Taking a stroll in downtown Lakeside, Ohio is like taking a stroll back in time. It is a familiar place for me and each year I look forward to exploring the shops and restaurants. Each June when I revisit Lakeside I look to see what is new and what is the same. Some stores change and new businesses pop up. The basic landscape of the downtown remains the same but I welcome the additions and improvements.
When I was younger it was a treat to save up my money for “conference week” where I would go usually in the company of my siblings or friends to The Shade Tree which was also known as the candy store. Behind a glass case I could spend my hard earned money on a variety of favorites including those candy buttons on strips of paper, candy cigarettes (can you believe those existed?), and Fun Dip. The Shade Tree was manned by a pretty imposing woman back in those days and I suspect her attitude was probably commensurate with the number of children that came in to gaze at the candy behind the glass. As the day wore on I think her patience wore thin and there were times that I remember being a little more than a bit intimidated by her.Fast forward to present day and The Shade Tree is still there but the imposing woman is no longer a fixture. Candy is still available behind the glass display case but the variety pales in comparison with my childhood memory. It is funny how the passage of time changes perspective.Some of the favorite shops in downtown Lakeside are filled to brim with goodies to buy. Marilyn’s and Marilyn’s Two are a must stop for souvenirs, fairy garden supplies, lake themed items. sweatshirts and tshirts and any of those items that you just can’t leave Lakeside without. I love the small town feel of both of her stores and most days you will see Marilyn behind the counter or stocking items or just being with customers. On the day I visited this past time a couple of little girls were 35 cents short of their purchase. The kind lady behind the counter told them to go ahead and go home with their goodies and bring the 35 cents the next time they stopped in. Now seriously. How many stores do that ? Other favorites include the book store The Fine Print which always has an amazing selection of great books for all ages. The whole atmosphere at Lakeside is so relaxing and the perfect place to curl up with a find from a great independent book store. I could not share a post about downtown without giving a shout out to one of the best places to get ice cream and donuts, could I? The Patio has been a fixture on the corner of Walnut and Second for as long as I can remember. A nightly tradition over the years has been to get ice cream here and while I only got it once this past year my bowl of Buckeye Bites was delicious as always. Donuts are a hit in the morning and the traditional American menu that is offered will please any palate. Another place to grab a bite is Sloopy’s where you can get pizza and more, dine in, take out or even get delivery to the Lakeside area. Our Saturday night tradition has become getting pizza from Sloopy’s once everyone arrives after a long day of driving and we certainly gobbled it down this year so fast that I did not even get any pictures.There are plenty of other shops to check out during a visit to Lakeside and in each shop I am amazed at the kindness and the pleasant demeanor of those who are the owners or the employees. It is a lovely way to experience a slower paced shopping experience away from the big mall and strip centers that line most towns.
For a more complete listing of the businesses that call Lakeside home please feel free to click on the highlighted links in the post. To visit the Lakeside website click here to explore more of this community that I love. To read my first post in this series please click here.