Wooster – A great American main street

Wooster, Ohio
Shop A Great American Main Street

Excerpt from a previous edition of OhioTraveler Magazine

Experience shopping is where you can still see, hear, touch, smell and taste the local culture. And in downtown Wooster, Ohio all five senses are filled with delight.

Everywhere there are signs of a vibrant downtown. It is seen in shopkeepers’ faces along the eclectic storefronts. It is seen in the downtown residents looking out their windows from their second story lofts. It is even seen in the faces of construction workers building new lofts to meet the surging demand of people eager to move downtown.

The downtown scene is filled with a diverse selection of stores and services. Many people come for the shopping, exercise, restaurants, and entertainment. There is new construction at the library, historic churches around the corner, nearby College of Wooster and county fairgrounds all adding to the ambiance of Wooster, Ohio, past winner of The Great American Main Street Award.

A day in town may start by meeting up at the gazebo in the square. From there, you can grab a cup-o-joe at Muddy Waters Café, Gathering Grounds, or Tulipan Hungarian Pastry & Coffee Shop.

Although plenty of ATM machines are around town, many mistakenly walk into Gallery in the Vault looking for money and walk out with artwork. The former bank turned art store features the grand old vault and stashes of Ohioan artwork flowing out of it. If handcrafted jewelry is appealing, and I’m sure it is, be sure to visit MacKenzie’s Silver & Gold for something made-to-order. Gifts galore beckon you to The Wooster Gift Corner. But if you are truly seeking to walk away with that one-of-a-kind shopping experience, take a look at Artfind Tile where the artist in residence has rare tile from around the world.  White Jewelers is a 3rd generation, full service jewelry store – a must visit!

Antiquing is considered an art form by many. For those that do, pay a visit to Uptown/Downtown Antique Emporium where there are more than 100 consignment booths to browse or for unique high-end consignments of furniture and more, be sure to see Walnut Street Antiques and Frientique.

Around midday, before or after a meal at a fine local eatery, you may stop in a local spa for some spoil-me time or sit and read at Wooster Book Company or Books In Stock featuring more than 80,000 rare reads.

Now about that meal! Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, the town is filled with more than 20 traditional family-owned and operated restaurants and unique eateries. Here is the menu:

  • A top-20 Northeast Ohio restaurant with two great young chefs making a name for themselves at The Oak Grove Eatery.
  • Outdoor or indoor dining at The City Square Steakhouse.
  • Or maybe you are one that could eat breakfast all day. In that case, or for lunch, go to the local spot to be – The Parlor.
  • Local produce and a great place to lunch – Local Roots!
  • There’s TJ’s serving up three restaurants in one, including CW Burgerstein’s and Melvins.
  • Signature dishes and specialty bread at Broken Rocks Café & Bakery.
  • Smoked brisket, burgers, ribs and more at Omahoma Bob’s BBQ!
  • American, German, Hungarian, and Romanian cuisine at The Henry Station which was once an old gas station.
  • For daily specialty soup and sandwiches, Spoon Market & Deli is a must.
  • Don’t forget to stop at the Butcher Shop in the rear of Spoon Market!

And on that last note, after a tasty dish and day of walking, you may need a room. If so, try Downtown Wooster’s newest boutique hotel, The St. Paul on South Market Street,  The Best Western Wooster Plaza, or the Market Street Inn.

Once your battery recharges, there is more to see and do.

For the traditionalist that remembers yesteryear and the old-town department stores that served as a community’s retail anchor, stop in and say “hi” to the friendly people at the 120-year-old Freelander Department Store. Alterations are provided on the spot. Nearby, furniture like no other and gorgeous home accessories can be had at Roomscapes, Urban Cottage, LuckyPorcupine, and Jerry’s Home Furnishings.  Stop in at Davinci’s Tile & Granite for unique ideas to update your home!

As you can see, Wooster is full-service experience shopping right down to the third-generation downtown Buehler’s Grocery Store, Wooster Natural Foods, Lucky Records and more. Downtown Wooster is also home to 3 women’s clothing boutiques. Visit G&G Boutique, Poppy by PurseSnickety, & Clothes Minded to find the perfect outfit for a night on the town!

But what makes this a true experience shopping destination is at the corner of Market and Liberty Street where they have been organizing America for years at Everything Rubbermaid. The historic four-story building has the traditional product line’s signature items plus Irwin Tools, Little Tikes Toys, and a Sharpie markers of every size and color.

Wooster. It is not just a great place to visit, it is a great place to live. You do not have to ask the locals, their faces will tell you.

When planning your own Wooster shopapalooza, be sure to print a day full of savings and freebies at https://www.ohiotraveler.com/wooster.htm. For more information about Wooster, including directions, visit http://mainstreetwooster.org or fb.com/mainstreetwooster.