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If you’re like me, when you hear “Dillsburg” you think of the country version of the Bob Ruth Ford song crooning, “We’ve got them there deals, only in Deals-burg.”
What you may not realize is whether you like the song or not, there’s a lot more to the town than a repetitive jingle that gets stuck in your head.
I have very little knowledge of Dillsburg beyond Haar’s Drive-In Theatre (great value and fun summer activity) and the GIANT Food Store along Route 15. I have also been to the high school’s soccer fields a few times, but never took the time to walk through the town.
As one resident told me, “blink and you miss it.”
My journey started down Route 15 and my first stop was at the plaza called Village Shops. It had a martial arts studio and nail salon, but also The Book House (11 N. Route 15).
The place was very full of used books as well as toy cars. The shelves were old and wooden and the place had a historic yet neat feel to it. I learned a couple has owned it for more than 30 years, and they often attend book conventions where they get autographs to sell.
Visitors can trade in old books for store credit, with which they can use to buy other books. I was told science fiction fans and history buffs in particular would find many treasures on their shelves.
Next door was Fantastic Finds, a consignment shop for women with quality clothes and accessories. The owner said high-schoolers often shop there. She recommended I check out The Pickle Nickel in town, a new spot families would love.
The Pickle Nickel (5 S. Baltimore St.) is on the main square of Dillsburg. This place was really cool, especially for someone like myself who can be slightly stingy.
The Pickle Nickel opened last April and is a small family restaurant with an arcade attached. It features Americana food at typical prices. The nice thing is all the food is locally grown, so while you pay what you would at a fast food place, The Pickle Nickel offers quality food.
Families are encouraged to play and have fun while they eat. There are also various deals, depending on the day, that offers tokens for the arcade in addition to food.
Of course, families or kids can simply come into the arcade and enjoy the games. It’s small and features about a dozen games, but it offers prizes for tickets and has some of the essentials, such as air hockey.
The owners’ nephew recommended I check out The Polar Bear Den (47 S. Baltimore St.), a barbershop down the block. I had heard of this place when I covered Northern sports and was excited to see it. It’s named after the high school’s mascot and decked out in its colors—purple and white. The place struck me as something straight out of Friday Night Lights. Unfortunately it was closed the day I was in town, but it looked neat and came highly recommended.
In between the two places are a big flower shop and the Dillsburg Public Library. The library was deceptive because it’s fairly narrow but very deep and has a decent selection.
On my way out of town I stopped by Dill’s Tavern (227 N. Baltimore St.), a stone building erected in the late 1700s. This was once a tavern owned by the Dill family (the town’s namesake) and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s become a popular spot for weddings and events and holds open houses to let visitors see the old structure.
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web for Central Penn Parent. He greatly enjoyed covering Northern York High School’s baseball team state championship run in 2011.