Southern Iowa doesn’t get enough credit. While the gravel roads may be vast, the city scene non-existent, and the pasture seemingly endless – there are amazing finds to be found! If you head toward Chariton, you’ll experience what I am talking about.
On the town square, one of my favorite places to go, is the Hotel Charitone. For those of you who are familiar, you may be thinking, “That’s the Hy-Vee Market Grille.” But, it’s much more than that. This is a historic building that opened in 1923. Later on, after the building fell to despair, Hy-Vee stepped in (they had their headquarters in Chariton). As payback to the community for their support, Hy-Vee renovated the building, which is no longer a hotel. It’s an apartment building with an amazing Market Grille, much unlike the others Hy-Vee has around. Their daily specials on food and drink make it one of the coolest atmospheres for the least money. Check out their page to follow their deals – I can’t stress how great as Saturday is with bottomless mimosas are for $9 along with half-off appetizers (bruschetta – go for the bruschetta).
But, keep on moving through town to Highway 34. As you leave Chariton, your eye will be caught by the Frontier Trading Post and Soda Pop Saloon. The trading post is filled with great finds! But amongst the merchandise, you’ll notice these cool tables which are made by the owners, Cindy and Fidel. These have a rustic look with customizable color palettes. And, if you wonder to their antique barn and look around – you’ll feel like you’re on American Pickers and amazed by the antiques you can make an offer on. The Soda Pop Saloon has live music that is family-friendly! And, both businesses are in their 15th summer!
Now, continue onto Melrose. And, this one, you may want to plug into your GPS: Red Barn Saloon & Grille. The Saloon is owned by Gary and Dory Voss. While I didn’t get to meet them, I did get the chance to hear about how great they are from their server, Jessica. Jessica made great (stiff) drinks and their menu looked enticing – although I was too full to try anything. If you stop in, be sure to check out my bill, by the door!
May your ride be smooth, and your drinks stiff! Cheers!