by Brian Clarey

It’s that time of year again, when we mine the collective preferences of our readers and then print the results for all to see. We got more entries this year than ever before, thanks in large part to our new internet voting system at, which took a lot of the pains out of voting — and also out of counting all those ballots. The system is still not perfect, but we’re learning more each year about how to improve the Best Of the Triad issue. And every year we lear more about the area we live in and the people — our readers — who live in it. Our readers are a creative and humorous bunch. For the category Best Late Night, two readers voted for “your mom.” Greensboro at-large city council member Sandra Anderson Groat was nominated for Best Gas Station and one internet wit decreed that Greensboro’s Best-Kept Secret was the fact that former mayor Jim Melvin actually runs the place.

On a more disturbing note, in the category for Best Forsyth County Commissioner, no sitting commissioner received a single vote. There were a few surprises this year. National chain restaurants fell from the top spots in many categories, and competition was fierce for Best Hairstylist, Best Neighborhood Bar,

Best Auto Repair Shop and, as always Best Female and Best Male Bartender. Also, YES! Weekly music writer beat me out for Best Local Journalist by more than a dozen votes. As is usual, many bands, restaurants and individuals attempted to stuff the ballot box, resulting in a contest that measures more marketing skill and networking prowess than actual excellence. It was more difficult this year, as the internet voting system allowed just one ballot per IP address, but it was still practiced widely. And hey, if the whole thing is just one big popularity contest — and it is — then getting your fans to show up and vote counts for something. Our favorite self-promoter for 2009 is the band Children of Karma, which has yet to play a gig but still managed a few mentions in nearly every category that even remotely applied. Here’s your free press, fellas. Now go out and book something with it. As always, the results of the readers’ poll reflects not the opinion of YES! Weekly staff, but of the thousands and thousands of people who read it every week. So if you disagree with the results of our readers’ poll, write us a letter letting us know why. Or, even better, remember to vote next year when we do it all over again. — Brian Clarey


Best Female Bartender First place: Jade Moore; Big Shotz Tavern; Clemmons Second Place: Rachel Martel, Stumble Stilskins, Greensboro

Best Male Bartender First place: Rowe Piper, Vintage 301, Greensboro Second place: Josh Penn; Greene Street, Greensboro

Best New Club/Bar First place: Club Oasis, Winston-Salem Second place: Bar 40, Greensboro

Best Dance Club First place: Inferno, Greensboro Second place: Greene Street, Greensboro Honorable mention: Warehouse 29, Greensboro

Best Club for Hooking Up First place: Greene Street, Greensboro Second place: College Hill Sundries, Greensboro Honorable Mention: Corner Bar, Greensboro

Best Club/Bar to end the night First place: College Hill Sundries, Greensboro Second place: Greene Street, Greensboro

Best Dive Bar First place: The Silver Moon Saloon, Winston-Salem Second place: College Hill Sundries, Greensboro

Best Sports Bar First place: Coopers Ale House, Greensboro Second place: The Box Seat, Sedgefield

Best College Bar First place: College Hill Sundries, Greensboro Second place: Old Towne, Greensboro

Best Neighborhood Bar First place: The Clubhouse, Greensboro Second place: NY Pizza, Greensboro Honorable mention: Fisher’s Grill, Greensboro

Best Place to Shoot Pool First place: Jake’s Billiards, Greensboro Second Place: Gate City Billiards, Greensboro

Best Beer Selection First place: Coopers Ale House, Greensboro Second place: Foothills Brewery, Winston-Salem

Best Martini First place: 6 th & Vine, Winston-Salem Second place: Much, Greensboro; The Mixx, Greensboro (tie)

Best Movie Theater First place: The Grande, Greensboro Second place: The Palladium, High Point Honorable mention: The Carousel Theater, Greensboro

Best Live Theater Venue First place: Carolina Theater, Greensboro Second place: Triad Stage, Greensboro Honorable mention: The Stevens Center, Winston-Salem


Best Local Men’s Clothing Store First place: Target Second place: Banana Republic

Best Local Women’s Clothing Store First place: The Destination, Greensboro Second place: Poshh Boutique, High Point

Best Local Children’s Clothing Store First place: Gap Kids Second place: Old Navy Honorable mention: Once Upon A Child

Best Shoe Store First place: DSW, Greensboro Second place: SRI, Greensboro

Best Hardware Store First Place: Lowes Home Imrovement Second place Home Depot Honorable mention: Holliday Hardware, Greensboro

Best Place to Buy Vintage/Consignment Clothes First place: Design Archives, Greensboro Second place: Goodwill Honorable mention: Carolina Thrift, Greensboro

Best Place to Buy Furniture First place: Rooms to Go Second place: Habitat ReStore, Greensboro

Best Antique Store First place: Thrill of the Hunt, Greensboro Second place: Lewis Street Antiques, Greensboro

Kept Secret First place: Eclectic By Nature, Greensboro Second place: The Pipe & Pint, Greensboro

Best Frame Shop First place: HangUps, High Point Second place: The Artery, Greensboro

Best Jeweler First place: Schiffmans Jewelers, Greensboro Second place: Cass Jewelers, Greensboro


Best Plastic Surgeon First place: Dr. David C. Best, Perfect Yourself, Greensboro Second place: Dr. W. Byron Barber II, Barber Center for Plastic Surgery, Greensboro

Best Chiropractor First place: Dr Aaron Williams, Williams Chiropractic Clinic, Greensboro Second place: Dr. Brad Buxton, Buxton Chiropractic, Greensboro

Best Yoga Class First place: Yoga Caf’, Second place: Mind|Body|Fitness Yoga, Greensboro

Best Hairstylist First place: Kyle Britt, independent, Greensboro Second place: Lauren Faulkner, Scissorhands Hair Studio, Kernersville

Best Massage Therapist First place: Holly Sofley, Bodies Kneaded Massage Therapy, Greensboro Second place: James Nagel, Salama Chiropractic Center, Winston-Salem

Best Hair Salon First place: Chakras, Greensboro Second place: Indigo, Greensboro

Best Tanning Salon First place: Got Sun, Triad Second place: Tahiti Tan , Greensboro

Best Spa First place: Chakras, Greensboro Second place: Balance Day Spa, Greensboro

Best Tattoo Parlor and/or Piercing Studio First place: Little John’s Tattoo Shop, Greensboro Second place: Liberty Tattoo, Winston-Salem

Best Book Store First place: Edward McKay, Triad Second place: Barnes & Noble, Triad

Best Place to Buy a Pre-owned Car

First Place: Carmax, Triad Second place: eBay Honorable mention: Rice Toyota, Greensboro

Best Place to Buy a New car First place: Rice Toyota, Greensboro Second place: Crown Honda, Greensboro

Best Auto Repair Shop First place: Avery Body Shop, Greensboro Second place: Baker Automotive, Greensboro

Best Gas Station First place: Sheetz Second place: Great Stops

Best Home Maintenance/Repair Company First place: Pikes Home Maintenance, Triad Second place: RBM Servcies, Triad

Best Bank First place: Wachovia Second place: Community One

Best Wireless Service First place: Verizon Second place: AT&T

Best Place to Buy Wine First place: Total Wine & More, Greensboro, High Point Second place: Wine Warehouse, Greensboro

Best Winston-Salem Grocery Store First place: Whole Foods Market Second place: Harris Teeter

Best Greensboro Grocery Store First place: Harris Teeter Second place: Earth Fare

Best High Point Grocery Store First place: Harris Teeter Second place: Food Lion

Best Farmers Market First Place: Greensboro Farmers Curb Market Second place: Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Best Place to Buy Fresh Produce

First place: Greensboro Farmers Curb Market Second place: Fresh Market, Greensboro

Best Florist First place: George K Walker Florist, Winston-Salem Second place: Clemmons Florist, Clemmons Honorable mention: Plants & Answers, Greensboro

Best Natural Food Store First place: Deep Roots Market, Greensboro Second place: Earth Fare, Greensboro

RECREATION Best Sporting Goods Store First place: Dicks Sporting Goods, Triad Second place: Omega Sports, Triad

Best Bicycle Store First place: Re:Cycles, Greensboro Second place: Cycles De Oro, Greensboro

Best Free Wi-Fi First place: The Green Bean, Greensboro Second place: Panera Bread, Triad

Best Place For Family Fun First place: Grasshoppers games at NewBridge Bank Park, Greensboro Second place: Natural Science Center, Greensboro Honorable mention: NC Zoo, Asheboro

Best Place to Jog First place: Country Park, Greensboro Second place: Guilford Courthouse Military Park, Greensboro

Best Gym First place: Rush Fitness, Triad Second place: YMCA, Triad

Best Golf Course First place: The Grandover, Greensboro Second place: Starmount Country Club, Greensboro; Bryan Park, Greensboro (tie)

Best Tennis Courts First place: Starmount Country Club, Greensboro

Second place: Sedgefield Country Club

Best Vet/Animal Clinic First place: Lawndale Animal Hospital, Greensboro Second place: Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital, Jamestown

Best Place to Board your Pet First place: Dog Days, Greensboro Second place: Best Friends Bed & Biscuit, Greensboro

Best Place to Groom Your Pet First place: Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital, Jamestown Second place: Mount Tabor Boarding & Grooming, Winston-Salem

Best Hotel First place: Proximity Hotel, Greensboro Second place: O Henry Hotel, Greensboro Honorable mention: Grandover Resort, Greensboro

Best Garden Store First place: New Garden Nursery, Greensboro Second place: River Twist – Jamestown


Best Author First place: Orson Scott Card Second place: Nicholas Sparks

Best Local Visual Artist First place: Jeff Thrower, photography, Winston-Salem Second place: Julie McKnight, stained glass, Greensboro

Best Museum First place: Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG Second place: Greensboro Historical Museum

Best Art Gallery First place: Lyndon Street Artworks, Greensboro Second place: SECCA, Winston-Salem


Best Reason to Live in the Triad First place: The people Second place: Right between the mountains and the beach

Worst Stoplights First place: All along Wendover Avenue, Greensboro Second place: The corner of Holden and High Point roads Honorable mention: Stratford Avenue and Hanes Mall Boulevard

Best Place to Get Married First place: Castle McCulloch, Jamestown Second place: Kress Terrace, Greensboro


Best Radio Station First place: 107.5 WKZL Second place: 92.3 Rock 92

Best Morning Show First place: “Two Guys Named Chris”, Rock 92 Second place: “Murphy in the Morning”, 107.5 WKZL

Best DJ First place: Jeff Wicker, 98.7 Simon Second place: Angie Ward, 104.1 WQTR

Best Blog First place: The YES! Weekly Blog, yesweekly.blogspot. com Second place: Scott Lefaice, Honorable mention: Triad Media Watch,; Ed Cone, edcone.typepad. com/wordup

Best Local Journalist First place: Ryan Snyder, YES! Weekly Second place: Brian Clarey, YES! Weekly Best Local Publication First place: YES! Weekly Second place: The Rhinoceros Times

Best TV News First place: Fox 8 Second place: WFMY

Best Male TV Anchor First place: Cameron Kent, WXII Second place: Neil McNeil, Fox *

Best Female TV Anchor First place: Julie Luck, Fox 8 Second place: Wanda Stark WXII Honorable mention: Cindy Farmer, Fox 8

Best Weather Person First place: Jenny Stencel, WXII Second place: Eric Chilton, WFMY

Best Reason to pick up YES! Weekly First place: Events listing Second place: Music coverage


Best Live Music Venue, Greensboro First place: Greene Street Second place: The Blind Tiger

Best Live Music Venue, Winston-Salem First place: The Garage Second place: Werehouse

Best Jukebox First place: College Hill Sundries, Greensboro Second place: Fincastle’s

Best Karaoke First place: Hams, Triad Second place: The Green Burro, Greensboro

Best Local Cover Band First place: The Breakfast Club Second place: 90 Proof

Best Local Hip-Hop Act First place: Ed E Ruger Second place: Urban Sophistictes

Best Performance DJ First place: DJ Frenzy Second place: DJ Polo

Best Americana Band First place: Old Southern Moonshine Revival Second place: Old Stone Revue

Best New band First place: Farewell Second place: 90 Proof

Best Guitarist First place: Kevin Carter, Farewell Second place: Sam Robinson, Sam Robinson & the Five-Gallon Groove

Best Percussionist First place: Chris Phillips, the Nondenoms Second place: Joey Barnes, Daughtry

Best Singer First place: Jonathon Timber, Curve the Chaos Second place: Evan Olson

Best Bassist First place: Chris Carroll, various Second place: Jeff Lynn, House of Fools


Best City Council Member, Winston-Salem First place: Joycelyn Johnson Second place: Dan Besse

Best City Council Member, Greensboro First place: Mike Barber Second place: Zack Matheny

Best Alderman, High Point First place: Latimer Alexander

Best County Commissioner, Guilford First place: Billy Yow

Best County Commissioner, Forsyth First place: N/A


Best of Greensboro First place: Vintage 301 Second place: Green Valley Grill

Best of Winston-Salem First place: Foothills Brewery Second place: 6 th & vine Honorable mention: Sweet Potatoes

Best of High Point First place: Liberty Steakhouse Second place: Nobles

Best Chef First place: Chef Ben Sullivan, Vintage 301, Greensboro Second place: Chef Andy Furness, Ganache, Greensboro

Best Asian Food First place: PF Changs China Bistro, Greensboro Second place: Phoenix Asian Cuisine, Greensboro

Best Sushi First place: Sushi Republic, Greensboro Second place: US Sushi, High Point, Greensboro

Best Italian First place: Marios Pizza, Greensboro Second place: Elizabeth’s Pizza, Tria

Best Brunch First place: Village Tavern, Greensboro, Winston-Salem Second place: Green Valley Grill, Greensboro Honorable mention: Lucky 32

Best Bistro First place: Bistro Sofia, Greensboro Second place: Print Works Bistro, Greensboro

Best Sandwich First place: Jimmy John’s, Triad Second place: First Carolina Deli, Greensboro

Best Sub First place: Jimmy John’s, Triad Second place: Ghassan’s, Greensboro

Best Steak First place: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Greensboro Second place: Chop House, Triad

Best BBQ First place: Stameys, Greensboro Second place: Carter Brothers Barbecue & Ribs, High Point

Best Pizza First place: Mario’s Pizza, Greensboro Second place: Mellow Mushroom, Greensboro, Winston-Salem

Best Coffee First place: Krankies, Winston-Salem Second place: Tate Street Coffee, Greensboro Honorable mention: Brew Nerds, Winston-Salem

Best Male Server First place: Robert “Jaybird” Williams, Fincastle’s, Greensboro Second place: Andrew Parsons, Gate City Chop House, Greensboro

Best Female Server First place: Angie Parham, Hooters, Winston- Salem

Second place: Mairen Hughes, Fincastle’s/Mellow Mushroom, Greensboro

Best Neighborhood Restaurant First place: Fishbones, Greensboro Second place: Lindley Park Filling Station, Greensboro

Best Vegetarians Menu First place: Boba House, Greensboro

Best Place to Feed Entire Family First place: CiCis Pizza, Triad Second place: Mellow MushroomHonorable mention: Brixx Pizza, Greensboro

Best Patio/Courtyard First place: Green Valley Grill, Greensboro Second place: Caf’ Europa, Greensboro

Best Breakfast First place: Jake’s Diner, Greensboro Second place: Smith Street Diner

Best Late-Night Eats First place: Cookout, Triad Second place: Jake’s Diner, Greensboro; Your House, Greensboro (tie)

Best Cheap Eats First place: Cookout, Triad Second place: Ham’s, Triad

Best Buffets First place: Golden Corral, Triad Second place: Taste of Thai, Greensboro

Best Dessert First place: Ganache, Greensboro Second place: Cheesecakes by Alex, Greensboro

Best Delivery First place: Jimmy John’s, Triad

Second place: Pastabilities, Greensboro

Best Lunch First place: Fincastle’s Second place: Ghassan’s Honorable mention: Natty Greene’s, Greensboro; 6th & Vine, Winston-Salem

Best Hot Dog First place: Yum Yum’s, Greensboro Second place: Cookout, Triad

Best Hamburger First place: Cookout, Triad Best Second place: Fincastle’s, Greensboro

Best French Fries First place: Cookout, Triad Second place: Chick-fil-A, Triad

Best Wings First place: Wild Wing Caf’, Winston-Salem Second place: East Coast Wings, Greensboro Honorable mention: Cooper’s Ale House, Greensboro Best Bakery First place: Ganache Bakery & Caf’, Greensboro Second place: Simple Kneads, Greensboro Honorable mention: Spring Garden Bakery, Greensboro

Best Seafood First place: Bert’s Seafood Grille, Greensboro Second place: The Black Pearl, Greensboro

Best Romantic Dinner First place: The Melting Pot, Greensboro Second place: Vintage 301, Greensboro

Best Wine list First place: Vintage 301, Greensboro Second place: 6 th & Vine, Winston-Salem

Jade Moore of Big Shotz Tavern is voted Best Female Bartender in the Triad


Makingyour way in the world today takes everything you’ve got; Taking a breakfrom all your worries sure would help a lot; Wouldn’t you like to getaway? Sometimes you want to go; Where everybody knows your name; andthey’re always glad you came.

JadeMoore is a flurry of activity, even on a Wednesday night. With one eyeon the door, Moore mixes martinis, pours beer and takes food orderswhile helping manage a very busy bar at Big Shotz Tavern in Clemmons.Moore’s ability to multi-task is just one of the reasons she was votedBest Female Bartender in the Triad by YES! Weekly readers. Moore admitsshe’s obsessed with ensuring each and every person who comes into BigShotz feels like a member of her extended family. And with Moore, thesentiment is sincere. It comes from the heart. “I’ve worked insports bars; I’ve worked in fine dining. I’ve worked in night clubs andI think I’m the happiest here that I’ve ever been because it is like afamily,” Moore said. “I’m a very social person by nature. That helps alot too because I do a lot of the events here.” On Tuesday nights,Moore hosts Brain Freeze Trivia at Big Shotz. She said acting as masterof ceremonies gives her an outlet for her expressive personality. “I’mkind of smart-mouthed and people like that,” Moore said. However,Moore’s reputation has less to do with her sharp tongue than herability to anticipate a customer’s needs. “When she spots youcoming in the door, typically she meets you at the table before youever sit down,” said Steve Schough, a Big Shotz regular. “That’s notjust [me], that’s anybody. She’s just observant about what’s going onin the dining room; you never have to wait on anything.

“Whenyou come here, you get a good warm fuzzy feeling so you come back. It’slike the Cheers bar.” Debbie Schough can hear the famous “Cheers”television theme running through her mind every time she walks into thebar at Big Shotz. “You can go very few places anymore wherepeople know your name. [Jade] knows our name, she knows what we like toeat, she’s friendly, she’s attentive,” Schough said. “It feels likewe’re at home.” There’s been very little turnover in Big Shotz’s waitand bar staff since the establishment opened four years ago, whichcould explain why customers rave over the exceptional customer receivethey receive from Moore and her colleagues. Moore gives all credit torestaurant owners Betty Ashby and John Edwards for instilling aphilosophy that focuses on customer care, while creating a familyenvironment for employees. Ashby said the admiration ismutual. “Jade is unique. She’s a crazy, wild personality and I thinkthat’s why the guests love her because you never know what you’re goingto get with Jade,” Ashby said. “She makes good drinks but she’s veryentertaining and that’s why they love her.” Ashby said it’s not unusualto see Moore dancing down the back of the bar and singing to the musicplaying over the loudspeakers. Despite her irrepressible playfulness,Moore literally pours her heart into her job, Ashby said. Other regularcustomers didn’t hesitate to say Moore is one of the hardest workingbartenders they’ve ever seen, and definitely the neatest barkeep in theland. Moore admits she’s a bit compulsive about keeping the bar fullystocked and in perfect order.

“They all pick on me because I am constantly going behind people and constantly straightening things up,” Moore said.

She attributes her obsession with neatness to her perfectionist nature. “IfI do something wrong I am torn up for a week. [My colleagues] know Iget stressed out if I screw up,” she said. “But I’d rather prepare for100 people and have only 10 show up than prepare for 10 and have 100walk through the door.” Serving drinks and great food from a perfectlyordered bar represents a fraction of Moore’s range of duties. Like allbartenders, Jade serves as friend, psychologist and confidante to hercustomers, whom she all considers close friends — just one of thereasons she earned the title Best Female Bartender in the Triad. “I know everybody’s dirty little secrets. I know where the bodies are buried,” she said.

Jade Moore of Big Shotz Tavern in Clemmons pours a drink.