Special Advertiser Content
ROAD TRIPPIN' Manchester: Main Street
MANCHESTER, Iowa —
In a town celebrating 150 years you can find history at every turn, but the sweetest memory is just inside the front door of Widner Drug. A lot of first time visitors end up asking where to find the actual pharmacy counter, but that's only after they pull themselves away from thousands of square feet of unique gifts, Iowa wines, fine jewelry, beautifully designed clothing, home decor and that retro 1950s Ice Cream Parlor by the front door.
This is the real deal, malts, shakes, sodas, double and triple dipper sugar cones and all the favorites from childhood served up in a shoppe with classic tables and a checkered floor. Widner President Bob Sack says it only has one purpose, "Just fun, you can't come here and not have a good time."
His wife and co-owner Monica says if you can say it, they've probably put it in a glass, " Hot fudge malt to chocolate to cherry, you name it we can make it."
They've owned Iowa's largest independent drug store for 42 years and Mr. Widner before them owned it for 42 years and they still have the first doctor's prescription written in the 1800s. Bob and Monica say it's all about customer service and listening to what they want and need. Bob says the rest is just enjoyment, " It's a little bit like Disneyland, people come in here and I'm wanting to make them happy and they make me happy and if they spend some money that's even better. " http://www.widnerdrug.com/.
Just across the street more good things are brewing in an historic hardware store that is now the oldest building in Iowa to house a brewery. When Chad Sands and his brother gutted the place, they found gold. Beautiful brick walls and gleaming wood grain now grace the Franklin Street Brewing Company. In back, shinning vats that help them churn out some 600 gallons of beer every month. Chad says the goal is small batches and the highest quality for a crowd that appreciates what they do, " It's a nice, wonderful community here in Manchester and we wanted to be kind of the neighborhood tap house." They found out if you brew up some great beers, like the best selling Sullys and Manchester Red and an IPA called Fuzzy Side Down, it makes people hoppy. Add some live music and pretty soon you get a reputation as a hot spot for spirited sipping, "We knew people would come here to try it, but what's really great is that folks keep coming back." http://franklinstreetbrewing.com/
At the end of a long day of sight seeing, shopping and enjoying a brew, Mary Kay Dannenbrink is always there to welcome you home for a restful night. The owner of Simply At Home Bed and Breakfast says she and her husband Vic had several rooms they weren't using in their 1890s brick house and thought it might be fun to welcome people in and give them a good meal and a place to stay. The phone hasn't stopped ringing since, " We are just amazed and we thought it would be just weekend visitors, I can't believe how many times we're busy during the week and weekends too, I mean we are filled into some months next year already." The cozy living room, bright dining area and guest rooms do make visitors feel like the sign says, simply at home. It probably hasn't hurt any that they treat guests much more like family, " We always send them home with fresh cinnamon rolls and something for the road as they travel on, wishing them blessings on their journey. " Simply At Home B&B Part of a growing group that keeps migrating back to this main street.
Come along as Matt Hammill takes you ROAD TRIPPIN' to Manchester !