We are so happy to present the winning companies in the Third Annual Best of SW Lake Awards. This program honors an esteemed group of local businesses who are deemed by readers, customers, clients, patients and local families as the very best for what they do.

The process for making the final selections is based first of all by you, the readers. Back in the fall the team at SW Lake Lifestyle announced that nominations were open after we winnowed down the 24 categories to focus on for this go-around. As before, some categories were tabled in favor of providing more nominees a chance to win. New categories this year included Law Firms, Architects, Interior Design and Sports Teams. We also brought back one category from year one: Pizza!

Nearly 130 businesses were nominated. After nominations were closed the team here went through a verification process of each business. Once the final list was set, voting began in November, and boy, did you vote. More than 27,300 votes were cast. That alone is an important aspect of the Best of SW Lake Awards because it shows the impact these businesses are making to families in the place we call home. All but a handful are locally owned family businesses making important contributions through jobs, taxes paid, and goods and services provided

A collection of businesses have distinguished themselves by being elected for three straight years: Avalon Salon & Spa (four awards overall), 18 l 8 Fine Men’s Salon, Timothy Grant Jewelry, The Kim Alden Team – Baird & Warner, Hawthorn Woods Family Dental Care, Motor Werks Automotive Group, and Onion Pub & Brewery.

Another group set themselves apart with a second Best of SW Lake Award, including LUXE wearhouse, Muller Exteriors, Farmhouse on North, and Restoration Fitness.

Join us in in celebrating all nominees. They all deserve a big thank you for the important work they do creating jobs, paying taxes, supporting charities and providing goods and services to the families they serve.


1. Priority A++, 1 winner full page multiple photos as on Reader’s Choice Recipe layout, page 4, left side.

Women’s Fashion

LUXE wearhouse

20771 N. Rand Rd., Kildeer




LUXE wearhouse was founded in 2013 with a vision to give customers a luxury boutique shopping experience without the high price tags. The friendly, knowledgeable LUXE team provides the perfect mix of apparel, accessories, shoes and jewelry ranging from everyday classics to the most current trends showcased in a spacious and inviting store.


Runner-Up: Threads

Honorable Mention: Tru Bleu Boutique


2. Priority C placement (no photo)

Med Spa


303 N. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich




At Cara Mia MEDSPA experienced licensed specialists provide exceptional patient care. They offer in medical aesthetic procedures and laser skin treatments: IPL Photorejuvenation, Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Tightening, Botox, Microneedling, Dermaplaning, HydraFacial, Acne Treatment and more.


Runner-Up: Versa Medi-Spa

Honorable Mention: AMA Med Spa


3. Priority B placement (small photo)


Beyond the Spine, LLC

1300 S. Grove Ave., Barrington




Dr. Sarah McNeily provides comprehensive, non-invasive acupuncture, soft tissue, and chiropractic care, creating lasting changes in wellness and quality of life and allowing patients to get back to doing the activities they love most.


Runner-Up: VanNess

Honorable Mention: Deignan Family Chiropractic


4. Priority C Placement (no photo)


Skopek Orthodontics

110 S. Wynstone Park Dr., North Barrington




Skopek Orthodontics has been a leading practice in Chicago’s northwest suburbs for over 20 years.  The team has more than 125 years combined experience and several have been with Dr. Robert Skopek for nearly 20 years.  Everyone is highly trained, and, most importantly, cares about the relationships with patients and their families.


Runner-Up: Kaplin Orthodontics

Honorable Mention: Associated Dental Specialists of Long Grove


5. Priority C Placement (no photo)


Hawthorn Woods Family Dental Care

60 Landover Pkwy, Hawthorn Woods



The team at Hawthorn Woods Family Dental is committed to sending each patient home with a smile. Dr. Jeffrey Copeland and his staff offer state-of-the-art dental care in a comfortable, friendly environment, making sure that patients feel confident during every step of their treatment.


Runner-Up: Barrington Dental

Honorable Mention: Village Dental


6. Priority B Placement (small photo)


Derick Dermatology

1531 S. Grove Ave., Barrington




Derick Dermatology provides medical, surgical and cosmetic services. Their goal is to ensure the very best patient experience, emphasizing quality and convenience. They offer flexible appointment hours in state-of-the-art facilities throughout the NW suburbs.


Runner-Up: Van Dam

Honorable Mention: Glazer


7. Priority A Placement  (larger photo)


Skycrest Animal Clinic

5301 Route 83, Long Grove




Since 1967, Skycrest Animal Clinic’s trademark red front door has welcomed the pets of local families by making everybody feel instantly at home. The team at Skycrest treats pets like our own, and strive to go above and beyond what is expected concerning an animal’s health.


Runner-Up: All Creatures Animal Hospital

Honorable Mention: Barrington Animal Hospital


8. Priority B placement


Muller Exteriors

554 W. Route 22, Lake Zurich




Founded by David Muller Sr. in 1980, Muller Exteriors was built on providing quality service at a reasonable price, offering only top quality material and craftsmanship and warrantees on their work. They provide installation/replacement/repair for roofs, siding, windows, soffit/fascia, gutters, and patio doors.


Runner-Up: B. Allendorfer

Honorable Mention: Creative Homes


9. Priority B placement

Home Decor

Epilogue Art

130 Old McHenry Rd., Long Grove




At Epilogue we curate a selection of “extraordinary things”, all handmade and gathered from across North America.  Our pleasure is finding the perfect something for everyone and every occasion.


Runner-Up: Pink Geranium

Honorable Mention: Nortons USA


10. Priority B placement (small photo)


A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design

28433 N. Fremont Center Rd., Mundelein

Phone 847.224.2167



A.M. Woodland Outdoor Design is more than just a landscape contractor. The company we specializes in luxury outdoor living where an outdoor space should be an extension of a home that reflects a family’s unique personality.


“We are a family company that has grown up in Lake County. We pride ourselves on beautifying the community and giving back as much as possible.”


Runner-Up: RYCO Landscaping

Honorable Mention: Sheetz Landscaping


11. Priority A placement – larger photo


The Kim Alden Team – Baird & Warner

754 W. Northwest Hwy, Barrington

Phone 847.254.5757



The Kim Alden Team at Baird & Warner was proud to help more than 122 homeowners achieve their dream of selling or purchasing a new home in 2018, using the latest digital and traditional marketing methods. Kim Alden has been #1 in the Barrington office for the last 13 years, and is known for always putting her clients first.


“The Kim Alden Team is honored to have been voted the Best Realtor for the third consecutive year.”


Runner-Up: Renee Clark (@Properties)

Honorable Mention: Michele Alyea (Baird & Warner)




12. Priority C placement, no photo


Psenka Architects, Inc.

40 Landover Parkway, Hawthorn Woods

Phone 847.756.4700



Psenka Architects approaches every project with a focus on aesthetics, functionality, cost and structural engineering, along with high quality personal attention to detail from start to finish.


Runner-Up: Sarah Peterson

Honorable Mention: Jeffrey Pathman


13. Priority B placement (small photo)

Interior Designer

Crescendo Interiors

Hawthorn Woods

Phone 847.796.0330



With more than 25 years of design expertise, Eileen Psenka’s approach is to reflect her client’s unique personality, discover their personal lifestyle and create designs that meet their specific requirements both aesthetically and functionally.


“To receive an award for helping people create gorgeous homes that reflect who they are and how they live is truly amazing. It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.”


Runner-Up: Jennifer Lagoni

Honorable Mention: Mollee Johnson (Style 1519)


14. Priority C placement no photo

Car Dealer

Motor Werks Automotive Group

1475 S. Barrington Rd., Barrington




Motor Werks is one of the largest multi-line car dealers in the United States with three locations in Barrington and Hoffman Estates. They are a 3x winner of a Best of SW Lake Award, and are consistently ranked as one of the largest privately owned businesses in Chicagoland.


Runner-Up: Marquardt Buick GMC

Honorable Mention: Wickstrom Lincoln


15. Priority A++, 1 winner full page multiple photos as on Reader’s Choice Recipe layout, page 4, left side.


Timothy Grant Jewelry

155 N. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich




A three-time winner, Timothy Grant Jewelry specializes in custom jewelry design, from sketch to the finished creation of a customer’s dreams. With locations in Lake Zurich & Schaumburg, Timothy Grant’s unique artistry is due to the creative leadership and design skills of Tim Siefert.


Runner-Up: Lake Zurich Jewelers

Honorable Mention: M.J. Miller


16. Priority A++, 1 winner full page multiple photos as on Reader’s Choice Recipe layout, page 4, left side.

Barber Shop

18|8 Fine Men’s Salon

120 S. Hough St., Barrington




Owner Jeff Eggert says when steel is combined with 18% chromium and 8% nickel it becomes stainless steel. 18|8, a 3x Best of SW Lake winner, is the place where guys go to be transformed in downtown Barrington.


“Winning this award is rewarding for our team because it is confirmation from our guests that we are making at least a small difference in their lives, whether it be giving that extra boost of confidence or helping them forget their troubles for a short while.  It’s nice to know that you make a difference in the lives of others.”


Runner-Up: Sport Clips, Lake Zurich

Honorable Mention: Don’s Barber Shop


17. Priority A+ placement – large photo

Women’s Hair Salon

Avalon Salon & Spa

20530 N. Rand Rd., Deer Park




Avalon, an AVEDA Salon Spa, the only four-time winner of a Best of SW Lake Award, is located in Deer Park Town Center. Owned and managed by award-winning stylist Bonnie Conte, Avalon is consistently rated as a Top 200 Salon nationally by Salon Today Magazine.


Runner-Up: Refined Beauty Bar

Honorable Mention: Bailiu Salon & Spa



18. Priority A placement (large photo)

Restoration Fitness

728 S. Rand Rd., Lake Zurich




Restoration Fitness offers personalized and small group training, fitness and weight loss programs in a private, comfortable, friendly and family-like environment. Their caring and devoted team of professionals help clients achieve their goals, improve their health, and gain confidence and energy with Restoration’s complete lifestyle approach to mindset, exercise, nutrition, accountability, and coaching.


Runner-Up: Good Shepherd Health & Fitness Center

Honorable Mention: Buehler YMCA


19. Priority A placement (large photo)

Law Firm

Wifler Law Group

103 W. Gilmer Rd., Hawthorn Woods




Wifler Law Group is a boutique firm serving clients in Lake County and throughout Chicagoland. Among other aspects of the law the group assists in buying or selling real estate with representation that is professional and friendly.


Runner-Up: Joseph Menges

Honorable Mention: Susan Kammen & Associates


20. Priority C placement

Live Entertainment

Copper Fiddle Distillery

532 W. Illinois Route 22, Lake Zurich




Copper Fiddle Distillery is a craft distillery in Lake Zurich producing award-winning bourbons, gins and rums. Copper Fiddle has a cocktail bar and hosts live local musicians every weekend.


Runner-Up: Roaring Table Brewery

Honorable Mention: Middleton’s on Main


21. Priority C placement no photo


Onion Pub & Brewery

2221 N. Pepper Rd., Lake Barrington




A 3x winner of a Best of SW Lake Award, Wild Onion Brewery is the granddaddy of the local brewing scene. Wild Onion beer is widely available throughout the Midwest, but fans like it best in the English style pub room in Lake Barrington.


Runner-Up: Roaring Table Brewery

Honorable Mention: Buffalo Creek Brewery


22. Priority B placement (small photo)

Fine Dining

Farmhouse on North

117 North Ave., Barrington



Farmhouse on North is a neighborhood restaurant in downtown Barrington serving up farm fresh, homemade dinner and Sunday brunch. Owner Meghan McGinty invites you to “come in and feel like you are having a meal in our home!”.


“What an honor to be chosen a Best of SW Lake Winner by our community that we love to take care of so much!”


Runner-Up: D&J Bistro

Honorable Mention: Beelow’s Steakhouse


23. Priority C placement no photo 


Lou Malnati’s

Lake Zurich, Palatine, Buffalo Grove, among 50 Chicagoland locations

847.550.8800 (Lake Zurich)



Since 1971 with the opening of their first pizzeria, Lou Malnati’s style of Chicago deep dish pizza has proven a favorite. This family business carries on the tradition, offering handmade-from-scratch pies in a flaky, buttery crust.


Runner-Up: SLYCE Coal Fired

Honorable Mention: Neoteca Pizza & Wine Bar


24. Priority C placement no photo

Suburban Sports Team

Chicago Wolves

6920 N. Mannheim Rd., Rosemont




Since a sellout crowd of 16,000+ fans cheered on their home opener in 1994, the Wolves have won multiple league championships and launched more than 300 players into NHL careers. Now partnered with the NHL’s Las Vegas Knights, the Wolves offer a great evening of family fun entertainment.


Runner-Up: Windy City Bulls

Honorable Mention: Schaumburg Boomers