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1996ReadersServices

Best Alterations
Express Alterations by Ace Custom Tailors

Ace aces this category. Four years to be exact. Who else helps when you're in a stitch? Check out these runner-ups: Alterations, Etc., Just Tailoring, Capitol Tailors and Cleaners, and Alterations To Go.

Express Alterations by Ace Custom Tailors, 916 W. 12th, 512/478-9965, www.acetailors.com

Best Appliance/Tv Repair
Mr. Wizard's Electronics Service

For two years, the tubular Mr. Wizard has kept your TV and other home equipment a-glow. Bonds, AAA, and Ray's Electronics account for most of the other votes.

Mr. Wizard's Electronics Service, 1507 W. North Loop, 512/454-1137

Best Auto Body/Paint Shop
Don's Paint & Body Shop

This new category yielded a slew of individual votes for many, many firms. What does this say about your driving skills, friends? Don's took first, B&B took second and Ellis & Salazar were a close third.

Don's Paint & Body Shop, 1006 W. 12th, 512/476-5536

Best Auto Mechanic
Flamingo Automotive

This resurrected category is one for which we receive calls all year long. Who was voted best mechanic? Well, in the past, Mark Larkin the Honest Mechanic won hands down. This year, the exotic birds at Flamingo pulled ahead and took first.

Flamingo Automotive, 3512 Guadalupe, 512/459-9917

Best Dry Cleaner
Rick's Cleaners

Here's one of those odd categories. Jack Brown usually leads the way, so it's assumed year after year, that this would be a lock. Not so. Over 40 (!) dry cleaners got multiple votes and this winner was determined by a narrow margin, putting Rick's chain of nine cleaners past the over 50 locations of Jack Brown. Pressed close to the top were: Comet, Brothers, Washburns, Capitol, Kim's, and Bluebonnet.

Rick's Cleaners, 5324 Cameron, 512/452-2200, www.rickscleaners.com

Rick's Cleaners, 3652 Bee Caves Rd., 512/327-6846, www.rickscleaners.com

Rick's Cleaners, 7435 Burnet Rd., 512/454-7425, www.rickscleaners.com

12 more locations

Best Fitness Club
World Gym

In the universe of fitness, this place still steels your buns and rocks your world for the second year in a row. The Q, Hills, Clean & Lean, and YMCA showed well, close to the top.

World Gym, 115 E. Sixth, 512/479-0044, www.worldgym.com

Best Florist
Cowgirls & Flowers

1994's winner, Cowgirls & Flowers is back in first place by a few votes over second-place Flower Bucket. Azul is surely not blue about taking third place.

Cowgirls & Flowers, 508 Walsh, 512/478-4626, www.cowgirlsandflowers.com

Best Hair Salon
Avant Garde Studio Salon Spa

Previous winner Maximum FX slipped to third this year, behind Avant and Bella. Here's another category with as many entries as hairs on your head (unless, of course, you are bald). Big votes went to Anne Kelso, Carpe Diem, Aziz, Horse Feathers, Astarte, and Russ & Co.

Avant Garde Studio Salon Spa, 318 Colorado St., 512/472-6357, www.avantsalon.com

Best Home Repair
Fox-Schmidt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning

We consolidated a few sub-categories and placed them under one banner. Know what? Fox still outfoxed us. While their lead is narrow, it's still a winning number. Good Neighbor Remodeling and Fair & Square tied for second.

Fox-Schmidt Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning, 757 Shady, 512/385-3070

Best Kennel/Vet
Northwest Hills Pet Clinic

This dog-eat-dog competition names Northwest Hills king of the pack for the second year straight. Past winner Hyde Park Animal Clinic and the ever-popular University Animal Clinic tied for second.

Best Laundromat
Clean & Lean

Clean & Lean is an Austin tradition and so is its annual sweep of this prize. Is this a surprise? It's a genius concepts of wash, dry, and grunt and just screams "Where else but Austin?" Kwik Wash with its many locations holds on to second place.

Clean & Lean, 4225 Guadalupe, 512/458-5326

Best Lawyer
Janet Stockard

For the last two years, we ran only a category for Criminal Lawyers. That seemed an odd statement. The competition was opened up and attorney Janet Stockard led the field of briefcased barristers.

Best Photo Lab
Holland Photo Imaging

This full service lab with reasonable prices dashed the HEB chain and tossed them into second. The Heeb has taken it for the last two years. Back in a Flash shares second place with them.

Holland Photo Imaging, 1700 S. Lamar #327, 512/442-4274, www.hollandphoto.com

Best Public Health Clinic
People's Community Clinic

New for 1996, this category goes to the venerable People's Community Clinic, the sliding-scale nightengale in a sky full of health "care" hawks. Planned Parenthood probably didn't plan to do as well as they did, but we're sure they're happy with their brand new bouncing second place.

People's Community Clinic, 2909 N. I-35, 512/708-3109, www.austinpcc.org

Best Shoe Repair
Austin Shoe Hospital

This has been the respite spot for the weary soles of the Readers Poll for the last two years. Sammies, Rowell's and Golden Slipper shuffled into second.

Austin Shoe Hospital, 3106 Windsor, 512/477-6515, www.austinshoehospital.com

Austin Shoe Hospital, 720 Congress, 512/477-5078, www.austinshoehospital.com

Austin Shoe Hospital, 3300 Bee Caves Rd., 512/329-8104, www.austinshoehospital.com

8 more locations

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