Beauty Lounge

Hardware/home improvement

Fuller and Son

Runner-up: Kraftco Hardware and Building Supply

Hip clothing


Runner-up: Scarlet

Hobby shop


Runner-up: Argenta Bead Co.

Home entertainment store

Best Buy

Local winner: Arkansas Record & CD Exchange

Runner-up: Walmart

Home, life, car insurance salespeople

Charlotte Potts (State Farm, North Little Rock)

Runner-up: Jay Snider (Shelter Insurance, North Little Rock)


Capital Hotel

Runner-up: 21c Museum Hotel (Bentonville)

HVAC Repair

Middleton Heat and Air

Runner-up: Bob & Ed's Heating & Air Conditioning Co.

Internet service provider


Runner-up: Hyperleap

Investment adviser

Kelly Ross Journey (Edward Jones)

Runner-up: Aptus Financial


Sissy's Log Cabin

Runner-up: Cecil's Fine Jewelry

Landscaper/Landscape design

Chris Olsen

Runner-up: Mark Robinson


Blake Hendrix

Runner-up: Phil Kaplan


Cupids Lingerie

Runner-up: Dillard's

Massage therapist

Massage Arkansas

Runner-up: Wellness Revolution

Med spa

Rejuvenation Clinic

Runner-up: Novah Natural Therapy

Men's clothing


Runner-up: Baumans

Mobile phone


Runner-up: Verizon

Motorcycle dealer

Rock City Harley-Davidson

Runner-up: Riggs Outdoor

Music equipment

Guitar Center

Local winner: Jacksonville Guitar Center

Runner-up: Sunrise Guitars (Fayetteville)

Nail salon

Ethereal Spa

Runner-up: Heights Nail Spa

Outdoor store

Ozark Outdoor Supply

Runner-up: Gene Lockwood's

Pawn shop

Braswell & Son Pawnbrokers

Runner-up: iPawn

Pest control and termite service

Central Termite and Pest

Runner-up: Curry's Pest Control


Cornerstone Pharmacy

Runner-up: Walgreens

Physical therapist

Ortho Arkansas

Runner-up: Advanced Physical Therapy


Sanders Plumbing

Runner-up: Ray Lusk Plumbing

Private school

The Anthony School

Runner-up: Little Rock Christian Academy

Public school

Central High School

Runner-up: Forest Park Elementary

Residential real estate agency

The Janet Jones Co.

Runner-up: The Property Group

Retirement community

Parkway Village

Runner-up: Fox Ridge Assisted Living

RV/camper dealer

Moix RV Supercenter

Runner-up: Camping World



Local winner: Rock City Kicks

Runner-up: Warren's Shoes


Ava Bella Day Spa

Runner-up: Rejuvenation Day Spa

Sporting goods

Ozark Outdoor Supply

Runner-up: Academy Sports + Outdoors


7th Street Tattoos & Piercing

Runner-up: Black Cobra


The Toggery

Runner-up: The Knowledge Tree

Travel agency

Poe Travel

Runner-up: Sue Smith Vacations

Vape shop

Rogue Vapors

Runner-up: Abby Road


Hillcrest Animal Hospital

Runner-up: ALLPETS Animal Hospital

Vintage clothing

Crying Weasel Vintage

Runner-up: American Jane Vintage (Conway)

Women's clothing


Runner-up: Indigo

Yoga studio

Barefoot Studio

Runner-up: Arkansas Yoga Collective

Local Media


Arkansas Blog

Runner-up: The Mighty Rib

Instagram feed


Runner-up: @missboddington

TV meteorologist

Todd Yakoubian

Runner-up: Ed Buckner

Newspaper writer

Max Brantley

Runner-up: John Brummett

Radio personality

Heather and Poolboy

Runner-up: Lisa Fischer

Radio station

KUAR-FM, 89.1

Runner-up: Alice-FM, 107.7

TV personality

Craig O'Neill

Runner-up: Chris May

TV sports person

Steve Sullivan

Runner-up: Wess Moore

TV station

KATV, Channel 7

Runner-up: KARK, Channel 4



People and Politics


Hunter Henry

Runner-up: John Daly

Best Arkansan

Bill Clinton

Runner-up: Aaron Reddin

Best Little Rock City Board member

Kathy Webb

Runner-up: Capi Peck

Best Little Rocker

Warwick Sabin

Runner-up: Tippi McCullough


Mary Steenburgen

Runner-up: Justin Moore


Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance

Runner-up: Lucie's Place

Charity event

Eggshibition (Youth Home)

Runner-up: Little Rock Heart Ball (Arkansas Heart Association)


Gov. Asa Hutchinson

Runner-up: U.S. Congressman French Hill


Clarke Tucker

Runner-up: Kathy Webb

Misuse of taxpayer funds/property

Ten Commandments monument

Runner-up: GIF funds


The Walton Family

Runner-up: Rick Fleetwood


Clarke Tucker

Runner-up: Warwick Sabin

Worst Arkansan

State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway)

Runner-up: Jan Morgan

Worst Little Rock City Board member

Erma Hendrix

Runner-up: Joan Adcock

Worst Little Rocker

David Bazzel

Runner-up: Bill Dillard


Cheap date

Big Dam Bridge

Runner-up: I-30 Speedway

Golf course

Pleasant Valley Country Club

Runner-up: Rebsamen Golf Course

Gym/place to work out

Little Rock Athletic Club

Runner-up: 10 Fitness

Hiking trail

Pinnacle Mountain State Park

Runner-up: Petit Jean Mountain


Little Rock Yacht Club

Runner-up: Heber Springs Marina (Greers Ferry Lake)


Burns Park

Runner-up: Allsopp Park

Place to canoe/kayak/tube

Buffalo River

Runner-up: Caddo River

Place to mountain bike

Burns Park

Runner-up: Mount Kessler (Fayetteville)

Place to swim

Little Rock Racquet Club

Runner-up: Jim Dailey Fitness & Aquatic Center


The Lodge at Mount Magazine

Runner-up: Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa

Weekend getaway

Eureka Springs

Runner-up: Hot Springs

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