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Posts made in: 'Best of Olympia' (32) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 32

March 6, 2014 at 10:03am

Best of Olympia 2014 is online

K Records founder Calvin Johnson is our 2014 Best Olympian. Photo credit: Winter Teems

Hey folks, our Best of Olympia 2014 issue, in which your humble and helpful Weekly Volcano staffers – and readers – show some love for all the things that make Thurston County so nifty – is now online.

Thanks for voting, and thanks for reading. Without further ado, click here

February 27, 2014 at 10:20am

Best of Olympia issue is on the street

Guess who we named Best Olympian in the Best of Olympia 2014 issue?

The time has finally come.

Maybe you filled out the Weekly Volcano's Best Of Olympia survey and maybe you didn't. But either way the Best Of Olympia edition is on the street today.

That's right, yo! It's like Christmas but better. It's like a trip to Disney World, only not lame.

Every year the Weekly Volcano produces Thurston County's, shall we say, best Best Of reference guide. Yes, Yelm, you're in there, too. Where's the best burger? The Weekly Volcano fills you in. Where is the best place to buy shoes? The Weekly Volcano tells you. Where's the best place to showcase your talent? The Weekly Volcano even tells you that.

Like we said, it's on the street today, tucked carefully inside the Weekly Volcano.

Oh, if your name is Annie Johns living in the 98502, you won our readers' poll contest. We'll be contacting you by email with your Red Lion Olympia prize package.

January 7, 2014 at 9:56am

Best of Olympia 2014 voting is now open!

Audrey Henley was named "Best Olympian" in the 2013 Best of Olympia issue. Photo credit: Winter Teems


Voting for the Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia 2014 issue is now open. Best coffee shop, best bar, best bartender, best drunk 100-mile-per-hour Ferrari police chase - it's all there for you to weigh in on now (except for the Ferrari joy ride category, which we TOTALLY should have included).

Note: The Best of Olympia will encompass all of Thurston County ... yes, Lacey, we're talking to you. And don't get your panties in a bunch, Tumwater, we didn't forget you either.

Go to bestofolympia2014.com right now to cast your vote. You could win one-night stay and breakfast for two plus $50 restaurant voucher at the Red Lion Olympia just for voting. Voting ends Jan. 31.

And look for the Volcano's Best of Olympia issue to hit streets Feb. 27.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

The Best of Olympia 2014 is sponsored by Lucky Eagle Casino.

Filed under: Best of Olympia, Contest, Olympia,

March 12, 2013 at 10:08am

Best Of Olympia: Jamie Lee & Company salon

JAMIE LEE: She's been helping Thurston County look good for 18 years. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy


For three years running, Weekly Volcano readers voted Jamie Lee & Company the "Best Salon" in the Best of Olympia issues, including this year.


Is it the two resident cats, Otto and Smithsonian? Is it the colorful décor? Is it the kid-friendly salon station? How about its cruelty-free products?

Yes, but at its core, the best salon can turn a gray day into one with internal sunrays, melt work stress away, and give you ramrod posture the better to highlight your new do, eyes, and cheekbones. Jamie Lee & Company does all that, and more.

The downtown Olympia salon also makes you comfortable while offering what you need, and employs cool stylists with their personalities shining through their stations in the form of pictures of their dogs, artwork and friends lining the walls. 

"Everyone who works here is unique," says owner Jamie Lee, whose salon has called Fourth Avenue home for nearly 18 years. "I have total confidence in them. They are very talented and not afraid to go outside the norm."

Jaime Lee employees seven hairdressers, two massage therapists and an astrologer.

"We're all so eclectic that we have clients that range from young punks to little old ladies," says Lee.

Lee also attributes their reputation to the community support the salon displays, through donations to various local fundraisers, including Stonewall Youth and Animal Services.


LINK: 2013 Best of Olympia

Filed under: Best of Olympia, Business, Olympia,

February 28, 2013 at 10:12am

Have the "Best" day

BEST BARTENDER IN OLYMPIA: Dawn Gillneet at King Solomon's Reef. Photo credit: Winter Teems


Hey South Sound! Want to have the Best day ever? The 2013 Best of Olympia issue is now online. The Weekly Volcano has hand-crafted your day with picks and suggestions from the issue. Enjoy.


Masaala Chai Café

Masaala Chai Cafe opened its doors Jan. 7 offering flavorful concoctions such as Indian espresso and coconut lattes. That's right, Indian espresso. And Wowie! The Indian espresso is a steaming concoction of espresso, sugar and milk. The milk was delightfully whipped into a velvety foam and sprinkled with dark chocolate powder. The coffee itself was a vivid balance of nicely roasted beans and sugar. Not syrupy sweet. It reminded me of warm comforters and watching television with my Granny.  9323 Martin Way E., Lacey - Jackie Fender


Eastside Big Tom

From its advertising gimmicks to its over-the-top Halloween and Christmas decorating, Eastside Big Tom has what it takes to make your drive-thru experience a blast - in person and online. Known for giving away swag such as iron-on patches and key chains, the employees also solicit creative milkshake concoctions from the community (avocado anyone?) and incorporated a rock band into its menu (Dirty Birds chicken sandwich). Eastside Big Tom also has creative quips on its Facebook page and posts pictures of staff dressed up in mad scientist lab coats, perhaps preparing its famous - and secret - Goop recipe. 2023 Fourth Ave. E. - Nikki McCoy


State Surplus

The state surplus store in Tumwater holds a variety of left-over government goodies from blackberry phones, liquor company swag, pocket knives, historical photos, computers, restaurant equipment, and as mentioned, prison instruments. This warehouse is a picker's dream. The hours - 12:30-4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday - aren't always convenient, but its online auctions are. 7511 New Market St. - NM


Classic Winemakers Micro Winery

OK, this beautifully appointed storefront is actually a micro-winery offering small batch wines, wine tastings, and - what pops their cork the most - teaching the art of winemaking. After sampling some of its 50 wines, the staff will don lab coats and match your preferred tasks to produce your ultimate wine. After 4-6 weeks, you have your own wine. That's all fine, but what the Weekly Volcano enjoys most at Classic Winemakers is its comfy, leather sofa facing Fourth and Adams Street. Grab a glass of Cabernet and watch life collide at the intersection. Hello guy wearing macramé hat riding ridiculous tiny bicycle. Hello Bike Stand employee wearing shorts during winter. Hello tall guy staggering out of China Clipper's Pagoda Room at 5 p.m. Hello lady picking her nose at the stoplight. 325 Fourth Ave. E. - Ron Swarner


Swing Bar Happy Hour

"We just try to stay out of the debates!" says Swing Bar owner Nicole Butigan, with a laugh, after being named Best Spot To Find A Politician Drinking. Butigan says they see a lot of government faces during session -  from senators to interns - and occasional private meetings are held downstairs. The daily Lush Rush happy hour is 4-6 p.m. - except Monday, when, thank God, happy hour lasts all night. 825 Columbia St. SW - NM


Ricardo's Restaurant

For lover's of dry-aged, marbled, gristly, lean, thick, rubbed, marinated, tender, juicy, robust, blue, well-done, or anything in between steak, Ricardo's is most certainly the place for this glorious, diverse piece of meat. Ricardo's steaks are from heaven. 5211 Lacey Blvd. SE, Lacey - NM



Remember that sudden swing dancing craze about 10 years ago? I was living in Hollywood at the time, and my roommates were regulars at the Brown Derby, so I enjoyed a crash course in the lush life. That craze left town before I did, but its timeless, elegant beauty lives on at OlySwing. You could visit the Beginning Swing lessons every Tuesday, or you could learn swing's Africanist cousin, blues dancing on Thursdays at the Olympia Eagles Ballroom. Blues dancing derives from the so-called "Black vernacular" of Southern dance styles and includes such moves as the Lindy and the irresistibly named "Funky Butt." Worst case scenario: you have two left feet but get to listen to Nina Simone. - Christian Carvajal


Bartender Dawn at King Solomon's Reef

Dawn Gillnett, voted Olympia's Best Bartender, is a bit nervous having her first newspaper interview, but when asked to talk about her work mixing drinks and befriending customer's at King Solomon's Reef, she opens up.

"I LOVE it," she says. "I love the schedule. I love being around the people. You get to feel like you're part of the scene. You feel like you're going out and being social without going out and being social."

And Gillnett's customers love her, too.

"She's been doing this for over a decade," says Jason McIntyre, who owns the Reef. "She's absolutely professional. She's a super-cute lady, super-friendly, makes really good drinks, makes everyone feel welcome." 212 Fourth Ave. E. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Dawn Gillnett.

LINK: 2013 Best of Olympia issue

February 23, 2013 at 12:34pm

Words & Photos: 2013 Best of Olympia Awards Party

2013 BEST OF OLYMPIA AWARDS PARTY: Emcee Elizabeth Lord entertained the crowd at the Capitol Theater Wednesday, Feb. 20. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger


Wednesday's 2013 Best of Olympia Awards Party was - to put it as professionally as possible - awesome. The Weekly Volcano's annual celebration of its Best of Olympia issue drew the biggest crowd yet - this year held at the Capitol Theater in downtown Olympia. Because of the Capitol Theater's professional sound, lighting and stage, the party was more of a show, including emcee Elizabeth Lord introducing acts, telling stories, running the raffle with hyper-local prizes and keeping the show moving. There were some special moments: Lord singing the "Kids Must Go To The Lobby" song before every TUSH! Burlesque performance, the guitar work by band Science!, Mosquito Hawk rockin' faces off including the two super fans up front, "Best Arts MVP" Stephanie Johnson giving props to the Olympia community, watching Pappi Swarner run up and down the aisle with the raffle box and, of course, the lovely ladies of TUSH!.

Above all, what makes Best of Olympia Awards parties, well, the best are the award winners and people who attend. Olympia is a tight-knit community with everyone cheering each other on, hugging, sharing beers and discussing their next collaborative ventures. It's a wonderful vibe.

One love, Thurston County. xo   

LINK: 2013 Best of Olympia Awards Party photos

BONUS: "Best Music Video Producer" Red Williamson snapped photos too

February 22, 2013 at 1:05pm

Best of Olympia party continues

TUSH! BURLESQUE: The lovely ladies of Tush! Burlesque announced a few Best of Olympia winners Wednesday night at the Capitol Theater. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger

Holy shit.

Wednesday night's Best of Olympia party at the Capitol Theater still has a hold on a few Weekly Volcano staffers. That, and we are wading through 1,000 party photos. Seriously. We hope to post photos of the shindig over the weekend. Please stay tuned. ...

Filed under: Best of Olympia, Olympia,

February 21, 2013 at 8:10am

Please stand by ...

2013 BEST OF OLYMPIA PARTY: Emcee Elizabeth Lord entertained the crowd at the Capitol Theater.


Last night was the annual Best of Olympia party hosted by everyone's favorite free alternative weekly, Weekly Volcano. And what a party it was. Held at the Capitol Theater, it was our largest Best of party to date. In fact, a better name for the shindig would be the Best of Olympia Show. Emcee Elizabeth Lord entertained, Science! and Mosquito Hawk rocked, TUSH! Burlesque dazzled, winners were celebrated and prizes were doled out.

The Weekly Volcano staff worked its ass off — both at the show and at the after party inside King Solomon's Reef. We're a bit slow today. Please stand by. ...

In the meantime, please grab a copy of the Weekly Volcano and check out the 2013 Best of Olympia issue. It's freakin' killer.

Filed under: Best of Olympia, Olympia,

January 31, 2013 at 2:22pm

Last Day to Vote for Best of Olympia 2013!!!!

HEY YOU!! >>>

All those exclamation points mean business, yo! This is serious!

It's your LAST DAY to vote in the Volcano's Best of Olympia 2013 Readers' Poll!

We wouldn't joke about such a thing. It's true.

Go here to VOTE NOW!

The Volcano's Best of Olympia 2013 issue hits the street Thursday, Feb. 21 - less than a month from today. This means here at the Volcano we better kick it into high gear (just kidding ... kind of), and you better mark Wednesday, Feb. 20 on your calendars. The Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia Party will go down at the Capitol theater starting at 6 p.m., featuring raffle prizes, emcee Elizabeth Lord, TUSH! burlesque troupe, bands Mosquito Hawk and Science, and more.

Filed under: Best of Olympia, Olympia,

January 25, 2013 at 1:02pm

Save The Date: 2013 Best of Olympia Party

TUSH BURLESQUE: The troupe will be taking it off during the 2013 Best of Olympia party Feb. 20 at the Capitol Theater. Photo courtesy of Facebook


The Weekly Volcano's annual Best of Olympia party is one month away, which means you need to hit the "+" button on your electronic calendar and set Wednesday, Feb. 20 as the night you will be partying with the Olympia community. Type in "Capitol Theater" as the Location. Select 6 p.m. as the Start Time. Select 9 p.m. as the End Time. In the Notes field, type: "This is a free event featuring the Tush Burlesque Troupe, emcee Elizabeth Lord, bands Mosquito Hawk and Science!, films, beer and wine, raffle prizes, Best of Olympia winner announcements and more." 

There, you're set. You'll enjoy a cornucopia of Olympia culture packed into one early evening. Bonus: You'll know the 2013 Best of Olympia winners before the rest of the world. We'll announce the winners and distribute copies of the special issue the night before it hits the streets.

The 2013 Best of Olympia Readers' Poll will remain open until this coming Thursday night. The important thing to remember is the 2013 Best of Olympia Readers' Poll is your chance to give recognition to the people, places and things in Olympia and Thurston County that deserve it. Vote now!

LINKS: Scenes from the 2011 Best of Olympia Party and 2012 Best of Olympia Party

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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