On the corners of W Lemon St and N Charlotte St sit perhaps the two most delightful and impossibly pretentious storefronts in Lancaster. Not that the stores or their owners are in any anyway pretentious, but because each carry such delectable wares, that their customers tend to be those with more refined palates. Mandros Imported Foods is a multi-generation family owned specialty foods store frequented by foodies, restaurateurs, and me (although not as frequently as I would like). If you like olives, skip the jars and head back to the meat counter and ask for them. You will be greeted by the most delectable—did I already use that word?—olives, pulled from a five gallon bucket and sealed in a little plastic baggie just for you! Ask for a cheese recommendation, grab some crackers, and you are about to become an enviable host.
However, if hosting is not your thing and pairing good food with more solitary intellectual exercises is, take a stroll diagonally across the street to Dog Star Book Store. Formerly located across from Chestnut Hill Café, Dog Star’s new(er) digs pair beautiful old (and new) books with dark wood paneling. I am not sure there is any better combination. While Dog Star holds art openings, poetry and book readings, as well as live music, their best service may be found in recommending and finding excellent reads. With your new found goodies, walk east on W Lemon St three blocks to the Northwest Corridor Linear Park and partake while you watch the kids play in this little slice of green within the city.
As long as we are around the corner, I must mention the Charlotte Street Association, which began in 1968 and is Lancaster City’s first neighborhood association. Up until 2014, annually this collection of neighbors presented the Charlotte Street Property Improvement Awards. My only regret is that they stopped this excellent program before seeing how much work I have put into my house.
Nancy Keeler is a Lancaster transplant and a licensed Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Homesale Realty, www.homesale.com. She specializes in downtown living and investment properties. To find out more about life downtown and real estate, contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.