Local artisans breathe new life into outdated projects. by Brandon Hoops, photos by Keith Borgmeyer CRUZ CHAVEZ At age 22, Cruz Chavez walked away...
From the Brick District to Saults Drug Store treats, there’s a hidden gem down every street.
It was Sir Winston Churchill who gave Fulton, Mo., its 15 minutes of fame, thanks to his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946. But there’s no need to idolize Churchill or be an alumni of one of the town’s two colleges to appreciate Fulton’s Midwest flair. Just a short drive outside of Columbia, the adorable weekend getaway is filled with must-visit shops, restaurants and people waiting to be discovered. Oh, and the hospitality! Did we mention Fulton is full of it? At the forefront of hospitality are the owners of the Loganberry Inn, Cathy and Carl McGeorge. The quaint bed-and-breakfast located on West Seventh Street is where our journey began.
“Adding a personal touch is just not the way the business world works,” Cathy says. “We do.” The success of the B&B has held true for the past 18 years, and in addition to shoutouts in USA Today and Midwest Living, Carl and Cathy’s claim to fame is hosting the late Margaret Thatcher when she graced the town of Fulton with her presence. And what we thought was our special treatment was the everyday guest experience at Loganberry Inn. The fresh fruit smoothie, the crispy bacon and quiche, the chocolate-drizzled crêpes — it’s all to die for.
But what really caught our attention were the Chocolate-Lovers Weekends in February: chocolate martinis, chocolate goodies before bed, chocolate waffles in the morning and a wine-and-chocolate pairing class. According to Cathy, they cover the two most important food groups: chocolate and wine. Amen to that.
If you’ve already dabbled in a few wine samples, why not keep the wine flowing? Serenity Valley Winery and Canterbury Hill Winery are perfect ways to spend a seasonally warm afternoon only a short distance from the heart of Fulton. Enjoy the ambience of Canterbury Hill, or learn how to make, bottle and label wine at Serenity Valley.
The idyllic Brick District is the hub for food, shopping and nightlife. It’s exactly where old-world charm meets modern amenities. Even if the weather is gloomy and the town is a bit quiet, here is where the crowds will stay.
Adorned with paper chains and the magic feel of the Shop Around the Corner, this bookstore houses used books and select new releases all under the watch of the resident cat, JJ. The store features local artists and made-in-Fulton gifts. Every other Thursday, writers can come to share their work, and both kids and adults enjoy storytime on the third Saturday of the month.
If you’re a tried-and-true mid-Missouri gal, Divine Shoes has your next pair of cowboy boots. Find eye-catching heels for a night out or practical flats for running around town in every color and style. It’s the perfect spot to change up an everyday outfit.
The newest addition to the Brick District made its debut in December with the Sneak Peek Christmas Party. The official opening of the gallery/photography studio/frame shop/arts and crafts supply store was in January, and it is a one-stop shop for Fulton artists. The gallery features regional artists, including Columbia photographer Mike Seat. Owner Danielle Warren recognizes the trend of wine and painting instructional classes and hopes to offer those to guests as well.
The cozy ambience of Beks welcomed us with the smell of homemade soups and a friendly smile from the worker behind the counter filled with delicious desserts. The Brick District staple offers everything from salads and burgers to fish, steak and seafood. “We needed to preserve downtown,” says Rebekah Vaught about the restaurant she and her husband, Garry, opened eight years ago.
Everything on the menu is made from scratch with local, seasonal ingredients. Rebekah laughs when we she’s asked about her love for cooking. The successful business owner has always loved food, but she didn’t experience instant success.
“The first thing I ever made, the chickens wouldn’t even eat it,” she says. “I learned the difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon that day.” You would never guess that with the menu of mouthwatering options. Our favorite is the Parmesan artichoke dip — perfect for sharing!
What better way to round out savory food selections than with a sweet treat? Saults Drug Store is a convenience and gift store with a full-service pharmacy, but it’s famous for its old-school counter serving up the most delicious milkshakes in town. Vanilla and chocolate are classic favorites, but we couldn’t resist the unique flavors of toasted marshmallow and mocha.
Original owner Luther “Lee” Saults founded the drugstore in 1937, and it’s been in its current location since 1988. The store prides itself on friendly service and still actually answering the telephone. There are no touchtone prescription orders here.
Other suggested stops:
1851 Underground Tap & Grill, 111 E. Fifth St., 573-642-6196
Backer Auto World Museum, 200 Peacock Drive, 573-642-2080
Fulton Cafe, 529 Court St., 573-642-8444
Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, 513 Court St., 573-642-0570
Westminster College, 501 Westminster Ave., 800-888-9266
William Woods University, 1 University Ave., 573-642-2251