Best Of 2017

Sean O'Brien

Who would’ve known that we’d spend our mid-30s (and beyond) collecting buttons and pins for our lapels and guitar straps? Thanks to the comic book-inspired selection at Tampa’s Bronze Age Buttons and veteran local comics artist/musician Josh Sullivan’s wide variety of enamel pins both cute and snide, getting older (and throwing around our disposable income) never felt — or looked — so cool. —Ray Roa/Scott Harrell

Cathy Salustri

“A boat is a hole in the water you throw money into” — or so says Conventional Wisdom. While no one’s debating Conventional Wisdom, I am saying if you have to throw money at someone to fix your boat, let it be M&M Marine. They’ve saved our asses many times and we trust them with our Pro-Line — and that’s coming from someone who’s about to marry a SeaTow captain. Boat captains, I should note, can be notoriously cranky about bad. —Cathy Salustri

David Warner

She’ll take expert care of your canines, as in teeth, but the delightful part about having Anne Sellas as your dental hygienist is how much she cares about your canines, as in dogs. Her enclave in the offices of Dr. Patrick Chase, the excellent St. Petersburg dentist, is distinguished by bulletin boards plastered with named photos of all of her patients’ pet pups, a visual that is lots more soothing than novocain. Plus, she’s full of stories about her own two Labs, Cabo and Tenny, and good if slightly odd advice. For instance, ask her about “popcorn toes” (it has to do with the smell, as she perceives it, of doggie paws) and using dryer sheets as an anti-panic technique for the thunder-shy. For dog lovers, having Anne as your dental hygienist is almost as good as a warm puppy. —David Warner


Want your POS to get a scrubbing and look — and smell — like new? These guys can deliver. For as long as I can remember — which means, as long as I didn’t want to drive a car that looked like it was the second home of a Florida frat boy — I’ve counted on these guys to scrub, wipe and polish my ride. They’ve never done me wrong, and what they offer is beyond the ordinary. Love them — and the scented pads they put under my front seat. A word of warning, though: I’m not the only one who feels that way, so be prepared to wait in line. —Cathy Salustri


The Germans are here — in Pinellas County and Brandon, at least — and they’re selling quality non-name-brand food products at rock-bottom prices. This discount grocery purveyor is quickly expanding, and ditching its previous scratch-and-dent reputation just as fast; if you’re not hung up on not seeing familiar trademarks on the shelves, it’s the place for great deals on good (and often either organic or less processed) eats. Multiple locations in Pinellas County.  —SH

David Warner

I like Lynn. I’m not crazy about the shampoo part, even if she does use all-natural products, and frankly I don’t know if I can trust her truck (HATE trucks, especially white ones), but she’s awfully nice as humans go. Plus, she gives me presents sometimes, like a nifty bandanna which makes me look quite rakish when it’s tied just so around my neck. And have you seen me right after a Doodle ‘do? All those humans cooing and complimenting — that’s not for nothin’, ya know. I am one handsome st- Oh, wait, what’s that? — sorry, gotta go. GARBAGE TRUUUUCK!!!! —Walter Warner-Biddle


Less interested in following your significant other around as they hunt for hip clothing and accessories than in having a beer or glass of wine at the bar while petting dogs indoors, out of the heat? Here, have the 600 Block’s Bartique. Now everybody’s happy. 640 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-827-2914 —SH

Cathy Salustri

If you have a dog in pain, you’ll try anything to make it better. When my vet — who’s holistic and traditional — suggested acupuncture for Calypso’s IVDD (it’s a dachshund thing), I was optimistic but also skeptical. Turns out, it did the trick — it lessened her pain and she hasn’t had any relapses since. That’s not to say they won’t happen, but if they do, I know what I’m trying first this time. We don’t call SPB Vet a vet; we tell her she’s going to the “feel better store” because that’s all they’ve ever done there: Make her feel better. St. Pete Beach Veterinarian, 6605 Gulf Blvd., St. Pete Beach. 727-367-0096 —CS

Kendra Bailey

Cutting your pup’s nails is an anxiety-laden experience whether you’re a canine or a canine’s human. Thank Dog for the folks at Health Mutt in Seminole Heights, who’ll do it for you and then fine-tune their work with a Dremel. Spending $20 (you should tip, cheap-ass) never felt so worth it. — Ray Roa, 6116 N Central Ave, Tampa. (813) 231-3137

Cathy Salustri

There’s sort of an event horizon of weddings around CL these days, with three of us planning the big day. Bradshaw and I will tie the knot within two weeks of each other (we both scheduled our weddings around Best of the Bay, because we love our jobs just that much). While we have many things in common — our mutual love of salt water, dogs, and bubbles —we’re planning vastly different events. Mine is decidedly more casual. I wanted to get married in a swimsuit, but that was a bit too casual. Local designer Rebecca Joy designed a beautiful alternative. She has a great eye for what looks good on people and her company, ReJoys Art, has some eminently wearable fashions that make you happy to get dressed. —Cathy Salustri

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