Southwestern Illinois is full of small-town charm, family-friendly neighborhoods and great local organizations.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch asked our readers to vote on the best businesses, food and beverages, community groups, people and services that reflect Southwest Illinois’ unique values.
With more than 100 winners, the greatest of Madison, St. Clair, Monroe and surrounding counties found their place on this list of the Best of Southwest Illinois.
On Thursday, July 25, 4204 Main Street Brewery in Belleville, hosted The Savor Southwest Illinois event to celebrate the local winners.
THE TOP PEOPLE
Sew Inspired, Valmeyer
Runners-up: Willard’s Tailor Shop Inc.
Caitlin Boatman, Hair Studios Park Plaza, Edwardsville
Runners-up: Amanda Uhrig, Elite Hair Gallery; Kari Eaker, Eaker’s Barbershop; Kelsey Campbell, Salon Whimz
Dr. Rob Wise
Runners-up: Balanced Health Chiropractic, Beltline Chiropractic, Gwinn Chiropractic Center, Shipley Chiropractic
Janell “JJ” Roedl, CrossFit Edwardsville Head Coach
Runners-up: Dr. Greg Skelly, Crossfit Edwardsville; Harold Landon, Jersey Community High School; Shane McBride, CrossFit 557; Shawn Crocker, CrossFit Edwardsville
Kellerman Dental, Glen Carbon
Runners-up: Dr. Gena Pineda, Creating Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry; Dental Wellness Center of Maryville; Dr. Ron Dillow, Today’s Dental Care, Ltd.; Hite Family Dentistry, Edwardsville
Musick Dermatology & Advanced Clinical Spa, Swansea
Runner-up: Distinctive Dermatology, Swansea
DOCTOR/PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN
Paul G. Malcharek, M.D., Collinsville
Runners-up: Amy Rohlfing, M.D.; Natalie Menossi, P.A.; Shawna Swinigan P.A., BJC Collinsville; Wade James, M.D.
Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electrical Services, Collinsville
Runners-up: CMC Electric, Inc., Maryville; Pyramid Electrical Contractors, Inc.
Mike Clark Visionary Wealth Advisors, O'Fallon
Runners-up: John Cothrine & Associates; Stacy Butler, Edward Jones, Waterloo
Jeremy Vacca- American Family Insurance
Runners-up: Bruce Doyle,State Farm Insurance Agent; C.J. Hendrickson, Country Financial; Derek Tschudin, Goosehead Insurancel; Rick Meyerscough, Evansville
Angela Nauman, Musick Dermatology
Runners-up: Helene Seibert, Kathryn Lindsay Cobb, Shannon Ribley
Runners-up: Bankhead Orthodontic Specialists, Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics, Kim Littlefield, Littlefield Orthodontics; Lauren Hood-Olson, Olson Orthodontics
Laura Bauer- Renfro Elementary, Collinsville
Runners-up: Brian Saenz, Alton West Elementary; Corey Brenden, Jersey Community High School; Dawn Ivers, Gardner Elementary, Waterloo; Kim Powers, Governor French Academy, Belleville
Duff Wrobbel, SIUE Applied Communicaton Dept.
Runner-up: Robert Kelly, SIUE mass communications instructor
Derrick Keith, Collinsville Township Trustee
Runners-up: Al Adomite, Mayor of Troy; Dan McDowell, Alderman 3rd Ward; Herb Roach, Mayor of O’Fallon; Jessica Lotz, Alderwoman for O’Fallon Ward 2; Mark Kern, St. Clair County Chairman
Amy Hank - Amy Hank Real Estate Team Keller Williams Marquee
Runners-up: Diane Rieger; Janell Schmittling, ReMax Signature Properties; Karen Marcus Butler, Marcus Realty; Tara Marr, Coldwell Banker Brown, Troy
Angie Augustine- Rogers Elementary, Waterloo
Runners-up: Jennifer Kapetanovich, Jersey Community High School; Melony Haerr, JE Hinchcliffe Elementary; Peggy Wilson, Coolidge Junior High
Shannon Melliere, DVM - Riverstone Animal Hospital
Runners-up: Davis Pet Hospital; Northgate Small Animal Hospital; Troy Veterinary Clinic; Waterloo Animal Hospital
CHEESECAKE | DESSERTS | SEAFOOD | SPECIALTY RESTAURANT | STEAK
The Opera House Bistro is located in the heart of Red Bud. The first floor hosts a full-service restaurant providing casual/fine dining that complements any occasion. Be sure to order the house-made New York Style cheesecake for dessert! Families and groups are welcome, but The Opera House still provides intimate settings for a special date night. With banquet and party rooms, there are many options to meet customer’s needs. Visit operahousebistro.com or call (618) 282-1860 for more information.
Runners-up for cheesecake: Ahne’s Bakery, Kruta Bakery
Runners-up for desserts: Bella Milano Edwardsville, Cleveland Heath, Kruta Bakery
Runner-up for seafood: Gulf Shores Restaurant & Grill
Runners-up for specialty restaurant: Aroy Thai Cuisine, Bann Thai, Cleveland-Heath, Los Gauchos Argentinean Steakhouse
Runners-up for steak: 1818 Chophouse-O’Fallon, Andria’s Steakhouse, Cleveland-Heath, Valentine’s Restaurant
Downtown Diner is a charming all-night eatery known for their regional favorite dishes perfect for all three meals. Downtown Diner in Granite City boasts a wide breakfast selection, irresistible burgers, chili and milkshakes to boot. Visit them at 3 P.M. or A.M. and check out their wide selection of hometown memorabilia. Call (618) 501-1680 or visit them at 1318 Niedringhaus Ave in Granite City.
BAKERY | DONUTS
Ahne's Bakery is a family-run business in Waterloo that has been open for more than four decades. Featuring a wide variety of delicious baked products, donuts, danishes, pastries, breads, rolls and special occasion cakes, anyone’s sweet tooth will be satisfied at Ahne’s. Each Sunday, Ahne’s also serves a special carry-out menu, adding savory treats like fried chicken, country fried steaks and shrimp. Visit Ahne’s at 201 W Mill St in Waterloo or call (618) 939-3131 for more information.
Runners-up: 222 Artisan Bakery & Café, A Little Taste of Heaven Bakery, Kruta Bakery, Sweet Katie Bee’s Organic Bakery, Wood Bakery
Runners-up for donuts: Glazy Squares, Kruta Bakery, Mister Donut, Wood Bakery
BAR AND LOUNGE
Not only does Vices Bar pride themselves on “welcoming all”, Vices is equipped with an outdoor patio and live music worth experiencing. Vices brings St. Louis-level entertainment to Red Bud without the hassle and prices of the city. With a wide-ranging selection of bourbons, scotches and whiskeys as well as pool tables, dart boards and shuffleboard tables, Vices is an ideal Southern Illinois place to spend a summer evening. Visit Vices at 128 W. Market St, Red Bud, IL 62278 or call (618) 282-8000.
Runners-up: The Cabin at Judy Creek, The Wooden Nickel Pub and Grill, Vintage Wine Bar
BARBECUE | HAPPY HOUR | HOT WINGS
The Burnt End is a BBQ restaurant in the heart of downtown Red Bud serving delicious BBQ, refreshing drinks and small-town hospitality. Started by Donna and Terry Reinhardt, the pair has participated in and won numerous competitions as well as catered a number of parties and events. The Burnt End has combined their love of food, friends and family. Visit them at 101 E Market St., Red Bud, or call (618) 282-2271.
Runners-up for barbecue: Beast Craft BBQ, Doc’s Smokehouse & Catering, Hick’s Bar-B-Que Co., Shorty’s Smokehouse
Runners-up for happy hour: 1818 Chophouse, Cleveland-Heath, Uncle John’s PBR Bar, Vintage Wine Bar
Runners-up for hot wings: Cleveland-Heath, Geo’s Wings & More, JV’s Downtown Bar and Grill, Peel Wood Fired Pizza
Bean Tree Café is a café and restaurant in Waterloo has been independently-owned and -operated since 2012. Customers can dine for breakfast, brunch or lunch or enjoy their fresh roasted coffee. Visit beantreecafe.net or call (618) 939-5330 for more information.
Runners-up: Artisan 222 Bakery & Café, Dave & Joyce’s Country Kitchen, Sgt. Pepper’s Café, Teaspoons Cafe
BREWERY | OUTDOOR OR PATIO DINING
Lieferbrau Brewery is a family-owned and -operated craft brewery located in the heart of historic Red Bud. Lieferbrau Brewery embodies family traditions and traditional food to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Visit facebook.com/lieferbrau for more information.
Runners-up for brewery: 4204 Main Street Brewing Co. Banquet and Events, Taproom, and Distribution Center, Hopskeller Brewing Company, Old Herald Brewery & Distillery, Stubborn German Brewing Company
Runners-up for outdoor or patio dining: 4204 Main Street Brewing Co., Cleveland-Heath, Hopskeller Brewing Company, the Opera House Bistro
Proving Ground Café and Roaster is located at 180 Columbia Center, Columbia. A modern feel with traditional café favorites like coffee, pastries and a full breakfast and lunch menu is the perfect combination for anyone looking to combine the two best meals of the day. Proving Ground also offers in and out of house catering events. Call (618) 281-6652 for more information.
Runners-up: 1818 Chophouse-O’Fallon, Cleveland-Heath, J&T’s Caliber, Wang Gang
BURGERS | FRIED CHICKEN
Gallagher’s Restaurant is located on Mill Street in downtown Waterloo and has been serving the best fried chicken, house-ground burgers and premium steaks for over a decade. Visit gallagherswaterloo.com or call (618) 939-9933 for more information.
Runners-up for burgers: 1818 Chophouse-O’Fallon, Cleveland-Heath, Opera House Bistro, Sugarfire 64
Runners-up for fried chicken: Castelli’s Restaurant at 255, Opera House Bistro, Ravanelli’s Restaurant
Peking Garden specializes in Hunan, Szechwan and Cantonese cuisine. All the food is homemade with 100 percent vegetable oil and no MSG. Peking Garden takes pride in their ability to provide customers with the best quality food as well as friendly service. Book Peking Garden for special events, catering, or enjoy a relaxed night in with carry-out and a full cocktail menu. Call them at (618) 345-0804 or dine-in: 604 W Main St, Collinsville.
Runners-up: Shangri-la Chinese Restaurant, Vin Hoa
Off the Square Coffee Company is located at 122 E Market Street, Ste. B in Red Bud. Offering a wide variety of coffees, hot chocolates and teas, everyone can find something to start their day at Off the Square. For more information, call (618) 282-3326.
Runners-up: 222 Artisan Bakery & Café, Bean Tree Café, Proving Ground Café, Sweet Katie Bee’s Organic Bakery
Open year-round, Eckert’s Belleville Country Store and Farms offers seasonally-available pick-your-own fruit and vegetables plus so much more! Eckert’s Farm in Belleville is one of the best places for family fun. At their Belleville Farm, you’ll find something to do during every season. Check it out at eckerts.com.
Runners-up: Cleveland-Heath, Old Herald Brewery & Distillery
Smokin K’s BBQ & More in Millstadt offers quality, affordable food to go along with friendly, pleasant and efficient service. Homemade BBQ and classic southern side dishes aren't the only attractive things about Smokin K’s; the atmosphere is unique as well. Visit them at 548 E. Washington, Millstadt. Call (618) 476-1777 for more information.
Runners-up: Lottie’s Café, Lucy’s Place, Novel Idea Bookstore and More, Ruby’s
Walton’s Ice Cream is a family-run ice cream store in Smithton. Known for their great prices and variety of frozen treats, Walton’s is the perfect place to cool off on a warm Illinois night. Call (618) 416-8317 or visit them at 408 S. Main Street.
Runners-up: Annie’s Frozen Custard, Bobby’s Frozen Custard, Dairy Haven
Bella Milano challenges the status-quo in the dining experience. From their earliest beginnings, the culinary team pushes the boundaries of blending unique dishes with artistic presentation in a modern, yet inviting atmosphere. Visit and see for yourself why people choose Bella Milano time and time again. Visit the O’Fallon Bella Milano at 455 Regency Park or call (618) 624-0700 for more information.
Runners-up: Frederico’s Restaurant, Mungo’s Italian Eatery, Papa Vito’s Pizza Downtown
Miller's Meat Market has been a family-owned business since 1958. Most of their recipes are over 50 years old and still done the Miller’s “old fashion way”. Miller's Meat Market has won several state and national awards and remains committed to the highest level of food safety. Visit them at 1524 S Main St., Red Bud or call (618) 282-3334.
Runners-up: Cionko’s Inc, Goshen Butcher Shop, Kelly’s Butcher Shop and Deli, Schneider’s Quality Meats
Casa Romero Mexican Restaurant provides an affordable, unique and family-friendly Mexican dining experience. They feature both traditional Mexican restaurant favorites as well as unique dishes not found in other Mexican restaurants. Stop in and enjoy a margarita at 512 S Market St. Waterloo or call (618) 939-6440.
Runners-up: Chava’s Mexican Restaurant, La Casa Mexicana, Taqueria Z, Tienda El Maguey
Hopskeller Brewing Company is a brewery influenced by the beers of Northern England and the Pacific Northwest, bringing a unique western feel to Illinois. Brewed in a pre-Civil War home remodeled with reclaimed materials, Hopskeller is much more than a brewery. It is a gathering place for discussion, laughter and the heart-warming joy of enjoying a beer with friends. Call (618) 939-2337 or visit 116 E 3rd St., Waterloo.
Runners-up: Lascelles Granite City Bistro, Lieferbrau Brewery, Sloan’s Pub House, The Wooden Nickel Pub and Grill, Vices Bar
DiCarlo’s Pizza & Pasta has been in business for the community of Red Bud for over 30 years. DiCarlo's is a perfect place to enjoy Italian comfort food with family and friends. Grab a slice at 1520 S Main St. or call (618) 282-6696 for more information.
Runners-up: Alfonzo’s Pizzeria, Hopskeller Brewing Company, Papa Vito’s Pizza Downtown, Peel Wood Fired Pizza
PUB & GRILL
The Office Bar & Grill is a perfect place to take a load-off after a long day at the office! A locally owned/operated bar and grill in Red Bud, The Office boasts multiple TVs, a large patio space, separate dining room and a healthy amount of daily specials. Visit theofficebargrill.com for more information.
Runners-up: The Cabin at Judy Creek, JV’s Downtown Bar and Grill, The Wooden Nickel Pub and Grill
Micasa Sub Shop is a top-of-the-line sandwich shop in Red Bud serving both the community and all surrounding areas. With a perfect combination of healthy food options and friendly service, Micasa is the perfect stop for people on-the-go. Questions? Call (618) 443-3337. Visit their Red Bud location at 176 W. Broadway Street.
Runners-up: Bigelo’s Bistro, Conway’s Catering & Good Eats Deli, Los Gauchos Argentinean Steakhouse, Sammi’s Sandwich, Spirito’s Italian Grocery
Stumpy's Spirits Distillery is a true craft distillery located in Columbia. Stumpy’s carefully hand-crafts their vodka, bourbon and whiskies from grain grown on their very own family farm. They are located at 1727 Centerville Road. Call (618) 281-7733 for more information.
Runners-up: BTO Distillers, LLC- Bluestem Vodka, Mastermind Vodka, Old Herald Brewery & Distillery
JV's Downtown Bar and Grill offers lunch and dinner, seven days a week as well as 12 draft taps that consistently change and update. With a brand-new renovated patio and a variety of gaming machines, JV’s has all of the components of a classic sports bar. Grab some BBQ and a brew at JV’s. Call (618) 939-7127 or visit their website: jvsbarandgrill.com for more information.
Runners-up: Edison’s Entertainment Complex, The Edge, Friday’s South Bar & Grill- Collinsville, Shooters Bar & BBQ
Seven Shichi Sushi Bar offers an outdoor patio seating, live music and even a wide selection of craft beer and wine. With their fresh and creative sushi plates and unique cocktail menu, Seven Shichi Sushi Bar is a must-try for everyone in and near Belleville. Call (618) 277-6702 or visit them at 28 E Main St., Belleville.
Runners-up: Nori Sushi & Japanese Grill, Osaka Sushi Café, Sake Sushi Bar & Grill, Sushi Thai by Samran
The Pour Vineyard is a winery and event space tucked away in six acres of rolling vines located at 9673 S. Prairie Rd. in Red Bud. The gorgeous vineyard overlooks a lake. They serve a variety of sweet to dry wines from the grapes that they grow and harvest by hand.
Runners-up: Blue Sky Vineyard, Hidden Lake Winery, Red Bud Winery, The Weingarten
BEST IN THE COMMUNITY
Italian Fest has been an annual celebration since 1984. The residents of Collinsville celebrates the Italian culture and heritage that their city was built on each September. The Fest is family friendly with something to do for everyone. Visit italianfest.net for more information.
Runners-up: Art on the Square- Belleville, Midwest Salute to the Arts, Porta Westfalica Festival in Waterloo, Taste of O’Fallon
St. John’s Lutheran Daycare provides a quality Christian-based daycare for children of the church and surrounding community. St. John’s curriculum includes an emphasis on Christian instruction. In a warm and welcoming setting, St. John’s hopes to help each child develop a positive attitude toward learning, responsibility and self-esteem. Visit their website: Stjohnsdaycare.com.
Runners-up: Caywood’s Youth Center, Daytime Discoveries, Holy Cross Lutheran
Metro Community Church’s vision is to be a place where people want to move closer to God, each other and the disconnected. Everyone is welcome to worship at Metro Community Church. Their services are Saturdays 6:00-7:15 p.m. and Sundays 9:00-10:15 a.m. and 10:45-12 p.m. Find out more online at metrocommunitychurch.com.
Runners-up: Enjoy Church, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Navigation Church, Restoration Church, St. Mark Lutheran Church
Studio L Dance Center - Dance Academy and Dance School’s mission is to help the local community of O’Fallon discover the joy of dancing. The experienced instructors at Studio L help their students to experience the joy of living, build their confidence and encourage them to live their lives joyfully in body and spirit. Sign up for classes by dropping into the academy at 922 A Talon Dr. or calling (618) 433-3171.
Runners-up: At the Barre Dance Academy Inc., Expressions Academy of Dance, Studio B Dance Company, The Creative Dance Studio at Nautilus
The Edge offers superior attractions, family-friendly environment and a friendly staff. The Edge is located in Belleville and the complex boasts laser tag, four virtual reality attractions, indoor go-karts, bumper cars, bowling, movie theatres, arcade and a complete restaurant and bar. The 82,000 square foot facility caters to adults and kids alike. Call The Edge at (618) 236-2101 for more information.
Runners-up: Edison’s Entertainment Complex, Lincoln Theatre, Raging Rivers WaterPark
The Red Bud Fire Department serves the city of Red Bud and its rural areas in Randolph and Monroe counties. Red Bud Fire Department also has a Volunteer Fire Department made up of 46 total members.
Runners-up: Collinsville Fire Department, Granite City Fire Department, O’Fallon Fire Department Headquarters, Waterloo Fire Department
FIRST DATE LOCATION
Fast Eddie's Bon Air is like no other. Over 4,000 half barrels of beer and thousands of cases of cans, bottles and liquor quench the thirst of their patrons every year. Some even say that Bon Air is the No. 1 volume bar in the world. Aside from drinks, Fast Eddie's Bon Air also has a food bar with an assortment of grilled burgers, shish-kabobs, bratwurst and boiled shrimp at a low price. Visit Fast Eddie's Bon Air at 1530 E 4th St, Alton or online at fasteddiesbonair.com.
Runners-up: 1818 Chophouse, Andria’s Steakhouse, Valentine’s restaurant
Annbriar Golf Course proves that there is always a new reason to enjoy a day of golf and fun times with family and friends in Waterloo. Golf is the ideal way to enjoy the outdoors and the company of others. Reserve your next tee time with Annbriar by contacting the Pro Shop: (618) 939-4653 or by clicking on the “TEE TIMES” tab online at annbriar.com.
Runners-up: Arlington Greens Golf Course, Far Oaks Golf Club, Lockhaven Golf Club
Dazed n Confused - Columbia packs a heavy punch with their high- energy selection of Rock ‘n’ Roll hits. Dazed n Confused’s beautifully blended guitar work mixed with a steady rhythm section, complements front man Rusty Ezzell's iconic rock voice. Dazed n Confused delivers a rock experience you won't soon forget. Call (618) 779-8511 to find out more about one of this area's favorite bands. Runners-up: Ethan Jones, Matt Powell-Collinsville, The Vault
PLACE FOR VISITORS (TIE)
Red Bud, Illinois is located in the northwest part of Randolph County (Where Illinois Begins). It is within easy commuter distance of metropolitan St. Louis. It is about seven miles west of the Kaskaskia River that provides a 36-mile long navigable artery for industry and recreation. Visit the City of Red Bud’s website at cityofredbud.org.
Waterloo, Illinois is located in Monroe County. Waterloo has a population of nearly 10,000 and is filled with shops and charm. Visit the City of Waterloo’s website at waterloo.il.us or call City Hall at (618) 9939-8600.
Runners-up: Alton, Illinois; Eckert’s Belleville Country Store and Farms; Grafton, Illinois
The Waterloo Police Department is dedicated to providing professional police services. They are committed to serving with integrity and compassion. The Police Department currently maintains a staff of 15 full-time police officers striving to improve the overall quality of life within the community of Waterloo.
Runners-up: Collinsville Police Department, Granite City Police Department, O’Fallon Police Department/ City Ambulance, Troy Police Department
Daytime Discoveries is much more than a daycare. At Daytime Discoveries, each instructor has a year-round curriculum in every classroom. They strive to provide your child with the very best learning strategies available. The teachers are regularly trained in the latest education methods and techniques. Call (618) 935-2800 for more information.
Runners-up: Children First Learning Center, Hope Preschool - Hope Christian Church, Kids First Learning Center - First Baptist Church, Learning Tree Preschool, Together We Learn
Holy Cross Lutheran School in Collinsville serves students attending preschool through eighth grade. Holy Cross offers one of the most extensive music programs in the area. Classes teach note reading, music history and appreciation and instrumentation. The school also offers athletic programs including baseball, basketball, volleyball, cross country and track and field. Visit holycross-collinsville.org or call (618) 344-3145 for more information.
Runners-up: Governor French Academy, Maryville Christian School, St John the Baptist Catholic School
Troy City Park has an activity center, sports fields, attractions, facility rentals for gatherings and much more. Reconnect with your family and nature at Troy City Park. Troy City Park is located in 410 Wickliffe Street.
Runners-up: O’Fallon Family Sports Park, Wilson Park, Woodland Park
PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
Waterloo Community Unit School District No. 5 is a school district featuring educational programming spanning grades pre-K through 12. The district supports high-quality teaching and learning through meaningful, differentiated curriculum and challenging learning experiences. Visit wcusd5.net or call (618) 939-3453 for more information.
Runners-up: Collinsville School District, Edwardsville School District, Jersey CUSD 100, Triad Community Unit School District #5
RETIREMENT HOME/SENIOR LIVING
Magnolia Terrace Senior Living Apartments offers privacy in the comfort of your own one-bedroom apartment with access to professional staff around the clock. The staff work with both residents and families to customize a plan of care to accommodate personal preferences and lifestyle choices. Magnolia Terrace is focused on promoting independence while still providing quality, hands-on care. Call Magnolia Terrace at 618-939-3488.
Runners-up: Cedarhurst of Shiloh, Meridian Village, Villa Rose Senior Living Community
ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES | GIFT SHOP | HOME DÉCOR
Savannah’s Southern Charm offers home decor items, personalized gifts for the entire family and the opportunity for engaged or expecting couples to register for gifts. Located in Waterloo, the store sells products from high- quality suppliers and provides professional customer service in a fun and friendly environment. Visit savannahssoutherncharm.com or call (618) 939-0440 for more information.
Runners-up for antiques and collectibles: Antique Oddities, Edwardsville, Kelli’s Antiques and Gifts, Mill Street Treasures, My Antique Store, Revival Circa
Runners-ups for gift shop: Bad Sister Boutique, Ben’s, Philomena + Ruth
Runners-up for home decor: Mill Street Treasures, Stix and Stones, The Gingham Buffalo
Sears Hometown Store has many name brand appliances at a convenient Waterloo location. From refrigerators, stoves, and freezers to washing machines, ranges and tools, Sears has the discounted prices and great service that you have come to expect. Shop their local inventory of appliances and tools at 1349 Jamie Lane, Waterloo or call (618) 939-5552 with any questions.
Runners-up: Kendall Appliance, Klein’s Brand Source, Mark’s Appliance Edwardsville Store, Terry’s Appliance Center
Weir Chevrolet Buick GMC has a wide selection of cars at great prices. More than their inventory, Weir values their state-of-the-art customer service and friendly showroom. Parts, services and tires are also available. Call them at (618) 263-1023 to find out more.
Runners-up: Cassens Dodge Chrysler, Federico Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Laura Buick GMC
Hi-Way Motor Co. is a hometown pre-owned car dealership located in Red Bud. They are a family-owned and -operated dealership that began in 1954. They specialize in SUVs, trucks and even the lifted trucks. Hi-Way prides themselves on getting vehicles in the right condition for the right price. Long-term extended warranties are also available. Call their sales team at (618) 282-3400.
Runners-up: Cassens Dodge Chrysler, Crossroad Motors, Menard Auto Sales, Inc, Roberts Motors, Inc.
The Opera House Bistro is located in the heart of Red Bud. The first floor hosts a full-service restaurant providing casual/fine dining that complements any occasion. Families and groups are welcome, but The Opera House still provides intimate settings for a special date night. With banquet and party rooms, there are many options to meet customer’s needs. Visit operahousebistro.com or call (618) 282-1860 for more information.
Runners-up: 4204 Main Street Brewing Company and Events, Taproom, and Distribution Center, Bellecourt Banquet Center, Gallagher’s Restaurant, Gateway Center, The Weingarten
Afterwords Books is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and affordable books to the Edwardsville area. With a wide selection of books and events for both children and adults, Afterwords is a local bookstore with small-town charm. Visit afterwordsusedbooks.com or call (618) 655-0355 for more information.
Runners-up: Novel Idea Bookstore and More, Words of Wisdom Christian Bookstore
Bridal Manor is a full-service bridal salon in Waterloo that was born from the idea that shopping for a wedding gown should be a stress-free experience. Bridal Manor is housed in a Colonial-style home that has been converted into a bridal shop and features a wide selection of bridal gowns from top designers. Visit bridalmanorwaterloo.com or call (618) 939-7131 for more information.
Runners-up: Champagne & Lace Bridal Shop, Frew’s Bridal
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Waterloo Chamber of Commerce welcomes residents, business associates and visitors alike to the community. The mission of the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce is to serve the community by promoting, protecting, encouraging, developing and being an advocate for local businesses. Visit enjoywaterloo.com or call (618) 939-5300 for more information.
Runners-up: Collinsville Chamber of Commerce, Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce, Troy/Maryville/St. Jacob/ Marine Chamber of Commerce
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
The Clothes Line is a small-town boutique located in Waterloo with the perfect tops, bottoms, shoes and dresses to fit anyone’s personal style. From extra small to curvy and plus, The Clothes Line offers something for every woman. Stop on by or grab something online at tclboutique.com
Runners-up: Bad Sister Boutique, Karma on Main, La Bella Rosa Boutique, LizzaRae’s Boutique
Art 2 Go Studio is a create and take art studio. Fit for any creative’s needs, Art 2 Go offers supplies like canvases, wood cut-outs, pallet art, ceramics, mosaics and clay jewelry. Visit Art 2 Go at 237 North Main Street in Columbia or call (618) 593-4527.
Runners-up: courage&grace, Roseberry Farms, Sips-n-Splatters, The PaintingGrove
Bountiful Blossoms is a premier full-service florist and gift shop located in historic downtown Waterloo. They offer fresh floral arrangements, wedding designs, sympathy tributes, silk arrangements and gifts for all occasions. Visit bountifulblossoms.com or call (618) 939-9883 for more information.
Runners-up: Bloomin’ Diehl’s Floral Boutique, Creative Concepts, Cullop-Jennings Florist, Floral Essence Granite City, Grimm & Glory Flowers & Gifts, Inc.
Waterloo Lumber is a full-service hardware store and lumberyard that strives to provide the best in quality and customer service. The store is locally-owned and -operated with over 200 years of combined experience. Visit waterloolumber.doitbest.com or call (618) 939-8678 for more information.
Runners-up: Ace Hardware- Troy, IL, Cotton’s Ace Hardware of Red Bud, Don’s Hardware
HEALTH FOOD STORE
Green Earth Grocery is located in Edwardsville and offers a unique shopping experience for health-conscious customers. With a wide array of vitamins and health food, they also offer exercise information and nutrition help as well. Green Earth also offers all-natural cleaning solutions. Visit greenearthgrocer.com or call (618) 656-3375 for more information.
L.E. Smith Jewelers is a family-owned and -operated business that started in the early ‘60s. The store offers wedding sets, wedding bands, gold and silver chains, watches, diamond pendants and earrings and a variety of giftware items. Visit lesmithjewelersandgifts.com or call (618) 344-1632 for more information.
Runners-up: Blanquart Jewelers, Hudson Jewelers, J.S.R. Jewelers, Reiniger Jewelers
Randall’s Wines & Spirits Co is a local chain with one location in Fairview Heights and serves a wide variety of wine, spirits, champagne, beer and accessories. Randall’s also carries a variety of liquor gift bottles. They are open seven days a week to better serve the community. Visit shoprandalls.com or call (618) 394-9800 for more information.
Runners-up: CayTown, Dean’s Liquor, Friar Tuck Beverage, Plaza Wine & Liquors
Waterloo Cinema is an RMC theatre with eight large auditoriums. Equipped with top-of-the-line digital projectors, stadium seating and digital surround sound, viewing a movie at Waterloo Cinema is a unique experience.
Runners-up: Granite City Cinema, Lincoln Theatre, Skyview Drive-In
Unger Eye Care has been providing the best solutions in eye care since 1991. With quality products, thorough care and cutting-edge technology, an informed and friendly staff are happy to evaluate and learn about your eyes. Contact Unger Eye Care at ungereyecare.com or call (618) 667-2020. Runners-up: Clarkson Eyecare, Midwest Vision-Columbia, IL, Total Eyewear Outlet
Hearthside Grill & Fireplace is located in Belleville where customers will find the perfect grill or hearth product to fit any lifestyle or budget. They also offer installation of fireplaces, gas logs, gas inserts and stoves. Visit hearthsidegrill.com or call (618) 257-0700 for more information.
Jim’s Pawn and Jewelry has locations both in Collinsville and Granite City. Their knowledgeable staff will evaluate items and offer fair cash value in exchange. They also have a wide variety of guns, jewelry, instruments, tools, electronics, furniture and antiques. Visit jimspawnandjewelry.com or call (618) 345-7579 for more information.
Runner-up: Herman’s Pawn Shop
Keil Pharmacy is a family-owned pharmacy in Red Bud with a selection of medicines and other health remedies. Keil’s also operates as a gift shop, supplying hometown charm since 1957. Call (618) 282-2870.
Runners-up: Maryville Pharmacy, Schnucks Bethalto, Smithton Pharmacy, Wightman Pharmacy
Nice Twice Resale Shop is located at 518 Park St. in Waterloo. With a variety of clothes and other fashion items, Nice Twice is a local must-stop. Call (618) 939-0311 for more information.
Runners-up: Blessed Threads Thrift Shop and Resource, Community Kindness Resale Shop, Fashion Attic Women’s Consignment Shop, Karma on Main
London Shoe Shop is located in Collinsville and boasts a wide variety of shoes for active, professional and stylish people all over the southern Illinois area. Call (618) 345-9570 for more information.
Runners-up: Allison’s Comfort Shoes & Boots, Concept Shoe Repair
TOBACCO STORE/VAPE SHOP
Mystic Vapes has locations in O’Fallon, Belleville and Collinsville. Started by two sisters, Mystic Vapes offers a selection of vape needs and kits. Mystic Vapes also offers a flavor of the week for vape pens and mods. Visit mysticvapes.net or call (618) 520-8440 for more information.
Runner-up: Better Vapes
HOTEL/RESORT/BED & BREAKFAST
Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center is the most unique, hand-made lodge in Illinois. The historic lodge is the place to go if you are looking for a popular St. Louis tourist attraction and vacation destination. The hotel also features a terrace overlooking the scenic Illinois River, an indoor pool, a restaurant and winery, romantic cabins, beautiful weddings, meeting spaces and so much more. Visit pmlodge.net to know more.
Runners-up: Green Tree Inn of Elsah, Hidden Lake Winery, Maple Lead Cottage Inn, The SeeMore Inn
AUTO SERVICES (tie)
Cassens & Sons has a skilled and knowledgeable sales staff with many years of experience located in Glen Carbon. The staff at Cassens will help you find the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or RAM vehicle you want. Cassens offers a searchable online inventory available for test drive. The sales staff will help you find a quality new or used vehicle in the Belleville, Edwardsville, Florissant or St. Louis area. Visit cassenssons.com for more information.
Schlemmer Automotive Inc is a family-run automotive business in Columbia committed to helping their customers with their automotive needs. Call them at (618) 281-5900.
Runners-up: 111 Salvage, Buzz’s Automotive Service & Co Inc, Federico Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Mike’s Automotive
FCB Banks opened in 1915 and has 13 locations in the Illinois area. FCB tellers and new account representatives happily greet their customers by name. FCB has four electronic banking options: online, mobile, tablet and telephone. To learn more, visit fcbbanks.com.
Runners-up: Bank of Belleville, Bank of Hillsboro, Carrollton Bank, First National Bank of Waterloo, Scott Credit Union
Bella Milano challenges the status-quo in the dining experience. From their earliest beginnings, the culinary team pushes the boundaries of blending unique dishes with artistic presentation in a modern, yet inviting atmosphere. Visit and see for yourself why people choose Bella Milano time and time again at bellamillanos.com.
Runners-up: Jerry’s Cafeteria & Catering, Roy-el Catering
SIDEBARR Technologies provides secure information technology solutions that help customers meet their business goals and reduce the risk of IT failures. By outsourcing the management, maintenance and support of your business IT to SIDEBARR Technologies, you can take the stress out of using the technology your business counts on everyday. With a customized IT solution from SIDEBARR’s team of experts, you’ll begin to think of technology as a strategic investment. Visit sidebarr.com to learn more.
Runner-up: Solve your System Inc.
A&E Concrete, Inc. has been in business since 1982. They have loyally been serving the Southern Illinois and Metro East area in the custom concrete business. A&E provides a winning combination of precise concrete work at an unbeatable price. Call them at (618) 781-3113.
Runners-up: Kienstra Illinois LLC, Yates Complete Concrete
Ooh La La Spa is a Greater St. Louis Premier medical spa. With cutting-edge technology and an unbeatable medical team, Ooh La La is an all-inclusive destination for aesthetic medicine, health and wellness programs, chiropractic care, day spa, salon and nail services. Visit OohLaLaWellness.com for more information.
Runners-up: ARGUS cryo/recovery, Elite Retreat Day Spa & Salon, Musick Dermatology & Advanced Clinical Spa, The Louvre Salon and Spa
American Cleaners has been providing quality dry-cleaning and commercial laundry service at value pricing in the greater St. Louis area since 1961. They are a trustworthy locally owned and operated family business. Visit americanclearnersstl.com to learn more.
Runners-up: Fast Service Belleville Dry Clean, Swansea Cleaners
FEED AND FARM SUPPLIES
Maryville Feed and Home is a pet food store with bedding, plants, hanging baskets, specialty home decor items and home gift store. With a variety of items, Maryville Feed and Home has something for every family. Call at (618) 205-1112.
Runners-up: Red Bud Feed & Nutrition
CrossFit Edwardsville has a team of professionals with over 20,000 combined hours of fitness and nutrition coaching experience. For beginners, call (618) 248-4256 for a free consultation or join a CrossFit Foundations Program. For the experienced CrossFitter, drop in and experience CrossFit Edwardsville at 18 Kettle River Drive or at crossfitedwardsville.com.
Runners-up: Crossfit 557, Leisure World Health Club, NUMA Fitness, Shred in the Shed
Quernheim Funeral Services has been serving families in the metro-east area since 1858 and is still family -owned and -operated. Visit their website at quernheimfuneralhome.com or call (618) 939-6121 for more information.
Runners-up: Irwin Chapel Funeral Homes, Kassly Mortuary Ltd, Renner Funeral Home, Schildknecht Funeral Home, Wolfersberger Funeral Home
Reputation Salon is a ground-breaking salon based in Edwardsville. Reputation empowers an elite staff, skilled in the hottest styles and trends, creating an atmosphere that offers an upbeat and high tempo ambiance with down-to-earth service and prices. Visit their website at reputationsalon.com or call (618) 795-8717 to make an appointment.
Runners-up: A Flair for Hair, Elite Hair Gallery, Sizzor Shak Salon and Color Spa, Studio Eleven
HEATING & COOLING
Tiger Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning, & Electrical Service is well-equipped to handle any heating and cooling problem that may arise in and around a home. Their services include household drains, laundry floor drains, damaged water lines, frozen pipes, cracked faucets, leaky toilets and water heater installations. Visit trusttiger.com or call (618) 484-9912 for more information.
Runners-up: Crafton Plumbing Inc., Ehret Inc., Randy’s Heating and Cooling, Spengler Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Remodeling
Spencer Homes, LLC sets themselves apart by providing premium building products at premier Metro East locations. Spencer has numerous personalization options, each delivered by an experienced and dynamic team. Visit spencerhomesllc.com to learn more.
Runners-up: C.A. Jones, Inc., Osborn Properties, S&E Contracting Inc, State Construction Co.
HOME HEALTH CARE
Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association Home Care & Senior Services brings top-notch medical care and support services right to your home. They work with personal physicians to develop an individualized care plan to enable you or your loved one to recover in the comfort of home, living independently. Call them with any questions at (618) 236-5800.
Runner-up: Anchor Home Health Care
RWM Handyman & Remodel Services is family -owned and -operated. RWM Handyman is a company committed to providing both superior workmanship and fair pricing. RWM is built on ethics, integrity and quality craftsmanship without shortcuts. They help customers realize their own dreams and set expectations to build loyal lifetime partnerships. Contact RWM online at rwmhandyman.com.
HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, which maintains a Gold Seal of approval from the The Joint Commission, was founded by the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. Today, they continue the mission of the founding sisters to provide care for the sick and needy with a spirit of respect, care, competence and joy. Visit steliz.org or call (618) 234-2120 for more information.
Runners-up: Anderson Hospital, Memorial Hospital Belleville, Memorial Hospital East
Sisters Maid to Clean is a team of sisters who work together to provide premium, affordable and consistent services in an effort to allow clients to take back their time. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Country Bloomers Lawn Care, Inc. is a family -owned and -operated business. Services include: lawn treatment, mowing, landscape (design and installation), seeding, aeration, shrub trimming, snow removal, patio and retaining wall installation and mosquito control. Give Country Bloomers a call for more information: (618) 282-3012.
Runners-up: AJD Landscaping, Altered Grounds Landscaping, Slemmer Landscape & Design, Sonnenberg Landscaping
Johnston Law Offices P.C. has represented many customers throughout central and southern Illinois and Missouri in personal injury and criminal defense cases for 27 years. Johnston Law will work diligently to deliver results from a car accident or other injury case. Visit pgjlaw.com or call (618) 655-1234 for more information. Runners-up: Gori Julian & Associates, P.C., Kelley & Kelley, Norsigian Law Office, The Law Office of Amy Sholar & Kelly Stephan
LAWN AND GARDEN
Country Bloomers Lawn Care Inc. is a family -owned and -operated business. Services include: lawn treatment, mowing, landscape (design and installation), seeding, aeration, shrub trimming, snow removal, patio and retaining wall installation, and mosquito control. Give Country Bloomers a call for more information: (618) 282-3012.
Runners-up: Collinsville Ice & Fuel Company, Creekside Gardens, Slemmer Landscape and Design, Stuckmeyer Farms
FCB Banks opened in 1915 and has 13 locations in the Illinois area. FCB tellers and new account representatives happily greet their customers by name. FCB has four electronic banking options: online, mobile, tablet and telephone. To learn more, visit fcbbanks.com.
Runners-up: Best Hometown Bank, First Bank, First Community Credit Union
Blue Wave Martial Arts and Fitness is a Chung Do Kwan Tae Kwon Do school. This traditional style of martial arts training will provide students with self-defense skills, increased self-confidence, the ability to focus more readily, improved physical fitness and many other benefits. Blue Wave trains adults as well. Call (618) 692-5223 for more information.
Runners-up: Grogan’s Academy of Martial Arts, Illinois Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy, Myung Martial Arts, The Hit Squad
Soothe Massage Therapy & Bodywork is located in Glen Carbon. Soothe offers professional Swedish and Deep Tissue massages in a calming and professional atmosphere. Call (618) 792-5076 to schedule an appointment.
Scott Credit Union was founded in 1943 and now has 16 locations in Illinois and Missouri. The credit union provides members with the best overall value available. Its Home Loan Advisors are available to help members every step of the way with financing to purchase their dream home. The home loan team makes every loan decision locally. For more information visit scu.org.
Runners-up: Dieterich Bank, FCB Banks, First Bank
Lily’s Nails & Spa is the perfect place to R&R in all of Waterloo. Offering all kinds of services from massages to pedicures, Lily’s is a top-of-the-line spa at an affordable price. Call (618) 939-5001 to book an appointment or to find out more information.
Runners-up: AQ Nail Spa, DK Nails and Spa, Q Nails & Tan
Adorable Beast is a pet grooming service located at 411 Park Street Suite E in Waterloo. Adorable Beast is committed to giving your best friend the best treatment around. Call (618) 710-6004 for more information.
Runners-up: Davis Pet Hospital, Olsen Veterinary Clinic, Three Tails Parlor and Pantry, Troy Veterinary Clinic
Tiger Plumbing Services, LLC is well-equipped to handle any heating and cooling problem that may arise in and around a home. Their services include household drains, laundry floor drains, damaged water lines, frozen pipes, cracked faucets, leaky toilets and water heater installations. Visit trusttiger.com or call (618) 484-9912 for more information.
Runners-up: Crafton Plumbing Inc., Edwardsville Plumbing & Heating, Ehret Inc., Hirsch Plumbing Inc.
REAL ESTATE AGENCY
Amy Hank Real Estate Team Keller Williams treats you like family when looking for a home in the Southern Illinois area. The Amy Hank Real Estate Team Keller Williams is your go-to for finding a quality home at an amazing price. Call (618) 593-7358 to find out more today.
Runners-up: Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors, Epic Realty LLC, The Dittamore Group- Re/Max Alliance
Cardinal Catastrophe Services, Inc. is an innovative storm-related damage recovery and restoration firm with offices in Edwardsville. Cardinal Catastrophe Services specializes in recognizing storm damage, pursuing insurance claims for repair or replacement of the damaged area and then completion of the restoration work at a level that exceeds customer's expectations. Visit cardinalcat.com or call (618) 659-9800 for more information.
Runners-up: Darr Roofing, H&F Exteriors, L&J Roofing and Consulting Services, Inc.
TRAVEL AGENCY/DESTINATION SPECIALIST
Heartland Travel agents are located in Waterloo. Heartland has a team of experienced travel agents ready to help plan your dream getaway. Call Heartland at (618) 939-3838.
Runners-up: Ambassador Travel & Cruises in Downtown Belleville, Pic-A-Place Travel Inc, Travel Express, Wild About Travel-Ruma, IL