Best of the City 2012

Photograph by Chris Smith

Furniture Repair

RM Reuther Refinishing
“I started gluing chairs on the kitchen table when I was 12,” says Bob Reuther of the apprenticeship he served with his father. Reuther spent his childhood and teen years working with his dad at his shop, Spot Master Furniture. Reuther also works with area craftsmen like Flottemesch cabinetmakers and wood carver Phil Smith, but the real pleasure, he says, “is bringing life back to a piece.”
8143 Camargo Rd., Madeira, (513) 271-7646

Pet Psychic

Donetta Zimmerman
Donetta Zimmerman will tell you she’s more “Animal Communicator” than psychic, but die-hard fans agree that Zimmerman really knows what their animals are thinking. Her client list reads like a who’s who from the zoo: dogs, housecats, horses, tigers, and tarantulas have all had a turn on her proverbial couch. Zimmerman makes monthly appearances at the Meow Mart in Silverton but act fast—her appointment book fills up quickly.
Meow Mart, 6948 Plainfield Rd., Silverton, (513) 984-3312

Chair Caning

Able to Cane
In 1987, Bev Dorenbusch was working as a vet tech and expecting her first child. She wanted more flexible work, and since she and her husband loved antiques, they opened the Loveland Antiques Mall (the space now occupied by Tano Bistro). She saw a lot of caned chairs with holes and realized she could tackle that during her new daughter’s naptime. After an eight-week course at the Loveland Historical Society to learn caning, rush, and twill weaving, she started her business, Able to Cane. “It’s relaxing and therapeutic because it’s repetitive, but each chair comes with its own shape and takes something different,” says Dorenbusch, who has caned pieces for Closson’s (when they were open) and Federation Antiques.
(513) 375-6673,

Suede Cleaners

Sunshine Cleaners
Suede: It’s the kinder, gentler side of leather. It’s also a major maintenance prima donna, and entrusting your favorite suede handbag or booties to any old cleaning service can feel like handing over your first-born. Sunshine Cleaners has specialized in suede and leather since 1976 (when suede was king, we might add). They have a gentle color-matching process for keeping any type of suede looking and feeling like new.

Modern Landscape Design

DeVore’s Land & Water Gardens
This Hamilton-based landscape design firm has been beautifying yards across the region since 1979. Owner John DeVore, the brains behind the über-natural-looking manmade “woodland stream” at the Cincinnati Nature Center, isn’t limited to traditional looks. He’s also got a penchant for the kind of clean landscape design that fans of modern architecture adore.
(513) 896-9077,

Paint Your Own Pottery

Funke Fired Arts
With more than 50 wheels, several different kinds of kilns, and a sizable retail shop, Funke Fired Arts is one of the largest pottery studios in the country. But amateurs love this place, too, not only for the lessons but also for the “paint-a-pot” studio (a.k.a. The Atrium), where you can decorate a variety of ready-made pieces. Bring your kids, your girlfriends, your significant other—everyone’s welcome—and let the creativity flow.
3130 Wasson Rd., (513) 871-2529, Oakley,

Sewing Lessons

Sewn Studio
Banish those bad memories of high school Home Ec at Sewn Studio in Oakley. The setting is sweet and the projects are clever. (One favorite: a two-and-a-half-hour class that produces a bundle of baby gifts.) Best of all, beginner classes are taught by shop owner Julie Bossert—a former Montessori teacher who knows how to turn a fumble-bum into a confident stitcher.
3212 Madison Rd., Oakley, (513) 321-0600,


The Woodhouse Day Spa’s Pumpkin Escape Pedicure
After hours in a hot kitchen slaving over holiday pies, you could reward yourself with The Woodhouse Day Spa’s Pumpkin Escape Pedicure: a slathering of spicy pumpkin puree, exfoliation with whipped honey sugar scrub, and a honeysuckle blood orange -cream custard foot massage. Or you could just skip the oven, buy bakery pies, and go straight for the pedi.
9370 Montgomery Rd., Montgomery, (513) 891-4772,

Creative Florist

Yellow Canary Floral and Event Design
Whatever floral fantasy lives in your imagination, Yellow Canary Floral and Event Design can bring it to life. Kristen Sekowski creates living chandeliers, bouquets filled with unexpected textural elements, and jaw-dropping floral headpieces any flower child worth her salt would be proud to wear. Her five-year-old studio can style your entire event—whatever the occasion—or create a single arrangement.
3176 Madison Rd., Oakley, (859) 609-2020,

Fountains and Water Features

Fountain Specialist
If you’ve been to Kings Island or Miami University or Washington Park downtown, you’ve seen Fountain Specialist’s work, but you don’t need a lot of acreage or a ton of money to incorporate a water feature into your landscape. “You can have something really nice for $200 to $300,” says owner Mark Sedacca. Browse Fountain Specialist’s large inventory of concrete fountains, or come in with your dream project.
226 Main St., Milford, (513) 831-5717,


Clarence Howell
Good cobblers never retire; their customers won’t let ’em. Fans from all over town have toted their Manolos and their Merrells, their Bruno Maglis, Birkenstocks, and Bass Weejuns to wherever Clarence Howell sets up shop. These days you’ll find him in Pleasant Ridge, where heavily worn work boots and lightly scuffed stilettos get the same careful attention. Check out the shop’s stock of shoe care products and ask: “Mr. Clarence” will teach you how to take care of your investment.
6089 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 531-7463,

Fuller IT Help

Fuller Computer Solutions
Fuller Computer Solutions started as a two-man operation in 1996 (yes, they had computers then). Over the years, Fuller has grown to help individuals and small businesses with computer and networking problems through house calls, a hotline, and even a radio show. Whether you’re a Mac or a PC, tune in to 55KRC or on Saturdays at 7 p.m. for an hour of tech advice.
5133 Delhi Ave., Delhi Twp., (513) 347-5800,

Direct Flight

Ultimate Air Shuttle
The lines, the security screenings: Ugh. If you need to fly to New York, Chicago, or Charlotte, you really need to try this. Yes, it will cost you: $695 round-trip to NYC, $575 to Chicago, $595 to Charlotte. But if your trip is last-minute, the fare may actually be a steal. Besides: You won’t have to pay for parking; you can arrive 15 minutes before your flight; and you’ll be served _actual _food while in the air (a full-size bagel with cream cheese and a granola-yogurt parfait on a morning flight to New York). Beat that, commercial airlines.
4700 Airport Rd., Anderson Twp., (800) 437-3931,

Scrap Yard

Garden Street Iron and Metal
Not every recyclable metal is accepted by Rumpke or city recyclers, but there’s a place for the dedicated environmentalist or plain penny-pincher to drop off and sell broken metal patio furniture, fencing, and any other scrap metal hiding in the garage or basement. Garden Street Iron and Metal weighs its customers’ cars before and after dropping off scrap into huge mounds and pays them for it. It’s an urban adventure!
2815 Spring Grove Ave., Camp Washington, (513) 721-4660,

High/Low: Manicure

High: Nail Artistry
Try doing an ombré manicure yourself, and you’ll end up a hot mess. Trust the pros at Tanya’s Image and Wellness Salon for the fanciest of nail art trends, from reverse French to chevron-inspired.
2716 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 533-9400,

Low: Work-a-Day Wonder
The humble Nailtique salon in Mt. Lookout square is an under-the-radar gem—and the perfect middle ground between budget and budget-busting. Walk-ins are always welcome, the room is spacious and spotless, and the cheerful staff will give you a perfect mani every time.
3181 Linwood Ave., Mt. Lookout, (513) 321-5666

Please note that the information listed in this section was accurate at the time the issue went to print in 2012 and that addresses, menu items, company status, etc., may have changed. Please contact the companies to confirm details.

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