New Concord, Ohio…a small village located smack-between Cambridge and Zanesville off of Interstate 70. It’s a grand total of 1.5 square miles, with a single main street, a line of small town owned businesses, an elementary school, police and fire station, wellness center, and a university. There’s one grocery store and it’s not a Kroger, but a small chain by the name of I.G.A. There’s an ice cream place that’s only open half the year, four pizza places, a scrapbooking shop, coffee house, library, pet grooming parlor, two churches, two gas stations, and a hand-full of other random things.
Basically, it all comes down to a simple observation: New Concord is a cute, little village in the middle of nowhere. It is home to the famous John Glenn, an astronaut who first orbited the Earth and who also attended Muskingum University. There’s a museum in town dedicated to him, decorated in its original 1950s splendor. Every Christmas after their annual Christmas parade they even put up an old Christmas tree with all the old decorations, surrounded with an old toy steam engine train.
The people in New Concord, from what I’ve experienced, are kind…but not what I’m used to in Columbus. Small town folk seem to be far nosier in each others business, and there is an absurd amount of gossip from what I can tell. It must be difficult, living in a small village like this one where the population doubles during the school year…where students are running about the place, causing havoc, drinking and being loud. It’s no wonder greek life is tattled on for noise–forcing the mere three police officers to inquire the fraternity houses and all their ruckus.
There are a few shops in town that are of particular interest, and may be some places you will want to check out if you are ever to pass New Concord by…
- Uppity’s – Uppity’s, formerly known as “The Jitterbug” is the only coffeehouse in this university village. It is locally owned by a woman, who will occasionally close the place down during the day or early on the weekend due to a lack of business and with very little warning. Over the winter I had an extremely difficult time ever arriving there when it was open–which, needless to say, was frustrating.
Despite their strange hours, however, this coffeehouse is extremely cute and has a wide range of tasty caffeine treats–and a number of others. Their smoothies are great and filled with fruit, and they are also very willing to make any combination of any drink that you may want to try. I’ve walked in there a few times and, not wanting anything listed, told them to mix a few of my favorite things and viola! My very own mix.
Uppity’s also offers lunch. They usually have soups, panini, scones, muffins, and a number of other delicious things. They only serve the hot stuff during lunch time, so be sure to get there early enough! Also…you’ll want to schedule some time to actually sit in the house to enjoy your meal/drink. The house itself is small, but incredibly cute! It has a great atmosphere.
Maybe even more important: Uppity’s offers a student discount. Just bring your student I.D. and you get your order CHEAPER!!!!!! As a college student, I have to admit that this is the real reason I go to Uppity’s.
- Top of the Shop– Top of the Shop is a pizza restaurant above Earl’s pizza. They serve Earl’s pizza, among other things…and the place is small, with plastic tablecloths and the service working a double shift between the restaurant and making pizzas for delivery downstairs. Still, I recommend this place if only for the small town feel and the few of Main Street. Since it located on the second floor, the tables are mostly placed close to large windows that overlook the main street through New Concord. It’s worth going there if only to see the people passing by when the weather is nice. I also recommend the personal size Hawaiian pizza. Earl’s pizza uses almonds on their version–it’s my favorite!
- The Dairy Duchess– The Dairy Duchess is open half the year, and it is very similar to a DQ. They have hamburgers and hot dogs, along with soft-served ice cream, icees, and drinks. Above all, they are CHEAP! You’ll pay less than $5 for a pretty filling meal. Just make sure you have a place to eat. This place is outdoors, and you order at a counter only a few feet from the road.
Another fun tidbit about the Dairy Duchess? John McCain and his entire bus stopped here during his campaign to get some ice cream. He got chocolate with sprinkles. It was a big deal.
In any case, there are other restaurants within New Concord you would probably enjoy. It’s a great place to stop for something to eat, especially if you’re heading along I-70 or Route 40. Cheap, delicious, and helping out the local-people, you won’t regret it.