Antique Store

1ST PLACE
Nicholby’s Antiques
404 E. Main St., Ventura
653-1195

2ND PLACE
Times Remembered
467 E. Main St., Ventura
643-3137

3RD PLACE
Avenue Antiques
826 E. Main St., Ventura
653-7732

Gardening Store/Nursery

1st PLACE
Green Thumb
1899 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura
642-8517

2nd PLACE
Oasis
33 S. Palm St., Ventura
641-9909

3RD PLACE
Baron Brothers
7568 Santa Rosa Road, Camarillo
484-0085

Gift Shop

1st PLACE
B on Main
337 E. Main St., Ventura
643-9309

2nd PLACE
Fusion Home
418 E. Main St., Ventura
652-7017

3RD PLACE
KB Roberts
2415 E. Main St., Ventura
643-3333


dBest Place to find exotic beer

Five Points Liquor
2783 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-4205

If you are anything like me, beer is an essential part of life — although I do recommend moderation whenever possible. But to quote Benjamin Franklin, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy,” I have personally been on a quest for almost a decade to find the beer that best suits me.

First, I started off as a Black Velvet drinker — half and half of a thick stout, preferably Guiness, floating atop a sweet, bubbly cider. Gradually, I moved on, trying to stick to leaner beers — Coors Light and Miller Lite were staples of mine for years. But then I discovered pale ales and realized I had been doing my taste buds a disservice for too long. Eventually, Sierra Nevada took a hold of me, one that I simply could not shake. Be it pale ale, IPA, Early Spring Beer… Anniversary Ale. My gosh. I never thought I would encounter so many beers that would be so pleasing to my palate until I walked into Five Points Liquor.

I was amazed at what seemed to be a limitless selection of microbrews, domestic and foreign beers, and most of them came in various sizes. You can even buy a nine-liter bottle of Piraat India Pale Ale, although I wouldn’t suggest it. It has a 10.5 percent alcohol content, and once you pop the top, who knows when you’ll stop — let’s hope before you go running down the street in nothing but your underwear, howling at the full moon.

But whatever your preference may be — checking out some fine microbrews, tasting Europe’s indulgences, or getting hopped up on a pale Ale. Five Points liquor has what you are looking for if you are still on a quest for the best brew for you. And yes, it has all the Sierra Nevada one could ask for.

— Michael Sullivan
 

 

Home Furnishing Store

1st PLACE
Fusion Home
418 E. Main St., Ventura
652-7017

2nd PLACE
Urban Home
2801 Paseo Mercado, Oxnard
604-7445

3RD PLACE
For Your Home
443 E. Main St., Ventura
641-1919

Thrift Store

1st PLACE
ARC
265 E. Main St., Ventura
653-0271

2nd PLACE
Goodwill
3351 Telegraph Road, Ventura
650-9339

330 W. Sixth St., Oxnard
483-2511

130 Lombard St., Oxnard
485-2867

3RD PLACE
Battered Women’s Coalition
270 E. Main St., Ventura
643-4411

Bridal Shop

1st PLACE
Unique Boutique
102 N. Ashwood, Ventura
644-1212

2nd PLACE
Camarillo Bridal
2121 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo
389-1515

3RD PLACE
Le Monde Emporium
542 E. Main St., Ventura
648-7463

d

Best place to Rock out

Journey Home
2950 Johnson Drive, #113, Ventura, 650-8272

Anyone who has ever strolled along the beach as a child remembers searching for treasures: whole seashells, weathered sea glass, interesting pieces of driftwood and, of course, unusual looking stones. Since whole seashells and sea glass were typically much harder to find, most children opted for amassing piles of rocks and stones — one can only collect so many pieces of driftwood.

Even into adulthood, I never gave up my search for interesting looking stones. On a camping trip to Big Sur, my boyfriend and I sat on Moonstone beach for hours, searching for colorful, striped and/or speckled stones. We collected hundreds of small pebbles; then to make sure we didn’t miss something, I filled a huge Ziploc with hundreds more of those pretty rocks.

After four weeks of polishing those pebbles, I now have as many shiny stones as a person could want — or so I thought, until the manager of Journey Home had a display at a spiritual fair with various stones from all over the world, mounted and ready to wear. Instantly, I gravitated toward a beautiful stone pendant in which the coloration looked like a tree with streams of water running around it.

A few weeks later, my boyfriend and I went on another search for stones — at Journey Home. While taking home stones from the beach is an inexpensive endeavor, the stones and crystals at the store are worth the extra cost. The store has clear quartz crystal from Brazil, amethyst from Uruguay, labradorite from Madagascar, and another 250 different types of stones from all over the world — raw, polished, on a necklace, bracelet or ring. So if you or anyone you know is a stone hound, Journey Home is a must. 

— Michael Sullivan

 

Adult Store

1st PLACE
Diva Passion Boutique
3431 Telegraph Road, Ventura
658-8011

2nd PLACE
Three Star Books & News
359 E. Main St., Ventura
653-9068

3RD PLACE
Aphrodite’s Lingerie & Gift
477 E. Main St., Ventura
652-0082

Liquor Store

1st PLACE
H&H liquor store
1839 E. Main St., Ventura
648-2771

2nd PLACE
Mandell’s Liquor & Wine
3915 Telegraph Road, Ventura
642-1148

3RD PLACE
Ojai Beverage Company
655 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
646-1700

Shoe Store

1st PLACE
Wild Planet
560 E. Main St., Ventura
643-5238

2nd PLACE
Le Monde Emporium
542 E. Main St., Ventura
648-7463

3RD PLACE
Jack’s Shoes of Westlake
950 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village
373-9328

wBest Shopping Tease

The Collection
Just off Highway 101, exit at Oxnard Boulevard

When I first moved back to the area late last April, I just couldn’t believe how much Oxnard had changed. Having lived in Oxnard Shores for a brief period as a teenager, I never thought I would see my old city of acres and acres of farmland turn into a bustling commercial district in Ventura County. Well, I was never so wrong and right at the same time.

While the overhaul to the Esplanade was quite impressive, I was amazed at the enormity of the undertaking that is known as Riverpark/The Collection — hundreds of single family homes, attached homes and apartments all being built around what would come to be known as the shopping Mecca for healthy, organic eats, camping gear and entertainment. Even the Web site calls the development “A whole world in one place,” making the rest of us, who don’t have easy access to so many shopping wonders, quite jealous.

In Ventura, so many people rejoiced at the idea of being able to drive just a short distance to get to Whole Foods, for which the only other location is in Thousand Oaks. And REI. My God. If you know anyone who loves camping, you know they were marking off the days until it opened. And the new megaplex movie theater was certain to become a destination for Friday night fun.

I was so sure the popularity of these new destinations would cause such a stir and that not only would The Collection open as scheduled, but it would open ahead of time. I even made a bet on it. Well, ahead of time and on schedule has long since come and gone. I am not a sore loser — I did buy my comrade a six-pack of his favorite beer. But I am a disappointed shopper, wondering when, oh, when will my beloved Collection ever open. That still remains to be seen.

— Michael Sullivan

Women’s Store

1st PLACE
Blue Moon
600 E. Main St., Ventura
643-2553

2nd PLACE
Le Monde Emporium
542 E. Main St., Ventura
648-7463

3RD PLACE
Cara Mia
424 E. Main St., Ventura
641-2556

Men’s Clothing Store

1st PLACE
Bob Kildee Clothing
606 Las Posas Road, Camarillo
482-2124

2nd PLACE
wetSand
446 E. Main St., Ventura
652-1706

3rd PLACE
The Wharf
980 E. Front St., Ventura
658-5035

Children’s Clothing Store

1st PLACE
Bloom’s
2538 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6744

2nd PLACE
Drool
2959 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks 557-1177

3rd PLACE
Ciao Bella
401 E. Main St., Ventura
643-3415

sBest Place to Rummage through Vinyl

Peacock’s Record Bar
333 W. Fourth St., Oxnard, 486-5521

Once upon a time, there were these big, round, flat discs called “records” that played music on a stereo. And they were pretty damn popular until CDs took over. When downloading came along and nearly overtook CDs, it sounded the proverbial death knell for vinyl.

There has been hope, however, for the future of analog music, and in the past few years there’s been a bigger resurgence in the LP’s popularity than ever before. In Ventura, we count three great purveyors of the almighty grooved platter: Salzer’s, Grady’s and Buffalo.

But outside the city limits, not only does the well of hi-fi magic run damn near bone dry in Ventura County, it gets almost completely overlooked when considering Peacock’s in Oxnard, that downtown jewel of record bars sharper than even your best diamond-head stylus.

An Oxnard institution for 40 years, harkening back to the days when vinyl dominated audio consumption, since 1994 the Fourth Street record shop has been in the most capable hands of owner and vinylphile Richard Ordaz.
Ordaz doesn’t discriminate among offering second-hand editions of anything rock, classical, jazz, soundtracks, obscure electronica or maybe most importantly, metal. (Those who luck out may even find the odd, never-before-played number just waiting to be unsealed from its decades-old wrapper.)

“When it comes to records, whatever I can get my hands on,” Ordaz says.

Still, for those old-school dance freaks, about half the store is a goldmine favoring urban soul and original  rap from the days when urban music meant it actually came from the streets. Peacock’s is hands-down the best place to obtain Ordaz’s preferences for rare funk, too, and maybe even a batch of original, 12-inch singles once spun on the turntable of many a long-defunct Ventura County discotheque, whose memory lives on only when needle meets plastic for some warm, auditory delight.

— Paul Sisolak
 

Place to buy a swimsuit

1st PLACE
Ventura Swimwear
1559 Spinnaker Drive, #102, Ventura
642-6281

2nd PLACE
Tiki Lounge
379 E. Main St., Ventura
641-0515

3rd PLACE
Summer Breeze
2360-E Las Posas Road, Camarillo
383-2333

1772 Avenida De Los Arboles, Suite F
Thousand Oaks
241-4400

Lingerie Store

1st PLACE
Aphrodite’s Lingerie & Gifts
477 E. Main St., Ventura
652-0082

2nd PLACE
Diva Passion Boutique
3431 Telegraph Road, Ventura
658-8011

3rd PLACE
Mrs. Jones Boudoir
2068 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo

Formal Wear

1st PLACE
California and Main
481 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6200

2nd PLACE
Mission Tuxedos
3615 Telegraph Road, Ventura
339-0000

2542 E. Vineyard Ave., Oxnard
485-1241

140 W. Fifth St., Oxnard
483-8888

3rd PLACE
Alayna’s Bridal & Formal
1822 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo
482-4822

Jeweler

1st PLACE
Fox Fine Jewelry
210 E. Main St., Ventura
652-1800

2nd PLACE
Lynn’s Jewelry
6100 Telegraph Road, Suite C, Ventura
642-5500

3rd PLACE
Van Gundy & Sons Jewelers
3301 E. Main St., # 1337, Ventura
642-9132

Toy Store

1st PLACE
Serendipity Toys
221 E. Matilija St., # E, Ojai
646-2585

2nd PLACE
Toys N Trains
1974 E. Main St., Ventura
643-8697

3rd PLACE
Wild Planet
560 E. Main St., Ventura
643-5238

Flower Shop

1st PLACE
Passion Flowers
920 E. Main St., Ventura
641-1076

2nd PLACE
Sweet Peas Flowers
2855 Johnson Drive, Suite Q, Ventura
644-9992

3rd PLACE
Curly Willow
203 N. Signal St., Ojai
646-6999

Arts and Crafts Store

1st PLACE
Anacapa Fine Yarns
4572 Telephone Road, #909, Ventura
654-9500

2nd PLACE
Cottontail Creations & Bisque
1744 E. Main St., Ventura
643-1700

3rd PLACE
Ojai Creates
606 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
640-6558

Produce Store

1st PLACE
Pierpont Produce
1038 S. Seaward at Pierpont, Ventura
648-1051

2nd PLACE
Lassen’s
4071 E. Main St., Ventura
644-6990

3rd PLACE
Underwood Ranches
4098 Calle Tesoro, Camarillo
389-7770

Seafood Market

1st PLACE
Andria’s seafood restaurant
and fish market
1449 Spinnaker Drive, Suite A, Ventura
654-8228

2nd PLACE
Ocean Pride
2894 Bunsen Ave., Unit B, Ventura
644-4310

3rd PLACE
Sea Fresh Seafood
533 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
646-7747

Pet Store

1st PLACE
Ventura Pet Barn
3004 Telegraph Road, Ventura
585-2276

2nd PLACE
Linda’s Claws & Paws
1865 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6060

3rd PLACE
The Wharf
980 E. Front St., Ventura
648-5035