Best Of :: Shopping & Services
Spotify, Tidal, and Apple Music be damned. Some of us have got a serious emotional attachment to our music, and we miss holding it in our hands, carefully rubbing off its little smudges, and hugging its sleeve close as we cry into our pillows or dream about the big world outside. As most of us volunteer every last piece of our lives to the ravenous content cloud above, we know that special things deserve to exist and survive IRL. Great music deserves to be prized, cared for, and collected, not just as a blip of data streaming through space, but a physical token of the aural art it is. Launched in September 2015, Hollywood Vine-nyl Society's quarterly pop-up record store in downtown Hollywood is the latest encouraging sign for modern music lovers embracing the old vinyl format. Helmed by walking music encyclopedia Steve Toth, the meet-up brings together vendors and collectors for a few fleeting hours four Sundays a year to exchange wares, enjoy DJs and live music, sip craft beer and wine, and celebrate a culture that in some ways is dying off, but in others is finding all-new life. Local legend Bob Perry of Blue Note Records, Michael Dean of Yardbird records, and "Doc" from Jack's House of Wax have all set up shop at the event, which makes its home at the casual local wine shop Hollywood Vine. "It's Hollywood. We don't really have a record store or a bookstore here," Toth says. "So, for one day every three months, we have the best record store in town."
Readers' choice: Radio-Active Records
When it comes to buying a car, nobody likes a hustler. It's no fun to sign a deal only to realize your jalopy didn't come with floor mats. Or a stereo. Or doors. But South Florida is a cutthroat kind of place, with as many sharks in the dealership lots as there are offshore. Not, however, at Holman Honda. From the showroom floor to the service department, you'll be hard-pressed to find a dealership that competes on their level. They don't drive a hard bargain on floor mats (or doors!), and they won't upsell you on more vehicle than you can drive. That's why customers keep coming back for oil changes and tire rotations, even after they've paid off their Accords. Got a weird, oily leak in your steering column? Don't throw a fit. They'll check your warranty before sending your car off for work and give her a bonus wash while you wait.
Readers' choice: JM Lexus
Kovac Automotive has served Broward County for over 40 years; owner Joe Kovac's mother, Joan, even served as mayor of Davie in the late 1980s. Joe himself has served on the MathWorks Automotive Advisory Board and been president of the Florida tire dealers' association. That is some VIP material. This family-owned business has a loyal following because of its clean, organized shop and fair prices. Friendly staff will explain exactly what the issue is with your vehicle and be transparent about the services they perform. Become a member and you'll receive a ten percent discount, and there are always coupons available on their website. Schedule your next oil change here and have a complimentary donut and cup of coffee, and use their Wi-Fi, while you wait.
Gourmet coffee bar? Check. Cozy faux fireplace blazing in the background? Check. Access to an iPad and free internet to explore the World Wide Web? Check. No, it's not your best friend's living room. It's Cactus Car Wash, where customers are pampered in a Southwest-style lounge while their rides get spiffed up. An exterior-only wash will set you back only $5.95, or you can splurge on a traditional full-service car wash for $29.95. On top of that, special detailing and restoration options are available to make your car look extra showroom-shiny. Pick a package, sit back, and relax.
The first thing you'll see upon entering this little Lake Worth shop will be one of the Relentless crew bearing down on repairs in the store's work area like an alchemist bringing new life to old wheels, spokes, and gears. Intensely focused on all things pedal-powered — with awesome service, a high level of expertise, and a whole range of bikes, parts, and paraphernalia — this shop can be a bit intimidating on the casual cyclist's first visit. But the tough facade conceals a deep commitment to customer care and education. Relentless is deeply embedded in the community as a center for news of two-wheel activities throughout South Florida and a sponsor of local cultural events like the L-Dub Film Festival. Don't miss out on their annual Christmastime pig roast — and burn those calories off on the ride home.
The only thing more expensive than buying a boat is maintaining a boat. From anchors to zinc, Boat Owner's Warehouse has you covered. At BOW, they may not make the repairs, but you can bet your fiberglass they'll stock the parts you need or will have them ready for pickup pronto. They have three locations in Broward and Palm Beach counties (Fort Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, and Riviera Beach) and a service division for maintaining bigger toys. Their inventory catalog is as thick as the Yellow Pages was back when landlines were a thing. Their prices are also a fraction of what competitors charge, enabling you to trim your motor but not your budget. If you walk in covered in dust from a day spent sanding your hull, they won't frown; this isn't Weekend Warrior's Warehouse. It's a store for boat folks, by boat folks.