Morgantown Magazine's Best of Morgantown

volume 10 • issue 3

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EDITOR’S NOTE

PERSONAL BEST Even in this challenging year, businesses all over town continue to provide great service and go the extra mile. We wish they could all be BOM winners! Here are our New South Media shout-outs for great service.

• Five ties—some categories, like Best Artist and Best Neighborhood Bar, are hotly contested; • Six 10-time winners—Who has the stuff to win BOM year after year after year? Look for badges marking these favorites of all favorites. Running an independent business is hard in the best of times and has proved to be impossible for some beloved establish- ments during COVID. We lament the loss of past BOM contenders who’ve closed their doors temporarily or permanently: among them, Woodburn Shanks Pit BBQ in Sabraton, long a go-to for many of our staff and a craving we hope to satisfy again when restaurant-going returns in force; Blue Moose Cafe, which we have faith will open its doors again in better times; and of course Black Bear Burritos, a many-time multiple-category BOM winner and a great friend of the magazine, which closed its downtown location to focus on its Evansdale operation. The pandemic has been a viscer- al demonstration of the value of shopping and dining local and independent. What will February be without our blow- out BOM party? Never fear: We wrangled a bunch of the BOM winners into each other's businesses in a fun weekend-long video shoot to celebrate buying, eating, and living local in Morgantown—scan the QR code on page 6 or visit us on Facebook to see it. On BOM’s 10th anniversary, we at Mor- gantown magazine are filled with gratitude: for our readers, for our BOM contenders, for all of the Morgantown volunteers and organizations and businesses that have stepped up to help others through the pan- demic, and for our entire community. Support the businesses you love,

Stephanie from Hoot and Howl came to my

rescue! She created a pair of mittens for a photo shoot for an upcoming story. She

took my vision and created exactly what I needed. Thank you, Stephanie! — Carla When my washing machine broke in January, I tried desperately to find an appliance repair person to come out and have a look before I became inundated with laundry. No one called me back. But Mr. John at City Appliance answered. He no longer does house calls, but he had me describe the problem. He told me exactly what needed to be fixed, which allowed me and my husband to tackle the repair ourselves. I can only guess how much money we saved. — Holly

I t’s BOM’s 10th anniversary! And having seen our community rise to the chal- lenge of COVID, it’s a greater plea- sure this 10th year than ever before to celebrate the businesses and people that give Morgantown its character. BOM has both changed and stayed the same for 2021. We’ve held fast for the past few years at 101 categories but, as in most years, we’ve introduced some new categories this year, all of them valuable services: Best Dog Groomer, Electrician, Financial Planner, HVAC Company, Plumber, and Real Estate Agent. Also, back by popular demand this year, Best Pawn Shop. And, like the community, BOM21 was not unaffected by COVID. Best of Morgantown has grown every single year, and it was set to mark its biggest year yet, with an astounding 120,000 nominations in October and No- vember, up from 45,000 last year. Then the post-Thanksgiving surge of coronavirus cases hit. The community turned its attention from sharing the BOM love to home and hearth, and our voting round logged 188,000 votes, down from 304,000 last year. Nevertheless, after a robust showing in every category, we have our BOM21 winners. Inside you’ll find: • 31 first-time winners—BOM voters continue to honor longtime favorites and newcomers alike, which we see as a healthy churn; • Three big upsets of long-settled catego- ries—see Best Pizza, Best Sweet Indul- gence, and Best Musician or Band;

My husband's grandmother passed away early in the pandemic, and he needed a suit to wear to her funeral. We messaged Daniel's of Morgantown through Facebook at 11:49 p.m. on Friday night. Her funeral was scheduled for

Sunday. Phil Mauser met my husband for a private appointment the next morning, helped him find a suit, had it tailored the same day, and personally delivered it to our home when it was ready. I have never seen such customer service, and it will certainly be something that we remember for a long time. — Meggan

University Toyota's service department let me in when I drove up unannounced recently

PAM KASEY, Editor

with a little windshield wiper emergency, at no charge—peace of mind I appreciate. — Pam

Follow us at . . .

@morgantownmag @morgantownmag

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Check out our 2021 winners in our BOM video! i i i

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Best Health Clinic

Mon Health Wedgewood

Most Nominated Category Best Dental Office

Locals trust their health to Mon Health Wedgewood, naming it the Best Health Clinic in town for the fourth time this year. The clinic offers both primary and urgent care to patients, aiming to make caring for oneself as convenient as possible. It offers three easy-to-reach locations in town—Cheat Lake, Suncrest, and Westover—with urgent care services offered in the evenings. The clinics also deliver the full scope of Mon Health specialties, providing pediatric care, internal medicine, occupational medicine, women’s health, and even behavioral health to their patients. 1000 Mon Health Medical Park Drive, 304.599.9400; 1300 Fort Pierpont Road, 304.241.7150; 6000 Memorial Church Drive, Westover, 304.292.7316; wedgewood-fp.com; @wedgewoodfp

1,233

Most Nominated Contender Spectrum Optical

282

Most Voted Category Best Cosmetic / Plastic Surgeon

2,419

Most Voted

Contender (in all of BOM21) Akkary Surgery Center

1,999

Most Contenders Nominated in a Category Best Dental Office

26

Best Physical / Occupational Therapy Office HealthWorks’ flagship 37,000-square-foot facility on Maple Drive anchors the company’s regional network of locations offering treatment of musculoskeletal injury and disease through physical therapy, occupational therapy, and fitness programs as well as sports medicine. Three sites in greater Morgantown and a facility within Mon General are complemented by satellite locations in Fairmont and Buckhannon, West Virginia, and Smithfield, Pennsylvania. HealthWorks is staffed to meet any rehabilitation need, and the flagship location’s fitness programs include Pilates and Zumba as well as spin classes, aerobics, yoga, and aquatic programs—making HealthWorks a many-time BOMwinner. 943 Maple Drive, 304.599.2515; 200 Fairchance Road, 304.594.1545; 729 Fairmont Road, Westover, 304.413.4515; healthworksrf.com, @healthworksrehabandfitness HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness

Best Pediatric Clinic Cardinal Pediatrics Since opening their first location in 2006, Dr. Lisa McBride and Dr. Patti Malone have taken great care of Morgantown’s children. Parents love Cardinal Pediatrics’ convenient locations, after- hours appointments, same-day sick visits, and the support network available through groups like the Mom’s Group that helps new parents with parenting, sleeping, feeding, and more. Cardinal Pediatrics has expanded since opening its first clinic in Morgantown, and the smallest patients are now seen in Bridgeport, Fairmont, Parkersburg, Summerville, and Wheeling, too. The doctors haven’t skipped a beat, providing great care throughout the pandemic—introducing drive-thru appointments, self-scheduling and online bill pay, and telemedicine appointments. It’s no surprise that this is the third time Cardinal Pediatrics has been named Best of Morgantown. 9000 Coombs Farm Road; 1247 Suncrest Towne Centre; 304.599.8000, cardinalpediatrics.com, @cardinalpediatrics WVU Medicine Cheat Lake Physicians Close runner-up 608 Cheat Road, 304.594.1313, wvumedicine.org

Best Cosmetic / Plastic Surgeon

Akkary Surgery Center

Best Dermatology Office Dermatology Center for Skin Health Offering cosmetic, bariatric, and general surgical treatments for beauty and health in Morgantown since 2008, Akkary Surgery Center emphasizes minimally invasive procedures that optimize recovery time and patient costs. Dr. Ehab Akkary gives each client his individualized attention. Try Akkary’s Skinsational MedSpa for facial skin rejuvenation or flotation therapy—visit the website to browse the center’s full range of services. 1100 Fort Pierpont Drive, 304.241.1100, yourdreambody.com, @akkarysc, @skinsationalmedspa Drs. Michele Maouad and Rola Gharib recognize the role that the skin plays in both physical and emotional health. They treat skin health not only as a science, but as an art, offering medical and cosmetic dermatology and spa services person- alized for each client’s needs. Maouad’s and Gharib’s commitment to informing clients so they can make the best decisions for their own care extends beyond the office to daily life—recent posts on their blog cover topics like foods that make skin glow, benefits of masks and scrubs, and the importance of moisturizing. The Dermatology Center for Skin Health has its own branded product line of products for acne, anti-aging, and other skin care, available in the office and through the Center’s online cosmetics store. 600 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, 304.598.3888, wvdermcenter.com, @dermatologycenterforskinhealth

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Best Dental Office

Best Orthodontics Office When you visit an orthodontist, you want it to be friendly, efficient, and effective, and those are just the qualities Boyles Orthodontics prides itself on. Dr. Glenn Boyles and his daughter Dr. McKenzie Boyles-Horan serve their patients in offices in both Morgantown and Fairmont. They and their longtime staff aren’t just helping patients with braces or Invisalign—they’re catching up with families they’ve come to know. Morgantown readers voted them the best for a second year in a row. 9000 Coombs Farm Drive, Morgantown; 1315 Morgantown Avenue, Fairmont; 304.777.4113, boylesorthodontics.com, @boylesorthodontics Boyles Orthodontics This five-time BOM winner has been earning patients’ trust for over 80 years. Drs. Mike and Jason Wilson—second- and third-generation dentists—and Dr. Josh Dolin have built their practice around integrity and quality, and they get high marks for punctuality. Morgantown Dental Group covers it all, from general and preventive to cosmetic dentistry, giving their patients plenty to smile about. 142 High Street, 304.292.7307, morgantowndentalgroup.com, @morgantowndentalgroup Morgantown Dental Group

Best Eye Clinic Spectrum Optical When you need eye care, you want someone you trust. The eye care professionals at Spectrum Optical have offered comprehensive vision examinations since 1988. They can also correct vision problems and diagnose and treat a wide array of eye conditions and diseases. If it’s glasses you need, Spectrum’s experienced staff can help you choose just the right size and shape from a large inventory and work with you on lens specifications—single-vision or progressive, tinted, anti-reflective, and more—that meet your needs. 1257 Pineview Drive, 304.599.7034, spectrumoptical.com, @spectrumoptical

Best Ob/Gyn Clinic Pineview Gynecology

Morgantown native Cynthia Walsh attend- ed WVU and completed her OB/GYN residency in New Jersey, then returned home to start her medical practice. Walsh provides a warm, comfortable environment for her patients and considers it a privilege to care for women in all stages of life. Given a long history in Morgantown, Pineview Gynecology has a large and loyal following, and the clinic rallied that network behind the extraordinary needs of the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Center during COVID. 1322 Pineview Drive, 304.555.8790, pineviewgyn.com, “Pineview Gynecology”

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Best Chiropractic Office Advantage Health & Wellness This is Advantage Health & Wellness’ third time as Best Chiropractic Office, and owner Kevin Trembush attributes the recognition to the practice’s cutting-edge combination of physical medicine modalities like chiropractic care and medical massage, that help patients avoid unnecessary use of pain meds and surgery. “It’s a big task to keep services like this accessible in the shadow of large hospitals near us,” Trembush says. “They serve a wonderful role in health care, but we feel our role is vital and different. We are so proud and excited that the community recognizes this and trusts our business for this reason.” Stay tuned for even more services added to AHW’s natural- first approach, including acupuncture treatment and an expansion of its chronic pain management program. 699 Burroughs Street, 304.225.9355, ahw-apm.com, @doctortrembush

th win 10

Best Place to Buy Men’s Apparel Daniel’s of Morgantown

Daniel’s of Morgantown has been keeping local gentlemen sharp and sophisticated since 1963, and BOM voters show their love with a 10th win this year. Daniel’s has suits for every occasion: date nights, job interviews, weddings, and beyond. Get it tailored just for you by the shop’s in-house master tailor, then accessorize with ties, belts, and shoes in classic and current styles. Daniel’s offers select fashions for women, too. And check out the shop’s proprietary line of WVU game day apparel and its State Pride line featuring the state of West Virginia. 2908 University Avenue, 304.296.7202, danielsofmorgantown.com, @danielsofmorgantown

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Best Place to Buy a Wedding Dress

Coni & Franc

Coni & Franc has been outfitting women in daywear and formal wear for almost 40 years, and is recognized by BOM voters as the Best Place to Buy a Wedding Dress for a ninth year in BOM21. Consultants at this full-service boutique help brides find their dream dresses from a large inventory of gowns owner Connie Merandi says represents both the unique and the timeless. The shop also carries veils, bridal jewelry, and accessories, and bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom can shop for the special day, too. Contact Coni & Franc to make a one-on-one appointment. 422 High Street, 304.296.9466, coniandfranc.net, @conifranc

Best Place to Buy Women’s Apparel BOM voters love T.J. MAXX’s always- changing selection of name brand and designer clothing and the wide selection of shoes, handbags, make-up, and accessories to complete any outfit, all at discounted prices. For that and more, T.J. MAXX has earned Best Place to Buy Women’s Clothing six years in a row. 499 Target Way, 304.599.1261, tjmaxx. com, “TJ Maxx Morgantown” on Facebook T.J. MAXX

Best Place to Buy Kids’ Apparel Once Upon a Child

Opened in 2017, Once Upon a Child quickly became a favorite spot for keeping the kids in style on budget. Parents can find on- trend fashions for less and can trade their children’s gently worn items in for cash or store credit. But don’t just think clothes— Once Upon a Child carries all the plushies, jumping entertainers, strollers, and more to keep your family supplied through the early childhood years. 7100 Willie G Avenue, Westover, 304.322.2446, onceuponachildmorgantown.com, @onceuponachildmorgantown

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Best Jewelry Store Jacqueline’s

Fine Jewelry

Whether it’s to spoil someone special or to say “I do,” locals look to Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry. This jewelry store offers a wide selection of items for men and women, including products from many of the most popular brands in the industry, at a range of price points. You can also design a custom piece for a one-of-a-kind heirloom. If you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for, let one of the knowledgeable staff members guide you in the right direction. 1070 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, 304.599.6981, jacquelinesfinejewelry.com, @jacquelineswv

Best Grocery Store

Kroger

With three convenient locations to visit and a Kroger Plus card in hand, shoppers stand to save big when they check out this Best Grocery Store. The chain has been selling everything from home goods to ham since it first opened its doors to customers in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1901. Great selection and prices have let Kroger expand into 35 states and more than 2,700 stores, and that service is recognized by BOM voters for a ninth time this year. 500 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, 304.285.6780; 350 Patteson Drive, 304.599.5324; 1851 Earl L. Core Road, 304.296.7164; kroger.com

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Most Nominated Category Best Gift Shop

1,297

Most Nominated Contender Daniel's of Morgantown

539

Most Voted Category Best Gift Shop 2,578 Most Voted Contender Hoot and Howl

Best Local Recreation Store

Pathfinder

1,018

The Mountain State offers thrills for everyone, from snowy slopes to raging whitewater and plenty in between. So choose your adventure—then head to nine- time BOM winner Pathfinder to gear up for success. The store has been outfitting adventurists since 1973, and the staff is so well versed in thrilling endeavors that there’s a good chance that they know what you need even before you do. 235 High Street, 304.296.0076, pathfinderwv.com, @pathfinderwv

Most Contenders Nominated in a Category Best Place to Buy Women's Apparel

24

Best Furniture Store

Chuck’s Furniture And Mattress

For more than 50 years, family-owned Chuck’s Furniture and Mattress has been outfitting area homes with the finest in furniture and home decor. Browsing the 100,000-square- foot showroom, you’re sure to find something you can’t live without—and if you have something specific in mind, the store’s longtime employees, who know the products and lines carried in the store well, can help you find just what you’re looking for. All of that has made Chuck’s Morgantown’s Best Furniture Store eight years in a row. Look for even more budget-friendly finds in Chuck’s sister store, Pac 5 Furniture, right next door. 77 Lawless Road, 304.292.7621, chucksfurniture.com, @chucksfurniturewvu

Best Place to Buy Shoes

Shoe Story

If you’ve always bought your shoes in a self-service store or online, do yourself a favor and get professionally fitted at Shoe Story. Shoe stores that do fittings have become a rarity, but the fact is that many of us are wearing the wrong size and may not even know it. A poor fit can cause fatigue, contribute to fallen arches or plantar fasciitis, or aggravate arthritis, says Shoe Story owner Julie Jordan. The shop carries brands that address any kind of foot problem in style, and the shop staff know their inventory well—all of which makes this store a 10-time BOM winner this year. Shoe Story carries children’s brands as well as women’s and men’s fashions—Birkenstock, Dansko, Sofft, UGG, and more— for outdoors, the workplace, and everyday wear. 751 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.599.7443, theshoestorywv.com, @theshoestorywv

th win 10

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Best Gift Shop Hoot and Howl

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Hoot and Howl has what you need for that special someone. Browse beautifully arranged shelves of handmade accessories, body care, home goods, and more from makers across West Virginia, the region, and the U.S., along with select fair trade and vintage finds. Hoot and Howl gives a lot of love to its fellow downtown stores and showcases West Virginia and other regional makers through pop-up parties with makers themselves in the shop, making it increasingly a hub for a lively creative community. 245 Walnut Street, 540.533.0189, shophootandhowl.com, @shophootandhowl

Best Secondhand Clothing Store The best place to get secondhand clothes and stay in style in Morgantown? Head to Uptown Cheapskate for all your fashion needs. Shopping here feels good on both your wallet and the planet. Browse from a large selection of gently used designer and name brand clothes, handbags, shoes, and accessories—you won’t leave empty-handed. 5001 Mid Atlantic Drive, 304.381.4568, uptowncheapskate.com, @uptownmorgantown Uptown Cheapskate

th win 10

Best Pawn Shop

Best Bookstore Barnes & Noble

Cashland Pawn

Best Place to Buy Health Food Morgantown Farmers Market The Morgantown Farmers Market has truly grown into a destination. Every Saturday from May into November, the Market Place Pavilion bursts with just-picked fruits and vegetables, fresh-cut and potted flowers, local eggs, meats, and cheeses, fragrant breads and pastries, and skilled rural crafts, all from the hands of the growers and makers themselves. Come winter, the indoor market is lush with squashes and root vegetables, preserved treats, cheering greens, and more. The market has been a particular source of sustenance for the body and soul during the pandemic—visit the indoor market at Mylan Park on select weekends through the winter, with pre-order for curbside pick-up available. summer: 400 Spruce Street; winter: 270 Mylan Park Lane; BOM voters have voted Barnes & Noble Best Bookstore for 10 years running. Browse shelves containing tens of thousands of fiction and non-fiction volumes in categories including children’s, YA lit, book club picks, magazines, and much more. With games, collectibles, music, stationery, and gifts, there is something for everyone. Done shopping but still feeling the bookstore vibe? Settle into your purchase with a hot cup of something delicious from the store’s in-house Starbucks cafe. 2814 University Town Center Drive, 304.599.1294, barnesandnoble.com, @bnmorgantown

A second-generation, family-run business, Cashland Pawn understands that parting with a treasured item for quick cash can be tough and treats its customers with heart, says co-owner Rob Summers. For shoppers, Cashland holds one-of-a-kind finds of jewelry, musical instruments, and more. Both the Morgantown and Clarks- burg stores provide pawning, selling, and buying customers with flexible curbside and online service. After 16 years in the business, Summers is starting to see a second generation of customers, and he appreciates the Cashland community. 530 Brockway Avenue, 304.296.3970, cashlandpawnshop.com, @cashlandpawn

Tie

1 st

time winner

WV Jewelry & Loan

WV Jewelry & Loan sits in a prominent spot—at the triangle in Westover—and owners Dawn and Duane Tatar have made their operation a prominent part of the community. They do their best to work with customers who need flexibility on their loans in order to retrieve their items. They’re heavily involved in the community: in addition to holding free warm-weather cookouts monthly most years and weekly during COVID, they donate items to community raffles, help senior citizens and families out during the holidays, and support many other charitable causes. 188 Holland Avenue, Westover, 304.291.2181, wvjewelryandloan.com, @wvjewelryandloan

morgantownfarmersmarket.org, @morgantownfarmersmarket

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Best Local Pet Store Exotic Jungle

Voters agree that there’s one locally owned place where they love shopping for their pets, and that’s Emily Sanders’ seven-time BOM winner Exotic Jungle Pet Superstore. Exotic Jungle celebrates its 36th anniversary on February 14 this year, and many locals can trace their first pet back to the shop. In addition to a surprising menagerie of well–cared for animals—soft chinchillas, cheery parakeets, inscrutable reptiles, and many, many more—you’ll find everything your pet needs, all kinds of things they’ll love, and plenty of stuff you didn’t even know they needed but won’t be able to live without. Visit the Facebook page for lost and found pet news and animal fun of all kinds. 1716 Mileground Road, 304.296.8552, “Exotic Jungle Pet Superstore” on Facebook Pet Superstore

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Best Brewery Morgantown

Brewing Company

Remember when you couldn’t get a locally brewed sour in Morgantown? That unfortunate deprivation ended when Cody Cheesebrough and Chris DeFazio bought Morgantown Brewing Company in 2018 and started serving them up in wild, exhilarating variety. On tap in December was Listen to Missy Elliot, a sour conditioned on raspberry and lime puree, and Constant Comments, a sour conditioned on cranberries, Cara Cara oranges, vanilla, and cinnamon. But the naming and flavor fun spans the beer spectrum, from the brewpub’s classic Alpha Blonde ale, always on tap, to some variety of stout. Growlers and cans to go have been a pandemic-era staple, as has the brewpub’s popular outdoor deck seating for drinks and meals. Try MBC out on a Taco Wednesday for two featured tacos and two 12-ounce pours. 1291 University Avenue, 304.292.6959, morgantownbrewing.com, @morgantownbrewingcompany Mountain State Brewing Co. Close runner-up Close runner-up 54 Clay Street, 304.241.1976, mountainstatebrewing. com, @msbcmorgantown

Best Chinese Restaurant This Asian feasting experience is one of Morgantown’s best-kept secrets. Who would think that a food court restaurant would serve up the best Chinese food this side of Pennsylvania? Droves of adoring fans agree that the generous portions of mouth-watering Sesame Chicken, fried rice, lo mein, egg rolls, and so much more are worth all the accolades a citypub like Morgantown magazine can bestow—four years in a row. 9409 Mall Road, 304.983.6815, @wongs.wok Wong’s Wok

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Best Italian Restaurant & Best Fine Dining

1

st time winner

Oliverio’s Ristorante on the Wharf

If you want to-die-for Italian cooking that tastes like it came out of your nonna’s kitchen, hit Oliverio’s Ristorante on the Wharf. Start with an antipasto and finish with a decadent dolce, delighting in the delicious primo, secondo, and insalata courses in between. The restaurant was also named Best Fine Dining in town this year for the first time, so join the ranks of Morgantown residents who have toasted some of life’s most important moments at this high-end ristorante. 52 Clay Street, 304.296.2565, oliveriosristorante.com, @oliveriosonthewharf

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Best Pizza HomeGrown Pizza 1 st time winner

HomeGrown Pizza has created some unusual recipes that work oh so well on the plate. Opened in 2017, the restaurant quickly amassed a following for exotic- sounding pizzas like Crab Rangoon, comfort food- inspired pies like Spicy Stuffed Pepper Pizza and Loaded Baked Potato Pizza, and even the curiosity- piquing Sloppy Giuseppe. There isn’t a thing on the mouth-watering menu that won’t knock your socks off. Owners Julie Pirlo and Scott Shaffer found success in the pizza business almost by accident. The pair opened a small used car lot along Route 7 east of Morgantown. There was extra space in a building on the property, and their good friend Thomas Price happened to be a chef. One thing led to another, and HomeGrown opened to the public with a menu shaped by Price’s culinary background and creativity. Your order from HomeGrown supports other local businesses, too, because HomeGrown sources as many ingredients as it can from right around the corner. 3429 Earl L. Core Road, 304.322.4468, homegrownpizzawv.com, @homegrownpizzawv

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant Ali Baba Restaurant If you have a hankering for Mediterranean food in Morgantown, there’s a place that your fellow townies love more than any other: Ali Baba Restaurant at the Morgantown Municipal Airport, honored for its fare for four years in a row. The eatery boasts an eclectic menu of Greek, Lebanese, and Turkish dishes as well as American cuisine favorites. The dishes are not only mouth- watering but are also 100 percent Halal- certified. Morgantown Municipal Airport at 82 Hart Field Road, 304.777.4120, alibabaexpress.com, “Ali Baba Restaurant” on Facebook

Best Sweet Indulgence

1 st

Terra Cafe

time winner

The muffins, brownies, scones, and cinnamon rolls at Terra Cafe are go-to indulgences any day. But when you

want a special thank you or a celebratory treat—or you’re just in need of a serious pick-me-up—Terra’s pastries are the way to go. Cupcakes swirl high with fluffy, vividly colored frosting dusted with cheery sprinkles. Cakes sized for one or a crowd tempt with swirls and baubles and molded decorations. Sporty chocolate-dipped cannoli rock glistening drizzled stripes. Just looking into the pastry case is an escape to a fantasy landscape—you’ll find yourself grinning before you’ve even chosen. 425 Industrial Avenue, Star City, 304.554.2233, terracafewv.com, @terracafewv

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Gene’s Beer Garden

Best Neighborhood Bar Gene’s Beer Garden & Mario’s Fishbowl The jury is still out: These two favorites have tied for Best Neighborhood Bar before and, in BOM21, they’ve tied again. Townies agree that Mario’s Fishbowl and Gene’s Beer Garden are the best local watering holes in town, and for good reason. The homey atmosphere and perennial Best Bartender at Gene’s and the giant fishbowls and Best Wings at Mario’s earn both establishments fierce loyalty. Mario’s expanded this year to a third, take-out-only location in Westover. You can still sip on a fishbowl at its Woodburn and Suncrest locations, and you’ll find Gene’s where it’s always been, welcoming customers for more than 75 years in Greenmont. GENE’S BEER GARDEN 461 Wilson Avenue, 304.292.1147, genesbeergarden.com, @genes1944 MARIO’S FISHBOWL 704 Richwood Avenue, 304.292.2511, @mariosfishbowl; 3117 University Avenue, 304.599.4309, @fishbowlsuncrest; 688 Fairmont Road, 304.212.5378, @mariosfishbowlwestover

Tie

Mario’s Fishbowl

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Best Indian Restaurant Fresh Mint Indian Grill Morgantown residents visiting the Indian restaurant James Kraess and Suresh Subaiah managed in Pittsburgh kept asking them to open a place in Morgantown and, in 2018, they finally did. Fresh Mint Indian Grill benefits from Kraess’ enthusiasm and chef Subbaiah’s 30 years’ experience in the restaurant industry. In their short year and a half in Morgantown, they’ve developed a following that extends as far as Clarksburg, Grafton, and Kingwood, Kraess says. If you’re new to Indian food, Kraess suggests trying the Chicken Tikka Masala or Chicken Kurma, classic North Indian dishes that are not too spicy. But if you’re up for a culinary adventure, try the South Indian specialties that are rare in this area, like the dosas— crispy crepes made with rice and lentil flour and stuffed or served with a variety of sides, or the chattinad—vegetables or your choice of meat in a black pepper sauce with coconut and other spices. Subbaiah’s specialty is biryani, a complexly seasoned dish of layers of basmati rice and vegetables, egg, or meat. 40 High Street, 304.381.2805, freshmintwv.com, “Fresh Mint Indian Grill” on Facebook

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time winner

Best Thai Restaurant Chaang Thai Restaurant

Put some spice in your life! Chaang Thai earns BOM voters’ love year after year for many reasons. Delicious soups, fried rice, noodle dishes, stir fries, and curries are just a few of the reasons, plus a long list of signature dishes and spice levels that range from hot to Bangkok Street Hot. This three-time BOM winner also has outdoor seating, occasional live music, beer and wine, and more. 361 High Street, 304.241.5374, chaangthai.com, “Chaang Thai Restaurant” on Facebook

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Best Sports Bar Kegler ’s Sports

Bar & Grille

Can you really enjoy the full sports experience in Mountaineer Country without ever setting foot in Kegler’s? The answer is absolutely not—and for the ninth year in a row, readers express the opinion by voting Kegler’s the Best Sports Bar in town. The TV-lined interior means you’ll catch all the games, and the pub-style menu can’t be beat. Do yourself a favor and go for the Kegler’s Gold sauce on your next order of wings—it’s a lock. 735 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.598.9698, keglerssportsbar.com, @keglerswv

th win 10

Best Vegetarian-Friendly

Black Bear Burritos

Vegetarians unite—and head to Black Bear Burritos. These super-stuffed burritos and strollers are very versatile, and that’s one of the things that makes this the best vegetarian- friendly restaurant in Mo’town ten years in a row. Black Bear uses a separate cooking surface for meats, so you can be confident that your choice to eat vegetarian is respected. And with delicious ingredients like marinated tofu and smoky fakin’ bacon, your tastebuds will rejoice. Meat eaters, never fear—tasty bacon, pulled pork, chicken, steak, and fish options will leave your entire party satisfied. We have to acknowledge Black Bear’s original location downtown as a COVID casualty. But fans—and there are many, many of them—can still get the same fresh, healthy fare, the same pleasantly overwhelming beer and hard cider selection, and the same live music free multiple nights a week in the same laid-back, kid-friendly environment at the Evansdale location. Long live Black Bear. 3119 University Avenue, 304.777.4867, blackbearburritos.com, @black.bear.evansdale

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Best Breakfast or Brunch Iron Horse Tavern This makes six years that Iron Horse has served up Morgantown’s favorite brunch. The restaurant’s Bacon Bloody Marys have become a weekend staple. Brunch-goers love the Green Eggs & Ham Burger and Buckwheat Donut Holes. Head downtown if you have a taste for the Pork and Pepper Omelet with chipotle sour cream—but for the heavenly Top Shelf Mimosa, you’ll have to hit the Granville location. 140 High Street, 304.296.6230; 525 Granville Square, 304.451.1330; ironhorsetvrn.com, @ironhorsetvrn

Best Place to Caffeinate Quantum Bean Coffee

Many would agree that, to do all the things, you must first drink the coffee, and readers agree the best place in Morgantown for said coffee is at Quantum Bean Coffee in Greenmont. Think fresh espresso beans carefully prepared by this talented microroaster and used to make inventive “farm-to-cup” specialty drinks like the White Rabbit—raspberry syrup with white chocolate, espresso, and milk—or the Campfire Cappuccino—organic chocolate with honey, marshmallow, espresso, and milk. Please and thank you. 258 Kingwood Street, 304.816.1983, quantumbean.com, @quantumbeancoffee

Best Sushi

Morgantown sushi lovers have spoken and, for a ninth year, they believe the best in town comes from the sushi bar at Ogawa Japanese Restaurant. The extensive list of sushi, sashimi, and maki is rounded out by a full menu of classic Japanese dishes as well as some Korean options. Fresh fish, expert sushi chefs, and an authentic Japanese atmosphere make for a satisfying evening. 2920 University Avenue, 304.598.8338, ogawasushi.com, @ogawasushiwv Ogawa Japanese Restaurant

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Most Nominated Category (in all of BOM21) Best Breakfast or Brunch Most Nominated Contender Los Mariachis for Best Mexican Restaurant 2,309

Most Voted 729

Category (in all of BOM21) Best Pizza 3,679 Most Voted Contender Los Mariachis

Best Bakery Apple Annie’s

When we say “bakery,” you say—what? Donuts? Cookies? Cinnamon rolls? Scones? Apple Annie’s fulfills all those baked goods fantasies and more: pillowy pastries, cannoli and cookies, pies fruit and cream, cupcakes, cheesecakes, layer cakes, and, yes, this is West Virginia so you can get your pepperoni roll fix here, too. Stop in to satisfy a sweet tooth, or order ahead for family desserts and special events. 6120 Mid-Atlantic Drive, 304.322.2859, apple-annies.com, @appleanniescafe

1,535

Most Contenders Nominated in a Category Breakfast or Brunch

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Best Mexican Restaurant Mexican and margaritas are easy crowd pleasers, and Los Mariachis nails a satisfying dining experience every single time. Patrons can choose between two convenient locations with a third coming to Pierpont Centre in the next few months. Indulge in sizzling fajitas, gooey enchiladas, sweet churros, and margaritas that require two hands to drink. And don’t forget the cheese sauce on top. 1137 Van Voorhis Road, 304.598.3715; 9105 University Town Centre Drive, 304.599.6187; losmariachismorgantown.com, @losmariachismorgantown Los Mariachis

Best Outdoor Dining

Escape to the islands without leaving Morgantown at Tropics Restaurant & Bar. With vast and varied open decks and covered pavilions for dining under the stars, outside bars, annual luaus, and an enticing menu of American favorites and Hawaiian specialties, the eatery is both a destination for an evening out and a unique experience in the mountains of West Virginia. It’s just so ono! 2500 Cranberry Square, 304.291.5225, tropicswv.com, @tropicswv Tropics Restaurant & Bar

Best Beer Selection

Serious beer drinkers drink at the Apothecary Ale House & Cafe. With more than 140 types of beer in bottles and cans and a tremendous range of draughts poured from its 27 rotating taps, Apothecary is a beer drinker's promised land. This low-key hangout specializes in everything from the best of local craft breweries to award-winning international pours. If you’re serious about beer and haven’t yet checked out this Morgantown gem, get thee to Apothecary, posthaste. 227 Chestnut Street, 304.291.2291, @apothecaryalehousecafe Apothecary Ale House & Cafe

Best Wings

Mario’s Fishbowl

This three-time winner of Best Wings in Morgantown has a lot to brag about. Every Tuesday is Wing Day, all day long. The special includes a dozen wings and one large domestic fishbowl—a perfect pairing. Try our favorite, Sweet Chile Habanero, if you dare, but all of their wing sauces are delish. Pair them with a frosty fishbowl and dig in. 704 Richwood Avenue, 304.292.2511, @mariosfishbowl; 3117 University Avenue, 304.599.4309, @fishbowlsuncrest; 688 Fairmont Road, 304.212.5378, @mariosfishbowlwestover

“Morgantown’s Italian Restaurant”

MORGANTOWN 304.296.2565

BRIDGEPORT 304.842.7388

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www.oliveriosristorante.com

time winner

Best Burger

A truly great burger starts with great meat. Iron Horse’s burger is anchored by a ½-pound, certified Angus, all-beef patty crafted from a 75/25 blend of whole premium cuts of sirloin, top sirloin, chuck roast, and round. That, grilled to tender perfection, is served up on a real butter grilled brioche bun. You can build your own burger from a long list of classic and interesting toppings, or go for the signature Iron Horse Burger: hickory smoked bacon, roasted poblano pepper, smoked gouda cheese, and a house-made chipotle-bourbon barbecue sauce. Your vegetarian friends can get in on the burger love, too, with an Impossible Burger that’s so good it might even be the reason for the win. This is Iron Horse’s first time as BOM Best Burger, but we’re betting it won’t be the last. 140 High Street, 304.296.6230; 525 Granville Square, 304.451.1330; ironhorsetvrn.com, @ironhorsetvrn Iron Horse Tavern

Best Art Gallery

For escape and inspiration this winter and beyond, look to 4th-time Best Art Gallery Winner the Monongalia Arts Center. The MAC’s galleries remained open through much of 2020 with COVID precautions in place, hosting themed exhibits of fashion, pottery, photography, and posters and flags as well as the Center’s annual Bare Form multimedia exhibition celebrating the human figure. MAC exhibits rotate frequently—and performances and workshops are sure to return to the calendar in 2021. 107 High Street, 304.292.3325, monartscenter.com, @monartscenter Monongalia Arts Center

Best Family Fun Venue

Parents rejoice at The WOW! Factory. This super-fun art studio has something for kids—and parents—of all ages. Offering pottery painting, mosaics, glass fusing, clay handbuilding, and more, this family fun venue is sure to please the tiny artist in your life. And the best part? Moms and dads don’t have to worry about cleaning up. This open studio has in-house artists that can help your little Picasso and will clean up after you leave. Ready to get creative and messy and have fun? 3453 University Avenue, Star City, 304.599.2969, wowfactoryonline.com, @thewowfactorywv The WOW! Factory

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Best Gym/Fitness Facility Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness was open barely two months when the coronavirus hit—but iit already had an engaged membership. Franchise owner Alissa Higgins kept members active through workouts created by the corporate office and led each day on Facebook Live by one of her coaches. Since the gym re-opened in May with COVID cautions in place, participation has been enthusiastic enough that readers voted this new gym Best Gym / Fitness Facility. Described as a “science-backed, technology-tracked, coach-inspired workout,” Orangetheory is a one-hour full-body workout that uses heart rate–based interval training, which burns more calories post workout than a traditional exercise. Individual monitors display real- time results on screens throughout the studio. Because the intensity of the workouts is based on each person’s individual heart-rate zone, the workout is effective for all fitness levels. 360 Suncrest Towne Centre, 304.596.0500, @orangetheorymorgantown

Best Yoga Studio

BlissBlissBliss

Studio owner Elizabeth Halliday-Reynolds was ecstatic to hear that BlissBlissBliss was named Best Yoga Studio for the fifth time in the history of the Best Of competition. The win is especially gratifying in light of the pandemic, which has limited her class size and availability and saw her and her fellow instructors move their classes to Zoom, she says. More than anything, Halliday- Reynolds is grateful that her small business has survived such a difficult year. Things have opened up quite a bit, although Zoom classes are still available for those wanting to stay put a little longer. You can find many options for your next healing savasana at BlissBlissBliss. 3101 About Town Place, 304.413.0270, theblissblissbliss.com, @theblissblissbliss

Best Live Performance Venue They’re just not making grand downtown theaters anymore, and Morgantown is lucky to have one in the 1924 Metropolitan Theatre. Originally a popular vaudeville stage, the theater was lovingly restored in recent decades and now hosts everything from community theater performances to nationally touring music groups. We’re still waiting for someone to organize a Don Knotts festival so we can see The Ghost and Mr. Chicken on the big screen in his home theater. “Calm? Do ‘murder’ and ‘calm’ go together? Calm and murder? Murder?” 373 High Street, 304.291.4884, morgantownmet.com, @metropolitantheatre Metropolitan Theatre

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Best Festival

West Virginia Wine

& Jazz Festival

In a year without festivals, readers thanked the West Virginia Wine & Jazz Festival for decades of musical memories with a ninth BOM win. The two-day celebration draws more than 5,000 attendees each year for local and regional jazz artists. Between sets, festival-goers visit the booths of regional wineries, local food vendors, and artisans. Wine & Jazz is a volunteer nonprofit organization that has returned more than $500,000 to the community for music scholarships and concerts for students. wvwineandjazz.com

Tie

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1

st time winner

time winner

Best Martial Arts Studio

The American Judo-Hapkido Institute opened in Morgantown in July 2016. In a few short years, the facility has earned the respect of the community and enough votes this year in Best of Morgantown to force a tie for first place. The Institute draws on more than 45 years of martial arts experience and more degrees of black belts than you can count to train members in the art of Judo, Hapkido, Sinmoo Yu Sool Kwan, and Te Geri—all designed to improve strength and muscle tone, offer knowledge in real-word self defense, and foster focus and confidence. The smallest students can start out in Little Eagle class and work their way up, and through belt colors, to the Elite Leadership level. 3001 Northpointe Plaza, 304.296.5111, judo-hapkido.com, @judohapkido American Judo- Hapkido Institute

USA Martial Arts of Morgantown USA Martial Arts offers traditional martial arts training for all ages, from beginner to advanced skill levels. It even offers specialized classes for the tiniest students—the Little Ninjas—ages 3 to 6. Can you imagine how cute those gis must be? The studio is run by chief instructor and owner Chris Wood, who’s a 6th-degree black belt, and his wife and kids. Their goal is to increase confidence, self defense capabilities, and focus in each student. Their studio also the only school in the area to offer Olympic sport karate and team competition training. Specialized private training is available in Aikido, Judo, Jujitsu, Karate, and Tae Kwon Do. 1311 Pineview Drive, 304.906.1708, morantowndojo.com, @morgantowndojo

Best Dance Studio

Kat & Co.

Dance Studio

Morgantown native Katreena Snyder followed her dancing career to other places, but returned to open her own studio—and now young women here have benefited from her talents for over a quarter-century. Kat & Co.’s staff of about a dozen work with dancers ages 3 to 18 in a variety of dance styles and offer them opportunities to perform in major productions in the region. Appreciative families voted the studio the best for a third time this year. 9 Brookstone Plaza, Green Bag Road, 304.291.5287, katandcodancestudio.com, @katandcodance

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Most Nominated Category Best Gym / Fitness Facility

2,085

Most Nominated Contender Patty's Artspot

513

Most Voted

Category Best Gym / Fitness Facility

2,610

Best Local Fundraising Event Empty Bowls Soup & Bread Luncheon Empty Bowls Monongalia’s annual February Soup & Bread Luncheon is a beloved event— for the great food and for the lovingly hand- painted bowls that attendees take home with them, but mainly for the funds it raises to feed the many thousands of Monongalia County residents who don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. This year more than ever, Empty Bowls Monongalia needs your support: plan to attend 2021’s Drive- Thru Soup Luncheon fundraiser at Mylan Park on February 27. emptybowlsmon.org, @emptybowlsmon

Most Voted Contender Orangetheory Fitness

1,307

Most Contenders Nominated in a Category Best Musician/Band

55

Best Music Venue Live music didn’t die in Morgantown in 2020—123 Pleasant Street made sure of that. The beloved nightclub kept it alive and well, hosting stage performances, rooftop shows, and behind-the-bar cameos of favorite performers and pushing it all to Facebook. 123 celebrated its 22nd birthday in December 2020 with a six-hour livestream of performances of all genres in spots all over the storied venue—including the couch, the piano in the front window that this longtime fan has never heard played, and even in the walk-in refrigerator. Keeping Morgantown weird through the pandemic—just one of the reasons readers voted 123 Pleasant Street Best Music Venue for the fourth time and can’t wait to get back in there in 2021. 123 Pleasant Street, 304.292.0800, 123pleasantstreet.com, @123pleasantstree t 123 Pleasant Street

Best Radio Station

97.9 WKKW

Best Tattoo Studio If you’ve been thinking about a tattoo, you can’t do better than Patty’s Artspot. Patty Loy-Colebank and her staff are irrepressible artists with years of experience—and not just with tattoos, but piercing and body modification, too. Browse the Facebook page and website for tattoos that will impress and inspire you—and if you’re a noob, check out the advice on how to be a great tattoo client. 1836 Listravia Avenue, 304.598.0190; 425 Beechurst Avenue, 304.292.2885; pattysartspot.com, @pattysartspot Patty’s Artspot

The larger-than-life DJs at WKKW have a flair for fun. 97.9 WKKW is a mainstream country radio station that plays both current and throwback hits. It has some of the best talent and programming in the region, recognized often by the West Virginia Broadcasters Association. But WKKW is first and foremost a community radio station. In most years, it gives away thousands of dollars of concert tickets; during the pandemic, it has DJ’d food drives and participated in recognitions for emergency responders. For just the right mix of fun and serious during the pandemic, Morgantown readers voted WKKW Best Radio Station for a second year in a row. 97.9, wkkwfm.com, @979wkkw

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