And the 2023 Best of the Heights awards go to . . .

Michael Herschman, chef and owner of MOJO World Eats & Drinks, with FutureHeights Executive Director Kristine Pagsuyoin. MOJO won Best Cleveland Heights Restaurant or Bar. 

FutureHeights established its annual Best of the Heights Awards program 18 years ago to recognize the unique attributes of Cleveland Heights and University Heights businesses, and their contributions to the local economy. Voting for this year's winners began Feb. 1 and concluded March 15, with a nearly three-fold increase in participation compared with last year. 
FutureHeights, Cleveland Heights’ community development corporation, creates the categories, distributes the survey (in print and online) and tallies the results. It expanded the award categories this year to include trade services.

Winners and runners-up comprise longtime fan favorites, as well as new businesses—or businesses new to the awards.

Nova's Performing Arts, a dance studio owned by Alicia Sloan, won the award for Best Place to Take Kids. In a full-circle twist, Sloan began her training as a child at The Dance Studio on Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. 
MOJO World Eats & Drinks won this year’s Best Cleveland Heights Restaurant or Bar. When informed of the prize, owner Michael Herschman said, "The whole MOJO World Eats & Drinks family is extremely grateful and hopes this fine community will continue to support local businesses, eateries and bars. We have a lot to look forward to here in the Heights, and the journey begins with the fine folks who live in the Heights!” 

Both Sophie La Gourmande and Nubeigel, situated across the street from each other in the Cedar Lee Business District, garnered many votes and much praise (multiple mentions of "must-try" beet-infused lattes at the former, and perfectly executed bagel chew at the latter), in the category of Best New Cleveland Heights Restaurant or Bar. 

For the third year in a row, Bialy's Bagels won Best University Heights Business, followed closely by neighbor Geraci's Restaurant. 

“I want to congratulate all of the Best of the Heights winners and encourage people to shop locally,” said Kristine Pagsuyoin, executive director of FutureHeights. “FutureHeights recognizes how important it is to support our small businesses and looks forward to growing our local business outreach programs in the near future.” 

A notable takeaway from this year's voting is that Heights residents enjoy a good laugh. In the categories of Best Place to Recharge and Best Place to Pamper Yourself—categories whose results were dominated by salons and yoga studios—a number of respondents named their favorite Heights watering holes. 

Winners received awards to display at their businesses, and will be recognized at the FutureHeights May 4 open house event, which the community is invited to attend. Visit ( for details. 

Each person who submitted a ballot was entered into a drawing to win one of four gift-certificate packages to Heights businesses. The winners of this year's raffle will be named at the May 4 event.                                              

If you are a Heights business owner who'd like to learn more about the Best of the Heights, and other FutureHeights programs that support the local economy, e-mail, or call 216-320-1423.

Without further ado, here are the winners and finalists of the 2023 Best of the Heights Awards:

Best Cleveland Heights Restaurant or Bar:
Winner – MOJO World Eats & Drink
Runner-Up – Tommy’s 

Best Cleveland Heights Business (other):
Winner – Green Tara Yoga

Runner-Up - Mac's Backs - Books on Coventry

Best New Cleveland Heights Restaurant or Bar:
Winner – Sophie La Gourmande
Runner-Up - Nubeigel

Best New Cleveland Heights Business (other):
Winner – Lotus Flower Yoga Collective
Runner-Up – Made Cleveland

Best University Heights Business:
Winner – Bialy’s Bagels
Runner-Up – Geraci’s Restaurant

Yummiest Delectables:
Winner – Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates
Runner-Up – Luna Bakery Cafe

Coziest Atmosphere:
Winner – Gigi’s
Runner-Up – Quintana’s Speakeasy

Coolest Vibe:
Winner – Green Tara Yoga
Runner-Up – Sophie La Gourmande

Best Place to Work Out:
Winner – Green Tara Yoga
Runner-Up – Lotus Flower Yoga Collective

Best Place to Get Pampered (hair):
Winner – Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa
Runner-Up – Shawn Paul

Best Place to Get Pampered (nails):
Winner – Quintana’s Barber & Dream Spa
Runner-Up – Shawn Paul

Best Place to Get Pampered (other spa services):
Winner – Quintana’s Drama & Dream Spa
Runner-Up – Shawn Paul

Best Place to Recharge:
Winner – Green Tara Yoga
Runner-Up – Lotus Flower Yoga Collective

Best Place to Define Your Style:
Winner – Avalon Exchange
Runner-Up – Passport to Peru

Best Place to Take Kids:
Winner – Nova's Performing Arts
Runner-Up – S’il Vous Play

Best Place to Get Your Car Serviced:
Winner – Washington and Lee Auto Service
Runner-Up – Bryan’s Marathon

Best Plumber:
Winner – Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc.
Runner-Up – Herb’s Plumbing

Best Electrician:
Winner – Skettle Electric
Runner-Up – Dave’s Electric

Best Carpenter:
Winners (tied) – Eve’s Painting & Home Repair, and Brauer Home Services

Best HVAC Service:
Winner – Verne & Ellsworth Hann Inc.
Runner-Up –Cleveland Boiler Pros

Best House Painter:
Winner – Eve’s Painting & Home Repair
Runner-Up – Sweeney Painting & Decorating

Best Snow Removal/Landscaper:
Winner – Grace Bros. Limited
Runner-Up – Keep Right Landscaping

Best Home Renovation Company:
Winner – Apple Construction
Runner-Up – Harmoni Design + Build, LLC

Jessica Schantz

Jessica Schantz is the associate editor of the Heights Observer and the programs manager for FutureHeights. 

Read More on Business
Volume 16, Issue 5, Posted 9:30 AM, 05.02.2023