Hodge Podge by Charlie Hodge – The Best of for 2016

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On a regular basis each year I run three columns: Charlie’s Angels Christmas List, Podge’s Tourist Guide of Where to (and not) to Go, and the Best of list.The latter is a bit of a blend of the Tourist Guide and the Angel list in that I not only name some of the best business or venues in the town, I also include individual employees, owners, or trades folks.Winners are based on my observations as well as those of Tez and a few close friends. They are not named because of anything to do with advertisers, or other media sources nor because of anything but the fact that I think they deserve the pat on the back. So here are the highlights of those from the past year:Best combination view/food Kelowna Earls on Top, Cactus Club on Water St., Pyramid Winery.Best combination view/food rural Ancient Hills Winery, Quails Gate.Best Kelowna restaurant for dinner Kelly O’Bryan’s, Memphis House of Blues, The Grand Hotel, Montana’s.Best Kept Secret (funky place to eat) Central (Central Kitchen and Bar CPH).Best Waterfront Pub/Food Rosie’s Pub, Cactus Club on Water, The Eldorado, Manteo’s Resort.Best Regional Waterfront Food Gasthaus on the Lake (Peachland), Blue Rooster (Peachland).Best Kelowna lunch Grateful Fed, Brown’s Social House, Brown Bag.Best Breakfast Perkins, Cafe Soleil, Rickey’s, IHOP.Best Chinese Food Yum Yum Tree at Capri Centre.Best Soup Grateful Fed.Best Italian Momma Rosa.Best pizza Olympia Greek Taverna in Rutland.Best Kelowna pub (small) McCullough Station, The Exchange.Best Kelowna pub (large) BNA, Original Joes, Rosie’s.Best regional pub Turtle Bay Marina Lake Country.Best Social Pub or hangout Browne’s Social House.Best sports pub Sturgeon Hall, Dakota’s, Baxter’s.Friendliest restaurant staff Grateful Fed, Ricky’s, Yum Yum.Friendliest sales staff Kelowna IDA (Capri Mall), Home Depot.Best Bakery Nesters.Best Butcher Johnny’s Meats, Nesters.Best Book Store Robbie’s Rare Books, Mosaic Books.Best Music Store Wentworth Music.Best Clothing Store Moore’s, Robertson’s Clothing.Best live Music Grateful Fed, Blue Gator, O’Flannigans.Best rural live music Blue Rooster (Peachland).Best Concert Facility Kelowna Community Theatre.Best Jam night Riley’s Pub with the Green Room Riders, anything hosted by Jim LeGuilloux.Favourite Bands Linus, Jimmy LeGuilloux Band, Dirt Road Opera, Sherman Doucette.Solo Musician Keith (Papa) Thom, Rick Halisheff.Best Local Magazine Okanagan Life Magazine.Best Free Outdoor Concerts Music in the Park– listing on City web site.Best Roofer Mike Pearce. He might be an east-coaster and just a tad too much fun, but Mike can fixa roof quick and efficiently. He is not crazy about it but if you whine enough he may just help you.Best Electrician/Handyman Robert (Bob) McKinnon claims to be retired but he keeps pretty busy and for good reason.Best Oral Surgeon team Dr. Russell Naito, Dr. Bell, RN Deb Naito, and CDA Kathy Truant at Okanagan Oral Surgery. Amazing and accommodating.New Dentist in Town Jeff Kozak at Bernard Dental.Best Respiratory Nurse Robin Carter.Best Financial Consultant Charlie Peet.Best walk/dog walk Mission Creek Greenway.Best Place to People Watch Rosie’s Waterfront Pub, The Sails, Wings.Intersections to Avoid Highway 97 and Spall, 97 and Gordon.Favourite Hideaway Echo Lake with Curtis and my canoe, Bear Creek Canyon, Maud Roxby birdsanctuary, my back yard. 

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, and current Kelowna City Councillor. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, and strategic planning.A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge has also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 34 years.His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on his third hockey book, as well as a historical/fiction novel.Charlie is proprietor of Hodge Communications based in Kelowna, B.C.Charlie’s creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. A creative thinker and innovator, Charlie believes in helping clients make their best choices; assist them with strategic plans, and decision make.Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic and motivational speaker, and effective personal coach.His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa, three cats, and a very spoiled dog.

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