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‘Best of Cape Coral’ winners honored

June 28, 2018
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

More than 300 people from nearly 100 companies were honored at Cape Cabaret Wednesday as the Cape Coral Breeze presented its "Best of Cape Coral" reader's choice awards in categories that ran the gamut from best restaurant to best nachos.

This year's big winners of the honor determined by readers who vote via in-paper-ballots, included Slate's Restaurant, which took home six awards, including best restaurant, steak, Sunday brunch, dessert, casual fine dining and jazz club.

"It's a simple concept. We go with the best ingredients, be consistent and surround ourselves with the best people and everything will take care of itself," said Allan Cotter, owner of Slate's. "We've hit on something Cape Coral enjoys and we will work hard to continue it."

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Among the big winners of The Breeze’s “Best of Cape Coral” reader’s choice awards this year was Slate’s Restaurant, which took home six awards, including best restaurant, steak, Sunday brunch, dessert, casual fine dining and jazz club. Accepting the award were owner and chef Allan Cotter, pastry chef Douglas Gusten. and sous chef Marquit Robinson.


Dr. Mel Youngs took home four awards and won best chiropractic for the 17th straight year. For her, winning never gets old.

"We're so proud. We have a great team that loves Cape Coral and help people. We are humbled and honored and we do a great job taking care of people inside and out," Youngs said.

Winning has become a yearly tradition for Downtowner Car Wash, which won for best car wash for the 11th straight year and has just opened its fourth location.

"We have a great crew. They are all hard working and the owners treat everyone really well. It makes the day at work enjoyable," said Teresa Intvold, office manager.

Another four-time winner was Big 10 Tavern, owned by Jason Bhimji, who not only won awards for his tavern, but also the bakery Cannoli Italian Market, which won two more. Not bad for a first time, though being alone he had trouble holding all the hardware for his photo op.

"It's cool they even do this in this town. It's great to be acknowledged for doing something great," Bhimji said. "We give the freshest stuff we can and it shows."

Merrick's Seafood and Fish Tale's Grill combined for four awards, including best seafood. Coral Pratillo, who has worked there since it opened, said she is proud to work in both the commercial seafood market and the restaurant.

"We've been open for nearly 20 years and winning this award is absolutely marvelous," Pratillo said. "I'm very proud to work for them and in a restaurant with homemade soups, sauces and the best seafood."

Denise Ahlstrom, owner of Karma and Coconuts, took home three awards for best art gallery, arts classes and arts boutique. It's her fifth straight year winning and she has won every year she has been in business.

"I think it's amazing. I'm very honored. We are very unique. We have 85 artists who are part of the store so all the inventory is made by local artists and they're also my teachers," Ahlstrom said. "We're here to stay and we're all about the community."

Physicians Primary Care also won three awards, as did Tasty Cultures and PC Tech.

The "Best of" event always turns out to be a big deal for those who host it. Joel Notes, owner of the Cape Cabaret which also won two awards, said this was the result of two-plus years of hard work, turning a building in need of an update into a first-rate experience.

"I'm proud of what we've accomplished. It's hard work and the awards are great recognition of what we've done," Notes said. "There were 320 people and they went through the lunch line in 20 minutes. Our staff deserves a big round of applause."

Lady Cakes, which won for best bakery and best cupcakes, contributed 28 dozen cupcakes for the occasion. By the end of lunch, there was little more than a dozen left.

"I so surprised there are so few cupcakes left. I'm sure some will grab an extra one on the way out," said owner Bess Charles, who has been best bakery four straight years. "We're happy to be in such an elite group of businesses in Cape Coral."

The Cape Coral Breeze hosts the awards luncheon annually as a way to give residents an opportunity to recognize businesses they feel go above and beyond.

Ballots are run in the weekend Breeze to be filled out and returned by those who wish to take part.

"We are so happy that the event has grown in both the number of participants and the number of categories," said Jim Konig, advertising director and general manager. "As strong supporters of the Cape's business community, it gives us great pleasure to sponsor these "Best of Cape Coral" recognition each year. It not gives us an opportunity to invite the public to recognize those businesses that are very good at what they do, it allow us to say thank you to both longtime and new establishments that have earned a reputation for excellence."

This year's 'Best of" winners are:

n Health & Wellness

Assisted Living Facility: Gulf Coast Village

Chiropractor: Dr. Mel Youngs DC, PA Chiropractic Physicians and Wellness Spa

Dental Office: Reef Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

Dermatologist: Cambio Dermatology

Dermatology Center: Florida Skin Care

Family Practitioner: Dr. Tracy Vo

Gym: Planet Fitness

Hearing Aids: Beltone Hearing Care Center

Massage Therapy: Dr. Mel Youngs DC, PA Chiropractic Physicians and Wellness Spa

Children & Pregnancy Chiropractor: Dr. Mel Youngs DC, PA Chiropractic Physicians and Wellness Spa

Optical Center: Williamson Eye Care

Family Practice: Physicians' Primary Care Of Southwest Florida

Pediatric Care Center: Physicians' Primary Care Of Southwest Florida

Pediatrician: Physicians' Primary Care Of Southwest Florida

Physical Therapy: Apex Physical Therapy

Spa: Flawless

Facials: Dr. Mel Youngs DC, PA Chiropractic Physicians and Wellness Spa

Urology Group: Southwest Florida Urological Associates

n Home Improvement & Services

Appliance Store: Good Deals Appliances

Cabinetry: Cabinet Genies

Carpet: PCC Tile

Countertops: Cabinet Genies

Electrician: Conch Electric

Fence and Gates: All Fence

Tile Flooring: Trebing Tile & Carpet

Pressure Washing: All American Pressure Washing

Tile & Grout Cleaning: Trebing Tile & Carpet

Hardware Store(Local): Gavins

Hardware Store(Local): Family Hardware

Heating & A/C Dealer: PDQ Mechanical

Heating & A/C Service: Costa Mechanical & Air Conditioning

Housecleaning: Merry Maids

Interior Design: Lori Manning Designs

Landscaping: Danny Yates Landscape Nursery

Lighting & Lamp Store: TJ's Lamps & Shades, LLC

Electric Motor & Pump Repair: Pumps Plus McGregor Electric Motors

Hand & Power Tools: Family Hardware

Sprinkler Repair & Yard Maintenance: Royal Property Maintenance

Tree Trimming: K. E. Beal Company

Lawn Mowing: Bearded Man Lawn Care

Lawn & Garden Tools: Family Hardware

Lawn & Garden Tools: Gavin's

Marble/Granite Dealer: Affordable Marble & Granite

Pest Control: Tony's Pest Control, Inc.

Plumbing Company: Bergau Plumbing

Pool Cage/Lanai Screening: Tropical Pools Construction

Pool Refinishing: Siesta Pebble

Pool Contractor: Tropical Pools Construction

Drywall/Restoration: RDS Drywall & Restoration

Pool Service Company: Pool Doctor

Roofing Contractor: Nastar Roofing Inc

Soffits & Gutters: No Winner

Upholstery & Drapery: Blinds Plus

Window Treatment: Blinds Plus

Laminate Flooring: PCC Tile

Lanai Privacy: Lanai Escape

n Restaurant, Food & Entertainment

New Restaurant: Gather

Alternative Lifestyle Bar: Cruiser's

Bagel Shop: Stuff A Bagel

Bakery: Lady Cakes Bakery

Italian Bakery: Cannolli's

Bar: The Dek

Barbecue: Rib City Grill

Bloody Mary: Corksoakers

Breakfast: House of Omelets

Brewery: Big Blue Brewery

Casual Fine Dining: Slate's

Chinese Restaurant: Chen's China Bistro

Cigar Bar: World Famous Cigar Bar

Coffee Roaster: Scooter's Coffee

Coffee Shop: Perk & Brew

Country Club: Palmetto-Pine Country Club

Country Music Venue: Dixie Roadhouse

Chicago Beef: Chicago Beef and Dog

Italian Beef: Chicago Beef Guy

Cupcakes: LadyCakes Bakery

Cuban Restaurant: El Mambo Cuban Restaurant

Deli: Cannolli's

Diner: Mel's Diner

Farmer's Market: Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce Farmer's Market

German Bakery: BAM German Bakery and More

Golf Course: Palmetto-Pine Country Club

Homemade Ice Cream: Cape Creamery

Irish Pub: The Hop

Wood Fire Kitchen: Taverna Wood Fire Kitchen

Italian Restaurant: Maria's Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant

Jazz Club: Slate's

Japanese Restaurant: Kumo Japanese Steakhouse

Margarita: Monarca's

Mexican Restaurant: Mexico Lindo

Mimosa: Gather

Oysters: Merrick Seafood

Nachos: Big 10 Tavern

Garden Restaurant: La Corte Bistro

Chowder: Fish Tale By Merrick Seafood

Prime Rib: Big 10 Tavern

Polish Restaurant: Tasty Cultures

Restaurant: Slate's

Seafood Market: Merrick Seafood

Seafood Restaurant: Fish Tale By Merrick Seafood

Sub & Sandwich Shop: City Subs

Sunday Brunch: Slate's

Waterfront Dining: Fathoms

Arcade(Adult): Vegas Games 3, Inc.

Caberet: Cape Caberet

Ladies Night: Point 57

German Restaurant: Tasty Cultures

Appetizers: Big 10 Tavern

Dessert: Slate's

Fish and Chips: Pete's Fish & Chips

Hamburger: Nevermind Bar & Grill

Philly Cheesesteak: Overtime Cape Coral

Ribs: Rib City Grill

Salads: Big 10 Tavern

Popcorn Store: Wild About Popcorn

Homemade Soup: Tasty Cultures

Steak: Slate's

Sushi: Hana Japanese Steakhouse

Wings: The Dek

Dog Friendly Restaurant: Big Blue Brewery

Happy Hour: Paradise Tiki Bar

Live Music Venue: Ralph's Place

Live Performance Theatre: Cultural Park Theatre

Outdoor Entertainment: Fathom's

Tribute Band Venue: Cape Caberet

Nightclub: Dixie Roadhouse

Pizza: Chicago Pizza

Sports Bar: Overtime Cape Coral

Catering: Personal Touch Banquet & Catering

Grocery Store: Publix

Meat Market: Paesano's Italian Market

Specialty Market: Paesano's Italian Market

Gelato: French Press

n Retail

Antique Store: Parkway Antiques Corporation

Art Gallery: Karma & Coconuts

Frame Shop: Corporate Art

Aquarium & Fish Store: Discount Pets & Supplies

Gift Boutique: Karma & Coconuts

Bait & Tackle: Venture Out Bait and Tackle

Bicycle Shop: Paradise Bicycles

Cigar Store: World Famous Cigar Bar

Boat Dealer: The Boat House of Cape Coral

Children's Apparel: Tadpole Apparel & Gifts

Computer Sales: PC Tech

Computer Service: PC Tech

Consignment Shop: Flip Flops Consignment Shop

Florist: Cape Coral Floral Designs

Furniture Store: FOS Furniture

Guns & Ammo: Cape Guns

Hardware: Family Hardware

Intimate Apparel & Accessories Store: Tender Moments

LED Signs & Print Shop: Sign On

Jewelry Store: Travis Jewelry

Mattress Store: FOS Furniture

Pawn Shop: Larry's Pawn Shop

Pottery and Bamboo Farm: Pottery Express & Bamboo Farm

Thrift Store: Kiwanis Club Thrift Store

n Services

Certified Public Accountant: Andrew Barnette & Associates

Airport Shuttle: Surfside Airport Shuttle

Auto Body Shop: Master Touch Auto Body, Inc

Auto Service & Repair Shop: Ken's Auto Repair Inc

Barber Shop: Flawless Barbershop

Boat Service Shop: The Boat House of Cape Coral

Boat Repair: The Boat House of Cape Coral

Boat Rental: Cape Coral Boat Rentals

Builder - Commercial: Compass Construction, Inc.

Builder - Home: Carney Quality Construction

Car Wash: Downtowner Car Wash

Computer Repair & Service: PC Tech

Craft & Art Classes: Karma & Coconuts

Crating & Cargo Delivery: Craters & Freighters of SW Florida

Fishing Charters: Venture Out

Daycare: All Superstars Preschool

Dock Builder: Hooker Marine, Inc.

Charter Yachts & Sailing: SWFL Yachts, Inc.

Boat Lift Repair & Canopy: Coastline Boatlift Covers

Boat Upholstery: Cape Coral Custom Upholstery

Doggie Daycare: Best Pets

Drycleaners: Cape Cleaners

Estate Sales: It's All Good Consignment Boutique

Funeral Home: Fuller Metz Cremation & Funeral Services

Hair Salon: Vogue Hair Studio

Hotel: Dolphin Key Resort

Insurance Agent: Ed Pickett

Nail Salon: Hair FX Studio & Spa

Pet Boarding: Kindness Animal Hospital

Pet Grooming Salon: Touch of Class Pet Grooming

Pet Food Store: Touch of Class Pet Grooming

Pet Sitter: Camber Franklin

Pharmacy: Center Pharmacy

Real Estate Brokerage: Royal Palm Realty

Real Estate Agent: Kevin Cloutier

Real Estate Rental Management Team: Century 21 Birchwood Realty

PreSchool: All Superstars Preschool

Luxury Apartment Community: Coralina Apartments

Service Organization: Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce

Social Club: German American Social Club

Tire Dealer: Tire Kingdom Service Centers

Vacation Rental Agency: Royal Shell Realty

Veterinary Clinic: Kindness Animal Hospital

Doggie Waterpark: Pet Coral Resort & Veterinary

Vocational School: Cape Coral Technical College



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