With the fall semester in full swing, new Bellarmine University students, and even some returnees, are looking for new places to visit that are not far from campus. Luckily, many places on Bardstown Road cater toward college students itching to try something different.

One hotspot popular with both Kentucky natives and newcomers is the store Why Louisville?, located at 1583 Bardstown Road. Why Louisville? sells a multitude of novelty items that are nearly impossible to find anywhere else.

“The store seems really touristy at first, but as you live here longer you start to appreciate it more. The items are really unique to Louisville,” sophomore Miranda Maertz said.

The store sells books and t-shirts that showcase the spirit of Kentucky.

Maertz said Dot Fox is her favorite store close to Bellarmine.

“I like  Dot Fox because it reminds me of the store Francesca’s, except they are a lot cheaper and more local. It’s not a chain store,” said Maertz.

Dot Fox is the one-stop shop for all things fashion, including clothing pieces, purses and jewelry of all kinds. It is located at 1567 Bardstown Road, just a few minutes from Bellarmine and right down the block from Why Louisville?.

After a long day of shopping, it is imperative that a hungry college student eats, right?  Jacoby Botts, freshman, had no hesitation in mentioning Sapporo Japanese Grill and Sushi. This restaurant is located at 1706 on, you guessed it, Bardstown Road.

“I enjoy sushi. The place is convenient and close to campus. The food is cooked in front of you too, so it is a fun adventure,” Botts said.

Botts also mentioned another crowd favorite, Tom + Chee, which is located right next door to Sapporo’s. Tom + Chee is a very casual option, specializing in delectable grilled cheese and soup specials. But what Tom + Chee is really known for is its ever-popular grilled cheese donuts. The Mint Summer’s Night and the S’more grilled cheese donuts are two of its most popular desserts.

“The restaurant wasn’t very formal. It was fun. The food was very good and cheap,” Botts said.

In addition to the already inexpensive prices, Tom + Chee offers a 10 percent student discount to anyone who shows a Bellarmine student ID.

A Tom + Chee employee expressed that it is “important for the company to be a part of the community.” The friendly service and low-key atmosphere make for a pleasant experience for anyone  in need of a quick bite.

In addition to the places already listed, a few more dining recommendations are Café Mimosa (Asian cuisine), Comfy Cow (ice cream), and Smokehouse BBQ (pretty self-explanatory). A couple personal shopping favorites are Urban Attic boutique and, of course, Carmichael’s Bookstore, bringing out the bookworm in all of us.

If Bellarmine students find themselves bored and looking for something to do off-campus, these Bardstown Road gems have everyone covered for some of the best shopping and dining opportunities the Bluegrass has to offer.

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