Residents choose Best Of The Heights

Tom Ianni of Academy Music, which won the Board Choice Award. All photos by Cedar Center MotoPhoto.

More than 600 residents in Cleveland Heights and University Heights voted in 21 categories, online and by ballot in the Heights Observer, for the eighth annual FutureHeights Best of the Heights Awards.

The awards were presented at Dobama Theatre on Oct. 17, where more than 120 people gathered for the ceremony and reception.

Winners in four coveted categories were the Tavern Company for Best Cleveland Heights Business, Bialy's Bagels for Best University Heights Business, Sweetie Fry for Best New Business and the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for Best Heights Spirit. Academy Music, an anchor in the Mayfield and Warrensville Business District, received the Board Choice Award.

Angee Shaker, director of communications for the school district, was "very excited and proud" that the district was voted Best Heights Spirit. She especially wanted to recognize Kristen Hughes, the district's athletic director, and the athletic teams for their school spirit in athletics and involvement in the community. She said that she believes the district's "Tiger Proud and Bully Free" movement has contributed to a rise in school spirit, and also thanked the alumni foundation for its continued support of the district.

Shaker began working for the district in 2009. "[The Heights] is such a strong, diverse, engaged community that pushes everyone to be their best,” she said. “We are all Tiger Nation."

Lloyd Bell, president of the FutureHeights board of directors, has two sons who attend CH-UH schools. “My sons have gotten an excellent education in the system and a lot of attention from their teachers and the administration," he said.

Keith Logan, who owns Sweetie Fry, said, “Cleveland Heights is a spectacular place because of its racial, socioeconomic and intergenerational diversity. Sweetie Fry would not be understood in other communities, but when the business opened on Oct. 1, 2011, people immediately understood and were excited.” A resident for most of his life, he believes Cleveland Heights is a great place to raise a family, and his three grown children who love returning to the Heights.

Chris Armington, owner of the Tavern Company, was very excited about winning the award for Best Cleveland Heights Business for the second year in a row. "The food quality [at the Tavern Company] is fresh and unique, and many of our customers are so loyal," said Armington. He has been the owner of the Tavern Company since 2009, and had worked at Brennan's Colony for 12 years prior to that.

View video of the awards ceremony at https://vimeo.com/52019525 . The Best of the Heights are:

Best New Business
Winner: Sweetie Fry
Finalists:
The Wine Spot
The BottleHouse

Best Pizza
Winner: Dewey’s Pizza
Finalists:
Marotta’s
Geraci’s Restaurant

Best Curb Appeal
Winner: Anatolia Café
Finalists:
The Tavern Company
Luna Bakery Café

Best Ethnic Eats
Winner: Anatolia Café
Finalists:
Café Tandoor
Aladdin’s Eatery

Best Coffee
Winner: Phoenix Coffee
Finalists:
Starbuck’s
The Stone Oven

Best Place for a Sandwich
Winner: The Stone Oven
Finalists:
Tommy’s Restaurant
The Tavern Company
Melt Bar and Grilled

Best Contractor
Winner: Skettle Electric
Finalists:
The Beard Group
Monroe Constructs
Reilly Painting & Contracting

Best Place to Study
Winner: Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library
Finalists:
Phoenix Coffee
Starbucks
Lee Road Library

Best Heights Spirit
Winner: Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District
Finalists:
Steve Pressor, owner of Big Fun Toy Store
Tommy Fello, owner of Tommy’s Restaurant

Best Place for Music
Winner: The Grog Shop
Finalists:
Cain Park
Nighttown

Best Bar, Pub or Tavern
Winner: Brennan’s Colony
Finalists:
The Tavern Company
The BottleHouse

Best Place to Take your Kids
Winner: Sweetie Fry
Finalists:
Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park
Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library

Best Place to Express your Spirituality
Winner: Atma Center
Finalists:
Communion of Saints Parish
Unitarian Universalist Society of Cleveland
Fairmount Presbyterian Church

Best Place to Take a Date
Winner: Cedar Lee Theatre
Finalists:
Nighttown
Taste

Best Place to Get in Shape
Winner: Cleveland Heights Community Center
Finalists:
Jazzercise
Atma Center

Best Place for Fashion
Winner: Revive Fair Trade
Finalists:
Blush Boutique
American Apparel

Best Barber Shop
Winner: Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa
Finalists:
Crazy Mullets
Adam’s Barber Shop

Best Salon or Spa
Winner: Shawn Paul Salon
Finalists:
Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa
Crazy Mullets

Best Place for an Oil Change
Winner: Washington & Lee Service
Finalists:
Alternative Solution Car Care
Lusty Wrench
Simon’s Auto Service

Best University Heights Business
Winner: Bialy’s Bagels
Finalists:
Whole Foods Market
Geraci’s Restaurant

Best Cleveland Heights Business
Winner: The Tavern Company
Finalists:
Tommy’s Restaurant
Ten Thousand Villages
Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa

Board Choice Award
Academy Music

Simone Quartell

Simone Quartell, a Heights High graduate, is a student at Cleveland State University and a Heights Observer intern.

Read More on Business
Volume 5, Issue 11, Posted 2:24 PM, 10.23.2012