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It's an exciting time to be in our part of the cornfield

I don’t know about you, but I’m hearing some pretty great buzz about our area and what might be coming down the pike for those of us who love to gather someplace new to have a meal.
There are the obvious new eateries, already in place or soon to be open. The new Mexican place on Tuscarawas Avenue in downtown Dover, El Pueblito Mexican Bistro, looks to be up and running, and the upper floor Craft in Downtown New Philadelphia is, I’m told, overcoming some final code hurdles before opening for business.
I also understand that a microbrewery may be coming to downtown New Philadelphia, and there has been some buzz about new, artsy-oriented restaurants on the horizon near the Kent State campus to serve those who attend shows at the PAC. That sounds like a marvelous idea, and I hope it all comes to fruition.
I know we talk about high-paying jobs in manufacturing, but these are the seeds that help nudge an economy to growth. We’d all love to have a Buick plant dropped in our backyard — Well, not literally. Nothing brings people out to yell at each other like the prospect of an enormous facility covering hundreds of acres being plopped near their zinnias — but there’s a process to getting there.
I’ve shared with you before the excellent wisdom about gauging the health of a local economy by the number of active microbreweries doing business. This came to me from a professor specializing in the history of alcohol consumption in the United States, and it makes a lot of sense.
A thriving brew industry is a strong indicator that an area is home to a sizable number of young people with a little money to spend on entertainment, which indicates potential for further growth.
Saddled with student-loan debt, younger folks are looking for inexpensive, fun experiences with friends, which links to another good economic indicator: the existence of food trucks. We’re beginning to see them here more commonly now, and that is a very good thing.
I’m not a betting person by any stretch, but smart money is on the appearance in the not too distant future of some interesting brunch restaurants, another food trend from which we would greatly benefit.
Our area, I am overjoyed to say, supports an increasingly robust arts community. I’m very much looking forward to that translating into nifty, affordable spots for musicians, painters, sculptors, actors, dancers and, yes, writers to gather and swap thoughts and a few bars of a good song now and then.
We have all those people here, but it seems like we lack the kind of service industry support that can really make it all blossom and thrive into this still new century. I hope that’s changing before our eyes.
Because it’s art, food, drinks and relationships that build communities and indicate to people who choose where to put Buick plants and Target stores that we are a good place to start having cornerstone-laying ceremonies.
We already have nice parks, an amazingly strong support system for those who need help with their lives, fantastic libraries and all those important puzzle pieces in place. It’s an exciting time to be in our part of the cornfield right now, as we are on the brink of a likely bright future and some excellent food.

Published: April 13, 2018
New Article ID: 2018180419986