As you may or may not know, LaGrange, Georgia is home to the oldest private college in the state: LaGrange College. As a student at this lovely institution, I have noticed that the town of LaGrange is simply not attractive to young people, i.e: college students. Sure, there are a few small bars and we even have two WalMarts now, but LaGrange lacks a few establishments that would draw more students to the college and please the townspeople. All of the following stores, restaurants, and attractions are currently a forty-five minute drive from LaGrange, and that would be pushing the speed limit. We are in desperate need of a town renovation, and these establishments make the cut.
Okay seriously, we need a Target. This store is a huge supplier of quality college gear and home decor. They offer awesome back-to-school deals that would attract students and parents. Not to mention, the headache of carting two car-loads full of furniture from home on college move-in day would be alleviated if we were able to shop in the town that we live in. They have great clothes, electronics, a small grocery section, and pretty much everything you would ever need for a dorm room. Oh, and a great baby and child section for the families who reside here, too.
Currently, there are only two major chain stores in LaGrange that sell (almost exclusively) clothing and accessories: TJ Maxx and Belk. Last time I went to Belk for clothing, it was an utterly hopeless venture and unfortunately, TJ Maxx is always a hit or miss. Kohl's consistently carries pretty much everything you could ever want. They sell clothes for every size, shape, age, and style. They often have large sections for formal and athletic wear. Now, LaGrange has tons of cute boutiques that sell solely clothing, but one shirt at such a store can cost upwards of $55. College kids are broke, so that price for one shirt is out of the question. Kohl's basically pays you to shop at their store through their huge sales, copious coupons, and helpful Kohl's cash. We need it...case closed!
3. A Craft Store
I still can't believe we don't have any kind of quality craft store in this town. With a college full of sorority girls, the business that they would provide this type of store would probably be enough to keep it afloat. We need a Michael's, or at least a Hobby Lobby. The only place you can find any sort of crafting materials is at Walmart. Their limited selection and inconsistent stock of items make crafting un-fun. This town is known for their love and dedication to the arts, but we don't even have a store that encourages such activities! Life would just be much easier if we had 30 different shades of blue acrylic paint to choose from.
4. Panera Bread
Surviving the stressful life of a college student is bad enough, but now we have to be deprived of the mouth-watering bread bowl, too? I jest. But Panera Bread is a delicious, fast, and cozy restaurant. Not only could this establishment grace us with the comfort food that we need, but it also offers a cozy place to study, work on homework, or hold meetings. In the morning, before class or work, you could grab a breakfast danish and a coffee. At lunch, the working people of LaGrange could grab a yummy panini, salad, or bowl of soup. Since we are currently forced to drive over 45 minutes away to quench our Panera cravings, I am pretty sure this establishment would be a hit.
5. A Frozen Yogurt Shop
With the recent spike in froyo trendiness, I am surprised a frozen yogurt shop hasn't popped up here. A lot of residents in LaGrange are runners or cyclists, and I am sure that an establishment featuring a healthy dessert alternative would be something to pique their interest. We have an Old Fashioned Soda Shoppe that is to die for, but when you want a light and low-calorie dessert, it is not the place to go. Froyo would be perfect during the excruciatingly hot summer months here, and an almost healthy treat after a long day of class. Basically, it would make life better, and we would all be able to indulge in some guilt-free dessert.
6. Chipotle Mexican Grill
So, I don't have some mind-blowing reason for why we should have a Chipotle in LaGrange, except for the fact that everyone loves it. Considering healthiness, they do offer a style of Mexican food without artificial flavors or fillers and commit to serving farm fresh food. The food is not awful for your body, and it would be nice to see more restaurants in this town that were focused on their consumer's health. Not to mention that college students love guacamole. As some of my friends would say, "Chipotle is lyyffeeee."
7. Olive Garden
Olive Garden is, hands-down, absolutely delicious. With its bottomless breadsticks and huge pasta portions, this restaurant would be a home run in a town with extremely limited dining options. An Olive Garden in LaGrange would be great for a date night or a family dinner. When we want to have a classy dinner for a friend's birthday, driving 45 minutes to Newnan is not always an option. We want pasta and we want it now!
8. A Local Coffee Shop
The only coffee shop that we have is Starbucks, and it is a ten minute drive from campus. It would be amazing to have a cozy coffee shop with locally grown coffee, where students could go hang out in between classes and do homework. Starbucks is fine, but it doesn't have much seating and isn't the best study environment. I think a place like this would be really fun for students, and adults who need a quiet, caffeinated retreat from their hectic lives.
9. An Arcade/Bowling Alley Combo
When people say "there's nothing to do in LaGrange," they are not kidding. There is literally nothing to do here, except for go see a movie. Having an arcade would be so much fun for families, friends, and couples on a night out. It doesn't have to be a Dave and Buster's or anything, but even just a small family-owned place with some ski-ball and an air hockey table. You could collect tickets all night, buy yourself a cute stuffed animal, and then go play a round of bowling. This city severely lacks interactive entertainment, and if someone were to open up this sort of establishment, I am pretty sure they'd make bank.
Look, we aren't miserable here or anything, LaGrange is a great city. However, it would be even more awesome, convenient, and enjoyable with the addition of these stores, restaurants, and attractions. We love it here! (But we'd love it even more if it had Chipotle).