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Best of Atlanta 2017 Index

Poets Critics Dolls Main Large





2017 Index of Winners

Best restaurant to bring the kids BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Best patio dining BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Best hamburger BOA Award Winner

Grindhouse Killer Burgers

Best french fries BOA Award Winner

Fred's Meat and Bread

best nonprofit BOA Award Winner

Bert's Big Adventure

Best landmark BOA Award Winner

Best hotel BOA Award Winner

Hotel Indigo - Downtown

Best radio station BOA Award Winner

Rock 100.5 (WNNX-FM)

Best public skatepark BOA Award Winner

Old Fourth Ward Skatepark

Best community garden BOA Award Winner

The Wylde Center

Best reason to mix music and politics BOA Award Winner

WakeATL
Life in the shadow of the Trump presidency has everyone on edge. As social media continues its stranglehold on how we the people engage in ridiculously rigorous debate, it seems the war between good and evil has reached a stalemate on the digital battlefield. The semi-monthly WAKEATL events — hostedmore...
Life in the shadow of the Trump presidency has everyone on edge. As social media continues its stranglehold on how we the people engage in ridiculously rigorous debate, it seems the war between good and evil has reached a stalemate on the digital battlefield. The semi-monthly WAKEATL events — hosted by experimental hip-hop outfit Wake — give Atlantans an outlet to lobby for the forces of good in the real world by bridging music and art scenes with social justice activism. Everyone from mayoral hopeful Vincent Fort to the Housing Justice League have made appearances, while hip-hop and off-kilter rock acts such as Chew, Stacy Epps, Victor Mariachi, Working Class Music, Lingua Franca and more regularly tear up the stages from 529 to Aisle 5. The motivation is always to give people resources to become more socially conscious and active in their daily lives. Topics of discussion have focused on police brutality, gentrification and more affecting local communities. And while each event is high-intensity, it’s done more to engage the community and hold each other accountable for their actions than it is to celebrate. Viva la revolution! www.facebook.com/wakeATL. less...

Best caterer BOA Award Winner

South of Heaven BBQ

Best barber shop BOA Award Winner

Freedom Barber

Best crossfit BOA Award Winner

Best CSA BOA Award Winner

Love is Love Farm

Best CSA BOA Award Winner

Fresh Harvest

Best car wash BOA Award Winner

Mammoth Hand Car Wash & Detail Salon

Best auto shop BOA Award Winner

Johnny Fuller's Master Muffler

Best spot for bespoke suits (and bourbon) BOA Award Winner

Just a heads up: SID MASHBURN isn’t the place you’re going to shop for an everyday suit. No, the Westside retailer is the place you go for the suit you’ll own for a lifetime — or the better part of it, since they start at $1,500. What’s more impressive than the quality and timelessness of themore...

Just a heads up: SID MASHBURN isn’t the place you’re going to shop for an everyday suit. No, the Westside retailer is the place you go for the suit you’ll own for a lifetime — or the better part of it, since they start at $1,500. What’s more impressive than the quality and timelessness of the threads is the peak service customers can expect when they walk in. That even includes a liquor cabinet so shoppers can sip bourbon (or other spirit of their choice) while shopping. 1198 Howell Mill Road. 404-350-7135. www.sidmashburn.com.

photo by: Eric Cash

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Best overall music act BOA Award Winner

6lack
6LACK, the artist born Ricardo Valdez Valentine, took the city by storm in 2017. The sounds of his thick-as-molasses debut album, Free 6lack (Love Renaissance/Interscope), are more R&B than hip-hop, but when Valdez raps, his lyrics and delivery are on point in songs such as "Rules," "PRBLMS" andmore...
6LACK, the artist born Ricardo Valdez Valentine, took the city by storm in 2017. The sounds of his thick-as-molasses debut album, Free 6lack (Love Renaissance/Interscope), are more R&B than hip-hop, but when Valdez raps, his lyrics and delivery are on point in songs such as "Rules," "PRBLMS" and "Alone / EA6." 6lack's slow lyrical glide through dense, atmospheric production courtesy of Singawd, FWDSLXSH and Nova paint a chilly, nocturnal landscape that crept up on the city and the rest of the country, earning platinum sales for "PRBLMS." To celebrate his victory Valdez chopped off his dreads, which sent the public into a bit of a tizzy. It wasn't enough to hinder his phoenix-like ascent, though. 6lack's allure, presence and gravitas transcend simple vanity. Free 6lack is the spearhead of an artistic renaissance for Atlanta in the post-trap era, leading a return to mellow melodies and unconditionally excellence in the name of Southern aesthetics. www.free6lack.com. less...

Best way to catch blockbusters at the multiplex BOA Award Winner

Regal Atlantic Station Stadium 18
If you’re a regular moviegoer in Atlanta, you undoubtedly know there are plenty of swanky options available when it comes to where and how you watch films — from theaters with gigantic plush seats to spots with fancy food and more. But the best VIP viewing in town can be found at REGAL ATLANTIC STATIONmore...
If you’re a regular moviegoer in Atlanta, you undoubtedly know there are plenty of swanky options available when it comes to where and how you watch films — from theaters with gigantic plush seats to spots with fancy food and more. But the best VIP viewing in town can be found at REGAL ATLANTIC STATION STADIUM 18. Sure, Atlantic Station can be a bit of a tourist trap, but tucked in the back of its busy multiplex is a surprisingly chill cinematic retreat, complete with adult beverages, private bathrooms, super-comfortable screening rooms with tons of room and more. Plus: It’s a 21-plus zone, so you don’t have to worry about rubbing shoulders with any of those pesky tweens. 261 19th St. N.W., Suite 1250. 404-347-9894. www.atlanticstation.com/movies. less...

Best established visual artist BOA Award Winner

Greg Mike

www.gregmike.com

photo by: Lindsey Max

Best public artwork BOA Award Winner

Tiny Doors ATL

Best illustrator BOA Award Winner

Sarah Neuburger

Best local actor BOA Award Winner

Arturo Fonts

Best local zine BOA Award Winner

Dope Girls

Best gallery for otherground art BOA Award Winner

Attend an opening at KAI LIN ART and you’ll be struck by the diversity of the folks in attendance: a congregation of all races, ages and levels of artistic expertise. That audience diversity is undoubtedly due to the divergent range of art that hangs on the gallery’s walls — which this past yearmore...

Attend an opening at KAI LIN ART and you’ll be struck by the diversity of the folks in attendance: a congregation of all races, ages and levels of artistic expertise. That audience diversity is undoubtedly due to the divergent range of art that hangs on the gallery’s walls — which this past year displayed the surreal paintings of Thomas Turner, the pop art of Chris Hobé, the patterned portraits of Lela Brunet and many more. Founded in 2008 by owner/director Yu-Kai Lin, Kai Lin Art’s mission to promote “emerging and established artists in the Southeast and beyond” is one that adds to the richness of Atlanta, on a cultural and a social level. 999 Brady Ave. N.W., Suite 7. 404-408-4248. www.kailinart.com.

(art by Tim Kent)

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best comedic mover and shaker BOA Award Winner

Ian Aber
A good comedian can make any audience laugh and an even better comedian can create opportunities for others to make people laugh. All a comic needs is wits and a stage and IAN ABER has been building up stages left and right across Atlanta. Blink and the busy jokesmith will have a new show with a new,more...

A good comedian can make any audience laugh and an even better comedian can create opportunities for others to make people laugh. All a comic needs is wits and a stage and IAN ABER has been building up stages left and right across Atlanta. Blink and the busy jokesmith will have a new show with a new, innovative angle. Whether it’s an audience-swap experiment in a ballroom, an LGBTQ-themed variety show in a club, or a grilled-cheese-studded affair in an alt room, Aber is growing the comedy scene and growing his career in the process. It’s not just the quantity of rooms Aber puts together that’s impressive, but the deliberate and thoughtful way he builds his lineups, seeking to lift up those who sometimes are not as visible in comedy. www.comedyian.com.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best theatrical artistic director BOA Award Winner

Kenny Leon
Although KENNY LEON garnered national interest again this past December when he directed NBC’s live-TV rendition of the musical Hairspray, it’s the Tony Award winner’s work with the Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company that earns major props from us. Founded in 2002, True Colors has been amore...
Although KENNY LEON garnered national interest again this past December when he directed NBC’s live-TV rendition of the musical Hairspray, it’s the Tony Award winner’s work with the Atlanta-based True Colors Theatre Company that earns major props from us. Founded in 2002, True Colors has been a catalyst behind some of the city’s most relevant and topical theatrical productions, with Leon — the company’s artistic director and co-founder — at the helm. Its most recent season of plays, for example, touched on the nation’s public school system and mental illness, among other real-life issues — but done in a way that’s not heavy-handed or preachy. Add to that the fact that True Color’s productions are held at the Southwest Arts Center, bringing quality theater to communities that have often been overlooked, and it’s clear Leon’s influence reverberates well beyond the stage. www.kennyleon.com. less...

Best (freaky) free outdoor art gallery BOA Award Winner

Doll's Head Trail
Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existencemore...

Out past the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, heading south on Moreland Avenue is an Atlanta cultural gem: the mythical DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL. Created by ATL’s Joel Slaton, the trail is an outsider art exhibit with enough weirdness and compelling art made from refuse to leave you contemplating its existence for days. The trail is part of a bigger path at Constitution Lakes, a DeKalb County park that includes some wonderful boardwalks across swampy terrain and hiking trails. Among bird songs and occasional train whistles, discombobulated dolls, broken TVs and rusted car parts have been repurposed into ingenious monuments to modern follies. Found objects, which otherwise might litter the trail, are reconstructed into thought-provoking moments. Freaky and provocative, cheesy and authentic, the Doll’s Head Trail is completely original and strangely beautiful. Constitution Lakes Park, 1305 S. River Industrial Boulevard.

photo by: Joeff Davis

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Best YouTuber BOA Award Winner

Qaadir F. Howard
QAADIR F. HOWARD is one of Atlanta’s master “draggers” — i.e., he excels at taking people, places and things to task in front of a camera in the most hilarious ways. Click on over to his popular YouTube channel and check him ripping the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Donald Trump and even his co-workers,more...
QAADIR F. HOWARD is one of Atlanta’s master “draggers” — i.e., he excels at taking people, places and things to task in front of a camera in the most hilarious ways. Click on over to his popular YouTube channel and check him ripping the Real Housewives of Atlanta, Donald Trump and even his co-workers, all served up utilizing his trademarked rapid-fire delivery style. His clips are straight-up confessional vlogs with minimal editing, but what they lack in bells and whistles, Howard makes up for in uncensored, no-holds-barred reading. Bottom line: Dude is a trip. www.youtube.com/user/Timaya. less...

Best album BOA Award Winner

Portrait by Deaux

www.moredopemusic.com/deaux

photo by: Lindsey Max

Best local music video BOA Award Winner

Frank Mayson "Phonies"

Best local DJ BOA Award Winner

Romeo Cologne

Best jazz night BOA Award Winner

Third Friday Jazz at High Museum of Art

Best nightlife event BOA Award Winner

Whiskey Blue's Full Moon Party

Best drag queen BOA Award Winner

Brigitte Bidet

www.facebook.com/missbrigittebidet

photo by: Dustin Chambers

Best live band BOA Award Winner

Material Girls
This year, Atlanta boasts a surplus of new and genuinely groundbreaking artists, as the city's DIY aesthetics evolve to reflect the political catastrophe that's unfolding across the country. When it comes to live shows, MATERIAL GIRLS stand head and shoulders above the rest, captivating crowds with snarlingmore...

This year, Atlanta boasts a surplus of new and genuinely groundbreaking artists, as the city's DIY aesthetics evolve to reflect the political catastrophe that's unfolding across the country. When it comes to live shows, MATERIAL GIRLS stand head and shoulders above the rest, captivating crowds with snarling cabaret/punk theatrics, dressed in drag. Tyler Jundt and David Iduate lead the charge blaring through trumpet and saxophone, while John Restivo Jr. pounds away on bongos and drums. The group's latest addition, Meghan Dowlen, struts on bass, while Robbie Rapp sears on guitar, and Ben Presley growls his sultry vocals. The group cuts through the subservience of boring, old street wear, as their stage presence and instrumentation rise above the trappings of just another Best local rock band. Since breaking the group's minimal online presence with the arrival of its debut album, MS VS IQ (released July 2016 via Irrelevant Records), Material Girls emulsify on stage with elements of glam and grit, hunky brass and dildos, wigs and pacifiers, and an attitude so natural the group doesn't give a shit if you buy it or not. www.soundcloud.com/materialgirlsusa

photo by: Rick Campbell

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Best way to get down and do good BOA Award Winner

La Choloteca
You can almost hear the screams of delight emanating from Atlanta's Latinx community and beyond anytime LA CHOLOTECA announces another new party. Creating safe(r) spaces for the late-night dance crowd, La Choloteca's organizers and party revelers abide by rules such as no groping, no hate and no bodymore...
You can almost hear the screams of delight emanating from Atlanta's Latinx community and beyond anytime LA CHOLOTECA announces another new party. Creating safe(r) spaces for the late-night dance crowd, La Choloteca's organizers and party revelers abide by rules such as no groping, no hate and no body shaming. Along the way, they wrangle a formidable lineup of DJs boasting Best local talents such as Esme, Florista, Santiago Paramo and more on the turntables, blasting the soundtrack to the party's unspoken rule: "Dance hard, all night." The party's tagline is "La Choloteca: Ley de Latinx" „ Atlanta's Latinx community and their rights to party „ but all are welcome, and the word is out. The last year witnessed exponential growth for La Choloteca. After settling into its new home at MJQ, hosting events such as the YA QUE?! cross-country tour of radical resistance, and hosting parties in New York City, La Choloteca raised the bar high for active activism and filling up a room with more beautiful people, inside and out, than anywhere else in the city. www.facebook.com/Choloteca. less...

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