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Day Tripping 2 Dublin, Ohio

–Mary Helen Darah

I have always wanted to go to Ireland but with my work schedule and a recent purchase of a 1930 home (aka the money pit), it will have to wait. The good news is that right here in Ohio, a mere two-hour and twenty-one-minute drive from my home is a little gem of a city and a temporary consolation for an Irish fix, called Dublin. I decided to hop in the car and explore the area since hopping ‘across the pond’ was not in the cards.

Dublin, Ohio is a fast-growing community that surrounds the Scioto River near the metropolitan Columbus area. The city’s roughly 25 square miles contain more than 3,000 diverse businesses, 1,100 acres of developed parklands, restaurants and gift shops. It is known for its annual hosting of the Jack Nicklaus PGA Tour Memorial Tournament and of course, the Dublin Irish Festival. After researching the many things to do and see in the city, the voice of my Gram popped in my head— “If you are bored, it’s your own darn fault.”

Baker’s Village and Garden offers a variety of items for your shopping pleasure including unique succulents.

It was tempting to rush to REI and Trader Joe’s, that are not available in my neck of the woods, upon arriving in Dublin but I thought I would choose a few locally owned places to visit. First up was Baker’s Village and Garden, located at 9267 Dublin Rd. I have been accused of being an earth mother. Guilty as charged.

The ‘Reader’s Digest’ summary on this quaint garden goody-and-more establishment is if you enjoy perusing through unique clothing, jewelry, flowers, decorative trees, stone planters, herbs, urns, succulents and plants and more plants, then Baker’s Village and Garden is worth a visit. I tried to stay strong and not make a purchase (I am after all saving for the ‘original’ Dublin) but I caved.

After my Visa card stopped quivering from my visit to Baker’s, I headed a short distance down the road to The Morgan House, a “mini-mall” of whimsical gifts, jewelry, clothing, furniture, home accents, gourmet foods and a restaurant. The Morgan House, established in 1985, is an 18,000-square foot building that was erected from the original log cabin named after Civil War Veteran John Hunt Morgan. Travis Heinlen, Manager of The Morgan House, whose mother started the business in 1985, oversees the many faceted facilities including the home decorating services, where clients can turn the home of their dreams into a reality. Whether you are a dog lover, OSU fan (sorry not a Michigan item in sight), pottery, fairy garden enthusiasts, foodie or in need of a little bling, a stop at The Morgan House is sure to please.

Travis Heinlen, Manager of The Morgan House, continues to oversee the 18,000-square foot facility his mother began in 1985.

The last family-owned business I visited on my trip to Dublin was La Chatelaine French Bakery and Bistro, located in the heart of downtown Dubin at 65 W. Bridge Street. Owners Stan and Gigi Wielezynst immigrated to the area in 1985 and started the bakery and Bistro in 1991. La Chatelaine now has three locations in the Columbus area, each run by a family member. Food and family are main priorities to the Wielezynsts and it shows in their culinary creations. No matter what time of day you arrive, I highly recommend a visit to experience the authentic taste of French cuisine. Breakfast, lunch, tea time and dinner are served in a cozy atmosphere that also includes a lovely area for outdoor dining. A bar with copper top counters and wine barrel ceilings also adds to the atmosphere and the fun. The bar is open in the morning hours in case you crave a Mimosa or Bloody Mary to accompany your homemade croissant, omelet or beignet. My takeaway moment—literally—were the cranberry muffins. They’re so amazing they should be illegal. I brought some home to my parents who had the daunting task of watching my Golden Retriever with ADD. All was forgiven.

My day trip passed far too quickly. I long to return to Dublin (the one that doesn’t require a passport) to explore new places and return to the ones I was delighted to discover.

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