Close your eyes and imagine a grand medieval hall and now open them in the Gypsy Kitchen. Housed in the Dietz Hall Refectory at the Lancaster Theological Seminary, this locally sourced and locally inspired restaurant shares space with the Seminary and is as close as you can get to 15th century England without leaving the county. Tucked inside the 500 block between W Frederick and W James streets, the Gypsy Kitchen offers weekday lunch and weekend dinner with a dining environment like none other around.
After a fine meal, take a walk east on W James and take a right onto N Mary. Soon you will find yourself at Splits & Giggles Ice Cream for dessert. Under new ownership, Splits and Giggles offers Hershey’s Ice Cream scooped by a collection of Chestnut Hill neighbors who banded together to save the independent ice cream store. Take your scoops to go and continue south on N Mary. This route will allow you to see the entire range of homes and styles available in Chestnut Hill. From tiny row homes on back alleyways to large single family homes on broad streets, Chestnut Hill offers homes at a wide range of price points.
Take a left onto W Chestnut St and enjoy a stop in the Wolf Museum’s garden. Newly filled with native plants, the Wolf Museum lawn is an informal park to the neighborhood. On any given summer week, a sign will be posted in front of the museum welcoming neighbors to meet, greet, and eat on the lawn that coming weekend. Turn left on N Charlotte and continue south to W Grant St to finish your evening walkabout. Recently, this once forgotten alleyway has seen a rise in foot traffic and tour buses alike with the establishment of Lancaster city’s first distillery since prohibition, Thistle Finch. As you head to the warehouse, follow the crowd or keep a keen lookout so that you don’t walk past the distillery’s small entrance and sign. If you do walk past, don’t worry you are not the first.
This unassuming warehouse hosts a distillery and tasting room and mixes local spirits in classic cocktails as well as housing the oldest brewery in town. After cocktails at Thistle Finch, head to Wacker Brewery to enjoy small batch brews from the recently revived oldest brewery in Lancaster County. Wacker’s tasting room is not always open, so plan ahead!
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.