Rue Principale offers a vacation right here at home!
Many Aylmerites opt for a budget-friendly “staycation”, and they need travel only to rue Principale for their delights.
Strolling through Old Aylmer’s Farmers’ Market, on Sundays, gives a sense of the region’s bounty, with fresh produce continually. All of rue Principale is in bloom! Practicalities are at the Pharmaprix, 178 rue Principale, open until 10 pm every night, with health and beauty products, an expert pharmacist, plus grocery items. Less traditional basics can be found at Rouge Vape in the mall behind the Galeries Aylmer; open 7 days a week, it offers a broad range of products and services for summer’s recreation.
Summer’s de-stress and healthy living is accentuated at EssenCiel Massage Therapy Clinic and Spa, at the corner of Frank Robinson -- with massage, hot stone and pregnancy massage, and facial treatments using organic Éminence products and state-of-the-art electrolysis. The Source, 32 rue Principale, offers the services of David Millot, Member of the Order of Acupuncturists of Quebec, who practices traditional Chinese acupuncture, and Blaise T. Ryan, registered acupuncturist and certified practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
For a light lunch, Chez Gaston Shawarma at 195 rue Principale (just in front of the Galeries Aylmer) provides a convenient, delicious, and affordable lunch to eat in or takeout.
Two blocks down, at 150 Principale, is the sit-down tapas restaurant Antonyme. The menu of non-traditional tapas specializes in seafood, though not entirely. With lunch and dinner comes a wonderful beer and wine list. Sunday brunch is served inside, decor rustic-chic with a bar and patio (but may not be suitable for families with young children.)
Definitely family-friendly is the restaurant Bistro Mexicana at 129 rue Principale. Excellent and creative Mexican fare on a large outdoor patio, a $9 children’s menu (kids eat free on Sundays), make this a favourite.
The Boulangerie Deux Frères bakery, in a converted heritage-style house, offers baked goods, novel breads, coffee and a lovely porch with limited seating. Freshly baked vegetarian pizzas are a specialty, purchased by the slice or ordered whole a day in advance. The bakery is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
A few steps further is Maison William J Walter Saucissier, with a selection of gourmet sausages and a shop filled with spices, mustards and specialty items. Sausage sandwiches are served on fresh baguettes. Here’s an Aylmer source of ginger beer -- for those “dark and stormy” summer evenings!
Just next door is the recently-opened Bouquinart book store and art gallery, with a great variety of French-language books (for kids and adults), as well as a rotating display of stunning local art.
If it’s not all vacation, there’s help to organize, mend and tailor clothing or other household fabrics at La Dernière Retouche, 112 rue Principale. Here there’s more than basic dry cleaning, alteration and shoe repair -- have a gown cleaned for storage or your favourite boots mended before winter!
Closer to the Aylmer Marina, at 23 rue Principale, pets are treated with professionalism at Studio Beau Regard pet-groomers. With grooming for large and small dogs, the Studio offers transportation services for pets, as well as daycare for dogs.
And, finally, nothing says summer nights like a drink on an outdoor patio. Bistro L’Autre Oeil offers plenty of outdoor (and indoor) seating. The Bistro is famous for its 481 beers from 31 regions around the world, plus a wine and whiskey list, snacks, meals, and live music.
And for Aylmerites who are hitting the road, giving the car a once-over inspection at Garage Hugo Martin (143 rue Principale) is advised. The CAA suggests checking the battery, tires and all fluid levels, and getting an oil change, all prior to leaving.