WESTON, Mo. (KMTV) – The aroma reminds you of an Italian restaurant. The national flag may make you think you are in Rome, but you won’t need your passport to stop at La Bella Cucina Italian Market on Main Street in Weston, Missouri. The one-year-old store selling Italian products ranging from pasta and marinara sauce to imported pottery, oil and vinegar, is one of more than two dozen stores and boutiques that inhabit downtown town of Weston.
The Italian Market, one of 15 new stores to open in the city of 1,700 during the pandemic, provides a fun environment to explore, whether you’re just browsing or looking for unique Italian gifts for the holidays. And Gordon and Holly Grohmann have a family secret.
âWe’re not Italians,â Gordon whispered jokingly.
The Grohmanns, who are from nearby Kansas City and live in an apartment above the store, decided to invest their savings in the Italian market after Holly lost her job in the wake of the pandemic. Based on the number of customers in the store, they made the wise decision to open their store in Weston.
Weston – about 2.5 hours south of Omaha on Interstate 29 – offers 20 blocks of shopping and food year-round, but the holiday season seems to bring something a little more special to the along Main Street. From Christmas shopping to holiday decorations, even visiting Santa himself on weekends, Weston is a great city to visit for holiday shopping or just to feel the spirit of the season. Against the backdrop of Western architecture dating from the mid-1800s, the city center looks like a Hallmark movie set.
With so many unique shops and boutiques, Weston is ideal for a day trip or weekend getaway. We have visited the city about half a dozen times and there is always something new to discover. From Christmas markets to interior decoration, the city invites you to visit. Here’s a look at some of the fun places to check out.
Weekend visitors in November and December (until December 24) can see Santa Claus wandering the Main Street in search of good kids of all ages. Victorian-era Santa Claus will check his list for naughty and kind kids, and listen to what you would like for Christmas.
Buffalo Ranch Christmas Store
It’s easy to get into the holiday spirit as soon as you step into Buffalo Ranch Christmas Store, with ornaments, lights, decorations and Santa Claus all over the store. With nicely laid out displays, you might want the store workers to come to your house and decorate (or, it might just be us, as we could definitely use the help). It was hard to leave the store without buying all the elves, penguins, and gnomes in vacation gear.
Main Street Galleria and upstairs tea room
An old fashioned soda fountain with Blue Bell ice cream is the main attraction of Main Street Galleria and upstairs tea room, which also offers retro candy, fudge, and baked goods. You will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth with its lavender lemonade, ice cream soda, malt or classic phosphate. Stop in for a sweet break or to pick up some treats for the house. Main Street also includes a tea room for a special outing that resembles English tea time.
Ten thousand villages
Moving to Weston from the Kansas City area was an easy choice for the homeowner. Ten thousand villages. When the space opened in the city about a year ago, Ten Thousand Villages quickly made the trip. Offering fair trade products, the store has an eclectic collection of items, ranging from cute socks, cups, toys and clothing. With products from manufacturer to market, sales help build economies around the world, helping to break the cycle of poverty. Once at the store, step back and take in a magnificent view of Weston City Park.
Renditions Polish Pottery Shop
With more than 70,000 dishes imported from Poland, Renditions Polish Pottery Shop has three beautiful European-style sandstone rooms. With traditional and folk art designs, the store offers plates and cups, as well as ceramic butter keepers and gravy boats in the shape of animals, such as cattle and pigs. You’ll even find old-fashioned cookie jars. The store also offers European holiday ornaments featuring angels and animals.
Weston Bend Candle Shop
The holiday aroma is in full swing at Weston Bend Candle Shop. With the scent of pumpkin spice or perhaps the alluring shoppers of French vanilla, the candle store is a great place for holiday shopping. With a variety of candles, from jars and pillars to votives, Weston Bend has you covered.
Missouri Bluffs Boutique
With a collection of women’s clothing, Stores Missouri Bluffs offers seasonal selections, such as sweaters, scarves and jackets. For a unique twist on Midwestern living, how about a chic hat for holiday events?
White pumpkin on the main course
The Main Street Home Decor and Accessories Store is the perfect place to pick up some holiday gifts. From cute signs, such as âDear Santa, I didn’t know I couldn’t do this,â to a framed map of Nebraska with the towns and villages listed in the background, the store has some fun freebies. Don’t worry, however, White pumpkin on the main course also offers many holiday decorations to help make your home the envy of the family this season.
The Celtic Ranch
A taste of Ireland in the Midwest is the best way to describe The Celtic Ranch. Showcasing a collection of clothing for men and women, the store is easily found in Dublin’s Temple Bar area. Guinness fans will love the selection of gift ideas, including coasters, sweatshirts and boxer shorts. The Celtic Ranch has a whiskey tasting room at the back of the ground floor. You can enjoy your favorite shot or order a flight of whiskey, offering a variety of drinks.
Northland Artists Gallery
Showcasing the works of artists from the region, Northland Artists Gallery is a great stopover for art lovers. Between oil and pastel paintings, as well as unique sculptures, the gallery offers a relaxing look at beautiful art.
Spending a day shopping in Weston can whet your appetite. Fortunately, the city is home to some exceptional restaurants. Pewter kitchen offers grilled meats, smash burgers and a variety of salads, while Avalon Cafe is a good restaurant offering crab cakes, steak burgers, flatbread pizzas and dishes such as lamb chops, wild boar and pork tenderloin. The 640 Pizza and Pints offers pizzas and sandwiches. Bowman American Restaurant at the Weston Brewing Company offers classic steaks and sandwiches, as well as bangers and mash. For a truly upscale dining experience, book a table at The vineyard restaurant. Located in the Antebellum house, the restaurant is open on Friday and Saturday evenings and offers fillets of duck, lamb, pork and beef.
Beer and wine
A visit to Weston is not complete without a visit to Pirtle Wine Estate, which has housed an old church for over 40 years. Raising their own grapes in a nearby vineyard, Pirtle wines are popular with locals and visitors alike. Weston Brewing Company is a great stop for a cold beer. At America Bowman restaurant, go down the stairs and walk through the stone cave to O’Malley’s Pub 1842 to have a drink and enjoy live music. Grow grapes in their vineyard, Riverwood Vineyard offers a unique setting for wine tastings after having reassigned a former country school. Along with white and red wines, Riverwood also offers flatbread pizzas to be enjoyed during a tasting.
Where to stay
When it opened in 1845, the Hotel Saint-Georges in downtown Weston were home to steamboat captains, wealthy travelers and businessmen. Today, the 26-room boutique hotel offers a comfortable stay in a classic river town. There is a lot of guest rooms, which offer intimate accommodation options and come with exceptional breakfasts.
Whether you are visiting Weston on a day trip or a weekend trip, there is plenty to do and see in the River City.
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