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TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Best Art Gallery Best Bingo Best Casino Best Dance Studio Best Ethnic Event in Northeast Kansas Best Event in Northeast Kansas Best Family Entertainment Best Free Entertainment Best Local Historical Site Best Martial Arts School Best Museum Best Place for Live Entertainment Best Place for Reception/Event Best Place to Have a Birthday Party Best Place to Take an Out-of-towner

FOOD & DRINK

Best Asian Restaurant Best Barbecue Best Brewery Best Buffet Best Burger Best Catering Company Best Chicken Wings Best Coffee Shop Best Deli/Sandwich Shop Best Fine Dining Restaurant Best Happy Hour Best Ice Cream/Yogurt Best Italian Restaurant Best Mexican Restaurant Best Outdoor Dining Best Pizza Best Place for Breakfast Best Place for Lunch Best Place to Get a Cold Beer Best Romantic Restaurant Best Salad Best Sports Bar Best Steak Best Sweet or Savory Treat Best Take-out Best Tea Shop Best Wine List

HOUSING & HOSPITALITY Best Apartment Complex Best Bed and Breakfast Best Hotel Best Retirement Community

BEST OF TOPEKA

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Published by The Topeka Capital-Journal/ CJOnline.com 616 S.E. Jefferson Topeka, 66607 cjonline.com Topeka publisher/Kansas senior group publisher for GateHouse Media Steve Wade   Editor/vice president of audience Tomari Quinn   Niche editor Jan Biles   4 | Best of Topeka 2018

PROFESSIONAL

Best Architect Best Auctioneer Best Bankruptcy Attorney Best Chiropractic Practice Best Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon Best Dentist Best Dermatologist Best Employer — Greater Than 500 Best Employer — Less Than 500 Best Employment Agency Best Eye Care Best Family Law/Divorce Attorney Best Family Physician Best Hearing Aid Service Provider Best Institution of Higher Education Best Insurance Agency Best Insurance Agent Best Law Firm Best Medical Facility Best Medical Supply Best Nonprofit Best Orthodontist Best Pediatric Dentist Best Pediatrician Best Personal Injury Lawyer Best Photographer Best Physical Therapy Best Printer/Graphic Designer Best Real Estate Agency Best Real Estate Agent Best Title Company Best Urgent Care Facility Best Veterinary Hospital Best Weight Loss Center

RECREATIONAL

Best Golf Course Best Park Best Place to Exercise

RETAIL

Best Antique Store Best Boutique Clothing Store Best Comic, Fantasy or Video Game Shop Best Convenience Store Best Downtown Restaurant/Retail Best Farm Supply Store Best Flooring Store Best Florist Best Furniture Store Best Garden Store/Nursery

Advertising sales managers Terri Benson Kristy Green Production coordinator Brian Johnson   Contributing writers Brianna Childers Jessica Cole Samantha Foster Alexandra Martinez Savanna Maue Luke Ranker Max Wirestone   Copy editor Kelly Adams Visual editor Thad Allton   Photographers Thad Allton Chris Neal

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Best Gift Store Best Grocery Store Best Jewelry Store Best Liquor Store Best Mattress Store Best New Auto Dealer Best New Business Best NOTO Restaurant/Retail Best Place to Buy Photo Equipment Best Place to Buy Sports Apparel Best Shopping Center Best Tattoo Shop Best Thrift Store Best Tire Store Best Used Auto Dealer

SERVICE

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Best Auto Body and Paint Shop Best Auto Repair Shop Best Bank Best Builder/Remodeler — Commercial Best Builder/Remodeler — Residential Best Cable/Internet Service Provider Best Car Wash Best Carpet Cleaner Best Cell Service Provider Best Child Care Center Best Church/Synagogue Best Credit Union Best Drain Cleaning Service Best Electrician Best Equipment Rental Company Best Financial Planner — Agent Best Financial Planner— Firm Best Funeral Home/Crematory Best Heating/Air Company Best Laundry/Dry Cleaner Best Lawn Care Best Pest Control Company Best Place for an Oil Change Best Place for Pet Care Best Place to Get a Haircut Best Plumbing Company Best Roofing Company Best Self Storage Company Best Siding/Windows Best Spa/Medical Spa Best Tanning Salon Best Towing Company Best Transmission Service

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EDITORS’ PICKS

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Web content/digital support Eric Smith Event/digital marketing coordination Mick Delfelder Nicole Zimmerman   Advertising sales representatives Brandon Brillhart Linda Girardin Brett Lackey Blake Pickett Kyle Powers Fabby Sierra

Jake Woodland Karen Yost


The Topeka Capital-Journal | 5


Community’s finest name their favorites

E

arlier this summer, our Best of Topeka team reached out to Michelle CuevasStubblefield, of Downtown Topeka Inc. and Greater Leadership Topeka, Tomari Quinn and Leo Espinoza Jr., college and career counselor at Topeka High School, to see if they would share with us their Bests of Topeka. They did. Their love for Topeka is deep and sincere. Many of their favorites matched yours in this magazine. One of Cuevas-Stubblefield’s favorite places didn’t make the list, but after hearing about her visit to Topeka LULAC Senior Center, it’s obvious the nonprofit agency should have. Cuevas-Stubblefield walked in the building to shouts of “Michelle.” (Shades of Norm, anyone?) Soon, Cuevas-Stubblefield was dancing with a resident as others circled around them. Espinoza took to the swings at Gage Park, toured the Kansas Statehouse and got his hair cut at Maricela’s Salon. He later showed off photos of his bruised shin after doing a hardy somersault. Espinoza sacrificed body and pride in tumbling for Topeka. Publisher Steve Wade came home to Topeka to lead The Topeka Capital-Journal and other GateHouse Kansas properties. He soon was cycling several evenings a week with the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club, grabbing lunch at The Pennant (a two-time winner in its first year of eligibility) and buying fresh produce at Hy-Vee Topeka. Go to cjonline.com/bestoftopeka to see videos of the three eating, drinking and playing their ways across Topeka. After listening to your suggestions, we added about 30 categories to this year’s magazine, many in the areas of Professional and Service. This helped give recognition to many deserving people and places. And our Editors’ Picks return, led by one of Topeka’s greatest treasures: its walking and hiking trails. They’re among the best in the state, especially the trails at MacLennan Park and Kaw Valley State Park near Cedar Crest. They’re fantastic and show off so much of what is beautiful about Kansas. So read on to see if your favorites made the list. Thoughts and suggestions are welcome. Tomari Quinn

Editor and vice president of audience (785) 295-1212 tquinn@cjonline.com @Tomari_TCJ on Twitter

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The Topeka Capital-Journal | 7


RECREATIONAL

From left: Hayden Schlochtermeier, Chia Okoro, Hallie Hay and Kiernan Downing are among the employees who work at Colaw Fitness, a 24-hour gym that offers free tanning, massages, trainer instruction and nutrition instruction. [PHOTOS BY CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

COLAW FITNESS colawfitness.com

BEST PLACE TO EXERCISE BEST WEIGHT LOSS CENTER

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Colaw Fitness moved to Topeka in January and has already received thousands of memberships. Colaw Fitness, 5929 S.W. 19th Terrace, is a 24-hour gym that offers free tanning, massages, trainer instruction and nutrition instruction. Members also can bring a friend for free each visit. The Topeka location is one of three that Colaw Fitness has; its other gyms are in Joplin, Mo., and Bartlesville, Okla. Giancarlo Sironi, marketing manager at Colaw Fitness, said Topeka was a good choice for their third gym. “It’s been great as we continue to grow,” Sironi said. “Topeka is our third location and our biggest. We think it’s a home run.”

Colaw Fitness members work out on the equipment at the southwest Topeka gym.

“WE’RE DEFINITELY THE INDUSTRY LEADER AS FAR AS PRICE GOES, BUT WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT IS OUR ATMOSPHERE.” GIANCARLO SIRONI MARKETING MANAGER AT COLAW FITNESS


The Topeka Capital-Journal | 9


RECREATIONAL

In addition to Topeka, Colaw Fitness also has gyms in Joplin, Mo., and Bartlesville, Okla. [PHOTOS BY CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

BEST PLACE TO EXERCISE First runner-up: GreatLife Golf & Fitness Second runner-up: Lake Shawnee

BEST WEIGHT LOSS CENTER Initially, people may be interested in Colaw Fitness because of the $5 membership deal it advertises. However, Sironi said, members stay for the safe, positive and upbeat environment, which he hopes makes an impact on their lives. “Just being able to provide an awesome facility and creating an atmosphere from when members 10 | Best of Topeka 2018

walk in,” he said. One of the things Sironi wants to promote is the company-wide message of “You are worth it.” “We have the phrase ‘You are worth it’ on the wall when you come in, and we mean that,” he said. “We really want people to know that.” — Alexandra Martinez

First runner-up: Stormont Vail Weight Management Center Second runner-up: Weight Watchers


The Topeka Capital-Journal | 11


SERVICE

George Feliu, manager of AAA Self Storage, says the storage facility’s strong points are its level of security and its emphasis on service with a personal touch. [PHOTOS BY CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

AAA SELF STORAGE aaaselfstoragetopeka.com

BEST SELF STORAGE COMPANY

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If there’s one thing AAA Self Storage values the most and thinks makes it stand out from its competitors, it’s the company’s level of security. George Feliu, manager of AAA Self Storage, said the business has security cameras and employees do security checks multiple times a day. The employees have a checklist of all of the units and will spend a few hours a day going through the facility and making sure all of the units are secure. “Everyone that comes in, I tell them what we do,” Feliu said. “We know when something is off and will call them if something is off.” AAA Self Storage, 2155 S.W. Westport Drive, has been around since the 1980s and is


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SERVICE

AAA Self Storage has 700 units. At any given time, about 650 of those units are being used by customers. [CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

a family business. The storage facility has about 700 units, ranging in size from small to medium to large. Feliu said the facility usually stays close to capacity, with 650 customers. Price-wise, some of AAA Self Storage’s units are cheaper than its competitors’, and some are more expensive. But Feliu said the company doesn’t raise its prices every month like other places might. AAA Self Storage emphasizes service with a personal touch. Feliu said customers have told him the reason they rented a storage unit from the company was solely because someone was in the office when they arrived at the business. “When you make a phone call, you aren’t going to have ‘Please press 1, please press 2,’” he said. “We have someone inside the office throughout the business day.” — Brianna Childers

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“WE ARE FRIENDLY, WELCOMING AND GLAD WHEN PEOPLE COME HERE. WE TRY TO KEEP EVERYBODY SAFE.” GEORGE FELIU MANAGER OF AAA SELF STORAGE

BEST SELF STORAGE COMPANY

First runner-up: Valley Self-Storage Second runner-up: I-70 & MacVicar Mini-Storage


The Topeka Capital-Journal | 15


SERVICE

BEST SPA/ MEDICAL SPA HIS & HER SALON & DAY SPA hisandhersalon.com

Cindy Martin, owner and president of His & Her Salon & Day Spa, opened her first salon at 1403 S.W. 6th Ave. She was at that site for 20 years.

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Martin, who has been in the cosmetology business for 37 years, swung open the doors at His & Her Salon & Day Spa on

Cindy Martin, owner and president of His & Her Salon & Day Spa, says she is constantly looking for ways to upgrade the clients’ experience at her salon. Martin has been in the cosmetology business for 37 years. [THAD ALLTON/ THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]


The Topeka Capital-Journal | 17


SERVICE

“ONE OF THE REASONS I LOVED DOING THIS WAS BECAUSE I LOVED, LOVED SEEING THE CUSTOMER HAPPY, AND I LOVED GIVING THE YOUNG GIRLS (AND) PEOPLE JOBS AND CAREERS.” CINDY MARTIN OWNER AND PRESIDENT OF HIS & HER SALON & DAY SPA

Jan. 1, 2002. Today, the business, 3311 S.W. 6th Ave., averages 50 to 75 customers daily and provides a variety of services, including haircuts and styling, facials, manicures and pedicures, body wraps, waxing and massages. “I’m constantly looking for ways to upgrade the clients’ experience by upgrading the services we perform and offer based on my travels and experiences,” Martin said. What sets the salon and day spa apart is the Aveda product line, which is all-natural and animal-cruelty free. Certain criteria must be met for a salon to be a carrier of Aveda products.

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Martin’s belief is that every woman should look her best and feel her best. “You have to have your lips on,” she said. Martin used to watch her clients leave her salon, go to their vehicle, pull down the visor and put their lipstick on. That’s when she got the idea that every woman should leave her salon with a finished look for their hairstyle. She says customer service, thanking the customers for coming in, and those finishing touches are ways she makes her clients feel special. The salon and day spa has 13 employees. Martin helps train the

Loretta Hines, salon manager and bookkeeper at His & Her Salon & Day Spa, gets a pedicure from stylist Teresa Gauvin. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

staff and promotes their careers. “Thank you for all the years of supporting His & Her and myself,” she said. “That makes me very, very proud that they have continued to support me, and I hope they continue to do so in the future.” — Jessica Cole

BEST SPA/Midwest Float First runner-up: MEDICAL SPA Second runner-up: Essentia Salon & Spa First runner-up: Midwest Float Second runner-up: Essentia Salon & Spa


The Topeka Capital-Journal | 19


SERVICE AAA TOPEKA aaa.com

Since 1947, AAA Topeka has helped stranded drivers in northeast Kansas. With a full line of towing services that include flatbed trucks, traditional wreckers, service vehicles ready to help replace batteries or bring gas to customers, AAA Topeka can assist in most roadside trouble, spokeswoman Jennifer Haugh said. It’s often not a pleasant situation when a car needs to be towed. AAA mechanics and drivers work hard to make sure customers are taken care of. “We’re a source of help in a bad time, but we also help them have confidence everything will be taken care of,” Haugh said. “We don’t want to add stress to an already tough situation.” It’s not just cars and trucks AAA will service and tow. Two

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From left: AAA Topeka service providers Scott Mulvihill, Jayson Briggs, Keith Bourne and Richard Cutchins help stranded drivers in northeast Kansas. [PHOTOS BY THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

BEST TOWING COMPANY

“WE'RE CONSISTENTLY RELIABLE. FROM ROADSIDE SERVICE TO TOWING, WE WANT TO PUT MEMBERS AT EASE.” JENNIFER HAUGH, AAA TOPEKA SPOKESWOMAN


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SERVICE years ago, the company began offering a range of services to bicyclists, including chain repair and replacements, tire replacements and other bike-specific work. Last year, AAA partnered with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to offer service points along the Prairie Spirit Trail, a roughly 50-mile bike trail that follows the former Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston Railroad from Ottawa to Iola. A series of points along the route allow AAA mechanics to assist stranded bicyclists. “Say your chain breaks and you’re too far away,” she said. “If our trucks can reach you, they can come do repairs or pick you up and take you back to your house or car.” Counting drivers, administrators and retail specialists, AAA Topeka, 1223 S.W. Wanamaker Road, employs 50 to 60 people in Topeka and assists motorists within a 100mile radius. — Luke Ranker

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ABOVE: AAA Topeka employee Scott Mulvihill helps keep the towing company’s vehicles clean and ready to respond when a call for help comes in. LEFT: AAA Topeka employs between 50 and 60 people in Topeka and assists motorists within a 100-mile radius.

BEST TOWING COMPANY First runner-up: Brown’s Super Service Inc. Second runner-up: Darrell’s Service


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SERVICE BEST AUTO REPA IR SH O P BEST PLACE FO R AN O IL CH A N GE

DARRELL’S SERVICE darrellsservicetopeka.com

For nearly 50 years, this family-owned automotive service shop has delivered reliable repairs, quick lube and oil changes, and a wide selection of leading-brand tires and wheels. Fill your tank at Darrell’s 24-hour gas station, and keep the number of its 24-hour towing service handy in case you’re ever in an accident or stranded in an inoperable vehicle. BEST AUTO REPAIR SHOP First runner-up: Ed Bozarth Chevrolet Buick GMC Second runner-up: Yingling’s Auto Service BEST PLACE FOR AN OIL CHANGE First runner-up: Ed Bozarth Chevrolet Buick GMC Second runner-up: Kansasland Tire & Service

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BEST BAN K

COREFIRST BANK & TRUST cbtks.com

Originally chartered in August 1959, CoreFirst has grown in size, services, technology and quality over the years to where its been recognized as the “Best Bank of Kansas” by Money Magazine. With locations in Topeka, Manhattan, the Kansas City area and Denver, the bank’s “core” remains focused on the financial needs of its customers. First runner-up: Capitol Federal Savings Bank Second runner-up: Silver Lake Bank BEST BU I LD E R / REMO D ELE R — CO MMERC IAL

GARNER REMODELING garnerremodeling.com

One call to Garner Remodeling may solve all of your house problems. Renovating bathrooms,

bedrooms, family/living rooms and kitchens is right up Garner’s alley, from painting to wallpaper repairs to appliance replacement to lighting/electrical updates to fire/water restoration. Handyman services also available. First runner-up: Passow Remodeling Second runner-up: PDQ Construction Inc. B EST B UIL D E R / REMODELER — CO M M E RC IAL

TOPEKA HABITAT FOR HUMANITY topekahabitat.org

The nonprofit partners with other organizations with an emphasis in low-income housing and neighborhoods to provide construction education to three high schools and safe and affordable housing to those who meet income guidelines. Its ReStore sells donated building materials to the public for a fraction of the cost. First runner-up: Dultmeier Homes

Second runner-up: Golden Rule Remodeling Inc. B EST CA BLE /I NT E RNE T S E RVI C E P ROVI DE R

COX COMMUNICATIONS cox.com

Rapid-speed Internet for gaming and downloading high-definition movies, more than 220 TV channels, unlimited local phone calls, streaming and security assurances are some of the options that makes this communications company a favorite. Bundle its services for a package sure to


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SERVICE polished and shampooed, turning grimy vehicles into sparkling rides. The open-every-day business also is “green”-conscious, recycling wash water and using biodegradable soaps, detergents and waxes. First runner-up: Squeaky Clean Car Wash/Dog Wash Second runner-up: Otto Car Wash BEST CA RP ET C L E AN E R

BOB’S JANITORIAL SERVICE & SUPPLY INC. bobsjanitorial.com

please your inner geek. First runner-up: AT&T Second runner-up: Sky.com Inc. BEST CA R WAS H

EAGLE AUTO WASH & DETAILING SALON eagleautowash.com

For more than 30 years, the hard-working crew at Eagle Auto Wash and Detailing Salon has cleaned, detailed, waxed,

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In business since 1975, Bob’s is an expert in cleaning. Carpets, air ducts, offices and windows are no match for its employees. The company offers dryer vent services and pet and smoke odor elimination, and can bring a rental home or apartment up to move-in status. First runner-up: Chavez Restoration & Cleaning Second runner-up: Absolutely Top Notch

B EST C E L L S E RVIC E PROVID E R

AT&T att.com

With roots reaching back 140 years to inventor Alexander Graham Bell and the Bell Telephone Company, this telecommunications company continues to loom large in the mobile and fixed phone services industry while opening the door to the future with its smart home security, high-speed Internet, tablets and wearable technology devices. First runner-up: Verizon Second runner-up: Sprint B EST C H IL D CAR E C E N T E R

CHRIST THE KING EARLY EDUCATION CENTER bit.ly/CJedcenter

Preparing children for school success while nurturing their faith is at the heart of this early education center, dedicated in 1995. Well-planned programs for infants, toddlers, preschoolers

and pre-kindergarteners provide fun activities for learning, and school-age programs provide a structured, safe environment in which they can continue to grow. First runner-up: Little Lions Learning Center/Cair Paravel Latin School Second runner-up: Children’s Day Out Preschool B EST C HURC H/ SYNAGOGUE

CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC CHURCH ctktopeka.org

For 40 years, the Catholic parish has adhered to its sacred purpose of expressing devotion to God. But parishioners also reach beyond the church walls to give their time and talent to the Topeka community through food drives and serving a monthly meal at Let’s Help. The parish currently encompasses more than 1,927 households.


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SERVICE First runner-up: Topeka Bible Church Second runner-up: Fellowship Bible Church B EST DRA IN CLEA N I N G SERV ICE BEST H EATIN G /A I R CO MPA N Y BEST P LUMBING CO MPA N Y

A-1 PLUMBING, HEATING, COOLING, ELECTRICAL bettercleanerfaster.com

A-1 Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Electrical promises its customers they’ll do the job better, cleaner and faster than its competitors, regardless if its crew is fixing a running toilet, installing a new water heater, replacing a sewer line or remodeling a kitchen or bath. And if they happen to make a mess, they’ll pay to clean it up and buy you a dinner for two. BEST DRAIN CLEANING SERVICE First runner-up: Blue Dot Services

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of Kansas Second runner-up: Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning BEST HEATING/AIR COMPANY First runner-up: McElroy’s Inc. Second runner-up: DeBacker’s Inc.

First runner-up: DL Smith Electric Second runner-up: CWC Electric

BEST PLUMBING COMPANY First runner-up: Pat Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning Second runner-up: Potts Plumbing & Appliance Repair

Need a refrigerator dolly? How about an inflatable water slide, plumbing snake or wedding supplies? For more than half a century, the rental company has been loaning out supplies. With two stores in Topeka, it’s easy to make your way to this treasure trove, where you’ll find everything you need for your party or household project.

BEST ELECT R IC IAN

TORGESON ELECTRIC CO.

torgesonelectric.com Torgeson Electric’s vision is to be a leader in the electrical industry by providing comprehensive residential, commercial and industrial services. Experience and up-to-date knowledge lead its contracting team through all phases of the building process, from design to construction, and smaller projects like new wiring and general maintenance.

B EST EQUIPM E N T R E N TAL CO M PAN Y

KANSAS RENTAL INC. kansas-rental.com

First runner-up: Sunflower Rental Second runner-up: The Home Depot B EST F IN AN C IAL PL AN N E R — AG E N T

ROGER W. SHUMAKER/ THE RETIREMENT TEAM bit.ly/CJretire

Roger Shumaker, president of The Retirement Team, is

a SmartVestor Pro — recommended by author and radio host Dave Ramsey — and established the “Retirement Team Radio” show as a public service. He has written numerous articles and appeared on television to discuss investment and retirement strategies. First runner-up: Desmond Henry/ Afflora Financial Life Planning Second runner-up: Blake Sutton/ Envista Credit Union


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SERVICE B EST FIN A N CIA L PL AN N ER — FIRM

THE RETIREMENT TEAM retiretopeka.com

The independent firm started in the mid-1990s by Roger Shumaker focuses on educating and advising clients on ways to achieve their financial goals in retirement. Strategies may include lowering taxes, maximizing their estate, avoiding market downturns and creating retirement income plans. First runner-up: Azura Wealth Management Second runner-up: Edward Jones BEST FUN ERA L H OME/ C REMATO RY

PENWELL-GABEL CREMATIONS, FUNERALS & RECEPTIONS

penwellgabeltopeka.com A stalwart of the Topeka community since 1893, Penwell-Gabel provides personalized funeral

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and mulching. For the hardscape: fireplaces, patios, pergolas and retaining walls. The result: a more beautiful and valuable property.

services that honor a loved one's life and comfort the griefstricken. It offers reception facilities and food service at its four funeral homes and Mount Hope Cemetery, Funeral Chapel & Reception Center. The business also owns Penwell-Gabel Cemetery & Mausoleum.

First runner-up: Topeka Landscape Second runner-up: Armour Lawn Care B EST P EST CONTROL COMPANY

First runner-up: Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home Second runner-up: Dove Cremations & Funerals BEST LAU N D RY/ D RY C LEA N E R

SCOTCH FABRIC CARE SERVICES scotchcleaners.com

Styles of clothing and the techniques used to clean them have changed during the nearly 140-year history of this drop-off, same-day-service dry-cleaning business. Shirt cleaning and pressing still reign, but environmentally friendly equipment and cleaning agents score big points with consumers.

SCHENDEL PEST SERVICES

First runner-up: Village Cleaners Second runner-up: Hygienic Dry Cleaners B EST L AW N CAR E

SCHENDEL LAWN & LANDSCAPE mycreativelawn.com

More than a mowing service, Schendel offers a groundswell of residential and commercial lawn and landscape services. For the lawn: fertilization, overseeding, aeration and irrigation. For the landscape: weed removal, color planting

schendelpest.com

When destructive insects, rodents and wildlife threaten your home or business, Schendel will come in and take care of the pest problem. Mice, bed bugs, termites, moles, mosquitos — all goners. Schendel offers free inspections, and the company’s service technicians are happy to answer questions about pesky home invaders. First runner-up: Ozark Integrated Pest Services Inc. Second runner-up: Wheatland Pest Control


SERVICE BEST PLACE FO R P ET CA RE

DOG DAY AFTERNOON dogdayinc.com

Dog Day Afternoon is a fiveacre doggie dude ranch with a fenced-in area that allows its canine guests to play, roam and run. Since 1999, the company has offered daycare, boarding, grooming and connect care services. With two locations, Dog Day Afternoon also sells premium dog food. First runner-up: The Dirty Dog Second runner-up: The Groom Shack B EST P LACE TO GET A H A IRCUT

GREAT CLIPS greatclips.com

Hair driving you crazy? Ends getting frayed, or length too long? Ready for a boost of color or maybe a makeover? This fashion-forward salon offers a variety of hair treatments for men and

women, adults and children, and all hair types. Pick up a few professional styling products before you go home to keep your new ‘do looking good. First runner-up: Touch of Class Hair Studio Second runner-up: Shear Heaven BEST RO O FI N G CO M PAN Y

GARDNER ROOFING INC. gardnerroofing.net

When you need to put a roof over your head, this family-owned firm is ready with a skilled, dependable crew and quality materials to place the crown on your residential or commercial property. Licensed and fully insured, the company, in operation since 1971, also can be trusted with roof repairs, maintenance and inspections. First runner-up: Appelhanz Roofing Inc. Second runner-up: Dovetail Roofing

B EST S ID IN G / W IN D OWS

MARTINEK & FLYNN WHOLESALE martinekandflynn.net

For 60 years, this family-owned company has provided comprehensive services for remodeling, installations and repair work to homeowners in northeast Kansas. Window and door installation. vinyl and aluminum siding, gutter replacement and patio covers are among the services provided by its highly trained technicians. First runner-up: Pella Windows and Doors of Topeka Second runner-up: Window Design Company B EST TAN N IN G SALO N

SUN-TANA MEGA SALON sun-tana.com

Topeka’s two upscale Sun-Tana salons offer a variety of tanning options using flat or standup beds. Red light therapy sessions promise smoother skin, reduced lines and

a more youthful appearance. At the North Topeka location, you also can get your hair styled and colored, nails painted, ears pierced and body waxed and massaged. First runner-up: Oasis Tanning Salon Second runner-up: Colaw Fitness B EST T RANSMI SSI ON SE RVI C E

AAMCO TRANSMISSIONS & TOTAL CAR CARE bit.ly/CJaamco

Transmissions are AAMCO’s specialty, with a team of technicians who can fix nearly every make and type of transmission. Otherwise, the auto repair business uses state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to distinguish between minor and major repairs, saving its customers money. Local towing available, too. First runner-up: Ed Bozarth Chevrolet Buick GMC Second runner-up: Topeka Transmission Service

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Sherry Lundry, left, TARC Inc. development director, and Briana Holmes Daniels, TARC development and marketing coordinator, help organize the annual TARC Winter Wonderland. The 2-mile light display at Lake Shawnee raises funds for TARC, a notfor-profit organization that supports children, families and adults with intellectual, developmental and related disabilities and delays. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

BEST EVENT IN NORTHEAST KANSAS TARC WINTER WONDERLAND

winterwonderlandtopeka.com

TARC Inc. plans to brighten the holiday spirit again this year when the lights at its Winter

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Wonderland are turned on in November. It will be the 21st year for the fundraiser at Lake Shawnee. Winter Wonderland, open Thanksgiving Day through Dec. 31, is a 2-mile drive-through holiday light display that benefits TARC, a not-for-profit organization that supports more

than 2,500 children, families and adults with intellectual, developmental and related disabilities and delays in Topeka and Shawnee County. “Everything that we raise goes towards programs that we provide for the folks we serve. … So 90 cents of every dollar goes into programming,” said Sherry Lundry,

TARC development director. More than 12,000 vehicles, or about 50,000 visitors, viewed Winter Wonderland’s nearly 70 light displays last year. About $203,000 was raised, and a full-size truck bed of food was collected for Project Topeka. Briana Holmes Daniels, TARC development and marketing


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT TARC Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that supports more than 2,500 children, families and adults with intellectual, developmental and related disabilities and delays in Topeka and Shawnee County. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

coordinator, said it was the most money and food ever received at the fundraiser. The biggest walk-through night also was in 2017, with an estimated 3,000 visitors. The event’s draw typically averages 700 to 800 people. The volunteers, who help set up the displays, work at the gate or help in other ways, and the people who come to see the light show and support TARC make Winter Wonderland a successful and

huge community event, Lundry said. “It’s always nice to hear about different people that have come through and said what TARC’s done for them or how they’re connected or why they come every year,” Holmes Daniels said. “You just hear all kinds of stories from people driving through that we wouldn’t get to hear otherwise.”

“North Wind with Snowflakes” is among the nearly 70 light displays that visitors can see at the annual TARC Winter Wonderland at Lake Shawnee. [SUBMITTED]

“THE THING THAT I LOOK FORWARD TO THE MOST EACH YEAR IS THE FIRST TIME WE TURN ALL THE LIGHTS ON AT NIGHT AND SEE WHAT IT REALLY LOOKS LIKE.” SHERRY LUNDRY

— Jessica Cole

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR AT TARC INC.

BEST EVENT IN NORTHEAST KANSAS First runner-up: Capital City Family & Food Truck Festival Second runner-up: Huff ’n Puff Hot Air Balloon Rally

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 33


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

BEST MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL MASTER OVERBEY’S MARTIAL ARTS masteroverbey.com

Patrick Overbey, owner and chief instructor at Master Overbey’s Martial Arts, says the school emphasizes courtesy and respect during its instruction to children. [PHOTOS BY CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

Master Overbey’s Martial Arts, in operation in Topeka since 2000, provides instruction to

more than 250 students, from children to adults. Two popular programs are

34 | Best of Topeka 2018

an after-school program and a summer day camp for kids. Patrick Overbey, owner and chief

instructor, said both programs incorporate foundational values. “Since we’re a martial arts


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

“AT THE END OF THE CLASS, THEY WALK OUT, THEY’RE ALL SWEATY, THEY’RE TIRED, BUT THEY’RE SMILING. THAT’S ONE OF OUR GOALS FOR OUR CLASSES: SSL — SWEATING, SMILING AND LEARNING.”

Patrick Overbey, owner and chief instructor at Master Overbey’s Martial Arts, teaches martial arts fundamentals to a class of children.

PATRICK OVERBEY OWNER AND CHIEF INSTRUCTOR AT MASTER OVERBEY’S MARTIAL ARTS

school, we have an emphasis on courtesy and respect,” Overbey said. “As far as the after-school and summer camps, there’s a lot of working parents that need something structured and safe for their child to be involved in when they’re at work. That’s what we offer.” In addition to the after-school program and summer day camp,

the school, 3722 S.W. Burlingame Road, provides a martial arts class for children. Kickboxing, martial arts and self-defense classes are open to adults. Overbey said the classes offer an alternative type of fitness training. “Fitness is a big thing for adults. It’s not like going and lifting

weights or being on the treadmill, where it’s just kind of the same thing every day. It’s a learning situation, so you’re actually involved in a program where there’s levels that you’re attaining,” he said. “And it’s fun. People love martial arts. You get to kick things. You get to release that stress.” — Alexandra Martinez

BEST MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL First runner-up: Topeka ATA Second runner-up: Sun Yi’s Academy

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 35


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT BEST A RT GA LLE RY B EST PLACE TO TA K E A N OU T- O F-TOWN E R

NOTO ARTS DISTRICT notoshopping.com

Described as the “colorful heartbeat of North Topeka,” the 800 and 900 blocks of N. Kansas Avenue are lined with art galleries and studios, restaurants, antique stores and a variety of other shops, all locally owned and operated and many located in historic buildings. On the first Friday of the month, thousands of people flock to the arts district for the First Friday Artwalk. BEST ART GALLERY First runner-up: Mulvane Art Museum Second runner-up: Alice C. Sabatini Gallery/Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library BEST PLACE TO TAKE AN OUT-OF-TOWNER First runner-up: The Pennant Second runner-up: Ted Ensley Gardens/Lake Shawnee

36 | Best of Topeka 2018

BEST BI NGO BEST CAS IN O BEST H OT E L BEST GO LF COU RS E

PRAIRIE BAND CASINO & RESORT prairieband.com

A 15-minute drive north of Topeka, Prairie Band Casino & Resort offers a jackpot of gaming, entertainment and dining experiences. Test your luck at more than 1,100 slots and 25 table games. Play bingo, tee off at the scenic Firekeeper Golf Course or sate your appetite at the Longhouse Buffet or Three Fires Steakhouse. Then, at day’s end, enjoy a night’s stay in one of the resort’s luxurious guest rooms. BEST BINGO First runner-up: Hayden PACE Bingo Second runner-up: Arab Shrine Bingo

BEST CASINO First runner-up: Hollywood Casino Second runner-up: Golden Eagle Casino BEST HOTEL First runner-up: Capitol Plaza Hotel & Convention Center Second runner-up: Ramada Topeka Downtown Hotel & Convention Center   BEST GOLF COURSE First runner-up: GreatLife Golf & Fitness Second runner-up: Lake Shawnee Golf Course B EST DAN C E ST UD IO

THE DANCE FACTORY dancefactorynews.com

Youngsters kick up their heels at this dance studio, where instruction in jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop and contemporary is offered and leaps and turns take center stage. Students ages 3 to 18 develop a passion for dance

— and for life — as they master arabesques, heel steps and body popping for recreation, competitions or public performances. First runner-up: Barbara’s Conservatory of Dance/Ballet Midwest Second runner-up: Kansas Ballet Academy B EST E THNI C E VE NT I N N O RT HE AST KANSAS

FIESTA MEXICANA olgfiestamexicana.org

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church’s


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT five-day festival celebrates the Oakland community’s Hispanic culture with a coronation ball, parade of decorated floats and cars, tamales and other authentic Mexican food, mariachi and Tejano musicians, an art show showcasing local talent and a carnival with thrill-inducing rides. First runner-up: Prairie Band Potawatomi Pow Wow Second runner-up: Germanfest BEST FA MILY EN TERTA IN MENT

TOPEKA ZOO topekazoo.org

Walk through the tropical rainforest at the 32-acre zoo and notice the subtleties of nature — flapping of wings, a slither through the foliage. Elsewhere, hippos swim in a 28,000gallon water pool; endangered Sumatran tigers roar; and the zoo’s newest arrival, Elizabeth the giraffe, tags along with her mother. The zoo is home to

about 300 animals from around the world. First runner-up: Gage Park Second runner-up: Kansas Children’s Discovery Center BEST FRE E EN T ERTA I N M E N T

FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK BY ARTSCONNECT artsconnecttopeka.org

Hundreds of people join the “art trek” to galleries and exhibition spaces across the capital city — and especially the NOTO Arts District — on the first Friday of each month. Rub elbows with Topeka’s creative spirits — painters, sculptors, photographers, printmakers, fiber artists and more. Music, food and children’s activities round out the family-friendly affair. First runner-up: Lake Shawnee Second runner-up: Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library

BEST LO CAL H ISTO R ICAL S IT E B EST M U S E U M

KANSAS MUSEUM OF HISTORY bit.ly/CJkshs

The collections at the award-winning Kansas Museum of History narrate the rich history of the Sunflower State. Santa Fe Railway’s oldest surviving locomotive and a 1914 Longren biplane reveal the state's transportation legacy, while wartime artifacts speak to the sacrifices made by ordinary Kansans. Also on show: Carry A. Nation’s hammer and Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s boots. BEST LOCAL HISTORICAL SITE First runner-up: Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site Second runner-up: Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site BEST MUSEUM First runner-up: Kansas

Children’s Discovery Center Second runner-up: Combat Air Museum B EST P LAC E F OR LI VE E N T E RTAI NME NT

TOPEKA CIVIC THEATRE AND ACADEMY/ HELEN HOCKER THEATER topekacivictheatre.com

Since 1936, Topeka Civic Theatre has been bringing the community together to experience live theater, often performed by friends and family members. There’s always something going on at the theater — rehearsals, auditions, classes, sets being designed, productions being staged. TCT also manages Helen Hocker Theater in Gage Park. First runner-up: Topeka Performing Arts Center Second runner-up: Prairie Band Casino & Resort

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 37


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

HOUSING & HOSPITALITY

BEST PLACE FO R RECEPTIO N /EV EN T

BEST P LAC E TO H AVE A BI RT H DAY PA RT Y

bit.ly/CJlakeshawnee

GAGE PARK

LAKE SHAWNEE

Ted Ensley Gardens, the jewel of Lake Shawnee, features a 60-foot covered bridge over a rocky stream, rock and rose gardens, and a panoramic view of the lake. The lake’s facilities also include the Garden House, campground, sand volleyball courts, ball fields, tennis courts, marina, golf course, swimming beach and 7-mile concrete path for running or walking. First runner-up: The Brownstone Second runner-up: Dillon House

38 | Best of Topeka 2018

BEST PA RK

bit.ly/CJgagepark The 160-acre park — a popular place for birthday parties, weddings and corporate picnics — has been making memories since 1899. A mini-train follows a mile-long track; a 1908 carousel houses a Wurlitzer-style band organ; 400 varieties of roses bloom at Reinisch Rose Garden; and children splash in the 50-meter pool at the Blaisdell Family Aquatic Center. BEST PLACE TO HAVE A BIRTHDAY PARTY First runner-up: Sky Zone Topeka Second runner-up: Kansas Children’s Discovery Center BEST PARK First runner-up: Lake Shawnee Second runner-up: Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site

B EST APART M E N T CO M PL E X

CHALET APARTMENTS chaletapartments.com

Unique architecture and an oldworld European vibe are what makes the Chalet Apartments stand out among Topeka’s housing options. Amenities at the pet-friendly apartment complex include a DVD library, clubhouse with kitchen, onsite laundry and landscaped surroundings with trees, flowers and a nearby stream. First runner-up: McCrite Plaza Topeka Second runner-up: Sherwood Apartments B EST B E D AN D B R E AK FAST

THE BARN BED & BREAKFAST INN thebarnbb.com

The 20 guest rooms at this late1800s country inn are often booked years in advance. Nestled in the hills of Jefferson County, the B&B’s

amenities include home-cooked meals, an indoor heated swimming pool, a nine-hole disc golf course, a fishing pond, walking trails and a fitness room. Hospitality rules at this family-owned and -operated retreat. First runner-up: Mayetta Bed and Breakfast Second runner-up: The Woodward Inns on Fillmore B EST RE T I RE ME NT COMMUNI TY

MCCRITE PLAZA TOPEKA mccriteplaza.com

McCrite Plaza Topeka co-owners Pat and Judy McCrite make sure their high standard for service is met while providing a comfortable retirement community where older adults can live, socialize and receive a continuum of care — and maybe even play a round of golf on its par-3 course. First runner-up: Brewster Second runner-up: Aldersgate Village


FOOD & DRINK

BEST CHICKEN WINGS BUFFALO WILD WINGS

buffalowildwings.com

At Buffalo Wild Wings, it’s all about making guests feel comfortable — encouraging them to settle into a booth with a cold brew and hoping they enjoy the experience so much they make

From left: Employees Blake Shook and John Tetuan, general manager Don Heidrich and employee Chandler Passow stand outside Buffalo Wild Wings, 1227 S.W. Wanamaker Road, Suite 400. [PHOTOS BY CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 39


FOOD & DRINK a habit of it, according to general manager Don Heidrich. “We do have a loyalty program, which we hope encourages people to keep coming back,” Heidrich said. “We aim for 30 percent of our guests to be loyalty members, and we try to just treat them all like regulars and hope they become one.” Buffalo Wild Wings, 1227 S.W. Wanamaker Road, is known for its wings, especially the boneless wings drenched in their signature dipping sauces. To no surprise, Heidrich said, honey barbecue is the local favorite. “It is a pretty popular one, but we’ve got so many other flavors,” he said. In addition to its quality service, Heidrich believes it’s important the Buffalo Wild Wings company is active in the community. The restaurant participates regularly in local fundraisers, like Topeka Civic Theatre’s Art of Murder event, giving out wings and encouraging guests to give them a try. — Savanna Maue

40 | Best of Topeka 2018

Bartender Angelina Lira talks with a couple of local Buffalo Wild Wings customers. Lira has worked at the Topeka restaurant for 10 years.


FOOD & DRINK

“MY FAVORITE PART OF WORKING AT BUFFALO WILD WINGS IS THE PEOPLE, TALKING TO PEOPLE. IT’S A FUN ATMOSPHERE. EVERYONE TAKES A LOT OF PRIDE IN WHAT THEY DO, AND THEY HAVE FUN WHILE THEY’RE DOING IT. EVEN IF PEOPLE GET A LITTLE ROWDY WITH THEIR FRIENDS WATCHING THE SPORTING EVENTS, IT’S ALL IN GOOD FUN.” DON HEIDRICH

GENERAL MANAGER OF BUFFALO WILD WINGS

BEST CHICKEN WINGS Buffalo Wild Wings employee Chandler Passow shakes a container of chicken wings, thoroughly coating them with the restaurant’s signature honey barbecue sauce.

First runner-up: Henry T’s Second runner-up: Abigail’s Grill & Bar

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 41


FOOD & DRINK

BEST TEA SHOP CAFE BARNABAS cafebarnabas.org

From left: Cafe Barnabas staff Justin Fulton, infusionist; Debbie Christiansen, co-founder/operations director; Lillie Harper, infusionist; and Christen Black, associate site missionary, stand outside the cafe in West Ridge Mall. [PHOTOS BY THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

42 | Best of Topeka 2018

At Cafe Barnabas, owner Kevin Christiansen and his staff not only pay attention to the quality of the cafe’s products, but they also focus on the education of its employees. The nonprofit tea-focused


FOOD & DRINK

Cafe Barnabas has a wide variety of premium teas, including loose-leaf teas, kombucha on tap, nitro chai tea and bubble tea.

cafe, in West Ridge Mall at S.W. 18th and S.W. Wanamaker Road, employs about 230 students to assist with daily operations, whether it’s taking orders, washing blenders or handing out free samples. “We enjoy being really good as far as tea is concerned, but our

real heart is mentoring students,” Christiansen said. “We hire kids looking for experience, those looking for work skills for when they turn 16, or (to) expand out their resume or just gathering community hours for National Honor Society.” Cafe Barnabas has been

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 43


FOOD & DRINK recognized nationally for its products, such as loose-leaf teas, kombucha on tap, nitro chai tea and, most famously, bubble tea. “It’s a green or a black tea smoothie that we put a real fruit puree in, then ice and blend it up — so it’s really a really healthy product that's loaded with a bit of caffeine, and it tastes great,” Christiansen said. Unlike other products, the bubble tea at Cafe Barnabas is made by hand, with no powders or premade mix. “It’s a very house-crafted product that’s not coming out of a package. You can taste the difference in the product,” he said.

— Savanna Maue

BEST TEA SHOP First runner-up: Classic Bean Second runner-up: PT’s Coffee at College Hill

44 | Best of Topeka 2018

“WE SPEND A LOT OF TIME MAKING SURE THAT NOT ONLY DO WE HAVE INCREDIBLE PRODUCTS THAT PEOPLE CAN TAKE HOME AND ENJOY, BUT THAT OUR TEAM HAS A REAL DEPTH OF KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE TEA.” KEVIN CHRISTIANSEN OWNER OF CAFE BARNABAS

Justin Fulton, an infusionist at Cafe Barnabas, prepares a teabased drink. The cafe is in West Ridge Mall, S.W. 18th and S.W. Wanamaker Road.


FOOD & DRINK BEST ASIA N R ESTAURA N T

KIKU STEAK HOUSE OF JAPAN bit.ly/CJkiku

For more than 20 years, Kiku’s is the place to see authentic Japanese food being cooked on a hibachi right before your eyes. A variety of steak, chicken and shrimp dishes illustrate the menu, and a sea of flavorful sushi delicacies are primed to fill your belly. Top off the meal with green-tea ice cream or red beans with ice cream. First runner-up: Tuptim Thai Restaurant Second runner-up: Oriental Express B EST BA R BECUE

HERMAN’S MEAT & SMOKEHOUSE hermansmeat.com

The essentials of barbecue — ribs, brisket, pulled pork, burnt ends — are on the menu at

Herman’s Meat & Smokehouse, but the restaurant’s reputation also has built on its loaded baked potatoes, sandwiches and salads topped with smoked meat. Catering options are available, too. First runner-up: Lonnie Q’s BBQ Second runner-up: Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q & Catering BEST BREW E RY BEST P LAC E TO G E T A CO LD BE E R

BLIND TIGER BREWERY & RESTAURANT blindtiger.com

The industrial look of the brewhouse and fermenters contrasts with the relaxed vibe of the bar, atrium and deck of the Blind Tiger, the first craft brewery to roar into Topeka. Six flagship beers are on tap, and steaks, barbecue and bison burgers tame ferocious appetites. Recent daily specials were chicken and noodles and Grandmom Mildred’s

meatloaf dinner. BEST BREWERY First runner-up: Norsemen Brewing Co. Second runner-up: Happy Basset Brewing Co. BEST PLACE TO GET A COLD BEER First runner-up: Norsemen Brewing Co. Second runner-up: Happy Basset Brewing Co. B EST B UF F E T

HUHOT MONGOLIAN GRILL bit.ly/CJhuhot

The biggest selling points for HuHot Mongolian Grill is its all-you-can-eat grill meal; made-to-order stir-fry; variety of proteins, from cod, mahi-mahi and shrimp to chicken, beef and pork; noodle and rice options; and gluten-free choices. FYI: All the ingredients are high-quality, too.

First runner-up: Prairie Band Casino & Resort Second runner-up: Blue Moose Bar & Grill B EST BURG E R

THE BURGER STAND

burgerstandrestaurants.com Gourmet beef burgers and cold beers are the stage-taking stars at this casual College Hill neighborhood eatery, but veggie, chicken,

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 45


FOOD & DRINK BEST CAT ERI N G CO M PAN Y

ABOUD’S-ENGROFF CATERING abouds.com

Aboud's-Engroff’s homemade hors d'oeuvres, hand-cut Kansas beef entrees and delicate desserts have been the hit at special events for more than 30 years. You know a caterer is good when it can handle a group of 15 to 5,000 and is the exclusive caterer for the Topeka Civic Theatre and Heartland Motorsports Park.

turkey and catfish burgers, hot dogs, salads and fries are waiting in the wings. Additional pluses are outdoor patio seating and the Pong Bar, with its ping pong, pool and foosball tables, pinball machines and digital bar gaming. First runner-up: The Pad Second runner-up: Bobo’s Drive In

46 | Best of Topeka 2018

First runner-up: Topeka Hy-Vee Second runner-up: Simply Sarah’s Catering BEST CO FFEE S H O P

CLASSIC BEAN classicbean.com

The European-style coffee and espresso drinks and composer-named sandwiches are the foundation on which The Bean

has added apps, wraps, salads, pastas, desserts and specialty drinks like its signature Hot Rum Chai and the Razztini, a raspberry and vodka martini. Other pluses: performances by poets and musicians and local art on the walls. First runner-up: PT’s Coffee at College Hill Second runner-up: Blackbird Espresso Bar & Bistro B EST D E L I/ SAN DW IC H S H O P B EST OUT D O O R D IN IN G B EST PL AC E F O R LUN C H B EST N OTO R ESTAU RAN T/ R E TAIL

THE WHEEL BARREL thewheelbarrel.com

The Wheel Barrel specializes in gourmet grilled cheese delights, housemade soups and craft beers. Take advantage of the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar during the Sunday brunch. A special Moonlight Menu offers a

sandwich, hummus platter and meat-fruit-cheese platter from 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays. BEST DELI/SANDWICH SHOP First runner-up: Schlotzsky’s Second runner-up: Jason’s Deli BEST OUTDOOR DINING First runner-up: Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant Second runner-up: Blue Moose Bar & Grill BEST PLACE FOR LUNCH First runner-up: Longhouse Buffet at Prairie Band Casino & Resort Second runner-up: Harold’s Prize Package   BEST NOTO RESTAURANT/RETAIL First runner-up: Norsemen Brewing Co. Second runner-up: Bradley’s Corner Cafe


FOOD & DRINK BEST FIN E DIN ING RESTAURA N T

ROWHOUSE RESTAURANT

rowhouserestaurant.net The RowHouse’s taste bud-pleasing, multi-course Chef’s Tasting and A la Carte dinners are prepared based on what’s in season, what’s available and the chef’s current cravings. Menu items change each week. A recent menu listed Citrus Brined Chicken Breast, with carrot puree, pinto beans, greens and herb pistou, and blueberry cream pie. First runner-up: LongHorn Steakhouse Second runner-up: Blue Moose Bar & Grill BEST H A P PY H OU R

SONIC DRIVE-IN bit.ly/CJsonic

Only Sonic would come up with

Snow Cone slushes called Pickle Juice and Tiger Blood. Will the cool treats replace the cherry limeade, chili cheese coney or crispy tater tots as favorites? Download the Sonic app to pay for your meal, redeem rewards or track down locations, and sign up for text messages alerting you to its special offers. First runner-up: Blue Moose Bar & Grill Second runner-up: Happy Basset Brewing Co. BEST I C E C REA M / YO GURT

G’S FROZEN CUSTARD & YOGURT bit.ly/CJcustard

The treats scooped into cones or cups at G’s woo the tastebuds while preserving some of the city’s favorite flavors — crunchy Brown Bread; Ruby Red, red velvet cake and buttercream frosting in vanilla custard; and Fantasy Snickers, chocolate custard layered with peanut

butter and Snickers. The custard and yogurt are made fresh daily at this quarter-century-old business. First runner-up: Cold Stone Creamery Second runner-up: Sheridan’s Frozen Custard B EST ITAL IAN R ESTAU RAN T B EST RO M AN T IC R ESTAU RAN T

PAISANO’S RISTORANTE

paisanoskansas.com The rustic, robust flavors of Italy have crossed the ocean and landed on the plates of diners at this perennial “Best of” winner. You can create your own pasta dish or order from the lengthy menu of chicken, sausage, seafood or beef tenderloin favorites. Check out the daily wine and cocktail specials, too. Crimson and Blue martinis, anyone?

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT First runner-up: LaRocca’s Pizza Second runner-up: Olive Garden Italian Restaurant BEST ROMANTIC RESTAURANT First runner-up: RowHouse Restaurant Second runner-up: Three Fires Steakhouse at Prairie Band Casino & Resort

The Topeka Capital-Journal | 47


FOOD & DRINK on the meal with sweet-doughed sopapillas. A recent addition: Coronarita, a drink that combines the flavor of a frozen margarita with a Corona. First runner-up: Margarita’s Jalisco Mexican Bar & Grill Second runner-up: Fuzzy’s Taco Shop BEST P I ZZ A

GLORY DAYS PIZZA glorydayspizza.com

B EST MEXICA N R ESTAURA N T

EL MEZCAL

elmezcaltopeka.com Take your taste buds on a journey south of the border with the robust flavors of the authentic Mexican fare at El Mezcal: tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, tamales, burritos. Put an exclamation point

48 | Best of Topeka 2018

The locally owned pizza shop makes every crispy-crusted pie in its ovens from scratch: freshly made dough; layers of spicy signature sauce; diced and sliced veggies; quality meat toppings; grated mozzarella and provolone. Six crust options are available, from thin to four-grain to gluten-free. Sandwiches, salads, wings and desserts also court diners. First runner-up: LaRocca’s Pizza Second runner-up: AJ’s NY Pizzeria

B EST PL AC E F O R B R E AK FAST

HANOVER PANCAKE HOUSE hanoverpancakehouse.com

The bountiful breakfast menu at Hanover is a tasty wake-up call: omelettes, French toast, waffles, biscuits and gravy, combo plates and, of course, stacks of pancakes. A favorite? The Burnetts Mound Pancake Wrap, with scrambled eggs, cheese, hash browns, ham, sausage and bacon. Lunch menu also available. First runner-up: Bradley’s Corner Cafe Second runner-up: Banjo’s Cafe B EST SAL AD

OLIVE GARDEN ITALIAN RESTAURANT bit.ly/CJolive

Hungry for breadsticks, perfectly made pasta and a crisp, flavorful

salad? Olive Garden’s Italian dishes are sure to please everyone in your family. Entrees range from calamari appetizers to the classic Five Cheese Ziti al Forno to the Mediterranean-inspired Salmon Piccata. Specials lighten the tab. First runner-up: Jason’s Deli Second runner-up: Field of Greens B EST SP ORTS BAR

VIKINGS GRILLE vikingsgrille.com

One side of the family-friendly, newly remodeled Vikings Grille showcases a bar, pool tables, televisions for watching sports and a party room. The other side is an American-style grill offering hamburgers, chicken wings, steaks, homemade chicken and noodles, salads, soups, desserts and signature drinks. First runner-up: The Lazy Toad Bar & Grill


FOOD & DRINK Second runner-up: Skinny’s Sports Bar & Grill BEST STEA K

TEXAS ROADHOUSE bit.ly/CJroadhouse

The steaks are sizzling on the grill at Texas Roadhouse: ribeyes, T-bones, New York strips, medallions, kabobs, prime rib, sirloin and, yes, the infamous Road Kill, a chopped steak smothered with sauteed onions and mushrooms and jack cheese. Appetizers and entrees come in Lone Star State-sized portions. First runner-up: North Star Steakhouse Second runner-up: LongHorn Steakhouse BEST SWEET O R SAVO RY TR EAT

HAZEL HILL CHOCOLATE hazelhillchocolate.com

Using real, simple ingredients is

the key to creating the deletable, decorated treats lined up in the cases at Hazel Hill Chocolate. The shop purchases cacao beans from countries like Madagascar to make single-origin chocolate bars with distinctive flavors. The caramel and marshmallows are made in-house, too. First runner-up: Josey Baking Co. Second runner-up: Baker’s Dozen BEST TA K E - OUT

TUPTIM THAI RESTAURANT

tuptimthaitopeka.com The colors and scents of the dishes being prepared at Tuptim Thai Restaurant are proof enough to know it’s authentic Asian cuisine. Jasmine, garlic, curry, turmeric, basil, scallions, soy sauce, ginger and other seasonings give the appetizers, entrees, salads and soups their punch.

Carry-out available. First runner-up: Harold’s Prize Package Second runner-up: Olive Garden Italian Restaurant B EST W IN E L IST

GLACIERS EDGE WINERY & VINEYARD glaciersedgewine.com

The tasting room and patio at Glaciers Edge Winery & Vineyard opened in May 2014. Since then, the winery/vineyard has upped the number of vines in production to nearly 5,000 and recently added a 90-seat event room. The hand-cut, lighted limestone patio, which can seat 45, has a fireplace and covered porch. Another plus: The tasting room is open for all events. First runner-up: Paisano’s Ristorante Second runner-up: The White Linen

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PROFESSIONAL TROY BERBERICK/ BERBERICK LAW berbericklaw.com

Navigating bankruptcy court is as much about providing emotional support as it is about giving legal advice. Troy Berberick, the lone attorney at Berberick Law, 2900 S.W. Wanamaker Road, Suite 204, has helped northeast Kansas businesses and residents through bankruptcy for 18 years. In that time, he said, he has learned there’s more to the practice than complicated finance laws. “They call us counselors for a reason. It’s not just legal counseling,” he said. “The things they express — fear and stress — those are two big things clients are feeling when they come in.” Berberick Law Office specializes in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but he also handles injury claims and other business law.

50 | Best of Topeka 2018

BEST BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

For the past 18 years, Topeka attorney Troy Berberick has assisted businesses and residents of northeast Kansas facing bankruptcy. His focus is on making sure clients understand their options and helping them determine the best course of action. [PHOTOS BY THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]


PROFESSIONAL Chapter 7, often called “fresh start bankruptcy,” wipes out most unsecured debt, like payday loans, credit cards and medical bills. Under Chapter 11, debtors make a monthly payment to a trustee who pays off collectors. In either case, the focus is on making sure clients understand their options and helping them determine the best course of action, Berberick said. Many bankruptcy claims involve small businesses, but because owners front much of the financial burden themselves, those cases easily can become personal. In some cases, bankruptcy isn’t the right move. “You have people who are in a bad financial situation,” he said. “They feel guilty and bad about the whole thing. My job is to let them tell their story and then help them find the best way to start over.” — Luke Ranker

“(CLIENTS) WANT SOMEONE THEY CAN TALK TO. THEY WANT NONJUDGMENTAL LEGAL ADVICE. MY JOB IS TO LISTEN AND GIVE THEM THE BEST ROUTE TO FINANCIAL STABILITY.” TROY BERBERICK ATTORNEY

BEST BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY

A sign advertises the law office of Troy Berberick, who was voted Best Bankruptcy Attorney in this year’s Best of Topeka competition.

First runner-up: Mack & Associates Second runner-up: Garrett Law

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PROFESSIONAL MARC BARABAN drmarcbaraban.com

Plastic and reconstructive surgeon Marc Baraban was in private practice for more than 30 years before joining Stormont Vail Health a couple of years ago. While at some practices a nurse practitioner might handle some procedures, he takes a more personal approach. “We like to take a more personal basis where I’m the one that sees the patient, I’m the one that explains it, I’m the one that does the procedure, whether it be the injectable, which is the Botox and the filler, and of course the surgery,” he said. “I think it gives the patient the best possible result if I’m the one that does it.” Baraban, whose office is in the Cotton O’Neil Mulvane clinic at 823 S.W. Mulvane, said the most frequent procedures he performs are “tummy tucks,” or abdominoplasties, and breast surgeries.

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Marc Baraban, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Stormont Vail Health, says the most frequent procedures he performs are “tummy tucks,” or abdominoplasties, and breast surgeries. [PHOTOS BY THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

BEST COSMETIC/ PLASTIC SURGEON


PROFESSIONAL About 80 percent of people seeking tummy tucks are women, he said, mainly to improve the contour of their body after childbearing. “Many times, at the same time we do the tummy tuck, we do a breast uplift and sometimes a small implant at the same time to restore the volume,” Baraban said. “We call them a ‘mommy makeover.’” He also performs facelifts and noninvasive procedures that use injectable fillers. Cosmetic surgery makes patients feel better about themselves, Baraban said, adding it makes them feel more confident and outgoing in what can be “kind of a youth-oriented society.” “It’s not vanity, per se,” he said. “That’s not why you have the procedure. You want to do it to look better, feel better.” — Samantha Foster

Marc Baraban, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with Stormont Vail Health, examines a patient in his office at Cotton O’Neil Mulvane. Baraban has been in practice for more than 30 years.

BEST COSMETIC/PLASTIC SURGEON First runner-up: Carla Skytta Second runner-up: Jack Peterson

“COSMETIC SURGERY IS NOT SOMETHING THAT ONLY THE RICH AND FAMOUS HAVE. THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE I DO ARE VERY MIDDLE AMERICA. THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SURGERY.” MARC BARABAN PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGEON

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PROFESSIONAL

BEST EMPLOYER — GREATER THAN 500 ADVISORS EXCEL advisorsexcel.com

Broadcast host David Thompson isn’t surprised that Advisors Excel was named the best place to work in Topeka.

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“I know it’s a good place,” he said, “because I tell people where I work and they’re like: ‘Oh, I’m jealous!’” For Thompson, one of the things that set Advisors Excel, 2950 S.W. McClure Road, apart is how it treats its employees.

“We’re recognized and recruited as rock stars, in the whole recruiting process,” said Thompson, noting the special treatment doesn’t end at recruiting. “And ever since then, they still treat us like rock stars.” Copywriter Samantha Egan,

One thing Advisors Excel employees enjoy most about their jobs is the financial company’s “work hard, play hard” mentality. Water balloon fights and obstacle courses, coordinated by the company’s “fun committee,” allows employees to blow off steam. [PHOTOS BY THAD ALLTON/ THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]


PROFESSIONAL

Samantha Egan, copywriter at Advisors Excel

who also is a freelance writer for The Topeka Capital-Journal’s At Home section, credited the company’s “work hard, play hard” ethos. “The work hard, play hard mentality is really strong here,” said Egan, noting not every financial company has a “fun

Kristin Ross, copywriter at Advisors Excel

committee” to help employees blow off steam with water balloon fights and obstacle courses. Copywriter Kristin Ross says she can’t work anywhere else. “Mostly, I feel lucky — this is my first job out of college. I can’t leave, because I’m already spoiled,” she said.

David Thompson, broadcast host at Advisors Exclel

All three employees cited their fellow workers at Advisors Excel as being the magic ingredient that makes the company special. “They’ve recruited gold-star people to do gold-star work,” Thompson said. “It’s why we’re shining so bright.” — Max Wirestone

BEST EMPLOYER — GREATER THAN 500 First runner-up: Stormont Vail Health/Cotton O’Neil Second runner-up: Prairie Band Casino & Resort

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PROFESSIONAL

BEST EMPLOYER — LESS THAN 500 BEST CREDIT UNION Azura Credit Union employees gather in front of the company’s administration office at 610 S.W. 10th Ave. Employees say one of the reasons they like working for the credit union is its emphasis on volunteering. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

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PROFESSIONAL

“WE’RE RECOGNIZED AND APPRECIATED FOR WHAT WE DO, AND WE HAVE A LOT OF FUN DOING IT.” CHRISTY CAMPBELL ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT OF HUMAN RESOURCES AT AZURA CREDIT UNION

AZURA CREDIT UNION azuracu.com

Allyson Shove-Chard, vice president of marketing at Azura Credit Union, loves a lot of things about her job. But one of the things that really sets Azura apart, she says, is its emphasis on volunteerism. Employees of Azura, which has several locations in Topeka and an administration office at 610 S.W. 10th Ave., can take eight hours of paid volunteer leave each year. According to its website, employees have volunteered more than 130 hours so far this year. “It’s powerful. Not everyone had had the chance to volunteer before, and now that they do it, they’re regular volunteers at

places,” she said. Shove-Chard has volunteered at TARC Winter Wonderland and Topeka Rescue Mission. She’s even built toys for Toys for Tots. Azura Credit Union also has adopted Azura Trails and sends staff to beautify the area monthly. Christy Campbell, assistant vice president of human resources at Azura, says volunteerism is just another example of what makes Azura special. “I think it’s a place where people can make a difference. It’s meaningful work that we do,” Campbell said. “We’re improving lives, not just while we’re at work, but in the community,” added Shove-Chard. — Max Wirestone

BEST EMPLOYER — LESS THAN 500 First runner-up: Envista Credit Union Second runner-up: Ed Bozarth Chevrolet Buick GMC

BEST CREDIT UNION First runner-up: Envista Credit Union Second runner-up: Kansas Blue Cross Blue Shield Credit Union

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PROFESSIONAL BEST A RCH ITECT

ARCHITECT ONE ao.design

From the much-anticipated downtown Topeka revitalization project to the design of The Wheel Barrel in the NOTO Arts District to the modern addition to Fellowship Baptist Church, the creative, inspired design and architectural services of Architect One punctuates the capital city’s landscape. It's no wonder the firm's motto is “You know us by our work.” First runner-up: Schwerdt Design Group Inc. Second runner-up: HTK Architects BEST AUCTIO N E ER

DAN KOOSER/KOOSER AUCTION SERVICE kooserauction.com

The fast-talking, audience-engaging banter learned from his auctioneer father makes Dan Kooser a top pick to call area farm, estate, real estate and other sales. Kooser, who’s also a real

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estate agent, has been yelling “Sold!” since the 1980s, surviving the trend toward eBay and other online auction sites.

Chiropractic B EST D E N T IST

REES E. WEBBER (785) 232-7707

First runner-up: RJ’s Auction Service Second runner-up: Simnitt Real Estate & Auction Inc. BEST C H I RO P RACT IC P RACT I C E

TOPEKA SPORTS & FAMILY CHIROPRACTIC tsfchiropractic.com

Topeka Sports and Family Chiropractic’s mission is to relieve patients’ pain and maximize their health through chiropractic care, rehabilitation services and nutritional advice. Chiropractic adjustment and researchedbacked manual therapy are among the many techniques used. First runner-up: The Center for Manual Medicine and Regenerative Orthopedics Second runner-up: Beckley

Rees E. Webber, a perennial on the “Best of” list, has been a dentist in Topeka for more than 20 years. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Webber treats patients of all ages, focusing on providing the best patient care possible in a family-friendly environment. First runner-up: Gage Center Dental Group Second runner-up: Topeka Smiles B EST D E R M ATO LO G IST

RICKS ADVANCED DERMATOLOGY & SKIN SURGERY/RADIANCE MEDICAL SPA ricksderm.com

Owner and founder Matthew Ricks, a Topeka native, has integrated advanced techniques in dermatological surgery, general

dermatology and cosmetic medicine. Services include Mohs surgery for the removal of skin cancer; treatment of nail fungus, rosacea, eczema and psoriasis; mole removal; and cosmetic procedures. First runner-up: Joseph Gadzia Second runner-up: Robert Durst B EST E MP LOYME NT AG E NCY

KEY STAFFING keystaffing.com

For more than two decades, Key Staffing has been unlocking the door between employers who need temporary or full-time workers and reliable job seekers looking to use their talents in the workplace. Extensive interviewing and screening are used to make the best match, and then follow-up contacts ensure expectations are being met. First runner-up: Topeka Workforce Center Second runner-up: Westaff


PROFESSIONAL BEST EYE CA RE

KEVIN LENAHAN/ THE SPECTACLE lenahaneyedoc.com

Kevin Lenahan’s optometry offices in Topeka, Lawrence, Lyndon and Emporia focus on eye and vision exams, contact lenses, frames and other eye care services. Lenahan appreciates how the community has rallied behind him for more than 20 years and gives back through involvement in charitable organizations and community programs. First runner-up: The EyeDoctors Second runner-up: Genstler Eye Center BEST FA MILY LAW/ DI VO RCE ATTO R N EY

THE LAW FIRM OF TENOPIR & HUERTER tenopirandhuerter.com

“Serious representation for serious matters” is the pledge of the attorneys at the Law Firm of Tenopir & Huerter. The firm,

established more than 30 years ago, has helped clients prepare wills, trusts and guardianships; assisted with the purchase or sale of homes and businesses; represented the accused in court; assisted in debt collections; and much more. First runner-up: Mack & Associates Second runner-up: Jennifer Berger Law Office BEST FA MI LY P HYS IC IAN

OASIS FAMILY MEDICINE

oasisfamilymedicine.net As a direct primary care provider, Oasis Family Medicine focuses on its members’ health without the influence of insurance companies. The practice accepts a few hundred patients at a time, which translates into more time with your doctor, 24/7 access and better comprehensive care. First runner-up: Douglas R. Iliff Second runner-up: Joy Henderson

B EST H E AR IN G AID S E RVIC E PROVID E R

TOPEKA EAR, NOSE & THROAT topekaent.com

Established in 1997, Topeka Ear, Nose & Throat has gathered an experienced staff of otolaryngologists, audiologists, speech-language pathologists and physician assistants, who utilize the most recent research and technology to treat a variety of ENT problems, from snoring to hearing loss to thyroid concerns.

students are enrolled. About 1,000 faculty and staff are employed. More than 200 academic programs are offered. The campus is also home to the Mulvane Art Museum and Washburn’s School of Law. First runner-up: University of Kansas Second runner-up: Kansas State University B EST IN S URANC E AG E NCY

STATE FARM statefarm.com

washburn.edu

Being a good neighbor means helping others, and that’s what drives this nationwide, multifaceted insurance company. From responding to disasters or routine rear-enders to being involved in community projects, State Farm is always there and striving toward building safer and stronger communities in which its customers work and live.

Washburn University, founded in 1865, continues to carry on its legacy of providing affordable, quality education. More than 7,500

First runner-up: American Family Insurance Second runner-up: Farmers Insurance

First runner-up: Professional Hearing Aid Associates Second runner-up: Ediger Hearing Aid Service B EST IN ST IT UT IO N O F H IG H E R E DUCAT IO N

WASHBURN UNIVERSITY

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PROFESSIONAL BEST I N SURA N CE AGEN T

JAMIE HORNBAKER/ STATE FARM INSURANCE jamiehornbaker.com

Jamie Hornbaker’s approach to selling insurance is inspired by a maxim on a plaque she found after transitioning from working for nonprofits to the insurance industry: “Do the kindest things in the kindest way.” Hornbaker and her staff provide home, life, auto and small-business insurance. First runner-up: Lance Dykes/ Shelter Insurance Second runner-up: Sarah Mack/ American Family Insurance BEST LAW FIR M B EST P ERSO N AL I N J URY LAWYE R

MACK & ASSOCIATES kansasjustice.com

The attorneys at Mack & Associates strive to serve their clients’ best interests and provide quality legal service. The practice

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specializes in bankruptcy, car accidents and personal injury, business law, divorce and family law, estate planning, and special needs guardianship. The law firm also has an office in Leawood. BEST LAW FIRM First runner-up: The Law Firm of Tenopir & Huerter Second runner-up: Sloan, Eisenbarth, Glassman, McEntire & Jarboe BEST PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER First runner-up: Bryan Smith/ Smith Law Firm Second runner-up: Ron Pope/ Ralston, Pope & Diehl BEST MED I CA L FAC IL IT Y

STORMONT VAIL HEALTH/COTTON O’NEIL stormontvail.org

Stormont Vail, an integrated health care system based in Topeka and serving northeast Kansas, is comprised of Stormont Vail Hospital, Cotton O’Neil and

Cotton O’Neil Pediatrics, with more than 200 physicians and a variety of ancillary services. Stormont Vail has the region’s only Level III neonatal intensive care unit and only verified trauma center. First runner-up: University of Kansas Health System-St. Francis Campus Second runner-up: Tallgrass Family Medicine B EST M E D ICAL S UPPLY

JAYHAWK PHARMACY & PATIENT SUPPLY jayhawkpharmacy.com

A Topeka mainstay since 1952, locally owned Jayhawk Pharmacy & Patient Supply focuses on providing its patients with the best service, care and quality for their health care dollar. In addition to its pharmacy services, the business provides durable home medical equipment and aging-athome assistance. First runner-up: Munns Medical

Discount Store Second runner-up: Hunters Ridge Pharmacy B EST NONP ROF I T

TOPEKA RESCUE MISSION trmonline.org

The Topeka Rescue Mission brings help and hope to the homeless and impoverished by providing emergency shelter; outreach to those living outdoors or in abandoned buildings; meals and clothing; Restore Hope, a program to help victims of human trafficking; and numerous other services. First runner-up: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Kansas Second runner-up: TFI Family Services Inc. B EST ORT HODONTI ST

HAMILTON, WILSON & HENDRICKSON ORTHODONTICS hwhortho.com

Orthodonists Scott Hamilton, Don


PROFESSIONAL Wilson and Gene Hendrickson design comprehensive treatment plans based on the latest technological breakthroughs, such as digital photographic and 3-D dental imaging. The orthodontists also see patients in Lawrence and have satellite offices in Sabetha and Holton. First runner-up: Cassidy Orthodontics Second runner-up: Don Gordy/ Orthodontics for Families BEST P EDIATR I C DEN TIST

MICHAEL BROWNING/ SUNFLOWER SMILES PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY sunflowersmilesdental.com

Dentist Michael Brown and the Sunflower Smiles staff will put a smile on your child’s face — a result of good dental care and a positive experience. The dental practice sees infants through adolescents and makes a special effort to eliminate the typical dental phobias

children develop and carry into adulthood. First runner-up: Topeka Smiles Second runner-up: Anita MurrayClary/Pediatric Smiles BEST P ED I ATR IC IAN

DENNIS COOLEY/ PEDIATRIC ASSOCIATES OF TOPEKA pediatricstopeka.com

Pediatrician Dennis Cooley is part of the medical team at Pediatric Associates of Topeka, who take pride in giving young patients the type of personalized care they need. Embracing a team approach, the doctors collaborate with parents to guide the young patients along a path of optimal health and wellness. First runner-up: David Nichols/ Pediatric Associates of Topeka Second runner-up: Randall Schumacher/Cotton O’Neil Pediatrics

B EST PH OTO G RAPH E R

SHELLEY JENSEN/ STUDIO BLOOM BY SHELLEY shelleyjensen.com

It takes a keen eye and friendly focus to capture a person’s personality and interests in a photograph. Topeka-based Jensen — whose business was formerly known as Shelley Jensen Photography — specializes in high school senior, family and children portraits and images documenting engagements, weddings and other special occasions. First runner-up: Ken Doll Photography Second runner-up: In a Flash by Jenn B EST PH YS ICAL T H E RAPY

REBOUND PHYSICAL THERAPY

reboundphysicaltherapy.com Rebound Physical Therapy

opened in 1994, inspired by the physical therapy its owner Paul Silovsky received to treat a knee injury sustained while playing Washburn University football. Today, the business includes a main clinic, a satellite office and a highly qualified staff that provides one-on-one care. First runner-up: Cotton O’Neil Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy Second runner-up: The Center for Manual Medicine and Regenerative Orthopedics B EST P RI NT E R/ G RAP HI C DESI G NE R

GO MODERN moderncd.com

A subsidiary of Advisors Excel, Go Modern taps into a client’s creative concept and helps them produce the final product, whether it be a marketing campaign, event, brand identity or a host of other possibilities. Manufacturing, finishing and

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PROFESSIONAL assembly are available in-house, too. First runner-up: Topeka Blueprint Company Inc. Second runner-up: Knox Signs & Graphics BEST R EA L ESTATE AG EN CY

KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY kw.com/kw

Using the latest online technologies, market research and business strategies, Keller Williams forges win-win deals to benefit both the seller of a house and the buyer searching for a new home. The company also looks out for its own through a charity established to help associates with hardships brought on by a sudden emergency. First runner-up: Coldwell Banker Griffith & Blair American Home Second runner-up: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices First, Realtors

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BEST REA L ESTAT E AG E N T

CAROL HOLTHAUS/ KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY bit.ly/CJholthaus

Realtor Carol Holthaus has an edge when it comes to helping clients navigate the often-challenging process to get the best deal when they’re selling or buying a home: experience as a real estate investor and in assessing properties; creative marketing techniques; and keeping in touch with clients after the transaction’s done. First runner-up: Vivian Kane/ Capitol City Real Estate Second runner-up: Sherrill Mitchell/Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wostal Realty BEST T I T LE COM PAN Y

LAWYERS TITLE OF TOPEKA INC. lttopeka.com

Since its opening in 1975, the

family-owned Lawyers Title of Topeka Inc. has closed and insured thousands of real estate transactions. The company’s staff strive to take the guesswork out of the settlement process and make the closing experience as stress-free as possible. First runner-up: Kansas Secured Title Second runner-up: Heartland Title Services Inc. B EST U RG E N T CAR E FAC IL IT Y

COTTON O’NEIL EXPRESS CARE bit.ly/Cjstormont

Sometimes, illnesses or injuries aren’t serious enough to make a trip to the emergency room but still require care as soon as possible. That’s when Cotton O’Neil Express Care comes in. The urgent care walk-in clinic’s services include physical exams, X-rays and lab tests.

Plus, an appointment is never required. First runner-up: Tallgrass Immediate Care Second runner-up: Sunflower Prompt Care B EST VE TE RI NARY HOSP I TAL

WEST RIDGE ANIMAL HEALTH CENTER wrahc.com

The staff at West Ridge Animal Health Center takes a holistic approach to treating your pet. They consider the animal’s physical health and emotional well-being, and then employ state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and medical technology to assess and treat your furry friend. First runner-up: Family Pet Hospital Second runner-up: Stone House Animal Hospital


RETAIL

BEST FARM SUPPLY STORE TARWATER FARM & HOME SUPPLY tarwaters.com

The team at Tarwater Farm & Home Supply includes, from left, Abe Steinbach, Isaac Tarwater and Rich Tarwater, owner. The business has been in operation for 40 years. [PHOTOS BY THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

Rich Tarwater said he believes good business is about building relationships. That’s how Tarwater Farm & Home Supply

has conducted business in Topeka since 1978. “Our logo is very simple, but true,” said owner Tarwater. “It

says, ‘Because of the customer, we exist,’ and that’s how we operate our business.” Tarwater has been working at

the store since he was 14 years old. Customers who would come in when he was a teenager are still coming in today. The 40-year-old

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RETAIL family business was passed down to Tarwater by his father, R.A. Tarwater. The store sells a wide range of supplies and materials, including clothing, outdoor power equipment, hardware and agronomy supplies. Tarwater Farm & Home Supply started out as a 1,200-squarefoot building with three acres. Today, the business, 4107 N.W. Topeka Blvd., has expanded to 15 acres and about 70,000 square feet of building space. “It seems like every year we have been blessed. We have never had a year of stagnant,” Tarwater said. “We have grown every year since we have been in business, and that’s encouraging.” Tarwater said something that makes them stand out from their competitors is their “old-fashioned” style of business. “If they buy a bag of feed, they aren’t going to touch them. Many times, we carry stuff to people’s

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Tarwater Farm & Home Supply stocks a variety of products, from hardware and tools to lawn and garden items to hunting gear.

cars,” Tarwater said. “We walk the aisles looking for customers and answer questions.” — Brianna Childers

BEST FARM SUPPLY STORE First runner-up: Orscheln Farm & Home Second runner-up: Tractor Supply Co.

Rich Tarwater, owner of Tarwater Farm & Home Supply, says the business has “grown every year since we have been in business, and that’s encouraging.”

“WE HAVE NOTHING THAT THEY (CUSTOMERS) CAN’T DRIVE DOWN THE ROAD TO GET SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND WE HAVE TO OFFER THEM SOMETHING FROM HERE THAT THEY CAN’T GET SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND WE LIKE TO THINK THAT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE.” RICH TARWATER OWNER OF TARWATER FARM & HOME SUPPLY


RETAIL

BEST DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT/ RETAIL BEST NEW BUSINESS THE PENNANT

thepennanttopeka.com From left: Amber Lange, Javier Concepcion, Messina Pagan and Robert Oswald, employees in the restaurant and bar at The Pennant, stand outside the downtown Topeka business. [CHRIS NEAL/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

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RETAIL

The Pennant combines a restaurant and bar with a vintage arcade, bowling alley and beer garden. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

When The Pennant opened at 915 S. Kansas Ave. in March, business was so good it overwhelmed the fledgling operation, which had to close temporarily to regroup. The Pennant combines a restaurant and bar with a vintage arcade, bowling alley and beer garden. “It’s been fun to see how people

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come in and use the space,” said Thad Halstead, marketing director for AIM Strategies, which owns and operates The Pennant. Some regulars come in to play the retro arcade games, while families can eat and bowl together or parents can have a drink while their kids hit the arcade, Halstead said.

Hostess Brittany Wilson rings up an order at The Pennant, a downtown business comprised of a restaurant and bar, vintage arcade, bowling alley and beer garden. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

While the vintage arcade games start some patrons on a trip down memory lane, he said, it’s almost more exciting to watch younger kids come in and play them. The response to the restaurant’s trendy menu of burgers,

salads and milkshakes featuring local ingredients has been huge, Halstead said. “The shakes are a big hit,” he said, adding that it’s fun to watch people’s eyes light up when they get an Over the Rainbow shake


RETAIL — vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream piled into a waffle cone with cotton candy, sprinkles and whipped cream. The Pennant also has a private event space in the back that can be used for up to 80 people. It’s frequently used on weekdays and weekends by companies and individuals for meetings, birthday and engagement parties, and other events. — Samantha Foster

“IT’S A CONCEPT WE BELIEVE COULD’VE WORKED ANYWHERE, BUT BEING DOWNTOWN IS REALLY IMPORTANT TO US.” THAD HALSTEAD MARKETING DIRECTOR FOR AIM STRATEGIES

BEST DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT/ RETAIL First runner-up: Hazel Hill Chocolate Second runner-up: The Celtic Fox

BEST NEW BUSINESS First runner-up: Owls Nest Joyland Second runner-up: Top Dog

A waiter checks with diners after they are served their meals at The Pennant. The Pennant’s restaurant is known for its burgers and milkshakes. [THAD ALLTON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

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RETAIL B EST A N TIQUE STO RE B EST G IFT STO RE B EST TH RIFT STO RE

OWLS NEST ANTIQUE MALL AND FLEA MARKET bit.ly/CJowls

Since its opening in December 2015, the Owls Nest has grown into Topeka’s largest indoor flea market and antique store. The 22,000-square-foot store on S.W. Topeka Boulevard offers competitive booth rates, a clean environment and diverse vendors. A second Owls Nest outlet opened in 2017 at 2901 S.E. Adams. BEST ANTIQUE STORE First runner-up: 4 Girls’ Garage Second runner-up: Wheatland Antique Mall BEST GIFT STORE First runner-up: The Toy Store Second runner-up: Red Door Home Store  

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BEST THRIFT STORE First runner-up: God’s Storehouse Second runner-up: MAJ-R Thrift BEST BOU T IQU E C LOT H I N G STO R E

THE PINK SUITCASE shoppinksuitcase.com

The Pink Suitcase, a boutique inside Fairlawn Plaza, brings the latest fashion trends to the capital city — and at affordable prices. Its website showcases new arrivals, sale items and a variety of other apparel, footwear, jewelry and hats. Gift cards are available, and a second location can be found in Ottawa. First runner-up: Pinkadilly Second runner-up: Jess & Rosie’s BEST CO MI C, FAN TASY O R V I D EO GA M E S H O P

VINTAGE STOCK vintagestock.com

Founded in Joplin, Mo., as a used book store, Vintage Stock has evolved into an entertainment

superstore stocking the newest hit movies, music and video games and the rarest toys, comics, sports cards and memorabilia. Vintage Stock has more than 40 locations in five states. First runner-up: Huscarl Hobbies and Games Second runner-up: Gamers HQ B EST CO N VE N IE N C E STO RE

CASEY’S GENERAL STORE caseys.com

The first Casey’s General Store was a converted three-bay garage that opened in July 1968 in Boone, Iowa, to sell gasoline, coffee and a few grocery items. Since then, the company has spread across the nation, with three locations in Topeka. Along with gasoline and convenience items, today’s stores cash in on its delivery or carry-out hot pizza. First runner-up: Kwik Shop Second runner-up: Petro Deli

B EST F LOORI NG STORE

CARPET ONE FLOOR & HOME bit.ly/CJcarpetone

A cooperative with about 1,000 stores around the globe, Carpet One can tap into all the major brands and manufacturers to find exactly what a customer wants in floor coverings, whether it’s carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl or area rugs. Online tools provide design


RETAIL tips and help customers visualize their upgraded spaces. First runner-up: Menards Second runner-up: Skilled Saws Inc./Hardwood Flooring BEST FLO RIST

UNIVERSITY FLOWERS bit.ly/CJflowers

If you want high-quality, fresh-cut flowers and plants or one-ofa-kind floral arrangements for special occasions, then pick up the phone and call University Flowers. The shop offers daily “Buck a Stem” flowers and gift baskets and has a vast array of vases, home decor and gift items. Plus, same-day delivery in Topeka is offered. First runner-up: Porterfield’s Flowers and Gifts Second runner-up: Dillons Floral Department

BEST FU RN I T U R E STO R E BEST MAT T RESS STO R E

FURNITURE MALL OF KANSAS furnituremallofkansas.com

Since its founding in 1933, this family-owned business has grown from a single store in Emporia to a mall-concept retailer in Topeka that’s home to Mattress Headquarters, Flooring Headquarters and three furniture stores — Discovery Furniture, RoomMakers and Marling’s. A big-store selection can be found, while its legacy of small-store customer service remains. BEST FURNITURE STORE First runner-up: Nebraska Furniture Mart Second runner-up: Owls Nest Antique Mall and Flea Market BEST MATTRESS STORE First runner-up: Nebraska Furniture Mart Second runner-up: The Mattress Hub

B EST GAR D E N STO R E / N U RS E RY

JACKSON’S GREENHOUSE & GARDEN CENTER

jacksonsgreenhouse.com A favorite gardening and landscaping destination, Jackson’s Greenhouse offers everything you’ll need to grow plants indoors or outdoors, including annuals and perennials, cacti, orchids, succulents and tropical plants. Among its products are mulch, soil, sod, bird baths, tools, paving stones, insecticides and fountains.

supermarkets offer the staples of life — bread, milk, apples, frozen pizza, toilet paper — and specialty items that include fresh seafood, organic produce, pet supplies and flower bouquets. First runner-up: Aldi Second runner-up: Topeka Hy-Vee B EST JE W E LRY STORE

CALHOUN’S JEWELERS calhounsjewelers.com

dillons.com

If you’re looking for something that will impress a loved one, take a look at the diamond rings, wedding bands, vintage estate jewelry and watches in the display cases at this family-owned and -operated jewelry store. Calhoun’s also repairs jewelry and watches and uses its CAD software, 3-D printer and casting equipment to custom-make jewelry.

Considered “neighborhood” stores because of their size and short driving distance from shoppers’ homes, the combo food-drug-floral

First runner-up: Briman’s Leading Jewelers Second runner-up: Diamonds by Design

First runner-up: Skinner Garden Store Second runner-up: Kaw Valley Greenhouse B EST G RO C E RY STO R E

DILLONS

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RETAIL store’s latest offerings. Check the store’s website for new beers that have been added to its shelves. First runner-up: Vern’s Retail Liquor Second runner-up: McNeive Retail Liquor BEST N EW AU TO D E AL E R BEST U SED AU TO D E AL E R BEST AU TO BODY AN D PA I N T SHO P

ED BOZARTH CHEVROLET BUICK GMC edbozarthoftopeka.com

BEST LIQUO R STO RE

DEVLIN’S WINE & SPIRITS devlinsliquor.com

With two locations, Devlin’s uncorks and pop-tops the city’s largest selection of beer, specialty beers, wine and spirits. Customers can attend free wine tastings or join the wine club to receive information about the

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Those looking for a new ride will find American-built cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles at Ed Bozarth Chevrolet Buick GMC. The longtime Topeka dealership’s lot is packed with quality vehicles. Its tire, body shop and parts/service departments will keep your vehicle on the roadway for years to come. And you won’t be disappointed by the customer service.

BEST NEW AUTO DEALER First runner-up: Laird Noller Topeka Ford Second runner-up: Lewis Toyota BEST USED AUTO DEALER First runner-up: Laird Noller Topeka Ford Second runner-up: Legacy Motor Co. Inc. BEST AUTO BODY AND PAINT SHOP First runner-up: College Body Shop Second runner-up: Walt’s Autobody CARSTAR B EST PL AC E TO B UY PH OTO EQU IPM E N T

WOLFE’S CAMERA SHOP wolfes.com

For more than 90 years, the downtown bulwark has focused on photos — creating commercial images for 20-plus years before entering the retail sphere with a camera shop. Today, the business has evolved into an electronic

specialty store featuring all aspects of photography, video, computer technology and digital imagery. First runner-up: Best Buy Second runner-up: Topeka Sam’s Club B EST P LAC E TO BUY S PO RT S AP PARE L

ACADEMY SPORTS+OUTDOORS bit.ly/CJsports

The goal of this retailer is to make it easier to enjoy sports and the outdoors, and the store hits it out of the ballpark with its wide range of fishing, camping and hunting gear, fitness and golfing equipment, patio sets and barbecue grills. Check out its apparel section for shirts, jackets and other merchandise with your favorite sports teams’ logos. First runner-up: Einstein’s Outdoor Outfitters Second runner-up: Dick’s Sporting Goods


RETAIL BEST SH O PP IN G CE N T ER

WEST RIDGE MALL westridgemall.com

Topeka’s premier mall is home to more than 90 stores, from national brands like Dillard’s to specialty retailers like Bath & Body Works and Yankee Candle. Dining options abound at the food court and nearby full-service restaurants. The mall also has an ATM machine, children’s play area and device charging stations. First runner-up: NOTO Arts District Second runner-up: Fairlawn Plaza BEST TATTO O SHO P

FINE LINE TATTOO & BODY PIERCING finelinetopeka.com

Walk in or make an appointment to up your “tat” and body-piercing tally at one of the oldest and most experienced studios in Kansas. Fine Line, which is family-owned and -operated,

has a large selection of tattoo designs from which to choose and specializes in custom work, cover-ups, repair and permanent cosmetic tattoos, including eyeliner and eyebrows. First runner-up: Matryoshka Tattoo Second runner-up: Absolute Tattoo BEST T I RE STO R E

PERFORMANCE TIRE & WHEEL performancetopeka.com

Performance Tire & Wheel has been fitting customers with the right tires and wheels since 1946. Customers can buy tires at its two Topeka locations or shop at its website. The business isn’t just about tires — it’s also a family-owned and -operated auto repair and service shop. First runner-up: Ed Bozarth Chevrolet Buick GMC Second runner-up: Harold’s Tire Service

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BEST OF TOPEKA: EDITORS’ PICKS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT BEST F R E E E N T E RTAIN M E N T

HIKING TRAILS IN TOPEKA bit.ly/CJtrails

Whether you’re searching for a quiet place among flowers and well-groomed gardens or a rigorous hike through wooded trails, Topeka has plenty of walking, hiking, biking and jogging paths to explore. Put on your sneakers or boots and pack your water bottle and trail mix before heading out to the concrete bicycle/pedestrian paths at Lake Shawnee or Crestview Park’s Shunga Trail. Hikers also can get a workout at Brookfield Park, Dornwood Nature Trail, Landon Trail, Orville Rice Nature Trail, Freedom Valley and Soldier Creek Trail.

15 businesses, events or places that The Topeka Capital-Journal editors think should never go unnoticed

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BEST LO CAL H ISTO R ICAL S IT E

GREAT OVERLAND STATION AND EDUCATION CENTER greatoverlandstation.com/

When you step inside the restored 1927 Union Pacific railroad station in North Topeka, with its elaborate ornamentation

and high ceilings, you can almost hear the train whistle blow and the conductor shouting, “All aboard!” Expansive exhibits throughout the landmark building, including mini-steam and G-gauge model train displays, bring the area’s rail history to bear. Outside, adjacent to the restored station, is the impressive All Veterans Memorial with its 25-foot-high sculptural flame, reflecting pools and corridor of state flags. B EST MUSE UM

EVEL KNIEVEL MUSEUM evelknievelmuseum.com

The folks behind this tribute museum to Evel Knievel chased their dream just as fast and hard as the legendary daredevil himself. The museum, connected to Historic HarleyDavidson, showcases Knievel’s bikes; “Big Red,” his Mack truck-trailer; his flashy helmets and clothing; and the many products carrying his name. Narratives define the icon and his historic jumps. A virtual-reality experience puts you on a motorcycle for a jump over 16 cars in downtown Topeka. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday; admission is charged.


BEST P LACE FO R LI V E EN TERTA IN MEN T

JAYHAWK THEATRE jayhawktheatre.org

Considered one of the anchors to the revitalization of downtown Topeka, the historic Jayhawk Theatre has seen an uptick in the events in its gallery and on its main stage in the past year. The gallery is used for Last Minute Folk concerts, hip-hop poetry slams, weddings, receptions and other community and entertainment events. Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble stages plays on the main stage, which also is used for movie screenings. The Jayhawk Theatre, built in 1926 by Topeka businessman E.H. Crosby, was a crowd-attracting venue for touring vaudeville acts and local performers. BEST P LACE TO TA K E A N OUT- O F-TOWN ER

KANSAS STATEHOUSE kshs.org/capitol

Art, history and politics co-exist under the Kanza-topped dome of the Capitol. The rotunda’s ornate stenciling, muralist John Steuart Curry’s fiery depiction of abolitionist John Brown and busts of aviatrix Amelia Earhart and President Dwight Eisenhower live two floors below the Senate Chamber, with its massive columns and marble

walkways, and the old Kansas Supreme Court, where fearless judges outlawed the Ku Klux Klan. And, if you’re heart-healthy and not afraid of heights, climb the 296 steps to the dome for a panoramic view of the city.

Members of the Ad Astra Theatre Ensemble perform a scene from “Urinetown the Musical” on the stage of the Jayhawk Theatre. The production was the first to be presented on the historic stage in several decades. [SUBMITTED]

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EDITORS’ PICKS

FOOD & DRINK BEST ASIA N R ESTAU RA N T

COCO ASIAN CHINESE CUISINE bit.ly/2CJCoCo

This family-owned restaurant serves Asian and Chinese cuisine using fresh ingredients. Order some Vietnamese pork rolls, homemade pot stickers or other appetizers to kick off the meal, then choose from soups, noodle and fried rice entrees or the chef’s specials. Want a spicy dish? Try Hot Pepper Triple Delight, which combines shrimp, chicken and beef with jalapeno, red bell pepper, onions and mushrooms. Go traditional with Cashew Chicken, with mushrooms, snow peas and water chestnuts in a brown sauce. Open for lunch and dinner. Vegetarian dishes and take-out are available. BEST BURGER

SPECK’S BAR & GRILL bit.ly/CJspecks

Don’t expect fast-food times at this neighborhood bar and grill, which served its first meals in 1975. The restaurant makes all of its

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Juli’s Bistro, a downtown coffeeshop and bistro, offers drip, espresso and gourmet coffee drinks as well as a variety of breakfast and lunch dishes. [2018 FILE PHOTO/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]


EDITORS’ PICKS appetizers, burgers, sandwiches or entrees to order — nothing is pre-cooked or pre-assembled. Try the Slawburger, a Speck’s original featuring a hamburger patty garnished with sweet slaw, or the House Burger, made of breaded ground beef with Swiss and American cheeses, shaved ham, grilled onions and grilled mushrooms. Still hungry? Order the 3-pound beef burger on a 14-inch bun with homemade fries, onion rings or potato chips.

Topeka restaurant. Chef Adam VanDonge takes locally grown, bred and produced products and re-imagines them into modern, unique dishes, such as braised rabbit with creamy polenta and saffron cream, or a house salad with mixed greens, grains, blueberries and feta cheese. Unique to the restaurant is a chef’s table, hosted by VanDonge and set up in the Knox Vault, built in 1888 as part of the original bank building.

BEST CO FFEE SH O P

PIZAGEL'S PIZZA AND BAKERY

B EST P I ZZA

THE STEAM ENGINE bit.ly/CJsteamengine

In Barrington Village in southwest Topeka, this coffeehouse serves specialty and traditional espresso-based drinks, drip coffees, fruit smoothies, chai tea, hot teas, assorted pastries, sandwiches, create-your-own breakfast sandwiches and other snack food items. The Steam Engine also sells whole coffee beans, fresh and locally roasted by PT's Coffee Roasting Co. Favorites: butterscotch scones and John Brown, a medium-dark roast blend with flavor notes of chocolate, black cherry and tobacco.

pizagels.com

The White Linen specializes in contemporary French and American cuisine. A recent menu featured Kraken, steamed and seared octopus with tomatoes and capers. [2018 FILE PHOTO/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

BEST F IN E D IN IN G R ESTAU RAN T

THE WHITE LINEN thewhitelinen.com

Contemporary French and American cuisine is at the heart of this new downtown

Pizza and bagels come together at this retooled restaurant, where owners Jim and Shanna Burgardt have rearranged the floor space, upgraded the menu and discarded its old name — Bagel Express — as part of its rebranding. House and specialty pizzas, with crispy thin or traditional crusts and a variety of toppings, are sold by the slice or pie, alongside bagels, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, wine and beer. Favorite espresso drink? Raspberry Truffle, made with espresso, steamed milk, chocolate sauce and raspberry syrup.

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EDITORS’ PICKS disability while making positive differences in people’s lives by helping them build skills and access resources. Its children’s services include physical, occupational and speech-language therapies, autism programs and adaptive recreation. Adult services include residential supports, recreation and leisure activities and work opportunities in the foundation’s auto detail, custom furniture and small-engine repair shops, business support center and gift store.

RECREATIONAL BEST PL AC E TO E X E RC IS E

PROFESSIONAL BEST N O N PRO FI T

EASTERSEALS CAPPER FOUNDATION easterseals.com

Established in 1920 by Sen. Arthur Capper, Easterseals Capper Foundation is changing the way the world defines and views

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SHAWNEE NORTH COMMUNITY CENTER bit.ly/CJshconorth

Built in 1920 as a county poor farm, the community center on the northern edge of Topeka is a beehive of activity designed to improve the health and happiness of residents and provide a safe environment where families can play. Paint flows in the art studio. Fitness seekers stretch in the dance studio. Muscle builders push their

limits in the weight room. The complex also includes hiking trails; sand volleyball and tennis courts; soccer and softball fields; and an aquatic center with a three-pool design, ample green space and a Viking theme.

RETAIL B EST D OW NTOW N R ESTAURANT/RE TAI L

JULI'S BISTRO

juliscoffeeandbistro.com This cozy downtown coffeeshop and bistro presents a long list of drip, espresso and gourmet coffee drinks and a menu laden with flavorful biscuits, breakfast burritos, sandwiches, wraps and salads that make it a popular destination for breakfast and lunch. Think the Train Wreck, an open-faced biscuit sandwich smothered in sausage gravy, or the Cristo Kicker panini, with ham, turkey, Swiss and strawberry jam on Italian bread dusted with powdered sugar and cayenne pepper. Featured drinks: Mother Earth organic coffee and flavored coffees by locally owned Blue Jazz Java.


EDITORS’ PICKS B EST F U R N IT U R E STORE

SOHO INTERIORS sohowestboro.com

Established 50 years ago, this eclectic modern and contemporary furniture boutique is inspired by the trendy, fashionable SoHo neighborhood of New York. Family-owned Soho Interiors carries more than 75 lines of merchandise, including Americanmade goods, and offers in-home interior design consultations. Stop in during the monthly First Friday Art Walk to see exciting new works by local and regional artists.

SERVICE B EST C H URC H O R SY NAGOGUE

TEMPLE BETH SHOLOM bit.ly/CJtemplebeth

Alan Wisman, a member of Temple Beth Sholom, prepares food for the Blintze Brunch last spring. The brunch features traditional Jewish food, music and Israeli dancing. [2018 FILE PHOTO/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL]

The Jewish community in Topeka dates to 1868. Yet, Temple Beth Sholom, the city’s only synagogue, wasn’t built until 1920. The temple is home to a spiritual family who honors the Jewish holy days and life cycle events, such as weddings, births and bar and bat mitzvahs. The congregation gives back to the community by helping women’s shelters, the homebound and the hungry, including preparing a Christmas Day meal for Breakthrough House members. Its annual Blintze Brunch, with traditional Jewish food, music and Israeli dancing, is a springtime favorite that sells out quickly.

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Best of Topeka 2018 magazine  

Who has the best burger in Topeka? The best pizza? Find out how the public voted in these categories, plus 139 more, in this year's Best of...

Best of Topeka 2018 magazine  

Who has the best burger in Topeka? The best pizza? Find out how the public voted in these categories, plus 139 more, in this year's Best of...