The results are in! Here are the winners of sixth annual Best of Morgantown awards.
We asked, and once again, you stepped up and responded. In fact, a whopping 14,695 of you let us know what your favorite spots are for everything from pizza and pints to dry cleaners and day spas. In our sixth annual Best of Morgantown, you will find tried and true staples along with some new winners, featuring the most categories we’ve ever had—90. Without further ado, here is the BOM 2017.
Pizza Al’s might not have the longest list of toppings in town, but the thin slices are all about the flavor. And there is a reason why fans say it tastes like what they’ve sampled in Italy—owner Albino Roperti immigrated from Turin in the early 1960s. He launched his first Pizza Al’s in 1969; the University Towne Center location opened last May.
2952 University Avenue, 304.599.4040; 1407 Earl L. Core Road, 304.225.2222; 192 Jim Street, 304.599.9555, pizzaals.com
Best Mexican Restaurant
Los Mariachis Mexican Restaurant
A college student tradition in Morgantown, Los Mariachis’ great food—from the Hot and Spicy Shrimp to the combination dinners—keeps graduates coming back for more. Fans rave about the burritos and fried ice cream.
1137 Van Voorhis Road, 304.598.3715
Best Fine Dining
For nearly a decade now, Stefano’s has put a new spin on Italian food in a region that offers many choices, with seasonal specials, hand-cut prime steaks, and, thanks to chef Chris McDonald, an impressive “frutti di mare” selection that includes Skuna Bay Salmon and Artichoke and Dover sole Meuniere filleted tableside. Start off with a Stefano’s Wedge or Caesar in Parmesan and take time to explore the extensive wine list.
735 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.581.6930, stefanoswv.com
Best Beer Selection
Apothecary Ale House & Café
Apothecary Ale House & Café hasn’t tapped out Morgantown’s thirst for malty, hoppy beverages yet. Now with 27 rotating craft beer taps and 140 bottled varieties, it easily earns our readers’ love for Best Beer Selection. Apothecary introduces us to new beers through frequent tasting parties and, by making us more sophisticated drinkers, attracts a growing roster of breweries to sell their libations here—playing a key role in growing the beer ecosystem. Thanks, Apothecary!
227 Chestnut Street, facebook.com/ApothecaryAleHouseCafe
The restaurant quickly established itself as Morgantown’s go-to eatery for its locally sourced pork and beef when it opened in 2013. Even since it changed ownership last spring, fans keep clamoring for their fix of barbecue with all the fixings. Still popular is the Black and White Sandwich with an upgraded slow-smoked prime rib brisket and Atomic Grill’s special white sauce. Vegetarians also have plenty of options, including the Fried Green Tomato Po’Boy and the Tofu-beque Sandwich.
595 Green Bag Road, 304.241.1170, facebook.com/AtomicGrill
Best Outdoor Dining
Crab Shack Caribba
When the weather warms up, you can dine outside overlooking Cheat Lake, sipping a Rum Runner or a Perfect Mojito while enjoying Cajun Crab Cakes or Grilled Island Shrimp as a soft breeze wafts by and a band plays live music. The restaurant opened at Cheat Lake Marina in the summer of 2015 as a second location for Coach’s Crab Shack. Chef Bron Kayal changed the name to Crab Shack Caribba last April, and then moved the original restaurant to Suncrest Towne Centre in 2016. It has an outdoor capacity for 75 diners—roomy, but still smaller than the 200 that the Cheat Lake location accommodates with its deck seating.
69 Mont Chateau Road, 304.435.3469, crabshackcaribba.com
Best Neighborhood Bar
Regulars at this Morgantown establishment know that their draft beer comes in an icy cold, goblet-shaped “fishbowl” glass, though exactly how much the cup holds is a trade secret. What everyone does know, however, are the winners of various challenges, because those customers have signed Mario’s homey walls, creating a unique atmosphere. The bar also offers a full menu of pub food, too. Try the Cowboy Ranch sauce with the wings.
704 Richwood Avenue, 304.292.2511; 3117 University Avenue 304.599.4309; mariosfishbowl.com
Best Sports Bar | Best Wings | Best Fries
Kegler’s Sports Bar & Lounge
Of course you know Kegler’s is a great sports bar. It’s right there in the name, and with three 80-inch televisions in the front alone bringing you the best Mountaineers, Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins action, you can multitask and catch some football or basketball and destroy a basket of wings topped with a sauce that ranges from mild to medium, hot, hotter, and 911. But have you heard about their french fries? You can opt for either hand-cut or waffle fries covered in just about anything, although many regulars choose nacho cheese or the Drunken Waffle Fries loaded with olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, and a choice of nacho, cheddar, or mozzarella cheese.
735 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.598.9698, keglerssportsbar.com
Forks of Cheat
Wineries are cropping up all over West Virginia faster than you can say cabernet sauvignon, so Morgantown has been lucky to have the award-winning Forks of Cheat, established in 1990, in its backyard all these years. Sample one of several varieties—including the signature Black Cat Catawba, the full-flavored white Airmail Jones, or the new Redbud—in the tasting room and enjoy the expansive views of the vineyard from the deck.
2811 Stewartstown Road, 304.598.2019, wvwines.com
Tucked away in an unassuming spot on University Avenue in the heart of Evansdale, Ogawa has been rolling sushi and slicing sashimi in Morgantown for 11 years. Try one—or more—of the Chef’s Special Rolls, including the Blue & Gold, featuring spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber, lobster salad, and salmon topped with spicy mango sauce.
2920 University Avenue, 304.598.8338, ogawasushi.com
Best Power Lunch | Best Vegetarian-Friendly
Black Bear Burritos
From homemade hummus and black bean burgers to build your own burritos, vegetarians know that Black Bear provides plenty of options—especially at the downtown location, which also offers tofu chili. And herbivores and carnivores alike can appreciate the fact that Black Bear chefs use locally sourced ingredients as often as possible. They also keep specials around for an entire week to give all their customers a chance to try dishes that, recently, have included chorizo gravy and biscuits, samosas, and burgers topped with anything from gouda to bacon jam. You can wash your lunch down with one of 24 beers on tap downtown and 20 at Evansdale— and a good portion of those brews comes from West Virginia, including the new Stumptown Ales out of Davis.
132 Pleasant Street, 304.296.8696; 3119 University Avenue 304.777.4867; blackbearburritos.com
Best Sweet Indulgence
It’s a consensus—The Cupcakerie wins the best place to get your sugar for the sixth year in a row. And with nine collections and dozens of flavors, ranging from P’nutty for Chocolate and Loco Cocoa to Raspberry Pink Lemonade and Almost Heaven Apple Pie, there is a cupcake for everybody.
194 Willey Street, 304.212.5464, thecupcakerie.com
You probably could go to Tailpipes Gourmet Burgers and Shakes every day for a year and never try the same combination twice. The burgers—named after classic cars such as the Camaro, featuring caramelized onions, roasted mushrooms, banana peppers, and cheese sauce on a white bun—are intriguing enough. You can get that with a beef burger as well as chicken, turkey, black bean, or a portabella mushroom cap. An extensive fries menu and a variety of milkshake flavors—like Fruity Pebbles—round out the dining experience.
417 High Street, 304.225.2535, tailpipesburgers.com
Boston Beanery & Beanery American Grill
Customers’ love of the marble rye on the reuben sandwich at the Boston Beanery—and now at the two satellite locations called Beanery American Grill—have helped make it one of the most popular menu items at this Morgantown eatery that is pushing the quarter-century mark. But salads are actually the restaurant’s signature dishes. Piled high with Beanery french fries and topped with housemade ranch dressing, the chicken salad is the No. 1 seller. Even so, there is a wide array of choices, including steak salad; a Caesar with shrimp, chicken, or steak; and a newer chopped salad featuring iceberg lettuce, gorgonzola cheese, candied walnuts, and craisins. The southwest ranch and honey mustard dressings are also made in-house.
Best Chinese Takeout
A staple of downtown Morgantown for 25 years now, Great Wall of China celebrates its silver anniversary in 2017. The large and varied menu—10 soups and seven varieties of fried rice alone—and high-profile downtown location make it easy to get your Green Jade Chicken, Orange Flavored Beef, or Scallops and Shrimp with Garlic Sauce.
162 High Street, 304.291.3417
Iron Horse Tavern
The High Street eatery retains its title as the best brunch in town. But there definitely have been some changes, starting with the legislative bill allowing for earlier alcohol sales that made Sunday morning busier. Then there are some new items to check out, including the Colonel Eggs Benedict—two buttermilk biscuits with ham, chicken fritters, and fried eggs drizzled in jalapeno gravy. And if a mimosa or a bloody mary is not your thing, there is the line of cold-pressed coffee cocktails, such as the Vanilla Latte Martini.
140 High Street, 304.296.6230, ironhorsetvrn.com
Mountain State Brewing Company
What goes best with Mountain State Brewing Company’s spicy, pepper-filled Fire on the Mountain pizza? The menu recommends the Seneca IPA or Almost Heaven Amber Ale, but just about any brew will do. At the Thomas-based brewery’s Morgantown restaurant, that means 10 taps from which to choose, including suds from competing hop houses, as well as both red and white sangria. A recent expansion at the Thomas facility has made room for an in-house canning operation, which means you might soon be able to enjoy a Cold Trail Blonde Ale or Miner’s Daughter Oatmeal Stout in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
54 Clay Street, 304.241.1976, mountainstatebrewing.com
Morgan’s High Street Diner
This High Street establishment is known for its hip twist on diner classics. That includes The Walk of Shame: scrambled eggs topped with slow-roasted pulled pork, homemade barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese, served with home fries and two pieces of Texas toast. If you’re feeling more sugary than savory, however, the restaurant serves fresh, house-made beignets daily. And the chicken and waffle sandwich makes an easy meal of a signature diner dish.
250 High Street, 304.241.5327, dinerwv.com
Best Place to Caffeinate
The Blue Moose Cafe
Baristas at the Blue Moose Cafe have been filling up Morgantown residents’ mugs with a variety of regionally roasted coffees for 23 years. Java lovers can sip their beverages while enjoying high-speed Wi-Fi and lingering “sometimes longer than they should,” jokes owner Gary Tannenbaum, choosing among four different brews on any given day—like the earthy Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Tanzanian peaberry, and the signature organic house blend. Customers can also buy coffee by the pound to take home. There is a wide array of breakfast and lunch options, such as quiche and a fruit and granola bowl topped with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, to pair with your cup of joe.
248 Walnut Street, 304.292.8999, thebluemoosecafe.com
John Williams’ 2016 second run at the state House of Delegates from Monongalia County’s 51st District turned out successful. In a district that chooses five candidates at large, the Democrat came in fourth. Williams is young for political life—only in his mid-20s—but has experience in student government leadership at WVU and as a small business owner. Voters liked the 11th-generation West Virginian’s commitment to good jobs, roads and infrastructure, and fairness, and so did Morgantown readers. Among other organizations, he’s involved with the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Morgantown Rotary Club, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
From coal mining to Civil War service, the art of David Merrill portrays the glory and grit of life in Appalachia. He’s given us iconic representations of the Mountaineer, state landmarks, and past governors. The lasting power of his images has made him a Best of Morgantown favorite five times running.
Best Media Personality
Morgantown readers voted Kevin Connoley Best Media Personality for the last time—he ended his popular WVAQ morning talk show in September 2016 to go to law school. Need a fix? Check out his new Eric and Kevin Podcast.
Great bartending in this age of craft libations goes far beyond a sympathetic ear—bartenders have to have a real passion for the pour. Grace Hutchens stays current with the entire world of craft beer, “so if someone visiting town comes in and asks for their favorite, I can say, ‘We don’t have that, but we have this.’” In just the four years she’s owned Apothecary Ale House & Café, she says, she’s seen Morgantown’s fermentation sophistication grow tremendously. “I love how we’re getting beers from maybe five new breweries across the country every year. We’re getting a broader spectrum of styles and people who appreciate that spectrum.” For her enthusiastic role in expanding our beer palate, Hutchens earns Morgantown readers’ highest admiration for a third time.
227 Chestnut Street, https://www.facebook.com/ApothecaryAleHouseCafe/
Morgantown has had a long love affair with Chef Tom Thompson, starting in 2000 at Madeleine’s Restaurant, then at the also-much-missed Golden Finch. A native of Hagerstown, Maryland, Thompson discovered cooking in high school when the “salad guy’s” absence from the restaurant he washed dishes at got him suddenly promoted. “It was like lightning struck me.” He attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Maryland. Since 2014, he’s headed up Fairmont’s Foxfire Restaurant—reopening in May for the summer season. Thompson recently earned his executive chef certification from the American Culinary Federation—making Foxfire’s one of the few menus in West Virginia managed by an executive chef. “I just want to continuously improve myself,” he says—but credits his wife, Tasia, who has always managed the front of the house and finances at their restaurants, with his success. Foxfire focuses on locally sourced and scratch-made; in 2017, look for themed dinners pegged to global holidays.
Marion Ohlinger, Hill & Hollow
Best New Business | Best Gift Shop
Farmhouse Café & Rooted by Design
Michelle Rowan opened Farmhouse Café in November 2015 because she thought the Cheat Lake area needed a coffee shop with a full espresso bar. Then her satisfied customers began asking her where the food was. So she introduced breakfast and bagel wraps as well as paninis, salads, and soup specials for lunch. The turkey panini is the clear favorite among her customers, who also can noodle around the gift shop that sells home decor, children’s clothing, and accessories. If you need fresh flowers, Rooted by Design, a separate business, is under the same roof.
10000 Coombs Farm Drive, Suite 106, 304.777.2756, farmhousewv.com
Best Place to Buy Shoes
The Shoe Story
This locally owned shop and six-time winner carries brands such as Birkenstock, UGG, Teva, Saucony, Merrell, and the very popular FitFlop, as well as a wide array of kids’ shoes. They’re also known for their superior customer service, including footwear fittings.
751 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.599.7443
Barnes & Noble
Searching for your next favorite book? Barnes & Noble is the place to be. Also offering coffee, movies, and music, this store is more than just finding a great read.
3000 University Town Centre Drive, 304.599.1294, barnesandnoble.com
Best Jewelry Store
Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry
Want to have a custom-designed piece of jewelry made in-store? Jacqueline’s is the place to go. Interested in unique lines of watches or engagement rings that you might not be able to find anywhere else in the state? Jacqueline’s can help with that, too. Originally Joyce’s Jewelry Boutique when it opened in Morgantown in 2011, Jacqueline’s changed names in 2015. In-house designer Katherine Spencer has been in place for more than a year, bringing customers’ jewelry visions to life.
1070 Suncrest Towne Centre, 304.599.6981, jacquelinesfinejewelry.com
Best Clothing Consignment Store | Best Place to Buy Kids’ Apparel
Cool Kids Consignment
Finding the time and patience to shop with your kids can be difficult, but Cool Kids Consignment makes it easy. With a wide array of clothing at a minimum of a 50 percent markdown, the store offers something for everyone at one location. The selection includes adult clothing, formal dresses, and maternity wear, too. You’ll be finished shopping too quickly for meltdowns, which means a treat for the kids. Don’t forget to treat yourself, too; they also have name brand handbags.
1706 Mileground Road, Suite A, 304.292.7467, coolkidsconsignment.com
Best Pet Store
From reptiles to rabbits to rats, Exotic Jungle has all sorts of critters. For those looking to care for their animal friends, the store has an assortment of pet goods ranging from food to toys and everything in between. Staff members take pride not only in selling quality products but also in ensuring that owners know every detail of proper care of their animals. The pets and goods have to be purchased, but advice and education come free.
1716 Mileground Road, 304.296.8552
Best Place to Buy a Wedding Dress
Coni & Franc
The jury has spoken—Coni & Franc takes the prize for the best place to bustle up for the sixth time in a row. When the shop first opened in 1982, one year after Prince Charles and Diana tied the knot, wedding gowns with poufy sleeves were all the rage. Thirty-five years later, lace is back in fashion, thanks to the couple’s daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton. But now, so many other styles also grace the racks, and the staff at Coni & Franc will expertly guide the bride to the shape that looks best on her.
422 High Street, 304.296.9466, coniandfranc.net
The Vow Boutique
Best Recreation Store
Centrally located in downtown Morgantown, Pathfinder offers a place to get geared up for the great outdoors. The store boasts a variety of quality apparel, recreational supplies, and toys to enjoy the vast natural beauty of the great Mountain State year- round. Whether your adventures take you to the mountains of Pocahontas County, to the backwaters of the Cheat River, or to the falls in Sandstone, Pathfinder is a one-shop stop for all your recreational needs.”
235 High Street, 304.296.0076, pathfinderwv.com
Best Furniture Store
Chuck’s Furniture & Mattress
Established in 1967, this Morgantown staple has provided shoppers with both variety and personal care for 50 years. The 60,000-square-foot store—offering more than 50 lines of furniture—has been owned and operated by the same family since it first opened.
77 Lawless Road, 304.292.7621, chucksfurniture.com
Best Place to Buy Health Food
Morgantown Farmers’ Market
Vibrant produce, fresh eggs, and homemade products bring people to Spruce Street every Saturday from May to November. At peak season more than 30 farmers contribute to the market. Shoppers can enjoy culinary demonstrations, too. Morgantown Farmers’ Market holds various marketplaces all year long; check the website for details.
415 Spruce Street, 304.291.7201, morgantownfarmersmarket.org
Best Place to Buy Men’s Apparel
Daniel’s of Morgantown
Located on University Avenue after years as a downtown staple, Daniel’s has provided high-quality men’s apparel for more than 50 years. Professional men come to Daniel’s for the large variety of lines—more than 20 brands—and the personal customer service. Employees at Daniel’s strive to create a personal shopping experience for each customer.
2908 University Ave, 304.296.7202, danielsofmorgantown.com
Best Place to Buy Women’s Apparel
Dresses, workout apparel, business clothing, jeans, and even accessories, T.J.MAXX has it all in one location. A discounted designer department store, T.J.MAXX offers a variety of high-end clothing at an affordable rate. Be sure to grab accessories and a pair of shoes to complete the look—the store has a large selection of designer footwear and purses, too.
4041 University Town Centre Drive, 304.599.1261, tjmaxx.com
Best Shopping Center
University Town Centre
Barnes & Noble. Giant Eagle. T.J.Maxx. Target. Walmart. Regal Cinemas. Pizza Al’s. Cheddar’s. Chili’s. Olive Garden. Best Buy. WV Black Bears. BW3. Bed, Bath & Beyond. Courtyard by Marriott. Stay tuned—there’s more to come.
University Town Centre Drive, Granville
Best Grocery Store
Morgantown residents have three Kroger supermarkets to fulfill their shopping lists, but the one at Suncrest Towne Centre has amenities like no other, such as four in-house sushi makers, more than 60 types of imported and domestic cheeses with samplings, a large natural foods section, and an emphasis on regional products. And starting in January, the Suncrest Kroger began offering the online ordering service ClickList. That said, even the recently remodeled Sabraton Kroger also has in-house sushi makers as well as a bulk foods section so you can stock up on your favorite raw cashews and trail mix. Up next: The Patteson Drive store is scheduled for changes, too.
500 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, 304.285.6780 350 Patteson Drive, 304.599.5324; 1851 Earl L. Core Road, 304.296.7146; kroger.com
Best Day Spa | Best Mani/Pedi | Best Massage | Best Hair Salon
For nearly a quarter of a century, Spa Roma has kept Morgantown relaxed, polished, peeled, and poised, and this year, the previous multiple winner in three categories adds a new prize to its list of accomplishments: Best Hair Salon. It’s no wonder—stylists travel to New York to receive training from Bumble and bumble, and owner Michel Marrara-Blankenship emphasizes professionalism to her staff. In addition to the 14,500-square-foot Cheat Lake base of operations, there also is the Suncrest Towne Centre location, which will celebrate five years this summer.
170 Lakeview Drive, Suite 1 304.594.9782; 1054 Suncrest Towne Centre, 304.241.4057, sparoma.com
Dolores John works to achieve projects that reflect the functionality and style desired by each and every client, who trust John’s well-rounded experience and attention to personal detail. She personally manages each residential and commercial project and keeps a one-on-one approach throughout.
344 Jackson Avenue, 304.692.5959, djohnarchitect.com
Christian Help is a nonprofit that has served the Morgantown community for 42 years. The Free Store and Jobs for Life are two of the five programs this charity operates. The people of Christian Help do everything they can to support those in need.
219 Walnut Steet, 304.296.0221, motownchristianhelp.com
Clear Mountain Bank
Clear Mountain Bank began more than 100 years ago with just two banks and has expanded to 12 branches across the state, including six in Morgantown. Employees take the time to know customers so they can make financial decisions based on more than just numbers.
102 Venture Drive, 304.291.2265, clearmountainbank.com
Cheat Lake Animal Hospital
Open and staffed 24/7, Cheat Lake Animal Hospital offers everything your adorable pet will need. This veterinary hospital provides many services including routine vaccinations, wellness exams, basic to complex surgeries, and a canine rehabilitation center to help every animal. Not only do the vets see all types of species and offer boarding, but they also support two local nonprofits. Whether your pet needs grooming or acupuncture, Cheat Lake Animal Hospital will be able to help.
286 Fairchance Road, 304.594.1124, cheatlakevets.com
Doug Groves – Stick Build IT
Doug Groves and his team of eight employees take pride in all projects they complete, while paying attention to every detail during construction. Stick Build IT’s staff is working diligently to help bring back the traditional technique of stick building—the process of creating a wooden home by using rafters and building the house largely or entirely on site, piece by piece. The contracting company completes multiple projects throughout the year, including a few beautiful and unique large-scale homes.
35 Cherry Hill Road, 304.319.4181
Bella Fiore Floral
Flowers are in Jason Savage’s chlorophyll. His family owned a floral shop when he was growing up, and he learned his trade not only in Palm Beach and Washington, D.C., but also at Holland’s famed Aalsmeer Flower Auction. So when he established Bella Fiore in 2010, he brought his design skills as well as a desire to use locally harvested flowers, with many of them coming from growers in Clarksburg and Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. The effort has paid off and Bella Fiore is now one of the area’s go-to florists for big events.
490 Suncrest Towne Centre, 304.381.4697, morgantownflowers.com
Best Personal Trainer
Jeff Giosi – CrossFit Morgantown
Jeff Giosi offers a unique CrossFit experience for every person who walks in the door. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program designed for anyone, whether a professional athlete or grandmother. The workout regime combines varied high-intensity functional movements, such as running and lifting.
1065 Green Bag Road, Suite A, 304.685.1272, crossfitmorgantown.com
Biafore Landscape Development
Founded in 1962, Biafore Landscape Development boasts a team of architects, designers, and horticulturalists who create beautiful gardens and landscapes. Not only do the staff members have decades of experience, but they have also won multiple awards. Last year, Biafore Landscape Development completed the Nath Sculpture Garden at the Art Museum of West Virginia University.
522 Ashebrooke Square, 304.594.3006, biafore.com
Best Car Dealership
John Howard Motors
With Morgantown’s hills and traffic—and occasional bad weather—a great car is vital for your transportation needs. John Howard Motors can set you up with a Subaru or Nissan that will get you around town safely and in style. The dealership also gives back to the community, supporting organizations such as Meals on Wheels and Mon General Hospital.
1730 Mileground Road, 304.292.0171, johnhowardmotors.com
Shorty Anderson’s Auto Service
The mechanics at Shorty Anderson’s provide customers with honest assessments of their cars’ problems and fast and reliable repairs. And they often don’t charge to just look at a vehicle they can’t fix.
908 Stewart Street, 304.599.4419
Best Car Detailing
Stenger’s Car Wash
Customers love Stenger’s for its employees’ attentiveness and hard work when it comes to getting cars washed, waxed, vacuumed, and ready to tool around town with that new-car scent.
767 Chestnut Ridge Road, 304.599.1148
Best Home Inspector
Davis Home Inspections
Jeff Davis has been inspecting homes in Morgantown for nearly 20 years. His background in civil engineering and foundation design translates into a thorough home inspection that has his clients singing his praises.
Best Dry Cleaner
Employees at this family business, launched in 1925 and occupying its distinctive High Street location since 1961, go the extra mile when it comes to dry cleaning: hand-pressing items if the machine does not get out all the wrinkles, hanging clothes up prior to cleaning to find the spots, and even sometimes providing curb service to customers with mobility issues.
447 High Street, 304.296.5210; 1068 Suncrest Towne Centre Drive, 304.225.5210
Best New Housing Complex
If you would like to buy one of the 166 townhomes being completed by the end of the year at Suncrest Village, you’d better act now. Only about 15 of them remain available. All 280 condos built across from Suncrest Towne Centre—beginning in 2006—have been sold. Those who take the plunge can take advantage of the complex’s swimming pool, fitness center, and clubhouse as well as the convenience of being close to both hospitals and the football stadium and in the middle of a shopping mecca.
1000 Suncrest Village, 304.598.8700, suncrestvillage.net
Best Real Estate Agent
J.S. Walker Associates, Inc., REALTORS
In 2016, the 23 agents who work for this six-time BOM winner listed and sold 233 homes to the tune of nearly $70 million of Morgantown area real estate. After 30 years of business, it adds up to one in five properties in the city being sold by J.S. Walker.
148 Fayette Street, 304.296.0074,jswalker.com
Waterfront Place Hotel
By the end of March or sometime in April, the name of the hotel will change to Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place and guests will be able to see the fruits of a remodel that has taken place this past year. The lobby will feature marble floors, a 22-seat bar, and an open concept that will afford views from the riverside restaurant—which will be rebranded as Bourbon Prime—to the Don Knotts Boulevard side. The eatery’s farm-to-table concept menu will be heavy on steaks as well as specialty pizzas made in a gas-fired pizza oven. More equipment—and a larger variety—will be available in the fitness center, and guest rooms will appeal to millennials, with hardwood floors, additional data ports, and walk-in showers instead of tubs in half the inventory.
2 Waterfront Place, 304.296.1700, waterfrontplacehotel.com
Best Yoga Studio
You can get your sweat on in downward dog at first-time winner Suncrest Yoga, which opened four years ago. Students practice power vinyasa yoga, an athletic form of the ancient discipline in which yogis flow from pose to pose in a studio that is heated to between 85 and 95 degrees. Low-impact body barre classes are taught in a second, unheated room. Co-owner Nicole Yost Ross also introduced standup paddleboard yoga—in which students strike their poses on paddleboards on Cheat Lake—to Morgantown three years ago and will be out balancing on the water again this summer. Ross frequently seeks continuing education and will spend March in Thailand to complete her 500-hour registered yoga teacher training. Then, in April, she will begin instructing a new crop of teachers to add to the city’s ever-expanding pool. Sign up for a class today, and don’t forget your towel and water bottle.
1052 Maple Drive, 234.380.7267, suncrestyoga.com
Wine & Jazz Festival
The Wine & Jazz Festival has brought our readers’ favorite mix of art, food, wine, and music to Camp Muffly every September for more than two decades—and supports music scholarships, too.
Best Fundraising Event
WVU Medicine Children’s Gala
Classy and fun dining, entertainment, dancing, and live and silent auctions make the WVU Medicine Children’s Gala the fundraising event of the year every year. The 14th annual gala took place February 11, 2017 at the Morgantown Event Center.
Opened in 1924, the 1,300-seat Metropolitan Theatre was a vaudeville venue designed as a tribute to New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. The city and generous patrons have restored it in recent years to its one-time glory. It now hosts everything from West Virginia Public Theatre performances to comedy shows, local dance troupes, concerts, and school programs.
373 High Street, 304.291.4884, morgantownmet.com
Best Golf Course
Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa
Lakeview’s two championship courses on Cheat Lake keep golfers coming back for more. At the Mountainview Course, rated 3½ stars by Golf Digest, the front 9 winds through a valley and the back 9 crosses higher terrain. The four-star Lakeview Course features tight fairways and scenic views.
One Lakeview Drive, 304.594.2011, lakeviewwvgolf.com
Art Museum of West Virginia University
See WVU’s permanent art collection as never before at the Art Museum of West Virginia, opened in 2015. Two galleries totaling 5,400 square feet also display traveling exhibits from museums nationwide. The museum welcomes everyone through university classes, school tours, Art Up Close! lectures, and informal Lunchtime Looks discussions. The Nath Sculpture Garden, dedicated in September 2016, includes sculptures from Zimbabwe, China, and the United States.
Two Fine Arts Drive, 304.293.2141, artmuseum.wvu.edu
Best Tattoo Shop
Patty’s Art Spot
As its name implies, Patty’s Art Spot Tattoo and Piercing Studio is about art above all—and the vivid, living artistry of the studio’s tattoos puts them undisputably in that category. The walls of Patty Colebank’s two stylish shops double as gallery space. Check out the website to see the extensive and ethereal portfolios of Colebank’s resident artists.
3399 University Avenue, Star City, 304.598.0190; 425 Beechurst Avenue, Morgantown, 304.292.2885; pattysartspot.org
Best Gym/Fitness Facility
Continuing to grow with now four locations offering CrossFit, batting cages, aquatic therapy, and so much more, Pro PerformanceRX remains our readers’ favorite. One membership includes all locations.
Best Radio Station
101.9 FM’s pop and rock format and dynamic talk radio have earned it many state and national awards through the years and a loyal local following.
Best Music Venue
Schmitt’s brought new life to Cheat Road when it opened in 2013. The partnership between former Mountaineer fullback and retired NFL player Owen Schmitt and native sons the Davisson Brothers Band draws crowds most weekends for bands in a variety of genres. A good slection of pub food—including fried pepperoni rolls—helps to make for a great evening out.
245 Cheat Road, 304.291.9001, schmittssaloon.com
Only two years old, the Morgantown Marathon has quickly formed a following. The 2015 inaugural weekend drew more than 1,100 participants, and 2016’s race registered more than 1,200. Short Saturday races build excitement for half and full marathons on Sunday. Race proceeds go to hometown veterans’ support group Operation Welcome Home.
Kat & Company
Katreena Snyder grew up dancing in Morgantown. After high school she furthered her dance expertise and career in Connecticut, but she missed home. She came back and opened her own dance studio in Morgantown in 1993. Today, Kat & Company’s staff of nine teaches students from ages 3 to 18 everything from ballet, jazz, and tap to modern, contemporary, and hip hop. They perform at the State Theatre in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, each fall and at the West Virginia Dance Festival at the Culture Center in Charleston in the spring. Students have gone on to become professional dancers, Snyder says; others have taken their learned confidence and ability to share and inspire into other professions.
Brookstone Plaza, Green Bag Road, 304.291.5287, katandco.com
Since the homegrown and perennially popular Davisson Brothers Band put out its first album in 2009, we’ve had just a few singles and videos. But in December 2016, the country-bluegrass-Southern rock group—which now has a Nashville-based record label and representation—announced an album for 2017. They play out often—check them out live at their co-owned venue, Schmitt’s Saloon, and around the region.
Best General Practitioner
After attending medical school at WVU and doing his residency at West Virginia University School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine, Dr. Anthony Marcucci opted to stick around and serve the community where he learned to be a physician. Marcucci, who’s also a retired U.S. Marine Corps captain, now practices at Wedgewood Family Practice. He also coaches Little League and soccer and is a team physician for University High School.
1300 Fort Pierpont Drive Suite 101, 304.241.7150, wedgewood-fp.com
Whether it’s routine cleanings, orthodontics, teeth whitening, veneer, or dentures, TLC Dental provides anything your pearly whites require. The clinic even offers convenient evening hours and emergency services.
1830 Listravia Avenue, Sabraton, 304.292.4412, tlcdentists.com
Dr. Shon Rowan, WVU
Morgantown born, raised, and educated, Dr. Shon Rowan decided to become an OB/GYN while completing his residency at WVU because he could build relationships with patients while also working in the operating room. Rowan now specializes in infertility issues—he says there’s nothing like helping to deliver a baby of a couple who thought they couldn’t have children. He’s also director of WVU School of Medicine’s residency program. “It’s about making sure we’re graduating people who’ll take care of the people of West Virginia,” he says.
6040 University Town Centre Drive, 304.598.4880, http://wvumedicine.org/services/obstetrics-and-gynecology/
Dr. Lisa McBride and Dr. Patti Malone got along so well in med school that, after finishing their residencies, they decided to open a practice together in Morgantown. That was 2006. Since then, Cardinal Pediatrics has added 10 more health care providers and two additional locations. That provides a lot of flexibility—any sick kid can be seen the same day. But Cardinal Pediatrics has also kept its familial feel. Outside of last-minute visits, patients see the same doctor each time, developing relationships that last from infancy through adolescence.
9000 Coombs Farm Drive, Suite 102; 1247 Suncrest Town Center; 139 Conference Center Way, Suite 113, Bridgeport; 304.599.8000, cardinalpediatrics.com
Mountain State Medical Specialties
With six locations in West Virginia and Pennsylvania offering dermatology services, the experienced staff at Mountain State Medical Specialties treats everything from acne to shingles and skin cancer.
65 Scott Avenue, 304.554.0400, msmswv.com
Best Physical/Occupational Therapist
Jordan Feathers – HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness
A high school soccer injury first introduced Jordan Feathers to physical therapy. He enjoyed the experience so much he began volunteering at the clinic. After completing his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physical therapy, Feathers started working at the clinic where he once was a patient—HealthWorks Rehab & Fitness. He’s now director of HealthWorks’ Cheat Lake location and sees about 20 patients a day, Monday through Friday. He enjoys the work because of the wide array of people he gets to serve. “It’s my job to help that person to progress at their pace, but encourage them to meet their maximum potential.”
200 Fairchance Road, 304.594.1545, healthworksrf.com
Best Mountaineer Gear
Yes, there are textbooks. But the Book Exchange is also the best place in town to find your Mountaineer-themed gear. They’re fully stocked on apparel of all kinds, from T-shirts and pullovers to hats and scarves as well as license plates, car flags, home decor, and more.
152 Willey Street, 304.292.7354; 342 Patteson Drive 304.598.2225; bookexchangewv.com
Best Off-Campus Housing
The Domain at Town Centre
There are lots of apartment complexes in Morgantown, but there’s nothing like Domain. These luxury apartments, located at University Town Centre, offer private bedrooms and bathrooms, stainless steel appliances, washers and dryers, flat-screen televisions, and even free Wi-Fi and cable. There’s also a fitness center, a hammock lounge, a pool with a swim-up bar, and a private shuttle to take residents to campus.
5000 Domain Drive, 304.598.0700, domainmorgantown.com
When the Mountaineers are playing a home game, this expanse of concrete transforms into its own little Mardi Gras. You’ll find cornhole games, delicious cooking, and, if you know where to look, some homemade moonshine. And if you’re ever feeling lonely, just holler “Let’s goooo…”
Sometimes the numbers really do speak for themselves. Nikki Izzo-Brown has coached WVU Women’s Soccer since the program’s inception more than two decades ago. She’s taken the team to each of the last 17 NCAA tournaments, including an appearance at the 2016 NCAA Women’s College Cup final.
After graduating from Purdue University, WVU professor David Howell went on to spend the next three decades in Chicago working for some of the world’s most famous advertising agencies, like Ogilvy & Mather, DDB, and FCB, interacting with iconic brands such as Home Depot, Sears, McDonald’s, Budweiser, and the Dow Chemical Company. He joined the WVU Reed College of Media in the spring of 2014 and currently teaches in the college’s strategic communications program.
Best Sports Venue
Milan Puskar Stadium
Fans got their introductory look at the first half of Milan Puskar Stadium’s makeover at WVU’s season opener in September 2016. The stadium now features 10 additional entrance gates, elevators to increase handicap accessibility, widened concourses, more concession stands, updated restrooms, and even cell phone charging stations. The rest of the renovations will be completed by the start of the 2017 football season.
1 Ira Errett Rodgers Drive, 304.293.5621
Best Male Student Athlete
Hometown boy Nathan Adrian first caught our eye at Morgantown High School, where he led the Mohigans to a 19–7 record. Since joining WVU in 2013, he’s become the team’s go-to utility player—so important that he seldom leaves the hardwood. “I don’t think people know how tough he is,” guard Tarik Phillip recently told WVUSports.com. “People look at him and underestimate him … but to be honest with you, he’s one of the toughest guys on our team.” His successes continue off the court, too: Adrian has been named to both the Garrett Ford Academic Honor Roll and the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in finance and is now pursuing a master’s degree in sport management.
Best Female Student Athlete
West Virginia University sophomore engineering major Virginia “Ginny” Thrasher had a summer for the record books. She was the first gold medalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, after a first-place finish in the 10-meter women’s air rifle event. That also made her the first U.S. Olympian to win gold this year, the first American to medal in the 10-meter event since the 2000 Olympics, the first woman from WVU’s shooting team to win an Olympic medal, and only the second WVU athlete to take Olympic gold while attending the school. “This is beyond my wildest dreams,” she told the Associated Press after her win.