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2008 Readers' Choice Goods & Services 


Foxtrot Style for Living

click to enlarge JOYCE ALEXANDER

Boise just can't get enough of Foxtrot. Maybe it's the store's cool, one-of-a-kind garments, funky accessories or cool vibe. Whatever it is, you love it; you really, really love it. Tucked into the Linen District in the former home of the Visual Arts Collective, the store is sprawling without being overwhelming. The owners have put that space to good use, hosting work by local artists as well as fashion shows. The best thing about Foxtrot is that it brings high fashion to Boise without the high-fashion prices. It just goes to prove that you can look good, be comfortable and still afford to buy food. 1419 W. Grove St., 208-344-0979,

Second Place: Fancy Pants

Third Place: Eyes of the World Imports


Renewal Consignment Homewares

Don't even step foot into Renewal Consignment Homewares if you're not prepared to spend. You know that armoire you've been searching for? Renewal has it along with art, treasures from every era and remnants from when furniture was made to last. It's entirely possible that a seasoned treasure hunter might find enough cool have-to-have chairs, cabinets and coat racks that even a two-month's salary might not cover the bill. It's a good thing Renewal offers consignment sales. Trade in some of your old furniture for new old furniture, and this time, let the consultants help tie a theme together. 517 S. Eighth St., 208-338-5444,

Second Place: Trading Places Home consignment (Too Bad It's Closed)

Third Place: Five Rivers Furniture


Edwards Greenhouse

Hidden away in a quiet North End neighborhood, Edwards would seem like an unassuming little place, but the word "greenhouse" really doesn't do this 10-acre gardener's paradise justice. Sure, there are greenhouses there, but it's so much more than that. There are plants of all description: flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs and grasses. Year after year, Edwards tops readers' lists of the best gardening centers, and it's easy to see why. Just stop in and don't worry if it's a little too overwhelming, the knowledgeable staff is on hand to help lead the way. 4106 Sand Creek St., 208-342-7548,

Second Place: Zamzows

Third Place: Far West Landscape and Garden Center


Antique World Mall

The Antique World Mall is just that: a mall. Aisles and aisles—all named for famous European cities—lined with every vintage, antique and hard-to-find collectible item imaginable. Everything from decades-old stylish hats, brooches, earrings and necklaces, to lunchboxes, chairs, books, glassware, silver and any kind of tchotchke imaginable to make your collection complete lies somewhere in the labyrinth of the Antique World Mall. You might leave a trail of breadcrumbs; if you get lost, they may not find you for days. 4544 W. Overland Rd., 208-342-5350,

Second place: Blue Moon Antiques

Third place: Renewal Consignment Homewares


Jim's Appliance

When a major home appliance breaks down, the whole clan who counts on it suffers, and usually not in silence. That's where Jim's comes to the rescue. If you can quit cursing and head over there, you'll find an unassuming appliance store that has served the needs of Boise for decades. 111 Lusk St., Boise, 208-345-7711,

Second Place: CHF

Third Place: Dave's Appliance


Idaho Central Credit Union

We don't have much occasion to shop for banks around here, but readers have picked Idaho Central Credit Union as their fave for storing their dough. The ICCU people have some funny but happy-looking members on their Web site, and a weird dog-like character, but hey, BW readers like them. It's about time we join a union. Various locations,

Second Place: D.L. Evans Bank

Third Place: Capital Educators Federal Credit Union


Boise Co-Op

We like your style, readers. It's as fun to shop for designer sea salts as it is for designer jeans. And in addition to all their exciting foodstuffs, Boise Co-op has an assortment of kitchen accessories, martini glasses and greeting cards to satisfy your non-perishable shopping urges. And remember: You don't get to eat your purchases after a trip to the mall. Well, we hope not. 888 W. Fort St., 208-472-4500,

Second Place: Record Exchange

Third Place: Good Goods


Rediscovered Bookshop

click to enlarge FRANCIS DELAPENA

The Rediscovered Bookshop offers more than books; the owners welcome the community into their store and help sponsor events all over town. The local bookstore has something going on almost every day of the week with book clubs for boys, girls and even science fiction aficionados. Owners Bruce and Laura DeLaney bring in guest authors for readings and book signings, and they have musicians play live to give readers' eyes a rest every once in a while. 7079 Overland Rd., 208-376-4229,

Second Place: Trip Taylor bookseller

Third Place: Rainbow Books


Graeber and Company

Who needs cosmetic surgery when you have a place like Graeber? Seriously, why go under the knife when there is a magical land where you can be pampered from head to toe, and leave feeling—and looking—far better than you did when you went in? They don't just do hair, although that's what the salon is best known for. The team at Graeber can do everything from getting rid of that unibrow to helping you with your mind-body-spirit connection with some aromatherapy. This place has more than 30 years of experience making you more beautiful than you thought was possible. 350 N. Ninth St., Suite #103, 208-343-4915,

Second Place: Beehive Salon

Third Place: Euphoria Salon


Foxtrot Style for Living

Foxtrot has been around for less than a year, and already it's cleaning up while dressing up Boise. Jeans and T-shirts are great, but why not make a good thing even better with some super cool accents, graphics and materials. That's right guys, you, too, can look good without looking like you're trying too hard, and Foxtrot is just the place to do it. With reasonable prices and one-of-a-kind finds, it can help you be the macho kind of fashionista, or is it fashionisto? 1419 W. Grove St., 208-344-0979,

Second Place: To the Nynes

Third Place: Alexander Davis


Metro Express Downtown

This is not a car wash, folks, this is a temple to a clean vehicle. Metro Express Downtown stretches an entire city block near the connector. It's a fun park, dedicated to your rig. Readers love it. And we're glad it's there. 1300 W. Front St. 208-331-1301,

Second Place: J's Ultimate Hand Car Wash

Third Place: Like Nu Car Wash


Boise Co-Op

Oh, Boise Co-op. A North End staple and perennial readers' favorite. Where else can you get organic dog food, black truffle oil and strawberries grown by a man named Pro-Life? Nowhere, that's where. With a friendly, eclectic staff and a parking lot so packed, the place encourages you to head down on your Schwinn, the Co-op continues to hold a special place in our readers' hearts. Plus, the new wine shop is so incredible, we're hoping to move BW headquarters in between the Bordeauxs and Chateauneuf Du Papes. 888 W. Fort St., 208-472-4500,

Second Place: WinCo

Third Place: Paul's Market


Hannifin's Cigar Store

This category could also be: Best reason to fear downtown redevelopment and gentrification. And the winner, of course, is Hannifin's, the ancient hole in the wall on the corner of 11th and Main streets. Walk in to find things every downtown needs: cigars, chips and bad coffee. It is an urban sanctuary. So leave it alone. 1024 Main St., 208-342-7473.

Second Place: Sturman's smoke shop

Third Place: Tobacco Connection


Inkvision Tattoo Studio

Our readers would like to thank you, Inkvision, for keeping the limbs of boys and babes cloaked in colorful adornments. Though your waiting list can be three- to four-months long, they're all willing to wait. Without you, 1332 Records, the Red Room and that terrified look on mom's face when your new boyfriend shows up for dinner wouldn't exist. Well, maybe the Red Room would still be here, but it would play smooth jazz and ask you where you got your penny loafers. Seriously, no, thanks. 516 Americana Blvd., 208-383-0912,

Second Place: Black Cat Tattoo

Third Place: A Minds Eye Tattoo



click to enlarge JOYCE ALEXANDER

An ode to the glory that is shoes. Oh, shoes, you once were just an item of necessity, but now you are so much more. High heels, low heels, stilettos and slingbacks, ballet flats, loafers, flipflops and Mary Janes; oh, shoes, you take our breath away. Be you shiny or colorful, matte or plain, we love you. Oh, shoes, please, never go away. 404 S. Eighth St., Suite #188, 208-343-3055.

Second Place: Shoe Fetish

Third Place: Shu's Idaho Running Company


Downtown YMCA

After readers have finished with their weekly dose of independent news, opinion and culture over a cup of joe, they might head over to work out at their favorite gym. The downtown YMCA wins every year, and that's because the state-of-the-art facility offers a little something for everyone. Children have their own entertainment room, master swimmers float in a saline pool as well as the Simplot Aquatic Center with water slides, a kiddie pool full of fountains and a Jacuzzi, and the two work out rooms offer a variety of ways to sweat. Recent remodeling and sprucing up have left the adult locker rooms shiny and new with more room in the sauna and a refresher of eucalyptus scent in the steam room. It's not so hard to make it to the gym when it is such a hub of healthy activity. 1050 W. State St., Boise, 208-344-5501,

Second Place: Idaho Athletic Club, State Street

Third Place: Boise State Fitness Center


Record Exchange

This downtown institution would probably take first place honors if there were 10 local CD stores. The RX carries an amazing selection of music including plenty of stuff from local musicians. The coolest thing about the store—besides the fact that it shares square footage with The Edge, the place to find the hippest, trendiest jewelry, T-shirts, posters, rock 'n' roll merchandise and vinyl toys—is that, like the name indicates, you can actually buy records there, too. Plus, owners Mike Bunnell and Jill Sevy keep a constant flow of in-store performances, and some bands make it their only Boise stop. The Record Exchange has been serving local music lovers for three decades. Here's hoping Bunnell and Sevy's kids want to take over the family business someday so we'll be taken care of musically for another 30 years. 1105 W. Idaho St., 208-344-8010,

Second place tie: CD Merchant and the Idaho Youth Ranch


Foxtrot Style for Living

If there's one thing women love more than looking good, it's not looking like everyone else. Foxtrot specializes in beautiful, quality clothing that you won't see anywhere else in Boise. Sometimes it's as simple as a T-shirt or some denim, but that's no reason to look like you came off an assembly line. Don't forget the fantastic line of accessories and assorted shiny things. 1419 W. Grove St., 208-344-0979,

Second Place: Barbara Barbara & co.

Third Place: Fancy Pants


Boise Blue Art Supply

Whether you're a hardworking visual artist who needs a new tube of phthalo blue or a weekend woodworker who needs a tiny chisel, it's all at Boise Blue Art Supply. Owner Terrie Robinson has been standing behind the counter of the downtown store for years now, helping local artists find everything they need to express themselves artistically. Her high standards mean you'll be able to select from high-end brands, but her desire to help bring out the artist in all of us means you'll also find quality products at reasonable prices. 820 W. Jefferson St., 208-343-2564,

Second place: Quality Art, Inc.

Third place: Handmade


Idaho Youth Ranch

click to enlarge CHARLES FOREST

A new winner has emerged in the secondhand store category, and that winner has a larger mission. The Idaho Youth Ranch uses proceeds from the stores all over the state to fund residential treatment for at-risk youth, family counseling, education scholarships, community transition programs, adoptions and foster care services. IYR receives loads of donations, making it a little slice of heaven for secondhand shoppers who live to pick through discarded treasures. The stores are clean, well-organized and staffed by friendly clerks who might be willing to let you in on their secret stash of the best merchandise. Various locations,

Second Place: LUX Fashion Lounge

Third Place: St. Vincent de Paul

Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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