Spotlight on Steubenville: Exploring Fourth Street

AmyLynn Miller

Steubenville Columnist

Perhaps Fourth Street is what comes to mind for a lot of us when we think about good things in Steubenville. The scene of Steubenville’s First Fridays on Fourth celebrations may be familiar to us as a place full of music, vendors, lights and dancing.

If you’ve never been to a First Friday, it’s a big celebration in downtown Steubenville organized by The Harmonium Project, a group based in Steubenville that is dedicated to urban revitalization.

Art vendors, food trucks and live entertainment — from Austrian folk dancing to country music to solo performers on an open mic stage — fills Fourth Street every first Friday of warmer months. Franciscan University Student Government usually provides shuttles that run between Franciscan and the street.

But what is Fourth Street like beyond the excitement of First Fridays? There are a few places on the street I’d like to share with you.

I can’t talk about Fourth Street without pointing out Leonardo’s Coffee Shop. A great place for studying or hanging out, Leonardo’s is the downtown coffeehouse that many students know and love. If you’re not a coffee fan, they’ve got hot chocolate and tea, and the aesthetics of the shop alone is enough of a reason to visit.

The upstairs of Leonardo’s is perhaps the best part. An assortment of mismatching furniture that works well together, a few stained-glass windows and renaissance and steampunk themed artwork on the walls give the upstairs dining area a charming feel.

A piano and a ping pong table assure entertainment for everyone. The windows look over Fourth Street, making for a great spot to watch the bands and crowds below during First Fridays.

Up until COVID-19, Leonardo’s held open mic nights, where anyone could come in, sign up and perform for the customers. Though these have been put on hold for now, the shop hopes to resume the open mic nights as soon as COVID-19 restrictions allow.

Next door to Leonardo’s is the Steubenville Popcorn Company. In addition to popcorn, they also sell ice cream, old fashioned candy (think pixie sticks and retro chocolate bars), gifts and postcards. It’s connected to Leonardo’s, so you can eat your snacks while you drink your coffee.

On the opposite side of the Steubenville Popcorn Company is Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe. Named for the uncle in “The Nutcracker” ballet, the store is a year-round Christmas shop that sells nutcrackers, ornaments, Christmas cards and other nutcracker-themed merchandise. It’s a charming place, especially if you love Christmas or if you’re a nutcracker fan like I am.

And last but certainly not least is BookMarx, situated on Fourth Street not far from the other three places I’ve mentioned.

If you’re a book lover, this shop is for you. BookMarx sells used, out-of-print and hard to find books, as well as postcards, magnets, bookmarks, journals and other assorted book-related paraphernalia. The owners of the store also have a cat! They’ll usually let customers pet the cat if you ask them.

And thus ends our brief tour of Fourth Street. I’ve only touched on a few of the cool places this street has to offer, so whether you’re a music enthusiast, coffee fanatic or book lover, I hope you get to experience Fourth Street for yourself!