Best Of 2015

Best (Worst) Catch-22
Alexa Asendorf

Blame it on the amount of work he was getting, or on the arrival of the Warehouse Lofts, but Tampa craftsman Andrew Watson had to move his workshop out of Seminole Heights and into “NoHo.” The relocation effectively closed Chris Kelly’s Workspace art gallery, the trendy BackForty retail space in the back of the building, and moved BUILT to a block that suffered extreme flooding this summer, resulting in serious damage to Watson’s equipment and hand-crafted furniture. We’re all about the positive growth of neighborhoods, but can’t we find a way to keep the artists around, too?

Best Alternative to Owning a Bike

It’s 2015 in Tampa, and you don’t have to own a bicycle to see your city at a pace that lets you appreciate all its nuance. Coast Bike Share’s beautiful blue fleet features tires that never go flat and a smartphone-based rental app that is nearly idiot-proof (you’ll still have to walk Uncle Dave through it). With membership rates dropping to $15 for up to 90 minutes of riding a day, you might even consider abandoning your auto commute a few times a week.

Best Beach Cabanas

Sometimes you just want to chill on the beach without having to haul a ton of gear out. For a few bucks, this 60-year-old cabana rental business lets you use their shaded beach recliners, all situated out along the Treasure Island beachfront in the middle of the island. Also available from this very friendly service are beach umbrellas and standup paddleboards. You can’t reserve online; you have to go out to the beach to rent.

Best Beachy Men's Shop

There’s a menswear shop just down the sidewalk from popular brunch spot Maggie Mae’s in the Shoppes on Sand Key that’ll upend your preconceptions of strip-mall beach apparel emporia. No tacky tees or ugly beach towels here — just a terrific assortment of quality warm-weather gear by the likes of Columbia PFG (most comfortable shorts in the universe), Olukai (their slip-on mesh footwear is the 2015 answer to the boat shoe), Tommy Bahama and more. Sunny service, great selection — and very close to the beach.

Best Cheap Organic Produce
Pasadena Produce Facebook

Do you make your rent or buy organic grapes? Look, everyone knows about the dirty dozen — fruits and veggies so laden with pesticides they apparently make you die if you even look at them in the grocery store — but seriously, we’re writers up in here. We can’t afford $17 a pound grapes. Pasadena Produce, this tiny market that’s half Greek restaurant, half fresh fruits, veggies, and other free-range, non-GMO, dolphin-safe foodstuffs, somehow sells the same stuff as the box stores for less money. We’re not sure how — we suspect it has something to do with being family-owned and buying seasonally — but when our organic veggies cost less here than conventionally grown ones do at Publix, we’re all in. Pasadena Produce 6801 Gulfport Blvd S, South Pasadena, 33707 727-384-0750

Best Chiropractor for Your Mom
Brett Herrington Facebook

Not only does he look like he should be one of the stars of Grey’s Anatomy, but the tall, handsome and amiable Dr. Herrington is soothing and compassionate, and so is his very professional and efficient staff. If you have an aging older parent who needs care, you will find your mom or dad in good hands quite literally with Dr. Herrington. His office is run efficiently, and manipulations both manual and electronic are clearly explained and expertly executed. What’s more, Dr. Herrington is a provider for all major medical insurance companies. First Choice Chiropractic, 2575 Harn Blvd., Clearwater, 727-535-7799,

Best Mobile Locksmiths
Creative Commons

On those hectic mornings when you’re already late for work and the gods decide to lock your keys in the car, there’s only one man to call on. Not only will Steve set an appointment time and stick to it, his prices are fair, he is extremely knowledgeable and is genuinely concerned about your security. Bonus: He keeps tons of parts on him. Love is never having to hear, “I’ll need to order that.” 727-522-2244,

Best New Community Hub

Wife-and-husband duo Cassie and Scott Bookamer’s for-locals, by-locals mantra shines throughout the sofa-chilling and goods-dealing mecca that is Ybor Daily Market. In its 15,000-square-foot-something space along Seventh Avenue, the neighborhood market has grown from a handful of pop-up vendors on its outdoor patio to a go-to community gathering place. There’s a quirky mix of something for everyone — produce, organic soaps, dill and garlic cheese curds, tropical-style purses, beer pickles, Ybor-sourced java, cheesecake in a jar, leather wallets — we hope the Bookamers keep it comin’. An urban garden on the upstairs terrace is also in the works. 1920 E. Seventh Ave., Tampa, 813-312-7425,

Best New Digs
Dysfunctional Grace Facebook

Not everyone’s fleeing Tampa for St. Pete. Dysfunctional Grace, a dark and lovely little outpost of oddities co-founded by Liz Furlong and Daniel James, is a twisted but artful novelty shop and gallery that opened in the 600 Block area of downtown St. Pete in March 2012. Starting out their biz as a showcase for James’s taxidermy sculptures and peculiar doodads from the past, the couple heaved ho to Ybor spring this year and started out its new tenure on a remarkably better footing: DG sold more in eight days in Ybor than one month in the ’Burg. Perhaps, more night crawlers equals more business for a strange little shop, which trades in creepy medical equipment you might find in a Trent Reznor video or, better yet, a stuffed grizzly bear wearing a fez. 1903 E. Seventh Ave., Ybor City,

Best New Local T-Shirts

Answering the need for souvenir t-shirts that even a local would want to wear (and entering a market that till now was owned by Chad Mize/BlueLucy), Wide Sky is making a splash with witty, hyperlocal messages — “Me Love You Longo Time,” “My Way or the Skyway,” “Run Like You Valet at the Vinoy,” “Green Bench Sitting Team” — in smartly designed tanks and tees sold online and at street fests and markets around the Bay. Designer/owner Sara O’Brien (author of the photo history book, St. Petersburg Then and Now) worked in TV for 11 years before deciding to follow her daydream and start her own business. We say the Sky’s the limit.