By D. David Kinney 

Every year FENUXE invites the gay community to vote for the best businesses and organizations in Atlanta. The competition was tough in 2014, however, the votes are in and the results are here! Join us in celebrating the 2014 FENUXE 50 – the Best of Atlanta winners:

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Best Shopping

Lenox Square Mall

With 1.5 million square feet of retail space, Lenox Square Mall is Atlanta’s premier shopping destination. The mall originally opened its doors on August 3, 1959 and looks incredibly different than it does today. Back then it was an open-air shopping center and featured a bowling alley, indoor golf driving range and a grocery store called Colonial Stores. Now you can find world-class upscale retail and anchor department stores including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s Zara, Diesel, Ralph Lauren and Neiman Marcus.

Best Hair Salon

Bubbles Salon

Out with the old and in with a new do at Bubbles Salon in the Ansley II Shopping Center on Monroe Drive. It’s easy to see why Atlanta loves Bubbles with their super convenient online booking and a wide range of services. Your hair is definitely in the care of skilled hands at Bubbles. A men’s haircut is only $20 and getting the grey out only costs $25. Is your stache in need of a trim? You can get a beard and mustache trim for only eight bucks.

Best Dog Groomer

Piedmont Bark

Happy yelps from playing pups at Piedmont Bark explains why it’s a perennial Atlanta favorite. Dogs dig this canine hotspot and the groomers do great work. Your pooch may not find getting groomed to be their favorite outing, but Piedmont Bark goes above and beyond to make sure each pet is cared for and has a good experience. If you’re looking for doggie daycare or boarding (for that Memorial Day weekend trip coming up) they’ve also got you covered.

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Boy Next Door

From the perfect bathing suit for the upcoming pool season to wicked cute graphic tees, you’ll find everything you need for the perfect outfit at Boy Next Door. Plus, they’ve got two convenient locations on Piedmont Avenue and at Ansley Mall. What’s best is that Boy Next Door has been supporting Atlanta’s gay community and keeping us fashionably clothed since 1980. Being named “Best of Atlanta” right before your 35th birthday – that’s one fashionable legacy.

Best Home Furnishings Store

Intaglia

With an unparalleled assortment of beautiful and affordable furniture, Intaglia Home Collection is Atlanta’s favorite spot to shop for new home furnishings. The store’s success stems from its design philosophy that aims to introduce customers to furniture they’ll love. It’s a simple philosophy, but it’s effective and has kept customers returning since it opened in 1999. If you need some advice on designing your dream home talk to their incredible designers JoJuana Davis and Bobby Krechnyak.

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Best Event

Atlanta Pride

There’s no other event in Atlanta quite like Atlanta Pride. It’s a week-long celebration of our community and our great city that rivals the best Pride celebrations in the world. Every year the Atlanta Pride Committee continues to up the ante with a bigger and better event. Plus, our annual Pride Parade is one of the oldest in country. This year’s 44th annual Atlanta Pride Festival in Piedmont Park will take place on October 11 and 12.

Best TV Show Filmed In Georgia

The Walking Dead

We asked which TV show filmed in Georgia was your favorite and “The Walking Dead” won by a country mile. It wasn’t even a contest because Rick, Carl and the always lovable Walkers blew the other shows out of the water. With this many fans no wonder the show is the undead belle of the TV ratings ball. And what’s not to love? There’s more zombie-killing action than you can shake a stick at and it takes place here in our neck of the woods. We only have one bone to pick with the show. There’s no way we can wait until next season to learn what is going to happen at Terminus!

Best Local TV News Program

11 Alive

The news team at Channel 11 has been serving Atlanta since 1951, but they weren’t always WXIA 11 Alive. In fact, they were originally an ABC affiliate and the name 11 Alive didn’t come about until 1976. Today you’ll find Brenda Wood and DeMarco Morgan anchoring the news desk and keeping Atlantans well-informed. They’ve become increasingly more popular over the past few years while they “hold the powerful accountable.”

Best Gay Character On TV

Cameron Tucker – Modern Family

When three families become one hilarity and heartbreak are sure to follow. “Modern Family” on ABC follows the Pritchett, Dunphy and Tucker families as they navigate life and extended family relations. However, it’s one character, Cameron Tucker, that has Atlantans falling in love and continually laughing week after week. Six different gay TV characters were nominated in this category, but Tucker garnered over 50 percent of the votes even with the crowded field. Keep it up, Cam!

Best Music Festival

Music Midtown

Even with massive amounts of rain during last year’s Music Midtown, the festival proved that great music will keep Atlantans grooving in Piedmont Park no matter what. The two-day festival features a lineup that spans multiple stages and is always a well-organized and extremely fun event. Just don’t delay in getting your tickets because this major music event is always popular. The 2014 headliners haven’t been announced, however, FENUXE will feature all of the details when they’re released.

Best Movie Theatre

Landmark Theatres Midtown Art Cinemas

Grab a cocktail from the bar and enjoy a flick at this great theatre on Monroe Drive in Atlanta. Midtown Art Cinemas has been bringing the movies to Atlanta since 1987 and they’re still pleasing audiences. It may not be as big as the mega theatres OTP, but don’t let its size fool you. In addition to all of the latest Hollywood blockbusters you can also catch a wide range of indie films on their eight screens. They’ve even got DLP digital projection and sound so your movie experience is crystal clear and pitch perfect.

Best Live Performance

Sing For Your Life

Featuring singers from all over the area, Sing For Your Life continues to wow Atlanta audiences with great music and an engaging live show. Contestants are grouped with show mentors Barry Brandon, JL Rodriguez and Michael Robinson to hone their craft and advance in the competition. Sing For Your Life Season 2 recently wrapped up and singer Christy Clark was named the winner. Look for her story in an upcoming issue of FENUXE Magazine.

Best Gay Chorus

Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus

The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus is a beloved Atlanta institution and has been filling our lives with music for 33 seasons. If you’ve never experienced the joy of an AGMC show mark June 27 and 28 on your calendar. The guys are bringing us the best of Cher in their upcoming show “Cher Determination: You Better Sit Down, Kids!” and you don’t want to miss it. Keep singing, fellas!

Best Theatre

The Fox Theatre

If you love a good show odds are you’re a regular at the Fox Theatre. The former movie palace features a beautiful Moorish design and seats 4,678 Atlantans in its large auditorium.  The building is definitely one of the most interesting in Atlanta and an attraction in itself, but its the great variety of shows at the Fox that keep patrons coming back. In one season you can see everything from Eddie Izzard live onstage to Disney’s “The Lion King.”

Best Weekly Event

The Other Show

After dominating Atlanta’s Dragnique competition two years ago, Edie Cheezbuger expanded her drag artistry with the creation of “The Other Show” at Jungle Atlanta. It’s an avant-garde, highly-conceptual show that has captivated Atlanta and attracted a fiercely loyal fan base. Ms. Cheezburger and the glamorous cast continue to push Atlanta drag higher, and we can’t wait to see what “The Other Show” will have in store for us next.

Best Concert Venue

Tabernacle

The Tabby is a pretty wicked spot for concerts in Atlanta, but did you know it was originally a Baptist Tabernacle church? It didn’t turn into a performance venue until the Olympics came and developers turned it into a House of Blues. Dan Aykroyd, Jim Belushi and John Goodman, performing as The Blues Brothers, were first people to perform in the repurposed Atlanta landmark.

Best Comedy Venue

Laughing Skull Lounge

Some comedy lounges are more about alcohol sales and food than stand-up. If that’s your scene this isn’t your comedy club. Laughing Skull Lounge brings the best stand-up comedians (including Margaret Cho and lots of gay performers) to Midtown for side-splitting hilarious shows. If you can’t get your funny bone tickled here it may have died. Think you could be the next great gay comedian? Try one of their 4 week intense comedy courses that ends with you doing two open mic nights.

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Best Neighborhood Bar

Burkhart’s Pub

This category was a true horse race. Burkhart’s Pub, Blake’s on the Park and TEN Atlanta were neck and neck until the very end. However, it was Burkhart’s Pub who ultimately received the most votes. With friendly bartenders, great food, top-notch drag entertainment, stiff cocktails and a spacious patio, Burkhart’s has everything you could possibly want from your favorite neighborhood bar.

Best Place To Dance

TEN Atlanta

After the votes were tallied it’s clear that Atlanta has several favorite hotspots for dancing the night away. However, it was TEN Atlanta who came out ahead by five percentage points. TEN regularly throws great parties that start up after the restuarants transforms into a nightclub at 10 p.m. Another great thing about TEN Atlanta is their new menu. If you haven’t tried their new dishes you should definitely get a table this weekend. Just dance!

Best Bar Entertainment

Burkhart’s Pub

From the biggest names in drag entertainment to Atlanta’s newest artists, Burkhart’s Pub continues to offer the best bar entertainment in gay Atlanta. Last year we partied with Shangela and only a few weeks ago Raja was thrilling a packed house. That’s in addition to their incredible weekly shows which include the Armorettes, Ruby Redd, Phoenix, Destiny Brooks, Justice Taylor, Monica Van Pelt and Darlene Majewski.

Best Sports Bar

Woofs

Whether you’re cheering on the Bulldogs or Braves, four out of every five FENUXE 50 voters said Woofs is the best place to catch the action. They have plenty of TVs so you can always keep up with the score and lots of great guys to enjoy the game with. You can even get your own match going with a round of billiards if there aren’t any games on.

Best Bar For Bears

Atlanta Eagle

For the past 27 years the Atlanta Eagle has been Georgia’s go to leather, Levi and bear bar. From the Southern Bears’ monthly night to the Atlanta Bear Fest and weekend cubcake nights, the Atlanta Eagle is the place for bears to see and be seen. Don’t miss Jockstrap Sister Twister night with the Atlanta Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

Best Adult Entertainment

Swinging Richards

Banana hammocks, jockstraps and au naturale, oh my! Lose your inhibitions and marvel at the incredible beefcake on display because Swinging Richards is gay Atlanta’s favorite when it comes to adult entertainment. Get those bills ready cause there is always a gorgeous man on stage who will catch your eye.

Best Overall Value

Burkhart’s Pub

Burkhart’s Pub literally ran away with the crown in this category. They received nearly double the amount of votes as the runner-up and it’s easy to see why. There is never a cover charge and they’ve got an entertaining event going on every night. Plus, you can enjoy an entire evening at Burkhart’s Pub with dinner from their tasty menu followed by drinks and a show.

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Best Gym

Urban Body Fitness

If you think all gyms are the same you’ve never experienced Urban Body Fitness in Midtown. From an extensive selection of cardio and strength training equipment to group classes and top-notch personal trainers, Urban Body Fitness has what you need to meet your fitness goals. You can also receive chiropractic care on-site and take advantage of their tanning options.

Best Gay Organization

GLAAD

In this category there were several nominees vying for the top spot with close vote totals. However, it was GLAAD who narrowly edged out AID Atlanta and Lost-N-Found. GLAAD advocates for the LGBT community and works toward building support for equality. They’re also monitor news and entertainment media outlets and respond when they fail to fairly and accurately depict our community. Keep up the great work!

Best Charitable Organization

Lost-N-Found Youth

All of this year’s nominated charities received lots of votes, however, the race came down to Lost-N-Found Youth and AID Atlanta in the end. Both are wonderful organizations, but there can only be one winner. Many Atlantans learn about Lost-N-Found Youth from their incredibly fun and successful “Big Gay Game Show” fundraiser at Jungle Atlanta, however, the organization is beloved by our community for their work behind-the-scenes helping Atlanta’s homeless gay youth.

Best Gay Rights Advocate

Georgia Equality

With gay rights in Georgia taking center stage over the past few months (and hopefully more so in the future) Georgia Equality’s work has become more important than ever. In fact, Georgia Equality was instrumental in preventing recent anti-gay “Religious Freedom” bills from passing in the Georgia House and Senate. They’re our Georgia gay rights advocates and they’re doing a great job. Kudos y’all!

Best Gay & Gay-Friendly Sports League

Hotlanta Softball League

The Atlanta Rainbow Trout gave Hotlanta Softball League a run for its money, however, Hotlanta got the win on the last day with a final spike in votes. The league was founded in 1981 as a nonprofit and for the past 33 summers they’ve welcomed gay and straight players alike to suit up. Besides, who can resist guys in gym shorts and baseball pants?

Best Sports Team

Atlanta Bucks

“The Bucks appreciate the support we receive from our community and are excited to be recognized as best sports team!  We are currently gearing up for our biggest fundraiser of the year – The Purple Dress Run on May 10. Money raised will benefit Lost-N-Found Youth and help send the Bucks down under to Sydney, Australia to defend our title at the Biennial Bingham Cup Rugby Tournament,” team president Jason Parris tells FENUXE.

Best Neighborhood

Midtown

It came down to only a few votes and Midtown narrowly edged out East Atlanta for the win. Both neighborhoods are beautifully diverse and offer lots of options to work, live and play. However, no other Atlanta neighborhood is as gay as Midtown. It’s got the corner of gay and gayer (Piedmont and 10th Street) where you can get a great meal from one of the tasty dining spots nearby and party the night away. Did we mention Piedmont Park? Midtown has it all.

Best Local Art

Legendary Children Atlanta

The gay Southern artists behind Legendary Children Atlanta are on a mission to promote acceptance of the LGBT community through art. They document and celebrate Atlanta’s young drag entertainers in their artistic works that range from performance art to photography, film, music and writing. The show was originally featured as part of Atlanta Celebrates Photography and later ran for two months at Gallery 1526.

Best Medical Clinic

AbsoluteCARE

AbsoluteCARE makes keeping healthy a lot easier with their wide array of medical services. Under one conveniently located roof you’ll find bilingual primary care, a pharmacy, mental health services, its own CLIA certified laboratory, chiropractic care, after-hours urgent care and Board Certified Infectious Disease physicians. “We are a team that is committed to providing the highest level of care to patients and we look forward to working with you,” AbsoluteCARE tells its patients.

Best Dentist

Chip Hill, DDS

You’ve got to keep those pearly whites in good health and dentist Chip Hill is helping Atlanta do that at his Peachtree Street practice. From teeth cleanings to root canals, dentist Chip Hill has the expertise and state-of-the-art technology to keep you comfortable and smiling. If you want to see some examples of his work check out the smile gallery on his website.

Best Vision Care

Ansley Eye Care

Eyesight not what it used to be? It may be time to visit Dr. Reena Gupta and Dr. Blair Lamey at Ansley Eye Care in Midtown. They combine top-of-the-line eye care technology with all of the latest eyewear styles making this Atlanta’s best one stop shop for your eyes. If you’re located near Vinings check out their second location called Atlanta Eye Shop.

Best Pet Supply Store

Pet Supermarket – Ansley Mall

If you live or work in Midtown odds are you’re familiar with Pet Supermarket even if you don’t have a pet. They’re the guys at Ansley Mall who regularly feature pets available for adoption in front of their store. It’s almost impossible to drive through Ansley without seeing their cute snouts. Whether you’re looking for dog food, cat nip, tropical fish or play toys, you’ll find what you need at Pet Supermarket.

Best Gay Dance Group

Hotlanta Squares

Put on your cowboy boots and get to steppin’ cause Hotlanta Squares is Atlanta’s best gay dance group. The group brings Modern Western Square Dance to the LGBT community with classes and fun events throughout the year. Their next event, Dancing at the Hanger, will be at Briscoe Field at the Gwinnett County Airport on April 26 starting at 6 p.m. with a pot luck supper.

Best Veterinary Clinic

Briarcliff Animal Clinic

When your furry best friend needs medical attention you want to go to the best vet. Hands down Briarcliff Animal Clinic ran away in this race and got the overwhelming majority of the votes. For over 50 years their passion for pets, quality of care and affordable prices have earned them a loyal pack of patients. You can visit one of their three locations in Atlanta, Sandy Springs and College Park.

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Best Atlanta Attraction

Georgia Aquarium

Who has the largest aquarium in the world? Atlanta, that’s who! Explore Georgia Aquarium’s exhibits that feature over 100,000 animals in over 10 million gallons of water. If you haven’t experienced the majesty and grace of the peaceful tiger shark floating just feet away from you we suggest heading to the attraction now. Coming in only a few votes behind the Georgia Aquarium was the Atlanta Botanical Garden. We don’t think you can go wrong either way.

Best Day Trip From Atlanta

Helen, GA

Pack the Griswold family into the station wagon and enjoy the best day trip from Atlanta to the charming Bavarian Alps replica town of Helen, Georgia. Stroll down its cobblestone alleys past old-world towers and architecture that will make Atlanta feel thousands of miles away. Don’t miss your chance to see the beautiful Anna Ruby Falls nearby as well. This is a perfect day trip, weekend getaway or fun date option.

Best Gay Outdoor Group

Wilderness Network of Georgia

The Wilderness Network of Georgia is a group of great guys who enjoy taking outdoor trips all over America and sometimes even abroad. Members plan curated adventures based on their interests and other members can sign up for the trips they’d like to join. With over three hundred guys participating there are always lots of different trips going on that range from intense outdoor adventure to something more easy going like outdoor grilling.

Best Car Service

Uber

Uber is providing Atlantans a new way to hire a car, and it’s clear from the FENUXE 50 voting results that the service is well-liked. It received over 80 percent of the votes in its category. And why not? The Uber app is very easy to use and UberX costs less than the dirty old cabs that are sketchy and unreliable. However, unlike traditional taxis Uber charges its customers more during peak demand times.

Best Car Dealership

Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead

Whether you’re looking for a new or used luxury car, Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead can help you find your dream car while providing unparalleled customer service. Getting your car serviced? Treat yourself to a fresh sandwich or salad from their Café Benz. You’ve got to try their great coffee! When a dealership starts off by saying your happiness if their guarantee it’s easy to see why Mercedes-Benz of Buckhead was voted the best of Atlanta.

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Best Patio

Joe’s on Juniper

What’s a warm Atlanta day without a few glorious hours with friends on the best patio in Atlanta at Joe’s on Juniper. From Sunday Funday to summer beer busts, Joe’s patio is always packed with gay guys and girls sipping delicious cocktails and noshing on tasty tavern fare. The patio is also dog-friendly so you can bring your sweetie, bestie and fido.

Best Restaurant For A First Date

The Optimist

There’s something special about The Optimist. Yes, the food is absolutely incredible and the staff members are warm and welcoming. But it’s something else. It’s the entire experience. Few restaurants excel at providing a stellar experience from start to finish, but these guys make it look easy. Visit this Howell Mill dining oasis and treat yourself to the seafood that is making other Atlanta restaurants step up their game.

Best Foodie Spot

Your DeKalb Farmers Market

Since 1977 Your Dekalb Farmers Market has been providing high quality food at competitive prices. It’s current building offers 140,000 sq. ft. of items from all over the world including products made fresh on-site. If you haven’t tried their handmade pasta you’re in for a treat. It’s located in Decatur and is certainly worth the drive. If you want to take the bus it’s super easy. Just catch the number 36 and it will take you all of the way there.

Best Cocktail

10th & Piedmont

If you’re looking for the best vodka list in Atlanta look no further. 10th & Piedmont has an impressive variety of vodkas and they work them into superb cocktails every day. If you’re looking for a refreshing cocktail to enjoy this spring on a warm day try the cherry blossom. It’s made with Breckenridge vodka, orchard cherry liqueur, angostura bitters and splashes of cranberry and orange juice.

Best Brunch

Radial Cafe

Is it the yummy homemade ketchup or scrumptious sweet potato hash? Maybe it’s Radial’s commitment to farm-to-table dining and local ingredients. Whatever it is – it is delicious! Everything we’ve tried off the menu has been fantastic and their full bar makes brunch even better. Worried about a long wait on the weekends? You can call ahead and get on the list before you leave home.

Best BBQ

Fox Bros. BBQ

Roll down your car window when you get close to Fox Bros. BBQ and follow the delicious smell of smoked and grilled meat. These brothers know how to work their meat, and their sauce is so good you can find it at stores all over Atlanta. From their super tasty smoked chicken salad sandwich to the tender pulled pork, you can’t go wrong with anything on the Fox Bros. menu.

Best Dog-Friendly Patio

Henry’s Midtown Tavern

Henry’s goes all out in making you and your dog feel welcome on their big patio. The restaurant is even named after the owner’s dog. Your furry friend will get their own water bowl and servers even walk around with treats saying hello. Add that to their delicious menu and refreshing cocktails and it’s easy to see why Henry’s Midtown Tavern is Atlanta’s favorite dog-friendly patio.

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