neighborhood situated near Interstate 70 and a short drive east of downtown Columbus, Independence Village
features a mix of single-family homes, townhomes
and one-story apartments. Inexpensive home prices, quiet suburban living and the ability to walk to numerous dining and shopping destinations attract young people, families and senior citizens to Independence Village. The age of the neighborhood's housing stock covers a wide gamut, from pre-1970 to post-2000. Families love that public schools are right in the neighborhood.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Independence Village houses a broad selection of restaurants, both chains and local haunts. Whether seeking barbecue, burgers, Chinese or pizza, neighborhood residents rarely have trouble finding a suitable option within close proximity.
When one of those ubiquitous pizza cravings hits, Independence Village residents pick up the best pie in town by heading over to Minuteman Pizza. This local counter-service pizza joint serves up freshly baked pizzas with a choice of dozens of toppings. If someone in your party doesn't want pizza on a given night, Minuteman's Italian subs receive rave reviews from regulars, and its menu features several pasta options such as spaghetti with meat sauce.
Another neighborhood favorite, the Asian Star Chinese Buffet features a wide assortment of all-you-can-eat Chinese goodness, and yes, that includes sushi. Charming decor, beginning with an ornate chandelier in the entryway, and a serene ambiance greet diners at Asian Star, which is popular for first dates, business lunches and big family meals alike. Locals love the crab legs and the beef lo mein, and many sushi lovers in the area claim that they would be happy eating here every day.
Diners with an affinity for spicy food head to Cajun Island and chow down on delectable entrees straight from Louisiana, such as the black pepper pasta with shrimp and the shrimp and crab pasta in Cajun lobster sauce. If they have room left after devouring the hearty portions this local gem is famous for serving, they follow it up with a slice of cherry or blueberry cheesecake. More than just a dinner restaurant, Cajun Island serves early risers with fresh omelets, sausage patties and French toast.
Most of the large-scale nightlife in the Columbus area sits downtown and northwest of town near The Ohio State University. People can reach either place by taking a short drive from Independence Village. For residents who wish to stay local and still enjoy a night out, the neighborhood features popular dives such as the Thirsty Turtle, known for its friendly bartenders and laid-back atmosphere.
History & Culture
Independence Village is an established neighborhood in the city of Reynoldsburg, developed in the 1830s by James Reynolds. Reynolds settled in the area and opened a store serving area road builders. Reynoldsburg began to take off in the 1860s when the area's first public high school opened in town, attracting students from neighboring counties whose parents elected to pay tuition for their children's education. Because these students needed clothing and school supplies, local merchants set up shop in the city to fill the demand.
Reynoldsburg also housed a farm where tomatoes were first cultivated for commercial use in 1870. The city still celebrates this distinction every August with its annual Tomato Festival.
The city doesn't feature museums or a large arts scene, but the Cultural Arts Center in downtown Columbus serves as a popular destination, and the neighboring city of Pickerington houses the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.
Independence Village residents frequently walk throughout the neighborhood and to local stores and restaurants. The roads in the area do not feature bike lanes, but they contain a low volume of traffic and remain reasonably safe for cyclists.
For trips outside the neighborhood, most residents use their cars. All of suburban Columbus contains abundant free parking, and Independence Village provides easy access to Interstate 70, which leads directly into downtown.
Residents who don't drive take advantage of Uber, which operates all over the Columbus metro area, or they call one of the area's numerous traditional taxi companies for a pick up. Residents can't hail a cab in Independence Village or anywhere in Reynoldsburg.
The COTA public bus service out of Columbus features stops on Main Street in Reynoldsburg.
The cost of living in Independence Village sits lower than the average cost of living for the Columbus metro area. Residents pay $560 in monthly rent for a typical one-bedroom
apartment, $2.50 for a beer in a local pub and $2 for a bus ticket to downtown Columbus. Gas prices in the area hover at 15 percent lower than the national average.
Independence Village features two neighborhood shopping centers that sit adjacent to one another: Brice Park Shopping Center and Chantry Square Shopping Center. They combine to provide residents with shopping options, such as Old Navy, Lowe's and Ashley Furniture. The nearby Eastland Mall in Columbus offers an even greater assortment of big box retailers and high-end stores.
Local boutiques and specialty shops also populate the shopping landscape around Independence Village. Residents seeking the best deal on fine jewelry head one exit east on Interstate 70 and visit Edward Warren Jewelers. This local shop has served the area since 1987, offering loose stones, timepieces and wedding accessories. Those looking for a more affordable option to buy or sell goods, such as electronics and jewelry, head to Lev's Pawn Shop in Chantry Square.
Independence Village has an Aldi close by that is very popular with residents for large grocery shopping trips. For a sizable selection of Latino grocery items, the Super Mercado Los Portales sits less than a mile north. During the summers, residents take advantage of the Reynoldsburg Farmers Market in Huber Park.
Independence Village Park sits within the neighborhood and features baseball diamonds, basketball courts, walking trails and a large grassy expanse ideal for picnicking or playing with kids and pets.
Open from sunrise until sunset, this park is free to enter and to park your vehicle.
Blacklick Woods Metro Park, a much larger park located directly across Interstate 70, features biking, golf, hiking trails and a nature preserve. No parks in the immediate vicinity of Independence Village have exercise
facilities. Blacklick Woods allows dogs in all open areas but not on hiking trails. Certain activities within the park, such as golf, require paying a fee, but general admission remains free.
Huber Park, another favorite park in Reynoldsburg, hosts numerous annual events, including its wildly popular Easter egg hunt.