READERS' PICKS ‌ Shops & Wares 

click to enlarge Need to hock the family jewels? Head down to Money Man Pawn - (Best Pawn Shop)
  • Need to hock the family jewels? Head down to Money Man Pawn (Best Pawn Shop)

It's always interesting to see how readers' tastes change in the jam-packed Shops and Wares category. This year saw locals gaining ground in some categories, with Southern Belles unseating Gap Kids as your pick for Best Children's Clothing Store, and losing ground in others, as national chain Guitar Center beat out Ye Olde Music Shop for Best Musical Instrument Store. But shopping still remains as vital as ever in our thriving tourist town, and although Towne Centre (Best Mall/Shopping Area) provides a mall experience without the confining walls and ceilings, King Street remains the go-to locale for fine fashion and accessories. And it appears everyone's venturing further up King to browse: HandPicked (333 King) garnered perhaps the upset of the year by defeating Croghan's Jewel Box (308 King) for the title of Best Jewelry Store. Hey, didn't the government tell us it was time to whip out those wallets to show some patriotic pride? Whatever, let's go shopping!

Best Jewelry Store

333 King St. Downtown 723-7208
644 Long Point Road Mt. Pleasant 971-4019

It’s an upset this year, with Columbia, S.C.-based HandPicked edging out longtime favorite Croghan’s Jewel Box for the title of Charleston’s Best Jewelry Store. So, what tipped the scales in HandPicked’s favor? Could it have been the wide variety of one-of-a-kind accessories? Or perhaps the range of prices offered by the store, which seems to have something for everyone’s budget, from the pauper to the princess? We sure enjoy rummaging around HandPicked, with their rows and rows of bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, and trinkets that blur the line between earth goddess and fashionista. —Sara Miller

Best Furniture Store

621 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 884-7005
This perennial favorite for Best Furniture Store has more to offer than just a few upholstered sofas and oak dining sets. The buyers for the locally-owned and operated Celadon take care to select unique items ranging from the basics to lamps, candles, mirrors and wall hangings, rugs, bed and bath accessories, and even silk flowers, all to help you create a living space that makes a personal statement that excites without using too many exclamation points. —Sara Miller

Best Vintage Clothing Store
Granny’s Goodies

301 King St. (Through Cumberland’s) Downtown 577-6200
Granny’s Goodies has even more to crow about this year, since they’ve been relegated to the back of the space that now houses both the clothing store and the Cumberland’s rock club. No matter how far off the street Granny’s may be, any local worth a sneeze knows that when there’s a costume party on the horizon — or an ’80s theme night, or a ninja pirate party, etc. — you can cruise the racks at Granny’s and find exactly the right get-up to wow the masses. —Sara Miller

Best Corner Store

157 Broad St. Downtown 723-4054
Burbage’s is another regular favorite among Charlestonians, a drop-in-and-shop store like Grandma and Grandpa used to visit back in the days before supermarkets were on every other corner. Located near Colonial Lake in the upper-crust South of Broad area, Burbage’s carries more than just BC powders and Coca-Cola — they’ve also got a wicked prepared foods section with some amazingly nourishing, homemade chicken soup that’s better than anything Mom ever served us when we were sick, and pimiento cheese that’s hard to share (just ask our editor, who wrote all about it in the Best Of Eating section). —Sara Miller

Best Liquor Store
Total Wine

1820 Ashley River Road West Ashley 763-7034
We’d go in there any day to sample one of Fran’s picks or just to see Brittany’s smile, but, hey, since we’re there anyway, let’s face it — the prices are just plain hard to beat. Plus, we love that we can ask any staff member for assistance: Total Wine employees are well versed in the verbiage of vino. On a recent visit, we were pleased with the phenomenal red currant and dark cherry aromas of the wine tasting in progress, the crisp, focused arrangement of wines by region and variety, and the poised, easy-on-the-wallet finish at the cash register. With over 8,000 different wines — representing every wine-producing region on the globe — to choose from, not to mention the beer, spirits, snacks, and accessories, this is the in-place to imbibe. —Jason A. Zwiker

Best Musical Instrument Store
Guitar Center

7620 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 572-9063
This Wal-Mart of music stores opened less than a year ago and has already shot straight to the top of City Paper readers’ list of places to get all the equipment to start up the next Led Zeppelin (as if!). They have literally hundreds of guitars and basses in stock, and with the power to buy in bulk, they offer deeply discounted prices that local mom-and-pop operations just can’t compete with. You’d think that with the supercenter feel of the place, there’d be a chink in this nationwide beast’s armor, right? Wrong. Not only do they have the biggest inventory, the lowest prices around, equipment available for rental, and lessons for just about any instrument in the store, they’ve also put together a staff full of helpful, knowledgeable (some might even say “hot”) employees, most of whom are musicians or sound technicians themselves. —Sara Miller

Best Law Firm/Lawyer
Akim Anastopoulo — Anastopoulo & Clore, L.L.C.

706 Orleans Road West Ashley 722-8070
Attorney Akim Anastopoulo, long one of our favorite local characters, may have had to drop his “Strong Arm” moniker early last year thanks to changes in the state’s tort laws, but it’s evident from his second Best Lawyer win in a row that in the arm-wrestling battle for our hearts, he’s unstoppable. Anastopoulo has been practicing law in the Charleston area for 20 years now, steadily increasing his client base with his friendly demeanor and megawatt smile — not to mention his plentiful successes in the courtroom. Two years ago, Anastopoulo’s profile skyrocketed onto the national radar when he began hosting Eye for an Eye, a syndicated television show that twists the tired TV courtroom formula by adding revenge into the mix. Judge “Extreme Akim” listens as warring litigants present their cases, then Anastopoulo gets to decide how the losing party will pay for their trangressions — one man who was lax in his child support/alimony payments had to stand back and watch as his ex-wife sent a chainsaw straight down the middle of his brand-new big screen TV. “I was approached to try out for the show and thought it was a neat idea,” Anastopoulo says, “and it’s really been a lot of fun.” After the show took off, Anastopoulo decided it was time to add a partner to his law practice (Mark D. Clore), and he has nine attorneys working out of the West Ashley office even when he’s in Los Angeles filming. With all this on his plate, he somehow still finds the time to participate in local events like last year’s College of Charleston Battle of the Bands, which he helped judge. —Sara Miller

Best Mall/Shopping Area
Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre

Best Department Store
1200 Belk Dr. Mt. Pleasant 884-2841

Best Window Display
Saks Fifth Ave.
211 King St. Downtown 853-9888

Best Women's Clothing Store
Copper Penny
311 King St. Downtown 723-2999

Best Men's Clothing Store
M. Dumas & Sons
294 King St. Downtown 723-8603

Best Children's Clothing Store
Southern Belles
280 W. Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 881-1741

Best Boutique
Copper Penny
311 King St. Downtown 723-2999

Best Shoe Store
Bob Ellis
332 King St. Downtown 722-2515

Best Thrift Store
Goodwill Industries
8550 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 574-9009
and other locations

Best Flea Market
Coastal Carolina Flea Market
165 Market Road Ladson 797-0540

Best Antique Store
Page's Thieves Market
1460 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 884-9672

Best Home Accessories Store
975 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 571-5142
695 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-0711

Best Garden Store/Nursery
Hyam's Landscaping and Garden Center
870 Folly Road James Island 795-4570

Best Pet Store
676 Long Point Road Mt. Pleasant 884-1419

Best Art Supply Store
Artist and Craftsman Supply
434 King St. Downtown 579-0077

Best Paint Store
464 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 556-4021

Best Frame Shop
Havens Picture Framing and Gallery
1070 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 881-1543

Best Grocery Store
Harris Teeter
290 East Bay St. Downtown 722-6821
and other locations

Best Gourmet Grocery Store
Whole Foods
923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 971-7240

Best Health Food Store
Whole Foods
923 Houston Northcutt Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 971-7240

Best Wine Shop
Total Wine
1820 Ashley River Road West Ashley 763-7034

Best Tobacco Shop
The Smoking Lamp
189 East Bay St. Downtown 577-7339

Best Hardware Store
Royall ACE Hardware
883 Ben Sawyer Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 884-2551

Best Internet Service Provider
4400 Belle Oaks Dr. N. Charleston 554-4100

Best Cell Phone Provider
7351 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 569-7813
and other locations

Best Lighting Store
Charleston Lighting & Interiors
1640 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 766-3055
1109 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 352-0188

Best Dry Cleaner
Chris' Dry Cleaning and Shirt Service
808 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 884-9044

Best Florist
Tiger Lily
131 Spring St. Downtown 723-2808

Best Pawn Shop
Money Man Pawn
450 Meeting St. Downtown 577-9111
and other locations

Best Place to Buy New CDs
Millennium Music
372 King St. Downtown 722-1000
1732 Towne Centre Way Mt. Pleasant 971-2005

Best Place to Buy Used CDs
Millennium Music
372 King St. Downtown 722-1000
1732 Towne Centre Way Mt. Pleasant 971-2005

Best CD Store Staff
Millennium Music
372 King St. Downtown 722-1000
1732 Towne Centre Way Mt. Pleasant 971-2005

Best Place to Rent Videos
334 East Bay St. Downtown 722-2257
and other locations

Best Bookstore
Barnes & Noble
7620 Rivers Ave. N. Charleston 572-2322
1716 Towne Centre Way Mt. Pleasant 216-9756
1812 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 556-6561

Best Comic Book Store
Atomic Comics
451 King St. Downtown 534-2866

Best Used Book Store
Boomers Books & Collectibles
420 King St. Downtown 722-2666

Best Place to Buy a Used Car
Mama's Used Car Supermarket
1627 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 556-6262
1020 N. Main St. Summerville 821-8900

Best Place to Buy a New Car
Rick Hendrick Automotive Group
1518 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 1-800-763-0283

Best Car Wash
Cactus Carwash & Detailing
1522 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 571-7789
2080 Ashley Phosphate Road N. Charleston 824-6363

Best Tire Store
Gerald's Tires and Brakes
1 Magnolia Road West Ashley 566-1910
and other locations

Best Place to Get Your Car Fixed
Gerald's Tires and Brakes
1 Magnolia Road West Ashley 566-1910
and other locations

Best Motorcycle Shop
Low Country Harley-Davidson
4707 Dorchester Road N. Charleston 554-1847

Best Cab Company
Yellow Cab
2019 Cherry Hill Lane N. Charleston 577-6565

Best Limo Company
Star Limousine
1934 Doscher Ave. Downtown 745-6279

Best Realty Company
Prudential Carolina Estate
4024 Salt Pointe Parkway N. Charleston 202-2000
and other locations

Best Insurance Agency
State Farm
various locations

Best Bank
16 Broad St. Downtown 937-4550
177 Meeting St. Downtown 727-2969
and other locations


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