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Baltimore's Best

Baltimore Sun’s Best: Readers’ Choice 2022 lifestyle & shopping destinations

The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to veterinary practice. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.

Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.

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For more categories, go to baltimoresun.com/best.

Best Antiques, Consignment/Resale Shop

Belle Patri

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8895 McGaw Road. Suite F, Columbia. 410-401-4115. bellepatri.com

The theme song for the 80s sitcom “Cheers,” said “there’s one place in the world where everybody knows your name,” but shoppers of Belle Patri would argue there are two.

“You get a little personal touch with each of the customers, because you’re seeing the stuff that they’re bringing you, and we get to know them by name. It’s kind of like our ‘Cheers,’” said Jennifer Lane, owner of Belle Patri.

Opening 15 years ago in Jarrettsville and expanding five years ago to the Columbia location, Belle Patri offers new and consignment home decor.

Working with manufacturers and the more than 14,000 consignors who contribute to the inventory, everyday home decorators and interior designers alike look to Belle Patri to zhoosh their spaces.

“There have been just some amazing pieces that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before,” said Ashley Brewer, who has managed the Columbia store since it opened. “I’ve seen an antique card catalog, an antique work tool bench that a customer later shared that they turned it into a kitchen island, and there’s just so many gorgeous pieces that you’re not going to find in a brand new storefront.”

But Brewer said it’s the personable nature of Belle Patri that keeps customers coming.

“Almost like you’re shopping with a friend, versus going into a regular retail store and just being another customer,” Brewer explained.

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Belle Patri also offers events like paint classes and ladies nights, as well as in-store decorating consultations and in-home interior design.

The personable ethos behind Belle Patri roots from its founding, when Lane moved from California to Maryland.

“Not knowing anybody, I wanted a creative outlet, so when my daughter was in preschool I met another gal, and she and I opened the store together. Then, about a year after, she called it quits and went back to being a stay at home mom, and I continued on with it and have grown and progressed with it,” Lane said.

Now, Belle Patri is a family business with Lane’s husband as the “I.T. department,” her children as major contributors and a longtime, loyal staff.

“I started when [my daughter] was in preschool, my son was not born yet — he’s my delivery service and she’s graduating college and coming back and planning to take over,” she said.

Employees praised Lane’s ability to grow Belle Patri, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We were shut down for that time period, but Jennifer set up the website so you can buy everything that we had in either store online,” Brewer said.

To this day, online shopping, transferring items between stores and delivery is still an option.

“We try to cater to our customers in every way possible.”

— Micha Green


Antiques: Belle Patri

Honorable mentions:

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Shabby Button LLC

Charlotte Elliott and The Bookstore Next Door

Cornerstone Antiques, Consignments & New Home Furnishings

Barbershop: Blue Spark Barbershop

Honorable mentions:

The Old Bank Barbers

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Sam’s Barber & Styling Inc.

Old Line Barbers

Barre class: Inline Barre

Honorable mentions:

ACAC Timonium Fitness & Wellness Center

Raise The Barre - Studio of Dance

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The Bar Method Baltimore

Bicycle shop: Joe’s Bike Shop

Honorable mentions:

Baltimore Bicycle Works

Bicycle Connection

Princeton Sports

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Bookstore: The Ivy Bookshop

Honorable mentions:

Atomic Books

Snug Books, LLC

Charm City Books

Braiding: TheZe HandZ Braiding Studio

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Honorable mentions:

Rose African Hair Braiding

Braids & Beauty

Bridal shop: Jill Andrews Gowns

Honorable mentions:

K&B Bridals

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Gamberdella

Betsy Robinson’s Bridal

Brow threading: Charm City Skin

Honorable mentions:

Usha Threading Salon and Spa

Neha Threading Salon & Spa

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ELV8 Brows & Beauty

Car dealership: Jones Junction

Honorable mentions:

Heritage Honda Parkville

Lexus of Towson

Brown’s Honda City

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Children’s clothing: Tried But True

Honorable mention:

Wee Chic Green Spring Station

The Pied Piper

Clothing boutique: Karma

Honorable mentions:

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Apricot Lane Boutique

Doubledutch Boutique

Sweet Elizabeth Jane

Consignment/resale shop: Belle Patri

Honorable mentions:

Second Chance Inc.

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The Turnover Shop

Vogue Revisited

Day spa: Brightwater the Spa at Skin Care Institute

Honorable mentions:

About Faces Day Spa & Salon

Indu Wellness

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The Loft Bodywork Collective

Gifts: Chase Street Accessories & Engraving

Honorable mentions:

Found Studio | Shop

In Watermelon Sugar

Yeht Company

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Grocery store: Wegmans

Honorable mentions:

Eddie’s of Roland Park

MOM’s Organic Market

ALDI

Gym: Dr. Baltimore Big House Fitness Justin Inman

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Honorable mentions:

Unboxed Boxing and Fitness

Merritt Clubs

The Orokawa Y in Towson

Hair salon: Rock Paper Scissors The Salon

Honorable mentions:

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hello bonita Hair Salon

Fringe Baltimore

Chop Shop

Health food/supplement store: MOM’s Organic Market

Honorable mentions:

Whole Foods Market

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David’s Natural Market

The Natural Market

Jeweler: Lakein’s Jewelers of Hamilton

Honorable mentions:

Smyth Jewelers

The Parisian Flea

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Radcliffe Jewelers

Liquor store: Total Wine & More

Honorable mentions:

The Wine Source

Wells Discount Liquors

Amendment 21

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Martial arts classes: Perry Hall White Tiger Martial Arts

Honorable mentions:

Cadet Martial Arts & Fitness

Kells Karate Academy

A.J. Bartlinski’s Karate Supercenter

Medispa: Dr. Sarah Mess and LifeMed Institute (tie)

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Honorable mentions:

Chesapeake Skin Solutions

Faces Med Spa

BRIGHTWATER The Spa at Skin Care Institute

Menswear: Gian Marco Menswear

Honorable mentions:

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John’s Men’s Clothing

Tom James Co.

Benedetto Haberdashery

Music lessons: Baltimore School of Music

Honorable mentions:

Hamiltone Music

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School of Rock

Joe Stone Guitar

Pet goods store: Howl

Honorable mentions:

Mutt Mart

The Mill of Bel Air

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Pet Depot Inc.

Pool: Padonia Swim Club

Honorable mentions:

Swan Lake Swim Club

Roosevelt Park Pool

White Marsh Swim Club

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Retirement community: Broadmead

Honorable mentions:

Residences at Vantage Point in Columbia

Oak Crest Senior Living Community

Roland Park Place

Shoe store: Van Dyke & Bacon Shoes

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Honorable mentions:

DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse

Poppy & Stella on Thames

Falls Road Running Store

Spin class: ACAC Timonium Fitness & Wellness Center, Core Cycle Studios, REV Cycle Studio Brewers Hill (tie)

Honorable mention:

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Tribe Cycle

Thrift store: Savers

Honorable mention:

Second Chance Inc.

Dish Baltimore

Dish Baltimore

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Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

2nd Ave Thrift Superstore

St. Luke’s Church on the Avenue

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Yoga studio: Aluma Yoga

Honorable mentions:

Yoga Union Baltimore

BreakAway Yoga Studio

The Yoga Center of Columbia


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