Art Institute's section design winner, Amy Minton.
Art Institute's section design winner, Amy Minton.

Customer Service

Readers’ choice: Junker Val’s, 3458 Bluebonnet Circle

Critic’s choice: Glen Keely, Poag Mahone’s Irish Pub, 700 Carroll St

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Businesses make mistakes. But how a place recovers from a mistake speaks volumes about its commitment to service. For example, when a bar staffer at Poag’s accidentally charged an enormous bar tab to a hapless Fort Worth Weekly writer’s credit card, Keely swept in, calculator in hand, invisible cape on his shoulders, and refunded the money. When said writer discovered that the erroneous charge had caused an overdraft charge on his account, Keely took care of that too. The grace and civility with which he handled the ordeal earned him the loyalty of one oft-broke scribe. It’s no wonder his bar is packed night in and night out with devoted customers.


Barber Shop

Readers’ choice: West 7th Street Barber Shop, 701 Barden St, Ste 109

Critic’s choice: Halo Salon and Color Lab, 6323 Camp Bowie Blvd

While we remain a fan of old-timey barber shops, we’re not adverse to the coolest trendsetters either, and that would be the Halo Salon in the Village at Camp Bowie. It ain’t cheap, but when you want those pink streaks to look just right or those extensions to look like your own hair and not extension cords, this is the joint. It’s modern, stylish, plays a good selection of indie music, and the terrific staff can hold up their end of a conversation. Latté, anyone?


Hair Salon

Readers’ choice: Goldwaves Salon, 5137 El Campo Av

Critic’s choice: Shampoo Salon, 5316 Birchman Av

Since its opening in 2000, this family-owned salon has developed a reputation for personable and professional service, as well as its modern yet quaint atmosphere. Many of the stylists — and customers — have been there since the beginning, and their huge clientele keeps growing (meaning that appointments must be booked months in advance). And yet the atmo in the bungalow-style house is calm and intimate enough to make customers feel so at home, they might just forget how much money they’re dropping on that fancy ’do.


At Poag Mahone’s, Glen Keely will make it right — whatever it is. Vishal Malhotra
At Poag Mahone’s, Glen Keely will make it right — whatever it is. Vishal Malhotra

Tattoo Parlor

Readers’ choice: InkTwister Tattoo, 5134 Jacksboro Hwy

Critic’s choice: InkTwister Tattoo

Owner Trevor Curtin has been a tattoo artist since he got out of college 25 years ago. With four artists in residence, the shop generally welcomes walk-ins. Curtin, though, works by appointment only and gets booked up pretty quickly



Thrift Store

Critic’s choice: Thrift Town, 6601 Blvd 26, NRH

Man, there was some serious back-to-school shopping going on at this biiig thrift store on Grapevine Highway a few weeks ago. Sure, the jeans and t-shirts go for almost nothing, and there are all kinds of fall coats for everyone in the family. Beyond that, a little serious hunting turned up all kinds of finds: a beautiful, like-new leather bomber jacket for $20, a Kenneth Cole sweater, an Evan Picone raincoat, and — right there on the rack by the check-out counter — a pair of Etienne Aigner pumps that looked like they’d just come out of the shoebox. Sans the usual three-figure price tag, of course.



Enviro-Friendly Business

Readers’ choice: Pallet Smart, 5321 White Settlement Rd

Critic’s choice: ReStore North, 4433 River Oaks Blvd

This place doesn’t look “green.” It looks like a cut-rate Home Depot, full of toilets and tile and windows and wall paneling and a jillion whosits that builders and homeowners need. But here’s the deal: A lot of the fixtures and furnishing in this big, messy store are being recycled, which means (a) they won’t end up in a landfill for a long time; (b) fewer trees are being cut down, less rock and sand quarried, less water and electricity used in manufacturing  to produce new materials; and (c) profits go to support Habitat for Humanity in its excellent work of providing homes for disadvantaged folks. Another of many steps on the path to a society that just might sustain itself someday without gobbling up what’s left of natural resources (and without discarding precious human resources along the way).



Fashion Fad

Critic’s choice: Flats on the runway

Amusing as it may be to watch supermodels tumble from their stilettos in the midst of a turn on the catwalk (can you spell schadenfreude?), it’s refreshing to see top fashion houses like Dior and Chanel send their new collections out on women wearing flats, loafers, sandals, and even sneakers. Marc Jacobs recently showed flats with evening wear. We can dance to that!




  1. I am the owner of There’s No Place Like Home Furniture….we WON!!!!! and we were so psyched about it until we read the critics choice for best furniture was actually a junk store with old LP’s/ rusted jewelry / old Christmas sweaters…..they get a wonderful write up for being the “best furniture store” ….nothing against used/junk stores, but why were they chosen for best furniture store? last time I was in there, they has 1 broken nightstand and a wooden boat oar… was a cool oar, but to furnish a home there? what the what? Nothing was told to readers about our store…a ” FURNITURE STORE” …. and we received the most votes and got “nuttin” what the what?????

    • Gee, Abby, I think your out of line here. I bought mutiple wooden boat oars there because I was going for that Viking ship motif as I rehabbed my house in White Settlement. And believe me, nothing says trendiness like wooden oars coming out of the windows of your house in White Settlement (and the meth heads are really surprised too!!!!).

  2. I voted for the furniture store that won reader’s choice after buying several items and saving a lot of time and money by doing so…..I, too was surprised at the format used here, as the” reader’s choices” get no “kudos” but the critic has much to say about his or her choice for the win in each and every category…..I have donated to the critic’s choice for furniture store…but it wasn’t furniture I donated…it was a few old tools and some children’s clothing…it is a great little place for odd finds going to a worthy cause…but I have never considered it to be a furniture store either! (but I know where to send my old boat oars now)

  3. Thank you for publishing the readers choice for my Little Vintage shop for BOTH
    BEST Customer Service AND BEST Jewelry, Yippeee!
    Love all your writers & look forward to The Fort Worth Weekly every week!