Nominations Received!

  • 3 locals with outdoor seating!

    Barismo Coffee, Za's, Olivio's and the Capitol Creamery -- I nominate a quintet of businesses that have helped to enliven Mass Ave with outdoor seating and dining options. The simple act of placing a few chairs and tables onto the sidewalk increases community interaction and makes for a more-interesting and urbane environment along East Arlington's "main street". This is a far cry from pre-2015 when speeding traffic and cars were far more dominant than today. Kudos to these businesses and let's hope more of the eating establishments along Mass Ave will follow suit! Nominated by: Phillip Goff, Arlington
  • Arlington Bait & Tackle

    As the owner of Arlington Bait & Tackle, my story is about my customers' stories -- be it about the "one that got away" or just spending time with family and friends. Owner: Rodney Zukowski
  • Arlington Diner

    My 91 year-old mother-in-law and I have been meeting there for many, many years! They know us there! Anonymous, Arlington
  • ArtBeat

    Artbeat has seen my kids grown up. Our household is filled with the items my kids have made over the years, from the first sand art my older daughter made when she was four and the rubbings my younger one made when she was three. Since then, our house has gradually acquired votive candle holders, sun catchers, decoupage candle sticks, decoupage napkin rings, painted boxes, jewels bowls, mixed media wooden frog wall art and more. What could be better than a walk-in art studio? The idea became so central to our family, we created one in our house!
  • ArtBeat

    This year, Art Beat is sponsoring a contest called "Follow That Fox" where children can find 15 brightly-colored foxes lining Mass Ave. One hot day early in July, my 5 year-old daughter and I set out to find all of the foxes. I was impressed that there were trivia questions associated with each fox, and I managed to learn some new trivia about Arlington that I had not known before. When we turned in our trivia sheet, we were entered into a raffle, which was my daughter's favorite part. She won the raffle, and when we picked up the prize, she proceeded to hug it for the rest of the afternoon. That prize - a mobile of the solar system - ended up being a collaborative craft that she completed with me, her father, and her grandparents. My story does not have much suspense or narrative arc, but what it does show is how one store - Art Beat - created multiple experiences for me and my family to spend quality, creative time with one another. Shauna Pellauer, Arlington
  • ArtWear

    In early November of 2015 my mom lost her husband of 72 years. A few months later I took her to Artwear. It was a risky venture. Even in the best of times, my mom's not a big shopper and although at 92 she still has a great figure, she's often critical of how things look on her. I knew that Gerry and her staff are always honest and will tell you if something doesn't look quite right, so when they raved about how things looked on my Mom, I believed them and so did she. We walked out of the store with two terrific new outfits (much hipper than my mom usually buys!) and for the first time since my father's death I knew that my Mom still had an appetite for life and that she would be all right. Nominated by: Leslie Lawrence, Cambridge
  • ArtWear

    The first time my daughter Stella and I went to Artwear, she started sketching the jewelry she saw there. Owner Gerry Menz struck up a conversation with her about the sketches and about art and fashion. She was so sweet to my then 6 or 7-year-old daughter. Since then we have visited many times (Stella is now 11) and Stella and Gerry have developed a friendship. Stella chose Gerry as her subject for the Arlington Center for the Art's 5th grade "Humans of Arlington" exhibit. We love going to Artwear and seeing Gerry and her beautiful clothes and accessories. Nominated by: Deb Wachenheim
  • B&R Glass

    I've lived in Arlington in a two family house since 1984. The house has over 40 windows! So, that is a lot of screens, sashes, and glass to deal with. The guys at B and R Glass are great - one of the last of this kind of business, they repair and make screens for the very specific architecture of East Arlington. I've also had them cut glass or plexi for my frames over the years. An old shop, not renovated, nothing fancy about it, the guys who work there are always nice and accommodating. I believe that it is a family business. Often when I go in, there are a group of older men, probably neighborhood friends, who like to congregate and chat with the owner. It's kind of nice that I can just walk or drive five minutes and have them take care of my window problems. So much nicer than having to go to a big box store. This is one of the many reasons I love East Arlington. B and R. Anonymous, Arlington
  • Barismo

    I love Barismo. Love their coffees but also the relaxed atmosphere there and the people I meet. I always stop there to get a coffee of some type and take it up to spy pond and sit and sip and chill with my dog Izzy. I nominate them!!! Nominated by: Laurinda Bedingfield, Somerville
  • Capitol Theatre

    I had never set foot in the Capitol Theatre in East Arlington until I was given the position of General Manager. Even though I was going in blind, coming to work here is the best thing I have ever done. It has changed my life completely. It was at the Capitol that I got to meet the kids of Arlington, as they were hired, grew up, and left for bigger and better things. It was here that I got to meet the families of Arlington, as they came to baby matinees and then to birthday parties. It was at the Capitol that I first met my husband. (He had worked there when he was in high school, and had come by to visit old friends.) It was at the Capitol that my husband proposed to me. It happened late at night, after we had closed. I said “Yes!” at the corner of the concession stand-the place where we had first met. It was at the Capitol that we gathered our family and friends for our wedding. It was because of the Capitol that we bought our home in Arlington. It is at the Capitol that I plan to raise my own kids someday. The Capitol Theatre will always have a special place in my heart, and in East Arlington! Nominated by: Jamie Mattchen, Arlington
  • Christo's Fruit Market

    I love Christos! I love walking up the street for fresh fruits and veggies whenever I need them! I love exploring all the tasty import foods! The breads are great! The deli foods are fresh and convenient! I even took my little grandson there to do his Christmas shopping! As the holidays approached and we discussed gift giving, my four year old grandson wanted to get gifts for his parents. I told him to think about what they like. "Mommy likes tea! Daddy likes coffee!" We made a plan to go shopping after preschool one day. He insisted that "Mommy and Daddy like Christos!" So off we went to Christos. And, sure enough, we arrived home with lovely tea and coffee to wrap up for Mommy and Daddy! Nominated by: Jocye Dwyer, Arlington
  • Christo's Fruit Market

    How to enjoy the delicacies of the Mediterranean from 4 blocks away in East Arlington? Christo’s Fruit Market is that piece of Greece only 4 blocks from my house. OK, I’ve shopped at Christo’s for all the years I’ve lived in Arlington - fresh produce, canned dolmades, fresh feta and spanakopita. But it was the day I discovered their Greek yogurt that was my real Day of Discovery. Not sweet, not crammed with icky sweet things, Christo’s bulk yogurt is simply thick, creamy, slightly tart. Alone it’s yummy, but mash into it a ripe banana, a few blueberries and maybe a handful of uncooked oatmeal, it’s exquisite! Long has this mixture been a breakfast favorite. Enjoying the foods of Greece -- brought to me by Chris, Georgia and Jim -- from my East Arlington perch. Nominated by: Emily
  • Clay Dreams

    Last year I couldn't figure out what to give my partner for Valentine's Day. Then I poked my head into ClayDreams -- what a magical place, filled with all kinds of functional and whimsical pottery painted by people of all ages. I decided to paint a plate for him, and chose one just the right size for his standard lunch: peanutbutter sandwich. I came up with a design with with snakes and hearts -- because he's a musician and his band is called the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, and, well, hearts are for love, of course! But then I waited until the last minute to pick it up, and then got caught in traffic; called the owner to see if she would stay open late on Valentine's Day so I could pick it up in time. I could tell she wanted to go home after a long day, but she agreed, so that I wouldn't have to go to dinner empty-handed. I'm betting this is just one of the countless kind things she has done for customers over the years. Cecily Miller, Cambridge
  • Clip Joint

    My dog is very picky about who he'll let pet him or groom him. He loved Julie, the groomer from day one! She is amazing, loving and so talented with her grooming. Wouldn't take my pet anywhere else! Nominated by Jeffrey
  • Continentale Salon

    The owner of the salon is a super kind and talented man who opened his business in the same East Arlington location it is still in today when he was less than 20 years old! There was nothing else on the block except Quebrada Bakery which was selling only wholesale at the time. He has built a successful business over many years (check with him about the exact number) and has clients who drive from other states to get their hair done because they have known him from the beginning. I have met some of these people several times and now I too understand how they feel. He has even been a successful matchmaker! When I asked my librarian friends where I might take my mother to have her hair done, they all answered, "take her to Joey, of course!" He has been so sweet to her and done such a great job, that she won't consider going anywhere else and we both look forward to our visits.
  • Derby Farms

    Derby Farms in the Capitiol Theatre Building in East Arlington always has an artful display of unique, colorful, quirky, elegant and attractive items that never fails to fascinate passerby! Nominated by: Ed Gordon, Arlington
  • Fashion at the Fox (once a thrift store, now an occasional clothing sale at the Fox Library)

    I wanted to nominate Mary Ellen DeNatale and Judy Hoer for the inspiration they provided, as well as the ongoing support they provide for the Friends of the Fox. The two of them were two of the three key founders of a thrift shop they started in the basement of the Fox Library which benefited the public schools. They were extremely successful for many years and greatly loved by the community. When they decided to close the shop, they contacted me as President of the Friends of the Fox to suggest that another shop could use the space to raise funds for the library. Though the Little Fox Shop ended up upstairs, the inspiration, client base, and advice Mary Ellen and Judy provided was a big help. Then the two of them decided that since the shop upstairs was only for kids' items, they would have women's clothing, accessory, and houseware sales a few times a year in the basement. Fashion at the Fox sales were created and their customers were thrilled to have them back, lining up down the street before each sale happens. It is a much loved Arlington community event (though people come from all over for the beautiful items at amazing prices!) Mary Ellen and Judy continue to be very important friends of the Fox. They have worked very hard and have raised a lot of money to support the mission of the Friends of the Fox. Arlington is very lucky to have them!
  • Fox Library Little Fox Resale Shop

    Because we had a baby and were looking around for affordable things – clothes, toys – and we are fine with second hand. Seemed like I was coming every week while I was pregnant! The shop had everything we needed, in great condition. Nominated by: Anonymous, Arlington
  • Luv and other Gifts

    Diane Buxton, her Luv shop and her pug Nigel are so welcoming! Nigel rushes to greet me with his tail wagging. Diane shows me the latest in the scarves, bags and notecards I rely on her to have. Once I found a long scarf/wrap that was perfect for a sister's birthday. I liked it so much that I bought two more for gifts, and Diane ordered another color for yet another gift. A vegan bag was the same choice for family gifts a year later when everyone had the scarves. When the color isn't perfect for the gift I have in mind, Diane pulls out her catalogs to find me on that is. And Diane and Nigel always welcome a visit when I am walking through the neighborhood, even when I am not buying. They are neighbors, not just a gift store. Bonnie Payne, Arlington
  • Luv and Other Gifts

    Luv is an amazing and very special store to me. The artistic owner, Diane Buxton, is so thoughtful and talented in her selection of merchandise and in sponsoring of community events. Whether it be finding a housewarming gift for a new neighbor, a piece of beautiful jewelry for my niece (year in and year out), a vase & other handmade art objects for my own home, along sponsoring a band at the neighborhood Porch Fest - Luv is the place to go. Luv now has dog gear - toys, treats and more - so my four legged dogs also are well taken care of. Tonight I purchased a beautiful gift card along with an artistic gift for friends. Luv makes East Arlington more vibrant in terms of both shopping options and community outreach. Thanks Luv, Nigel (the store mascot) and Diane. I will be shopping here all fall and this holiday season 2016 for treasured gift giving. So join me in shopping and enjoying the community events sponsored at Luv! Nominated by: Liz McKersie, Arlington
  • Maxima Gift Center

    Each and every time I enter Maxima, I am greeted by the wonderful owners Brian and Jelena, who are also married and parents of Arlington school-age kids. They juggle their lives between their store, family, and love of community. Brian is from the greater Boston area, Jelena came from Serbia. They started Maxima Art Center 19 years ago and have survived ups and downs in this Capitol Square neighborhood. No matter how busy they are, they will always take time out to talk and check in with me about how I am doing, and actually make an effort to engage and converse with my daughter. I have noticed that they do this with each and every person that enters that store. These special moments of getting to know and determining why a customer is in the shop and what they are looking for - makes the experience of stepping into this store personable and familiar. There are necklaces, teacups, socks, stuffed toys, cards, scarves, books, soaps, and much, much more - each store item meticulously chosen by the owners to complement the needs of the evolving community. It is a go-to place for me to not only buy a stylish gift for a close friend or work colleague, but also toys for newborns or gifts for young kids. In this day of megastores and anonymity, it is the opposite - the quintessential experience of a community boutique tucked into this brightly painted red and green exterior storefront. Nominated by: Anonymous
  • Maxima Gift Store

    Maxima wins for friendliest store! Whenever I come in, I inevitably get wrapped up in conversation with the owners about our kids, about the schools, the neighborhood, politics, anything and everything. Often, I forget what I came in for, but realize I've gotten just what I need! Nominated by: Stephanie Marlin-Curiel, Arlington
  • Menotomy Beer and Wine

    Every Friday and Saturday evenings, neighbors from all over E Arlington meet here to taste beers and wines, and to make friends, play with the dogs, see how babies and children have grown, tell the week's stories. Everyone is welcomed by Mary, Neil, Wally, Jean, Mike. We learn about what we are tasting, but mostly we have fun, compare notes on beer, wine, spirits and life. Conversations that started during the tastings continue as friendships are made. It is a weekly event we don't miss when we are home and are always happy to return to after travel. Recently, a member of this community died. It was wonderful to see the people who work there and buy there gather as a community of friends to honor and celebrate him. Menotomy B&W is an E Arlington treasure. Bonnie Payne, Arlington
  • Olympic Pizza

    An Arlington family tradition - wonderful pizza, pasta and fresh salads! A wonderful neighborhood place. Nominated by: Carole Belgrade, Arlington.
  • Que Brada Bakery

    Deb has worked at Quebrada for as long as I remember. She is the friendliest person - kind, warm. She makes a cofffee and that shop special - whether I'm running in for a coffee, or my two kids are being made to feel special when Deb hands them a muffin. She is a special person who anyone who visits Quebrada could tell you a nice story about.
  • Sugo Mia

    Homemade traditional Italian food made with love. Nominated by: Carole Belgrade, Arlington
  • Sugo's

    Sugo's had just opened. It was a hot day and we walked in for a drink. What drink do my kids want most on a hot day - lemonade! It wasn't even on the menu yet, but the owner said he could make one for us anyway. He proceeded to create a special blend of lemons and sugar water swirled in a tumbler like mixed drink. What came out was the best lemonade we had ever had. My daughter's have told all their friends, and they have told their friends, and so on...
  • Thailand Cafe

    Andy, cook and waiter, will personalize your order. Always friendly, he remembers you and your preferences. If you tell him "no green peppers," he will gladly substitute broccoli, if you ask. Fresh veggies, delicious food. Nominated by: Carol
  • Za's Pizza

    On a cold December night 2 years ago I went to Za with my brother, who is a middle-aged man with Down Syndrome and my teenaged daughter. We got a table in the middle of the restaurant and in the path between front windows and kitchen. Frances and I shed our heavy coats and put them on the backs of our chairs. For my brother the process was harder because his disability requires him to take time with multi-step tasks. Robert sat down,pushed his chair back 2 feet and took off his hat and gloves. As he stuffed them into his jacket pocket, Jeff, the Za manager, approached our table from behind Robert. He couldn't pass through to the kitchen to send in food and drink orders because my brother's chair blocked the path. Jeff's options, as I saw them, were to zigzag around our table or ask Robert to move his chair. Instead Jeff stood behind my brother with a calm smile that told us there was no place he'd rather be. He stayed there while Robert and I removed and stashed his coat, vest and sweatshirt. Jeff helped Robert push in his chair and said "Enjoy your evening." Then he proceeded to the kitchen. I've never passed Za without remembering how Jeff's patience us a dignity that's not often there for disabled people and their families as we navigate public places.
  • Za's Pizza

    Za’s – it’s friendly, laid back, and feels like home! Nominated by: Anonymous, Arlington
  • Zhu Vegan Fuels a First Date

    I was on my first date a year after a long-term relationship broke up. We’d had a nice walk on the bike path, were having a great conversation so I suggested lunch. We got in my car and I said, “How about Pizza” and he said, “Hmmmm” meaning “I’m not really a pizza eater” and I said, “Well, I think this pizza place probably has vegan and gluten-free pizza” So we headed for Za, but I could tell he wasn’t happy. I pulled into a spot a block away, on the corner of Mass Ave and Edgerton and before we got out of the car I said, “Well, if you could have ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING what would you want to eat?” and he said “Wow - something vegan, maybe Asian.” I got out of the car walked to the first window - and there was a menu for Zhu - Asian Vegan. “You mean like this?” I said. “YES!” he said. We had a great lunch and since then Zhu has become my go-to place for healthy comfort-food, celebration meals and take-out. Did we have another date? No, but I’ve been back to Zhu a LOT! My favorites? Seitan Spare Ribs and Egglant Green Beans. Deborah Henson-Conant, Arlington