Your Neighbors


Yes, these are the people in your neighborhood: your favorite barber, bartender, dentist, veterinarian and more. Alamedans told us their personal bests in no uncertain terms.

Favorite Dry Cleaners

It’s no surprise: Revelation Drive-Thru Cleaners is No. 1.Why? Who doesn’t want to save five or 10 minutes of parking and running in and out when you can just drive right through? At 3209 Encinal Ave., Revelation is a cinch to drive through and be on your way in no time.
STAFF PICK: We like Garden Cleaners,1529 Webster St., for a little West End TLC for our clothes.

Best Barber

This was a tough one. There were almost as many votes for favorites as there are hair stylists, barbers and salons on the Island. It seems that everyone voted for his or her own personal hairdresser. But some names stood out,with a multiplicity of votes. The stylists at Tomo, 1403 Park St., ranked high among Alamedans. Tomo has been in business for more than 30 years and specializes in all kinds of hair care: cuts, color, perms and styles for special occasions.

Best Place for Pampering

The very name sounds indulgent. Say it slowly: O Spa. This spa and salon at 2525 Santa Clara Ave. has something to pamper the prince or princess in all of us: massages, body wraps, facials, skin care,manicures, pedicures,waxing, lash and brow tinting, hairstyling, makeup—and more. Soak your tired feet, close your weary eyes and let the aestheticians at O Spa chase away your stress.
STAFF PICK: Even our staff says, “Oh, Spa!”

Best Dentist

Two years in a row is too good to be true. But patients of Richard Tabor,D.D.S., say it’s so: He’s the best. Tabor,who’s been in the business just about eight years, after a full career in genetic engineering, says being a dentist is like being a jeweler, a physician and a decorator all in one. He loves making people feel better about the way they look and feel. It just doesn’t get any better.
STAFF PICK: Tabor makes us smile.

Best Veterinarian

Who says dogs and cats can’t talk? If they could, their first word would probably be “Rosenblum.” Yep, Alamedan Kent Rosenblum is the top vet, as selected by Alameda pets and their people in our poll. Even if a trip to the vet doesn’t rank too high with Fido, the gentle attention of the veterinarian-vintner can soothe the savage beast. Kent Rosenblum and the other kindly vets at Providence Veterinary Medical Group can be found at 2304 Pacific Ave. and 1409 Webster St.

Best Physician

Open wide and say,“Awe.” Dr. Robert J. Butts of Alameda Pediatrics is a favorite among Alameda kids and their parents. His signature style is to make kids laugh, even when there’s an immunization to be had. “He’s funny,” say his staffers. Parents like him for his down-to-earth attitude. The good doctor has been in local practice since 1990; he earned his degrees at Knox College, the University of Illinois and the University of California at San Diego.A native of Illinois, Butts is a friend indeed for Alameda kids.

Best Auto Shop

Gimme an O! Make that a Big O, for Big O Tires, 1200 Park St., for Alameda’s auto needs. These guys will rotate your tires, change your oil and provide a heap of other necessary services for your wheels. Bonus: If you buy your tires at Big O, they’ll rotate and fix them for free, for life. Score! STAFF PICK: Call us finicky (or loyal), but we’re partial to Alameda Auto Lab, 631 Buena Vista Ave.

Best Store Window

Alamedans say Vignettes of Alameda, 1201 Park St., has captured their hearts for best store window.With his quirky sense of style and whimsy, owner Stan Cardoza gets a kick out of dressing his windows to draw in shoppers and just to show a creative side of his personality. Whether it’s a holiday, a seasonal twist or a display of fun gift ideas, Vignettes’ windows are ones to watch for.
STAFF PICK: Three Wishes, 1428 Park St., for the colorful displays and charming retro-funk.

Best Spot for Singles

It was a tie between two neighboring bars: Kelly’s of Alameda, 1313 Park St., and Lucky 13, 1301 Park St. Both have an individual ambience and a target crowd. Kelly’s, with its smooth jazz and smoother martinis, is a chic haven for 30-somethings (and up) who want a piece of the night scene without busting an eardrum. Lucky 13 catches the younger hipsters who like an occasional night of headbanging live music and a wide range of beverages. Pop in for a Red Bull and vodka if you’re so inclined.
STAFF PICK: Either way, make ours a Lemon Drop.

Favorite Real Estate Agent

This was another category where everyone had his favorites, but some folks are really beloved. That’s where Jan Mason, owner of Mason Management and OMM Inc., fits in. Mason has been in the local real estate business for years and has quite the devoted following. Known for her spunky office windows and sense of humor as well as her compassion for others, Mason continues to provide professional real estate services to her tenants, commercial clients and both buyers and sellers.

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