5 Local Businesses to Patronize in Lancaster

There’s no doubt about it; Lancaster is a great city. We’re so lucky to attend college in a city where there are so many great restaurants, businesses, nonprofits, and places to go. Navigating downtown Lancaster can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re a freshman. Here’s a list of some of the best local businesses to patronize in downtown Lancaster, which will definitely make your evening even better. Whether you’re heading down on an afternoon when you have a break in between classes or during a bustling first Friday, check out these businesses.

Art & Glassworks

While you might not be in the market for glassware, this store is a delight to wander into when you’re downtown. Once you walk in the front, you’re surrounded by unique objects made out of blown glass, along with some other novelty items. The true charm of the store is that once you wander to the back of the store, you’ll find a door that leads you to a private garden, filled with tables and chairs, plants, and incredible decorations. Also make sure you look out for the three cats that live in the store! They’ve all been rescued and love to lounge around the store.

Dogstar Books

Personally, I cannot get enough of independent bookstores, which is why there’s two on the list. Dogstar books is a short walk away from campus, located on Lemon Street. They also have an online store you can check out, but nothing compares to the feeling of walking around an old bookstore and smelling the books. Dogstar is in an old house that’s been repurposed to house the books. There’s a rare book section, a children’s corner, and a small art gallery where the store sometimes hosts poetry readings.

Mr. Suit Records

Mr. Suit Records is a great record store in downtown Lancaster, where live bands sometimes play. I had the pleasure of seeing The Districts perform here in 2014 when they were less well-known. Mr. Suit Records has a fantastic selection of records and is small and intimate enough that you don’t feel overwhelmed by just having to choose one or two records.

Winding Way Books

Winding Way Books is the second bookstore on this list. This independent bookstore is located in the basement of a building in downtown Lancaster. The store extends charmingly into a small back room that features coffee table books. Books are divided into different categories, with an entire wall holding classics, from rarer copies to new.

Twice Found

Twice Found is one of the consignment shops in Lancaster and I personally think it’s the best. Twice Found specializes in higher end clothes that are in ideal condition - some even still have tags on them! You’ll find brands like Coach, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, Lilly Pulitzer, and various others. You’ll find all sizes for much more affordable prices.

Building Character

Even though Building Character is the last on this list, it might be my favorite store. Building Character is located on a side street off of Queen Street and is in an old warehouse. There are various booths within the store that local artists rent out and put items for sale in, either that they’ve made or are just looking to sell. You can find nearly anything in this store and may spend hours here.