Local Roots

“So where do you go to school?”

“Hillsdale College”

“Oh, where’s that?”

“Hillsdale, Michigan.”

“Oh, where’s that?”

It’s no secret that our beloved college finds its roots in a tiny town.  Better-kept secrets, however, lie in the local businesses that make Hillsdale, Michigan ‘home’ for over 1200 students each year.  Whether it’s pancakes at the Palace or tacos from El Cerrito, students pour into local restaurants & businesses every week for a break from the daily academic grind.

The Student Activities Board owes some kind of credit to local business for almost every event we put on.  Here are just a few examples of local favorites that make us proud to say we LOVE our small town.

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Performers take the stage at last year’s CHP Showdown.

Broadstreet Tavern/Underground

55 North Broad St. Hillsdale, MI 49242

When we Work with Them: Airband, Karaoke Nights, CHP Showdown

Why we Love Them: Home of a two-story restaurant, 36 beers on tap, and the only fresh sushi in town, Broadstreet is a local favorite for upperclassmen.  Luckily, the events that SAB hosts in the ‘Underground’ section of the Tavern are for Chargers of all ages.  Mozzarella sticks and pot stickers are fan favorites at our SAB Karaoke nights and lip-syncing competitions.  Broadstreet is where small town meets urban-chic.


Checker Records

28 S Howell St, Hillsdale, MI 49242

When we Work with Them: Any event that requires a cup of warm caffeine! Concert on the Quad, Fall Fest, SAB meetings, etc.

Why we Love Them:  Checker Records is amongst the best caffeine stops in Hillsdale, not only specializing in coffee, but also music.  Unlike many of today’s coffee shops, Check Rec focuses less on the ‘frills’ and more on what’s actually in your cup.  Another perk of a small-town family business?  Lower prices and more personalization.  Stop in a handful of times, and your order will quickly be memorized.  With drinks named after classic rock stars, it’s hard not to love this quirky favorite.


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The bowling alley is a hot spot in cold Michigan winters.

Hillside Lanes

400 W Carleton Rd, Hillsdale, MI 49242

When we Work with Them: Bowling nights

Why we Love Them: In the cold winter months, finding something to do outside of class can be a struggle.  Bowling nights bring in a huge crowd, with fun outfit themes for every kind of bowler (think: Hawaiian Luau, St. Patrick’s Day, Jersey Night, etc).  Students rave about the food lineup available at the bowling alley — pizza, garlic fries, and more.  No luck in the lanes?  The catchy 90’s playlists will keep you coming back to relive those childhood birthday parties.


Glei’s Orchards & Greenhouses

3500 Milnes Rd, Hillsdale, MI 49242

When we Work with Them: Fall Fest, Homecoming Bonfire, Centralhallapalooza

Why we Love Them:  Tucked in the countryside 10 minutes from campus, Glei’s is heaven for fall-lovers and fresh food fanatics. Our fall lineup of events often features hot cider from Glei’s apple orchards, and hay bales make some of SAB’s favorite benches for events that involve warm bonfires or pumpkin carving.  This place makes a beautiful Michigan autumn even sweeter.


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At the end of this year’s Garden Party, SAB gave students the flower arrangements used as decorations.

Smith’s Flowers

106 N Broad St. Hillsdale, MI 49242

When we Work with Them: Garden Party, Homecoming Court

Why we Love Them: Smith’s flowers has been a Hillsdale gem for over 100 years.  Whether you’re pinching pennies or trying to impress your crush with dozens of roses, Smith’s provides great service for any budget.  We love working with them for events like Garden Party, where we need tons of bright flowers – fast.  There is nothing as timeless and beautiful as a good floral arrangement.


 Udder Side

121 W Chicago St, Jonesville, MI 49250

When we Work with Them: Centralhallapalooza, The Source, Freshman Orientation

Why we Love Them:  I scream, you scream, we all scream for…. Udder Side Ice Cream. With flavors ranging from classics like mint chocolate chip to bright blue ice cream called Wacky Wildcat, there is something for everyone at this Jonesville quick-stop.  Whether you go through the drive-through or enjoy your cone on one of the picnic benches outside, the friendly service at Udder Side will leave you (and your sweet tooth) smiling.

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