I am not a native to San Joaquin County, but today, I call it home. When I met my husband in September of 2002, I was smitten and I knew he was the man I was going to marry. Not long after we met, he brought me to his hometown of Lodi to celebrate his nephew’s first birthday. It was my first time meeting his parents and sister along with her family, and all I knew was we were going to a fancy dinner in Stockton. It was at Ernie’s on the Brickwalk, a longtime Lincoln Center Institution, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Fast forward 20 years, and Lincoln Center remains the shopping and dining mecca it has been since it opened in 1951. As it has for generations of families, Lincoln Center plays an incredibly special role in our lives. From brunch with babies at Market Tavern to New Year’s Eve dinners at Midgley’s Public House, birthday celebrations at Prime Table, Christmas parties at Papapavlo’s, lunch dates with girlfriends at Bud’s Seafood Grille, and so many other important milestones, Lincoln Center’s history is woven into the fabric of our lives.
One of my favorite seasons, and memories, is Lincoln Center during the holiday season. They pull out all the stops—Santa for the littles and Christmas music that echoes throughout the village. It’s the ideal time to book a dinner reservation at Midgley’s where we love to sit on the brickwalk and watch the artificial snow fall from the sky.
Any local will attest that as you drive down Pacific Avenue, the towering “L” and jumbotron serve as a beacon to locals looking for a place to satisfy both their shopping needs and appetite. And while the jumbotron is a recent addition, the one thing that remains a constant at Lincoln Center is their core base of locally owned businesses, attention to detail, and unique shopping experiences. I mean, where else can you shop for gourmet grocery goods, get custom fitted for athletic shoes or bras, try your hand at an escape room, shop for designer baby clothes, and find the perfect piece of fine jewelry to complete an outfit.
So, let’s all raise a glass to Lincoln Center. To their longevity. To their entrepreneurial spirit. To the businesses that have closed their doors for retirement. To new businesses. To the meals shared with family. To the cocktails enjoyed with friends that feel like family. And to the next 70 years. Cheers to shopping local and cheers to Lincoln Center!