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June 24, 2004

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• Best of the Berkshires

Best of the Berkshires

County Life

Best mayor
Mayor James Ruberto of Pittsfield
Jim Ruberto, bringing new energy to Pittsfield's City Hall, edged out John Barrett of North Adams by a slight margin. Mayor Barrett was the winner in 2002 and 2003.

Best state legislator
State Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli, D-Lenox
"Smitty" Pignatelli certainly inspires loyalty in his constituents, being a consistent winner in this contest. State Rep. Shaun P. Kelly, R-Dalton, and State Sen. Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., D-Pittsfield, were also big vote-getters in this category.

Best politician
State Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli, D-Lenox
The extremely popular Mr. Pignatelli won this category in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Best college
Berkshire Community College
1350 West St., Pittsfield
BCC has been the winner here since we introduced this category in 2001. Williams College in Williamstown and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams also earned kudos from our readers.

Best non-profit organization
American Red Cross
The American Red Cross was a winner in 2002, was edged out by the United Way last year, and has made a comeback in this year's competition. Support the Red Cross and the community by giving blood if you can, donations are always welcome.

Best radio station
WBRK -- FM 'Star 101.7'
Wow -- this is the eighth win for WBRK.

Best DJ
Eric Craig
Eric Craig, on the air at WBEC-FM 105.5 with his Party, Party show, won this year, passing former favorites Rick Beltaire and Joanne Billow.

Best place to get a pet
Berkshire Humane Society
214 Barker Road, Pittsfield
There is absolutely no contest here -- the Humane Society has won this category for eight straight years. If you haven't been to see the wonderful new facility, it’s worth a trip. And if you can, make a donation to help all the animals.

Food & Drink

Best restaurant
The Chowder House
565 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
Wow -- people in the Berkshires really love their restaurants, voting for more than 100 different establishments in this year's contest. But the Chowder House won, beating runners-up the Dakota, Mazzeo’s, Kneebones and many others.

Best Italian restaurant
Jimmy's Stonebridge Restaurant
114 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield
Jimmy’s is a long-time favorite, having won this contest before. Mazzeo’s was a very close second place.

Best Chinese restaurant
Debbie Wong Restaurant
315 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
Chinese food is very popular here in the Berkshires -- Panda House and Chee's got lots of votes, but Debbie Wong got the most this year.

Best Japanese restaurant
Bizen Gourmet Japanese Cuisine and Sushi Bar
17 Railroad St., Great Barrington
This lovely restaurant features authentic sushi, tatami rooms, Japanese atmosphere -- a real dining experience.

Best steakhouse
Kneebone's Steakhouse
5 Cheshire Road, Pittsfield
Kneebone’s repeats last year’s win, but they were neck-in-neck with the Dakota in this category.

Best restaurant for breakfast
Misty Moonlight Diner
505 East St., Pittsfield
The Misty Moonlight was way out front in this contest. Must be those incredible blueberry pancakes!

Best diner
Misty Moonlight Diner
505 East St., Pittsfield
A clear winner, serving breakfast all day long, as well as burgers, fries and a fun '50s atmosphere.

Best fast food
Locations in Adams, North Adams, Lenox, Lee, Pittsfield and Great Barrington
Big Mac takes the prize again this year. Wendy’s was pretty close, with Burger King another popular choice.

Best pizza
Pizza Hut
Locations in Pittsfield, Lee and North Adams
The pizza wars continue, with a number of great restaurants garnering reader votes. Pizza Hut came out ahead, with Papa Gino's and Tyler Street coming in next.

Best hot dog
Teo's Hot Dogs
1410 East St., Pittsfield
This place is truly a local legend -- they win this category with ease year after year.

Best sub
Locations in Pittsfield, Williamstown, Great Barrington, Lee, Dalton and North Adams
Subway is popular, but the people at Angelina’s really know how to make a good sandwich. This is Angelina’s seventh win in this contest.

Best bar
Matt Reilly's Restaurant
Route 7, Lanesboro, on Pontoosuc Lake
Order a drink and sit out on the deck overlooking the lake. Enjoy an evening in the Berkshires at this great local spot.

Best ice cream
Ben & Jerry's
179 South St., Pittsfield, and 50 Water St., Lee
The top 10 flavors, according to the Ben & Jerry’s Web site, are Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Cherry Garcia frozen yogurt, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, New York Super Fudge Chunk, Phish Food, Half Baked, vanilla and Chocolate Fudge Brownie frozen yogurt. What a great summer treat.

Best bakery
Morningside Bakery
283 Tyler St., Pittsfield
No contest -- Morningside is a perennial winner. Their doughnuts are terrific.

Best donut shop
Dunkin' Donuts
Locations in Adams, Great Barrington, Lee, Pittsfield, North Adams, and Williamstown
Everyone loves Dunkin’ Donuts -- and lots of Eagle staffers make a special trip for the coffee.

Best bagel shop
Bagels Too
166 North St., Pittsfield
Bagels Too wins for the eighth year -- fresh bagels baked on the premises just can't be beat.

Best coffee shop
Juice and Java
Locations in Dalton, Lee and Pittsfield
Dunkin' Donuts gave Juice and Java a run for their money in this category, but Juice and Java, with comfy places to sit, chat, and savor those lattes, came in first.

Best supermarket
Price Chopper
Locations in Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, North Adams and Pittsfield
This is the third win in a row for Price Chopper.

Best butcher
Harry's Supermarket
290 Wahconah St. and 37 Elm St., Pittsfield
Harry’s is a real reader favorite, winning this category once again.

Best deli
Samel's Deli and Catering
115 Elm St., Pittsfield
This is win number four for this popular local deli. Joe’s Lunchbox came in second.

Best fresh seafood market
Masse's Seafood
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace
1020 South St., Pittsfield
Masse’s has won this category over and over again -- and no wonder, the seafood is great.

Best produce
Guido's Fresh Marketplace
1020 South St., Pittsfield
Eight-time winner Guido’s is a local landmark for beautiful fruit and vegetables.

Best liquor store
George's Liquor Store
19 Elm St., Pittsfield
George’s wins for the fourth year in a row, a real local favorite.

Best wine selection
Nejaime's Wine Cellars
Locations in Lenox and Stockbridge
For fine wine, this is where Berkshirites go to shop, winning year after year.

Best caterer
Lakeside Restaurant and Catering
287 South State Road, Cheshire
Lakeside offers catering for barbecues, weddings, showers, clam bakes -- they'll cover any event!

Goods & Services

Best record shop
Coconuts Music and More
555 Hubbard Ave., Pittsfield
Need music? Try Coconuts, the winner in this category once again.

Best video store
Hollywood Video
690 Merrill Road and 455 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
Whether VHS or DVD, Hollywood has the latest movies -- and a lot of satisfied customers, as they have won this contest again.

Best toy store
K-B Toys
Locations in Lanesboro, Pittsfield and Lee
This home-grown business has no competition -- they have the toys kids want.

Best antique dealer
Berkshire Hills Coins and Estate Jewelry
222 Elm St., Pittsfield
Loyal customers who value expertise in coin collecting have voted this Berkshire favorite into first place.

Best housewares shop
676 Merrill Road, Pittsfield
In spite of some competition from the new Linens 'N Things, Homegoods wins this category again. Check them out for great discount prices.

Best frame shop
Pasko Frame and Gift Center
243 North St., Pittsfield
Pasko's, a longtime fixture on North Street, is a reader favorite, winning this category once again.

Best gift shop
Uniques Home and Gift Originals
61 Cheshire Road, Pittsfield
All the readers who like this shop, voting it best in the category again, will be sad to learn it has gone out of business.

Best jeweler
Crown Jewelers
Allendale Shopping Center, Pittsfield
Crown Jewelers has been a big winner in this contest before, and they are the reader's favorite this year.

Best bridal shop
Deidre's Great Clothes Etc.
75 North St., Pittsfield
Winning this category for the third year, Deidre’s continues to be a great place to shop for bridal, proms, workâ they even have pajamas!

Best appliance store
Mike's Maytag
442 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield
Mike’s is a long-time choice for local customers, winning once again.

Best electronics store
Best Buy
Berkshire Mall, Lanesboro
Last year's winner, Best Buy has certainly won over Eagle readers.

Best computer store
Best Buy
Berkshire Mall, Lanesboro
In a close race with Staples, Best Buy won this category for the second year in a row.

Best office supply store
555 Hubbard Ave., Pittsfield
No contest -- Staples has been winning this category since we began this contest.

Best hardware store
Carr Hardware
Locations in Pittsfield, Lee and Great Barrington
Eight years in a row -- when Berkshire residents think hardware, they think Carr's.

Best women's clothing store
Berkshire Mall, Lanesboro
Win number eight for this popular local department store.

Best men's clothing store
Steven Valenti Clothes for Men
157 North St., Pittsfield
Steven Valenti wins over his customers with personal service, easily triumphing in this contest again.

Best shoe store
Jim's House of Shoes
235 North St., Pittsfield
This family-owned business is a favorite with Eagle readers, year after year.

Best tattoo and body art shop
Crazy Chameleon Exotic Body Piercing and Tattooing
56 Elm St., Pittsfield
Crazy Chameleon's loyal customers made sure they would win by a landslide this year.

Best beauty salon
The Clip Shop
Locations in Pittsfield, Williamstown and Bennington
More than 75 different shops collected votes in this category, but the Clip Shop came out on top. Hair Express, last year's winner, and Mane Focus were the nearest competitors.

Best barber shop
Sim's Barber Shop
103 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
Win number eight for this tried and true local business.

Best drug store
Brooks Pharmacy
Locations in Adams, Great Barrington, Lee, North Adams, Pittsfield and Williamstown
They must be doing something right -- Eagle readers have voted Brooks into first place once again.

Best dry cleaner
Royal Cleaners
68 Dalton Ave. and 180 Elm St., Pittsfield
Royal has won in the past, and they continue to be popular.

Best photographer
Sunshine Photographics
20 McKay St., Pittsfield
Sunshine is the full-service stop for photos -- if it has to do with photography, they can handle it!

Best florist
Viale's Florist
100 Wahconah St., Pittsfield
Viale’s has been a popular winner in this category, and they follow last year’s triumph with another title.

Best garden shop
Agway Inc.
Locations in Great Barrington, Pittsfield and Williamstown
Dr. Lahey's, Ward’s and Jaeschke’s are popular garden centers, but Agway was the clear winner, once again.

Best bank
Greylock Federal Credit Union
Locations in Adams, Great Barrington, Lee, North Adams and Pittsfield
Greylock was the clear favorite in this category, winning for the fourth year in a row.

Best furniture store
Pittsfield Furniture Co.
2 Brown St., Pittsfield
The Pittsfield Furniture Company edged out last year's favorite, Paul Rich and Sons.

Best realtor (individual)
Jennifer Segala, broker/owner of Steepleview Realty
Locations in Adams, Great Barrington and North Adams
Jennifer Segala won in this tough category, with a large number of Realtors nominated by happy homeowners.

Best realty company
Century 21
Locations in Becket, Great Barrington, Lee and Pittsfield
With the housing market booming, Century 21 is the winner with Eagle readers.

Best printer
American Speedy
46 West St., Pittsfield
American Speedy wins, offering services from offset printing to desktop publishing.

Best musical instrument shop
Wood Bros. Music
Allendale Shopping Center, Pittsfield
This is win number eight for this perennial local favorite.

Best carpet store
Steven's World of Carpets
Allendale Shopping Center, Pittsfield
Year after year, Steven’s wins the votes of Eagle readers.

Best heating contractor
Don Davis Heating, Cooling & Plumbing
316 Merrill Road, Pittsfield
With Berkshire winters being so cold, it's good to know a good heating contractor!

Best car wash
Tyler Street Car Wash Center
560 Tyler St., Pittsfield
Tyler Street is the place to go -- winning first place. Elm Street came in second.

Best new car dealer
Pete's Chrysler, Kia and Pete’s Motors
652 East St., Pittsfield and 398 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington
Lots of competition in the automobile business -- so congratulations to Pete’s for winning!

Best used car dealer
Haddad Dealerships
Locations in Pittsfield and North Adams
This popular dealership has been a "Best of the Berkshires" winner before -- thanks to those loyal customers.

Best auto repair
Johnson Dealerships
694 East St., Pittsfield
Last year's winner triumphs again -- they must do good work!

Best tire dealer
City Tire Company
560 Hubbard Ave., Pittsfield
Rolling, rolling, rolling -- good tires are a must and City Tire was the clear winner in this category.


Best cultural attraction
Sheeptacular Pittsfield!
Locations all over Pittsfield
The 70 decorated sheep that make up this public art project have been attracting attention since they were unveiled, bringing a sense of color and whimsy to the city.

Best museum
The Berkshire Museum
39 South St., Pittsfield
With Wally the stegosaurus to welcome visitors, the Berkshire Museum remains the most popular family museum in the county.

Best art gallery
The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South St., Williamstown
With an exceptional permanent collection and significant travelling exhibits every summer, the Clark is one of the Berkshires most important cultural destinations.

Best historical attraction
Hancock Shaker Village
Routes 20 and 41, Hancock
With beautifully restored buildings, gardens and animals, and lots of events and demonstrations, a visit to Hancock Shaker Village is always a rewarding experience.

Best live theater
Williamstown Theatre Festival
Adams Memorial Theatre, Route 2, Williamstown
Celebrating 50 years of wonderful productions, and their last year in the Adams Memorial Theatre, a visit to the WTF is always a treat.

Best place for concerts
297 West St., Lenox
The summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is a beautiful spot to hear music -- classical, jazz and popular.

Best movie theater
Regal Cinemas
Berkshire Mall, Lanesboro
There's not much competition in this category, with Eagle readers voting it the winner another year in a row.

Best bookstore
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
555 Hubbard Ave., Pittsfield
This great bookstore wins year after year.

Best singer/songwriter
David Grover
David Grover and his Big Bear Band are beloved of children across the county. To hear his grown-up music, catch his act at the Lion's Den in Stockbridge.

Sports & Recreation

Best fitness gym
Berkshire Nautilus
42 Summer St., Pittsfield
This gym has been a perennial winner with Eagle voters.

Best swimming
Locations in North Adams and Pittsfield
You can't beat those great indoor pools, whether swimming in competition, for health or for recreation.

Best downhill skiing
Jiminy Peak Resort
It's always a close race between Jiminy Peak and Bousquet -- this year, Jiminy wins!

Best golf course
Berkshire Hills Country Club
Benedict Road, Pittsfield
There are a number of fine courses in the county, so congratulations to Berkshire Hills for being voted in first place.

Best putt-putt golf course
Baker's Golf Center
658 South Main St., Lanesboro
Once again, Baker’s is the winner for great family fun.

Best sporting goods store
Dick Moon Sporting Goods
114 Fenn St., Pittsfield
This is always a tight race, with Dave's and Klein’s gaining quite a few votes -- but Dick Moon had the most votes in this year’s contest.

Best bowling alley
Ken's Bowl
495 Dalton Ave., Pittsfield
Ken’s Bowl is the runaway favorite with the voters in this contest!

Best place to buy a bike
Plaine's Bike, Ski, Snowboard
55 West Housatonic St., Pittsfield
Gaining an eighth win, Plaine’s is the clear favorite of Eagle readers.

Best horseback riding
GreenBriar Farm
100 Jackson Road, Savoy
This award-winning riding stable, run by owner-trainer Sandy Brazee, was the winner for equine enthusiasts in this year's contest.

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