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Best of Cleveland 2011: Shops & Wares 

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Best Eco-Friendly Business & Best Brewery

Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Fueled by recycled kitchen oils, Great Lakes' "Fatty Wagon" shuttle bus may be the company's most visible green initiative. But it's by no means the only one. In fact, owners Pat and Dan Conway recycle nearly everything that comes through their brewery and pub, including spent grains, plastic packaging, and paper products. They also support the nearby Ohio City Farm, utilize locally grown food products, and follow energy-efficient practices for heating and cooling, among other eco-friendly moves. Not that Clevelanders need a reason to drink beer: But if we did, Great Lakes provides a keg full.

2516 Market Ave., 216-771-4404;

Best Place to Furnish Your Place

Arhaus Furniture

Clevelanders like their sofas with a side of sustainability. That's just what they get at Arhaus, a locally based company since 1986, with a reputation based on uniquely designed furniture and accessories that blend style, value, and sustainable practices, including their oft-repeated promise "to never use wood from our endangered rain forests." Nationwide locations include two in the Cleveland area.

Legacy Village, 24613 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst; 216-382-6053

Crocker Park, 175 Crocker Park Blvd.; 440-617-0373

Best Spa

Mario's International Spa

A jaunt to a European day spa may be out of reach. But a stop at a European-style day spa is as close as a trip to Aurora. After more than two decades, the elegant Mario's has become a relaxation destination for many Greater Clevelanders, offering a deeply soothing menu of massage, aromatherapy, herbal wraps, facials, and hand therapy from a staff of trained professionals. Whether you're longing for a pinot-noir body polish or a caviar pedicure, Mario's is a tasty way to nourish both the body and the spirit.

35 East Garfield Rd., Aurora; 330-562-9171;

Best Farmers Market, Best Bargain in Town & Best Place to Pick Your Own Produce

West Side Market

There are supercenters and farmers markets and co-ops galore, but there's still no better place to fondle fruit than this venerable Ohio city icon. On the verge of its 100th birthday, the West Side Market is unrivaled when it comes to sheer options, from locally grown and organic produce to exotic treats raced from tropical fields to your waiting hands. The food here couldn't be lower priced, and the chance to commune with each merchant couldn't be more priceless.

1979 West 25th St.; 216-664-3387;

Best Hair Salon

Ladies & Gentlemen Salon and Spa

When it comes to points of distinction, this suave salon can proudly claim its dedication to serving the whole family. Fido can't get a tuneup here, but everyone else sure can: Ladies & Gentlemen doesn't just make Mom and Dad look stylin,' but they'll gladly turn your li'l mop top into a posh tot or teen with a complete menu of hair services for kids under 18. That's what we call keeping Cleveland beautiful!

8780 Mentor Ave., Mentor and 25377 Cedar Rd. (Legacy Village), Lyndhurst; 440-255-5572;

Best Bicycle Shop

Spin Bike Shop

When local cyclists and triathletes aren't on the trail, chances are you'll find them in this Lakewood bike shop, where the combo of top-of-the-line products, expert service, and staffers who are as happy to explain the inner workings of your derailleur as they are to help custom-fit your helmet makes for a wheelie fine experience. Besides the basics, Spin also offers maintenance classes, performance coaching, a bike club, and a racing team. For the ultimate fan, the build-your-own-wheelset class is a slice of bike heaven.

14515 Madison Ave., Lakewood; 216-521-7746;

Best Florist

Brennan's Floral Gift Shop

Whether you want to say "I love you" (red tulips), "I'll wait for you" (asters), or "What the hell was I thinking!" (rue), flowers are a subtle way to state your message. Happily, their language is spoken fluently at Brennan's, a locally owned floral gift shop since 1982. Romance, celebrations, sympathy, or get-well wishes: When Clevelanders have something to say, they say it with Brennan's.

13396 Madison Ave., Lakewood; 216-221-8200;

Best Hydro Shop

Indoor Gardens

There are many reasons to consider indoor hydroponic gardening, not all of which have to do with illegal substances. So even if your seeds come from the Burpee catalog, not the bottom of a dime bag, this hydroponic superstore in Akron carries everything you need for maximum yield, from your favorite grow lights to entire systems for indoor gardening.

2076 Romig Rd., Akron; 234-678-5820;

Best Tobacco Supply Shop

Cheap Tobacco

People used to buy cars for what you spend on a carton of cigs these days. That's why Cheap Tobacco doesn't just supply smokers' every puffable need — it single-handedly sustains our American way of life. Looking for a quick carton of Marlboros? You'll fork over more than fifty bucks anywhere. But stop in at Cheap Tobacco and roll 200 tasty cigs of your own — and legally, mind you — for less than half the cost. Having fun yet? Buy your own simple machine and roll on at home in style. Cheap Tobacco's numerous Northeast Ohio locations also stock a full line of topnotch cigars and newfangled e-cigarettes. And with prices like these, you can hardly afford not to smoke.

Numerous Ohio locations, including:

7559 Pearl Rd., Middleburg Heights; 440-816-1374

4695 Great Northern Blvd., North Olmsted; 440-777-4033

5556 Ridge Rd., Parma; 440-842-1228

32327 Cook Rd., North Ridgeville; 440-309-4046

17008 Madison Ave., Lakewood; 216-221-0833


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