River Road to The Spot:
A Sunday Drive & Meal
Story & Photos by Matt Bayman
If you’re not familiar with River Road in Shelby County, it is arguably one of the most interesting roads in the region. It follows the Great Miami River through the rural countryside, has a concrete bridge to pass through, ends near the magnificent and mysterious Big Four Bridge, and leads straight into historic downtown Sidney, where you’ll find the equally historic The Spot restaurant, as well as many other unique places to shop, dine and sightsee.
The architecture in downtown Sidney is worth the drive alone, from the Monumental Building and its Union soldier that watches over the Courthouse Square to the Historic Sidney Theatre and Bonnyconnellan Castle. A variety of statues around the courthouse add to the setting. There are also a number of historical markers located throughout the downtown that tell stories from the community’s past, from jail breaks to presidential visits. For even more history, visit the Shelby County Historical Society at 201 N. Main Ave.
While in Sidney, take a walk at Tawawa Park and see a giant rock left behind by a glacier known as Big Rock, as well as the Ross Covered Bridge and beautiful, hilly terrain that is especially colorful in the fall, as is the drive along River Road.
At The Spot, patrons can enjoy an old-fashioned atmosphere and menu that includes burgers, onion rings, milkshakes, homemade pies (including strawberry a nd pumpkin pie), fish sandwiches, specialty sandwiches and much more. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily except for Friday when the restaurant is open until 8 p.m.
A fun way to reach The Spot, and to travel the interesting River Road, is to take the following 18-mile drive, which starts at Troy City Park and ends in downtown Sidney. Along the way, you’ll not only pass fall foliage, but other interesting landmarks and attractions.
Below are just some of the sights you can see when driving River Road to The Spot and visiting downtown Sidney.
From Troy City Park, head north of Riverside Drive
At Duke Park, the road becomes Troy-Sidney Road.
At the Shelby County line, Troy- Sidney Road becomes River Road. Follow River Road until it dead-ends into Sulphur-Heights Hill Road near Sidney.
Turn left on Sulphur-Heights, cross the Great Miami River, then turn left onto Main Avenue. This will lead past the Big Four Bridge and directly to downtown Sidney and The Spot.