If you’re planning an hour, a day or a weekend to visit the historic village of East Aurora, do not – repeat – do not make Vidler’s 5 & 10 your first stop. It will be tempting, especially when you see the “Vidler on the roof” politely waving you in. But stay strong and take in the rest of East Aurora first. See, Vidler’s is the largest variety store in the world. So beyond the nostalgia of a five and dime shop, you’re going to be hit with 75,000 items across four connected buildings and over two levels. Once you step in, it’s as if you can’t leave.
So here are some things to consider before you go to Vidler’s.
East Aurora prides itself on being a quaint and charming village. So park along Main Street and start exploring. Grab a coffee and a creative breakfast at Taste or Elm Street Bakery. Then pop in and out of the many food, clothing and antique stores.
Lucky for you, East Aurora is also home to chicken wings that rival the famous Anchor Bar and Duff’s. The Bar Bill Tavern has concocted a variety of the best sauces for its luscious wings, and will serve them to you in such a fashion you’ll think to yourself “these look too good to eat.” Then you’ll devour them.
Ever hear of the American Arts and Crafts Movement? It was kind of a big deal; basically a revolt against the Industrial Revolution to ensure quality craftsmanship lived on. And it all began in East Aurora in the late 1800s.
The Roycroft Campus, National Historic Landmark and vanguard of the creation of the uniquely American “Arts and Crafts” style, sits largely preserved today and is a must for anyone with even a casual appreciation for hand crafted mastery.
Conclude your time at the campus with a proper meal at the Roycroft Inn. Four dining areas, vaulted ceilings, beautiful woodwork, relaxing ambience and incredible food will accompany your experience.
Once you’ve enjoyed these fine allures, head to Vidler’s. You’ll need the rest of the day.
— Charlie Fashana