Best of the Quad Cities Spring 2010 Winners Print
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:09

Here you'll find the Best of the Quad Cities in 63 categories, including articles on 11 winners. Voting was open from mid-January to mid-March, and our readers submitted nearly 500 valid ballots. (Reasonable responses to 20 of the 63 questions were required.) The winter balloting covered the areas of Food & Dining; Civics & Government; Media; and Recreation. (Summer balloting will cover the areas of Arts, Culture, & Entertainment; Night Life; Shopping & Services; and People.)

For winners from previous years, check out our Best of the Quad Cities archive.

Food & Dining

Restaurant

1. Granite City Food & Brewery

2. Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant

3. Antonella's Pizzaria & Restaurante

3. The Faithful Pilot Cafe & Spirits

New restaurant (opened in 2009)

1. Cafe Fresh Express

2. Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar (Moline)

3. Ganson's Neighborhood Bakery & Cafe

3. Crane & Pelican Cafe

Best new restaurant (opened in 2009)

Cafe Fresh! Express!

Located on the ground floor of Davenport’s Mississippi Plaza office building at 201 Harrison Street, Cafe Fresh! Express! is the only eatery in the area, and perhaps the universe, with a name that boasts two exclamation points. If our Best of the Quad Cities voters are to be trusted, a few more wouldn’t be at all out of line. Named 2009’s best new restaurant, proprietor Amanda Kernan’s downtown establishment is the sister venue to the Cafe Fresh! on Moline’s Fifth Avenue, and also offers a wide variety of quick and delicious lunch options that won’t leave you feeling pangs of fast-food-related guilt: six different sandwiches, 10 salads, six specialty wraps, eight deli wraps -- I highly recommend the “B,L,T,A,” with the “A” standing for “avocado” -- two fruit wraps, three pitas, two melts, and three quesadilla wraps served in a warm flour tortilla with melted chihuahua cheese. (If, like mine, your eyebrows instantly rose at the mention of that dairy product, rest assured: It’s completely unrelated to the dog.) With a homemade chicken-enchilada soup served daily -- in addition to an ever-changing soup du jour -- and an assortment of cookies and cupcakes available, it’s understandable that Cafe Fresh! Express! has become such a popular lunchtime destination since its opening last July. But know in advance that you have an extremely narrow window in which to patronize the cafe, as it’s only open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “We get really busy,” said my friendly server when asked about the noon-to-1-p.m. rush. “Yesterday we got killed.” Ah, but what a way to go. Cafe Fresh! Express! also makes deliveries with 24-hour notice and a $75 minimum, and more information is available by calling (563)323-1030 or visiting CafeFreshMoline.com. -- Mike Schulz

National chain restaurant

1. Applebee's

2. Texas Roadhouse

3. Olive Garden Italian Restaurant

Fine dining

1. Johnny's Italian Steakhouse

2. The Faithful Pilot Cafe & Spirits

3. Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano

Asian restaurant

1. Exotic Thai Restaurant

2. Dynasty Buffet

3. Osaka

Mexican restaurant

1. Azteca

2. Los Agaves

3. La Flama

Italian restaurant

1. Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano

2. Olive Garden Italian Restaurant

3. Trattoria Tiramisu

Pizza

1. Harris Pizza

2. Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream Parlor

3. Wise Guys Pizza & More

Steaks/steakhouse

1. Texas Roadhouse

2. Johnny's Italian Steakhouse

3. Bass Street Chop House

3. Tappa's Steak House

Distinctly Quad Cities fast food

1. Hungry Hobo

2. Maid-Rite

3. Rudy's Tacos

Distinctly Quad Cities fast food

Best deli sandwiches

Hungry Hobo

When Pryce T. Boeye bought into Hungy Hobo in 2001, it had two major challenges, the company’s president, CEO, and majority owner said in a recent interview: The facilities were outdated, and its menu and operations weren’t consistent. “Not much had been done to the operation in several years,” he said. His aim was to “breathe it back to life.” Boeye has spent the past nine years addressing those shortcomings -- including refurbishing or relocating almost all of its stores -- and the results can be seen in Hungry Hobo’s revenues: Dollar sales rose 60 percent from 2001 to 2009. The results can also be seen in our Best of the Quad Cities balloting, as Hungry Hobo was named tops by our readers in the categories of “distinctly Quad Cities fast food” and “best deli sandwiches.” What distinguishes Hungry Hobo -- which has 11 owned-and-operated locations in the Quad Cities along with franchises in Iowa City and Galesburg -- is that everything is “as fresh as possible,” Boeye said. The bread is baked fresh daily, and the meats and cheeses aren’t sliced until you order your sandwich. (Boeye said that like “most people,” his favorite is number 11, the “Hobo combination.”) While Hobo is known primarily for its cold sandwiches, it also offers hot and grilled sandwiches, baked potatoes, soups, and salads. Boeye said that although there aren’t any firm plans, the company is considering expansion into outlying Quad Cities areas such as Eldridge, LeClaire, Muscatine, and Geneseo. “We’re trying to figure out what the next step is,” he said. For more information on Hungry Hobo, visit HungryHobo.com. -- Jeff Ignatius

Coffeeshop

1. Starbucks

2. Theo's Java Club

3. Fireworks Coffeehouse

Smoothies

1. Orange Julius

2. Whitey's Ice Cream

3. Starbucks

Diner

1. Maid-Rite

2. Ross' 24 Hour Restaurant

3. Harlan's Fine Foods

3. Riefes Restaurant

Best diner

Maid-Rite

There’s an old proverb that says the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach ... and I’m not ashamed to admit that my heart has belonged to Maid-Rite for a good couple of decades now. How gastronomically, unapologetically sinful is this local franchise? The menu boasts a Maid-Rite Beef Sundae, for heaven’s sake. I guess it’s entirely possible that Best of the Quad Cities voters who cited Maid-Rite as the area’s best diner weren’t thinking about the famous, deliciously seasoned loose-meat sandwiches that have been satisfying customers for 74 years and counting; the eatery does, after all, also serve hot dogs, corn dogs, wraps, burritos, pizza, and even ice cream -- everything you could want from a beloved hometown diner. (And yes, there are malts, shakes, and fountain drinks, too.) But for the faithful, nothing will quite compare to the messy delight that is a Maid-Rite sandwich -- the burger you eat with a spork -- and one that’s available in a variety of permutations, among them the BBQ Texas-Rite, the Chili-Rite, the Taco-Rite, the Philly Cheese-Rite, and (be still, my heart) the Mega Philly Cheese-Rite. On a recent afternoon visit, everything on the menu looked as tempting as it ever did, but since I’ve been trying to eat healthier these days, I chose to restrain myself. It is therefore my pleasure to tell you that Maid-Rite’s salad was as fine as any I’ve had anywhere, the cole slaw was of a perfect consistency, and the soup was ... . Oh, who am I trying to fool? I had the Bacon Cheese-Rite. And fries. Also with cheese. It was awesome. For more information on Maid-Rite and its many area locales, visit Maid-Rite.com. -- Mike Schulz

Seafood

1. Red Lobster

2. Captain's Table

3. Thunder Bay Grille

Desserts

1. Whitey's Ice Cream

2. Village Inn

3. Olive Garden

Best desserts

Whitey’s Ice Cream

Back in the fall of 1986, on my first day of freshman orientation at Augustana College, our student guides greeted us by saying that we were about to trek to what would be, hands down, the one place we couldn’t live without during our four years at school. Innocently, I thought, “The library? The student center?” As we walked beyond the campus, however, it became clear that our field trip wasn’t at all curricular in nature, although we certainly did learn something once we reached our destination: Whitey’s does indeed have the best ice cream on the planet. (We also learned that our student guides were very astute -- over the four years, I’m not sure any of us could’ve lived without it.) Certainly, the Best of the Quad Cities voters who chose Whitey’s Ice Cream in the category of best desserts are acquainted with the ridiculously tasty ice-cream treats available at this 67-year-old area treasure, but you could likely start arguments, if not engage in actual fisticuffs, over which mouth-watering option is the greatest. The sundae? The shake? The Boston, which finds a sundae plunked on top of a shake? No matter -- with nearly three-dozen ice-cream flavors to choose from -- plus frozen yogurt, slushes, smoothies, mint chippers, malts, floats, splits, ice cream cakes ... -- it’s doubtful that anyone exiting one of the company’s many local locales leaves unhappy. And if you want a hint as to just how popular Whitey’s and its dessert options are, just check out the company’s Facebook page: 13,162 fans. Oh, hold on ... gimme a second ... . There we go -- 13,163. For more information, plus photos to have you scrambling for your car keys, visit WhiteysIceCream.com. -- Mike Schulz

Bakery/breads/bagels

1. Panera Bread

2. Bruegger's Bagel Bakery

3. Old Towne Bakery

Barbecue

1. Jim's Rib Haven

2. Famous Dave's

3. Dickey's Barbecue Pit

Breakfast

1. Village Inn

2. IHOP

3. Denny's Restaurant

Burgers

1. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

2. Boozies Bar & Grill

3. Culver's

Deli Sandwiches

1. Hungry Hobo

2. Arthur's Garden Deli

3. Subway

Gyros/Greek

1. Dr. Gyros

2. Uncle Pete's

3. Jimmy's King Gyros

Sunday brunch

1. Granite City Food & Brewery

2. Thunder Bay Grillle

3. Player's Buffet at Jumer's Casino & Hotel

Wings

1. Buffalo Wild Wings

2. The Filling Station

3. Hooter's

Sushi

1. Osaka

2. Dynasty Buffet

3. ShoGun Japanese Sushi & Steakhouse

Best sushi

Osaka

It’s not really that surprising. We live in a community that breeds duplication. The Quad Cities area is rife with civic samenames and commercial dopplegängers. Most metro areas have one downtown; we have five in the Quad Cities. So we’re probably better than average at navigating subtle differences. With that in mind, we need to clear something up. This is the second year that “Osaka” has won for best sushi in the Reader’s Best of the Quad Cities voting. But there’s no way to know which Osaka. Yup, there are two different Osakas (technically three, counting the Northpark Mall location, owned and operated by the owner of the other Davenport location). It’s time we cleared this up and got an accurate vote. Don’t get me wrong; maybe more than any other Quad Cities duplicative, having this much great sushi falls under the definition of embarrassment of riches. And for the record, I’ve eaten at all of them, and have nothing but high praise all around. That’s not to say I’m going to tell you which I voted for. But next time you fill out the Best of the Quad Cities ballot, you’ll be an educated voter. Our fall ballot doesn’t include food and dining categories, but come late winter (I know, who wants to think of that as we hit 80 for the first time this year), look for the Best Of logo on the front of the Reader or at RiverCitiesReader.com and go vote for your favorite sushi restaurant. And this time be specific! Let’s find out exactly what raw-fish-eating Quad Citians think. For more information, including specialties and hours, check out RCReader.com/dining. You can also submit reviews there if you want to vote sooner than next year. To visit the Davenport Osaka online, go to http://www.osakaquadcity.com/. Moline Osaka's Web address is http://osakamoline.com/. -- Shawn Eldridge

Osaka Davenport
4901 Utica Ridge Road
(563)355-1115
Owner: Weng
Founded: August 2008

Weng also owns
Osaka Sushi Bar at NorthPark Mall
(563)386-5977
Opened: July 2007

Osaka Moline (formerly Sakura)
4707 16th Street, Moline
(309)762-2211
Owner: Jane Jiang
Took over ownership: August 2008

Buffet

1. Golden Corral

2. Dynasty Buffet

3. Player's Buffet at Jumer's Casino & Hotel

Chips and salsa

1. Azteca

2. Los Agaves

3. Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe

Locally brewed beer

1. Bent River Brewing Company

2. Blue Cat Brew Pub

3. Front Street Brewery

Soup

1. Panera Bread

2. Arthur's Garden Deli

3. Granite City Food & Brewery

3. Olive Garden

Business lunch

1. Granite City Food & Brewery

2. Woodfire Grill

3. Panera Bread

Kid-friendly menu

1. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

2. Applebee's

3. Happy Joe's

Civics & Government

Local elected public official

1. Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba

2. U.S. Representative Phil Hare (D-Rock Island)

3. Bettendorf Mayor Mike Freemire

Unelected local public servant

1. Bob Vogelbaugh (Mr. Thanksgiving)

2. Chad Pregracke

3. Rich Henning

Use of local funds

1. Schwiebert Riverfront Park

2. Fix roads

3. Bettendorf Life Fitness Center

Best downtown project

Best use of local funds

Schwiebert Riverfront Park

Because weather is fickle, Rock Island officials aren’t certain exactly when Schwiebert Riverfront Park will be completed. “We have cautious plans,” said Bill Nelson, the executive director of the city’s parks-and-recreation department. But the plans are specific enough that I will be surprised if the park doesn’t open with a bang on July 3. Nelson said those tentative plans include a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. that day and family activities, culminating in the riverfront Independence Day fireworks display. Named for the city’s longtime mayor -- under whose watch the park was developed -- and located at the site of the old armory, Schwiebert Riverfront Park will “offer spectacular views of the Mississippi River, and will include an open-air stage, playground areas, interactive fountain, observation shelter, waterfront promenade, bike trail, beautifully landscaped grounds, and other amenities,” according to the city’s Web site. Rock Island Planning & Redevelopment Administrator Alan Carmen estimated last week that construction was 85 percent complete, with work remaining on the stage area; grading, concrete, and landscaping; the restroom; and the fountain. Payments on the bonds for the $10-million park are coming from the downtown Tax Increment Financing district, and Carmen said the city is still seeking funding for a $2-million boat dock that would provide direct river access. The final concept was approved two years ago, and Carmen called the prospect of completion “a dream come true. ... It’s been a long time coming.” The park will be available for rental for special events, and the city is expecting to hold its final Starlight Revue concert of the summer at the new facility. But Nelson said he doesn’t expect Schwiebert Riverfront Park to cannibalize that series -- typically held in Lincoln Park -- or District of Rock Island festivals. “We didn’t want to be in competition with ourselves,” he said. For more information on the park, visit RIGov.org/citydepartments/ced/riverfrontpark.html. -- Jeff Ignatius

Downtown project

1. Schwiebert Riverfront Park

2. Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center

3. Farmers' markets

Local not-for-profit

1. Gilda's Club

2. American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area

3. Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities

Best local not-for-profit

Gilda’s Club Quad Cities

Gilda’s Club Quad Cities CEO Claudia Robinson said she was shocked that her organization was selected by our readers as the best local not-for-profit. “We’re so small,” she said. But even with a staff of five and four group facilitators, the local Gilda’s Club has had a tremendous impact on people dealing with cancer. The organization currently has 2,300 members, Robinson said, and Gilda’s Club offers them support groups, workshops, lectures, and social events with the goal of “help[ing] the entire family.” There are also “Noogieland” programs specifically for young people affected by cancer. And it’s all free. Gilda’s Club operates out of a majestic house at 1234 East River Drive in Davenport, but it also has offices at the cancer centers of both Trinity and Genesis hospitals. Robinson said that studies have shown better outcomes for cancer patients who have support structures in addition to their medical care. “Outcomes are better because people follow the protocols better,” she said. The Quad Cities organization, which opened in 1998, was one of the first Gilda’s Clubs, and “we are by far the smallest community” among the 28 that have a facility, Robinson said. Both Robinson and Program Director Melissa Wright have been with Gilda’s Club Quad Cities since its opening, providing an unusual continuity for the organization, which currently has a $480,000 annual budget supported by special events, grants, and charitable contributions. Despite the good that it does, Robinson admits that “I think there are people who are afraid to come here,” expecting a depressing atmosphere. There are undoubtedly sad moments, but it’s important to keep in mind that Gilda’s Club was founded in memory of comedian Gilda Radner, who died of ovarian cancer in 1989. Robinson said that there’s always lots of laughter:“You also have to have the fun parts. We celebrate everything.” For more information on Gilda’s Club Quad Cities, visit GildasClubQC.org. -- Jeff Ignatius

Place to volunteer

1. Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities

2. Animal shelters

3. American Red Cross of the Quad Cities Area

Best place to volunteer

Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities

Asked whether her organization more often sees returning faces or new recruits, Debbie Jackson -- the director of development for Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities -- says, “A little of both. We have some volunteers who show up every Saturday, and some who show up a couple times a year. But it’s really great to hear how volunteers get to us, because it’s mostly from word-of-mouth. They had a friend or a co-worker who had a great experience, and they want to try it out.” That word-of-mouth is clearly continuing to spread, as evidenced by Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities’ Reader citation as best place to volunteer. In the years since it was created in 1993, the local, bi-state affiliate of the national not-for-profit corporation has built 63 homes for underprivileged families -- each utilizing the efforts of between 200 and 600 workers -- and the development director stresses that those without previous building experience shouldn’t fear the challenge. “We have very skilled people on site leading the construction who teach and train and work alongside you,” says Jackson. “Everyone’ll feel very comfortable and learn a new skill by the end of the day.” She adds, though, that the local Habitat for Humanity affiliate is also happy to welcome volunteers who can’t tell a hammer from a nail. “We have a small staff, and so we also have volunteers who work in the office every day -- we couldn’t get by without them.” With volunteer assistance provided by everyone from individuals to families with teenage children to “businesses turning out together for team-building exercises,” Jackson says that she and her co-workers are “so proud” of the Best of the Quad Cities recognition, and of the organization itself. “It’s really uplifting, and it really brings people together. We have families working next to volunteers working next to sponsors, and everyone comes together to build a house.” For information on volunteering, contact Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities at (563)359-9066 or HabitatQC.org. -- Mike Schulz

Most civic-minded Quad Cities-based company

1. Deere & Company

2. Modern Woodmen of America

3. VanDerGinst Law Firm

Best damn thing about the Quad Cities, period

1. Mississippi River

2. People

3. Summer activities, events, and festivals

Best reason to be optimistic about the Quad Cities in 2010

1. Deere & Company

2. Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Riverfront Campus

3. Amtrak

3. The Loop bus service

Local controversy

1. Red-light and speed cameras

2. 2009 Rock Island mayoral race

3. Rock Island County Clerk Richard Leibovitz

Media

Local TV news station

1. KWQC TV 6

2. WQAD News Channel 8

3. WHBF CBS 4

Local radio personality

1. Pat Leuck and Danielle Howe, WLLR 103.7 FM

2. Greg Dwyer and Bill Michaels, WXLP 97X FM

3. Dave Levora and Darren Pitra, Rock 104.9 FM

Local TV news anchor

1. Gary Metivier, KWQC TV 6

2. Paula Sands, KWQC TV 6

3. Matt Hamill, WQAD News Channel 8

Best local TV news anchor

Gary Metivier

Gary MetivierAs anyone who watches the station knows, local NBC affiliate KWQC TV6 prides itself on being “the station that cares for you.” And based on the results of our latest Best of the Quad Cities poll, it’s obvious that a great many viewers care for KWQC’s Gary Metivier, named best local TV news anchor for the second year in a row. For future polls, though, we might want to consider amending that category’s title. “I always considered myself an anchor-reporter,” says Metivier, “and always will be. Because not only does an anchor report the news from the desk, but you also have to be a reporter to know how to cover the stories, and how to ask the next question that you think viewers would want the answer to.” To be sure, the Oklahoma City native has covered his share of dramatic, even horrific, events in his distinguished career as an anchor -- among them, when working for Denison, Texas’ KTEN News, 1995’s Oklahoma City bombing. “Obviously, tragic news is hard to report, particularly if it’s in your hometown,” says Metivier. “But you have to put a different hat on and say, ‘I have to do my job, covering the story and getting the information out there.’ And then you deal with your feelings about it a little bit later.” Yet Metivier, now in his 13th year behind the KWQC news desk, has also been fortunate to share many hopeful and inspiring stories during his Quad Cities tenure, and echoes his station’s tagline in describing the continued satisfaction he finds in both his career and his community. “People here really care about each other,” he says. “When we get to do some positive stories -- like the news specials I do on everyday heroes, or when we cover things like the Honor Flight [of the Quad Cities] -- these are stories that really matter to people. And unlike other parts of the country, where they want a lot of sensationalistic news, this part of the country really wants some caring stories of people looking out for each other, and how they can make a difference.” -- Mike Schulz

Local TV reporter

1. Chris Minor, WQAD News Channel 8

2. Fran Riley, KWQC TV 6

3. Tambrey Laine, KWQC TV 6

Local TV sportscaster

1. Thom Cornelis, KWQC TV 6

2. Dan Pearson, KWQC TV 6

3. Matt Randazzo, WQAD News Channel 8

Local TV morning show

1. Good Morning Quad Cities, WQAD News Channel 8

2. Quad Cities Today, KWQC TV 6

Local newspaper columnist/reporter

1. Bill Wundram, Quad-City Times

2. Barb Ickes, Quad-City Times

3. John Marx, The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus

Local weather forecaster

1. Terry Swails, WQAD News Channel 8

2. James Zahara, WQAD News Channel 8

3. Anthony Peoples, WQAD News Channel 8

Local Web site

1. QCOnline.com

2. RCReader.com

3. QCTimes.com

Recreation

Bowling alley

1. Miller Time Billiards

2. Bowlmor Lanes

3. Milan Lanes

Golf course

1. Palmer Hills Golf Course

2. TPC at Deere Run

3. Saukie Golf Course

Best golf course

Palmer Hills Golf Course

The day after our Best of the Quad Cities results were posted online, I called the folks at Bettendorf’s Palmer Hills Golf Course to congratulate them on the site being named -- for the second year in a row -- best golf course. I must have been the first person to relay the news to resident golf professional Jon Waddell, because his immediate response was, “Fan-tas-tic!” Which, I’m guessing, is also the exclamation that comes to mind to the many visitors at Palmer Hills. Established in 1974, the 18-hole, par-72 course covers just under 70 acres of fairways, rolling hills, creeks, and 100-year-old oak trees (plus, it goes without saying, the occasional sand trap), offering golfers a healthy challenge within a comfortable layout. And it’s a challenge that obviously appeals to both professionals and amateurs, as Waddell says that between tournaments and fundraisers, Palmer Hills hosts “around 60” special events per year. He adds, though, that occasional Sunday duffers -- even spur-of-the-moment ones -- shouldn’t shy away. “We certainly recommend scheduling a tee time,” says Waddell, “but we handle a fair amount of walk-ins, too.” With private lessons available, a golf shop featuring brand-name apparel and equipment, and a bevy of lunch and dinner options at the site’s Palmer Grill, the Palmer Hills Golf Course handily provides a day of relaxation and fun -- so long as the weather also plays ball. “We usually open in the middle or toward the end of March,” explains Waddell, “but it’s pretty much seasonal here. Some years, we’ve been open in December, January, and February.” So there’s one more reason to pray for mild winters. For more information on the Palmer Hills Golf Course, call (563)332-8296 or visit PalmerHillsGolf.com. -- Mike Schulz

Hiking trail

1. Black Hawk State Historic Site

2. Scott County Park

3. Wild Cat Den Park

Biking trail

1. Ralph B. Birks Bicycle Trail/Great River Trail

2. Duck Creek Parkway

3. Bettendorf Bike Path

Local park

1. Vander Veer Botanical Park

2. Scott County Park

3. Black Hawk State Historic Site

3. Crow Creek Park

Place for a picnic

1. Vander Veer Botanical Park

2. Scott County Park

3. West Lake Park

Aquatic center

1. Whitewater Junction Family Aquatic Center

2. Splash Landing Aquatic Center

3. YMCA

Campground

1. Scott County Park

2. West Lake Campground

3. KOA

Place for a day trip

1. Galena, Illinois

2. Amana Colonies, Iowa

3. Chicago, Illinois

Dog park

1. Bettendorf Bark Park

2. Hasselroth Park

Local landmark

1. Davenport Skybridge

2. John Deere Commons

3. Arsenal Island

3. Mississippi River

Place to snowboard/sled/tube

1. Ski Snowstar (Andalusia, Illinois)

2. Duck Creek Park (Bettendorf)

3. Illiniwek Forest Preserve (Hampton, Illinois)

Gym/health club

1. YMCA

2. Bettendorf Life Fitness Center

3. Fitness First Plus

Yoga studio

1. Indigo Creative Approach to Fitness & Wellness

2. Hot Yoga Quad Cities

3. Davenport School of Yoga

Best yoga studio

Indigo Wellness

Indigo Wellness' Shannon MoranWell, I’m about to discuss yoga, so what say we begin by taking a deep breath: Moline’s Indigo Wellness center -- full name Indigo Creative Approach to Fitness & Wellness LLC -- offers no less than 20 drop-in yoga classes in any given month. “We also offer at least four different sign-up classes per month,” says Indigo co-owner Abby Webster-Morgan. “Usually more than that, but at least that.” Given the plethora of courses, with specialized options for everyone from first-timers to advanced yoga practitioners, is it any wonder that Indigo was named best yoga studio in our Best of the Quad Cities poll? Since Indigo’s opening in April of 2006, Webster-Moran and her fellow coaches, including husband and co-owner Shannon Moran (the incredibly limber gentleman in the accompanying photo), have shared their passion for this meditative workout through such sessions as Gentle Yoga, Power Yoga, and even Prenatal Yoga, and Webster-Moran states that watching her patrons’ progress is one of the job’s greatest rewards. “We have people who started when we first opened,” she says, “and now they’re instructors.” They’re also instructors who occasionally venture beyond the Moline venue, offering Indigo classes at such locales as the Rock Island Arsenal and Black Hawk College, but Webster-Moran is quick to profess the health and spiritual benefits of yoga no matter where workouts occur. “We’re all up for the physical thing, where we can live healthier,” says Webster-Morgan, “but it really goes beyond the physical. You get a lot of stress relief from it. For that one hour on the mat, everything kind of tunes out, and you can go back to your day a little happier and a little more calm.” Looking around me, I see a half-dozen people who could definitely benefit from a visit to Indigo. It’d be seven if I had a mirror. For more information, call (309)764-9642 or visit IndigoWellness.info. -- Mike Schulz


Outtakes from our photo shoot with Terry Swails, Thom Cornelis, Gary Metivier, and Good Morning Quad Cities' Jim Mertens and Julie Sisk at Schwiebert Riverfront Park, featuring food from Harris Pizza, Maid-Rite, Jim's Rib Haven, Hungry Hobo, Whitey's Ice Cream, and Dr. Gyros -- all winners in our Best of the Quad Cities balloting:


blog comments powered by Disqus