Tag Archives: Blacksburg

China Inn Asian Grill- DBI Business Member of the Month

28 Aug 26 china inn window

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Business Member of the Month for August 2015
China Inn Asian Grill

Located on Draper Rd right across from the Town Library, with it’s own parking lot the China Inn Asian Grill is a hidden gemdining1 in downtown Blacksburg.  Offering traditional Chinese food as well as American Chinese, Japanese, Asian and Thai food with full service dine in, carry out and delivery options available you are certainly given plenty to choose from. As an added bonus you can even use your Downtown Gift Certificates for Dine-in or carry out  service.

“The fried rice that comes with the lunches is surprisingly good.”

“Easy to find and park, or they deliver if you feel like staying in.”

123“This was hands down the best Chinese food I have ever had. Everyone was really friendly and the food came out in a timely fashion. This was authentic Chinese food and you would be remiss if you didn’t dine here at least once.”

China Inn
403 Draper Rd
Blacksburg, VA 24060


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Blacksburg Contra Dance- DBI Non-profit Member of the Month

27 Aug
 Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Non-profit Member of the Month for August 2015
We have held a monthly dance for a number of years.
Contra dance is social dance done to live music and a caller who leads the figures.  No partner necessary, no experience necessary,  no fancy footwork. It’s about enjoying the music and connecting with your partner and the other dancers in the room.
Usually folks switch partners every dance, and it’s normal to dance with folks one has not met before.  It’s a lot of fun, good exercise, and a great social opportunity.
Dances are held 3rd Saturday nights at the YMCA, 1000 North Main St.  All ages welcome.  All experience levels welcome.  non-drinking non-smoking environment.  Admission of $8 pays the band and callers and expenses.
Bands usually include a fiddle and the music is a wide variety of Irish, Canadian, old-time and other genres.  We’d love for more Blacksburgians to join us!

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Virginia Tech Foundation- DBI Non-profit Member of the Month

8 Jul

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Downtown Blacksburg, Inc is proud to present our Non-profit Member of the Month for June -July 2015
Virginia Tech Foundation
Located at 902 Prices Fork Road, Suite 145 in Downtown Blacksburg

The foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit nonstock corporation established in 1948, and provides private financial support to enable the forward progress of Virginia Tech.


North End is a newly renovated 227,000 square foot mixed-use development that offers retail, restaurant, and office space in a pedestrian friendly setting with outdoor seating areas that will draw you in and make you want to visit again.  North End provides convenient parking for customers in the surface lot or the newly constructed 800-car parking garage and offers some of the finest businesses in Blacksburg including:

Five Guys                                            Tivon Salon & Spa

Buffalo Wild Wings                            New Image Barber Shop

Starbucks                                            Velocity Care/Carilion Clinic

Next Door Bake Shop                        Hokie Centric

Wicked Taco                                      Palm Beach Tan

NuSpark                                              Kaplan

Center of Dance                                P. Buckley Moss Gallery

Carilion Clinic Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

North End is located on the edge of campus at the intersection of Prices Fork Road and Turner Street in beautiful downtown Blacksburg, Virginia; one of the top ranked best performing small cities in the country.

If you haven’t been to North End, come shop, dine and enjoy…

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Palm Beach Tan, Next door Bake Shop, The Center of Dance, Wicked Taco and the P Buckley Moss Gallery are also members of Downtown Blacksburg, Inc.

Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. presents A summer full of fun- the ultimate “staycation”!

23 May BEER2

Join us downtown for a variety of family fun filled events throughout the summer.

Updated: June 6, 2015

And here’s a little sweetener from the Town of Blacksburg!
During these events, metered parking will be FREE in the downtown area:
Saturday, June 20 – Summer Solstice Fest
Saturday, July 11 – Summertime Small Business Saturday
July 11-18 – Blacksburg Restaurant Week
Saturday, July 18 – Art at the Market
August 7 & 8 – Steppin’ Out


Saturday, June 20, 1pm-11:30pm- Summer Solstice Fest. Free and open to all. Featuring live music, Dog Parade, Petting Zoo, Beer & Wine Garden, Water Wars, festival foods, craft vendors, games and activities for the whole family.



Saturday July 4, 5-10pm- Dr. Elvis on the Roof. Featuring live music with Dr. Elvis & The Pink Caddy Daddies, and Guilty Pleasures, beer and wine, festival foods and the best view of the fabulous Town of Blacksburg fireworks. Bring your own chair. No pets allowed. Donations to the Special Olympics of the New River Valley.


Saturday, July 11 Summertime Small Business Saturday- featuring special deals at participating downtown stores. PLUS the chance to win $500 in gift cards and gift certificates when you shop at local stores in partnership with Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Buy. Eat. Live. Local.

July 11- July 18Blacksburg Restaurant Week. One Town. Seven Days. 20+ Delicious Deals.4

Saturday, July 18, 9am-2pm- Art at the Market with Breakfast at the Farmers Market. A juried art show and sidewalk sale, with a fabulous breakfast at the Blacksburg Farmers Market.

August 7-8, 10am-10pm- 35th annual Steppin’ Out Festival. Three stages of live entertainment, more than 200 craft vendors, merchant’s sidewalk sales and your favorite restaurants providing great festival foods.

Monday, September 7, 3-6pm- Party on the Promenade. A pre-game tailgate open to all ages on College Avenue.

2Downtown Blacksburg. It’s not on your way, it’s where you are going!

For more information visit our website:DowntownBlacksburg.com

Take the Easy Way!

8 Mar

Easy Way Packaging Center

Post written by Cyndy Graham

Easy Way Packaging Center has been at 610 North Main Street since 1985, when Charlotte Joyce and her husband built the multi-space building and started their business. A fixture on Main Street, Cathy Taylor bought the business in 2005. ??????????
Today, Cathy, Charlotte, and long-time employee Daryl, operate the business, which offers mailbox rentals and notary services in addition to packaging and shipping. In fact, Easy Way is the only FedEx shipping location in Blacksburg. However, Cathy would like everyone to know that FedEx is not always the best option in terms of price and delivery time. UPS can offer comparable service and price depending on the destination, and UPS also offers overnight delivery. FedEx pick-up times are 4pm, 5pm, and 5:30pm during the week. An insider tip that might help you is that you do not need to rush to get your package to the store early! No matter how early in the day a package is dropped off at the store, the pick-up times stay the same.

??????????One of the many advantages of shipping with Easy Way, is the safety and security they provide. Each shipment is automatically insured. Although there are rarely problems, if a problem does arise, the team at Easy Way does the work for you to arrive at a solution. Cathy describes herself as a “people person,” and this fact is quite evident. She is warm and friendly, and this comes across in the way she does business. In fact, over the holidays a customer was so impressed when she informed him that he could ship his item at the post office for lower cost, he took to the blogosphere to commend her for her honesty.

Another advantage of shipping with Easy Way is parking. A hard-to-come-by luxury in downtown! There is ample parking available, and they can pull up to the curb to unload.  You can bring your package ready to ship, or the team at Easy Way can prepare it for you. They also have all of the supplies available if you choose to do-it-yourself. Operating hours are convenient (10-6 Monday-Friday and 10-2 on Saturdays). What can you ship? Almost anything! From tires to furniture to food, Cathy and her crew have seen it all. There are restrictions of course, and the knowledgeable staff is always there to assist you.??????????


Easy Way Packaging Center is located at:

610 N.Main St

Blacksburg, VA 24060

Tel: 951-4351

Dogs of Downtown- meet Minkie & Caly

10 Dec IMG_5945

Post Written by Erin Jenkins

Part 2 of our Dogs of Downtown series!

Right down the road from Matrix Gallery, and Mr. Keefer Dogg are the Sister dogs of Clay Corner Inn-Minkie and Caly.  These gals enjoy lawn games with their parents and the B&B guests. Caly is an expert cornhole player, frisbee golfer, and both sisters love their tennis balls. Caly is a beautiful IMG_5942nine year old golden retriever, she’s a part-timer at Clay Corner Inn, and part time receptionist at Heartstrings Pet Lodging and Spa. Minky is an adorable jack russell mix, and a full time dog-keeper at Clay Corner Inn. I sat down with the two girls and their parents at their bed and breakfast one day.  Caly is the lover of the bunch, she wants a hug, a kiss, a pat, but she is not obnoxious about it. Minky is a silly girl, and her favorite stance is sitting back on her hind legs, paws folded.  These beautiful girls are friendly, happy, and very well trained. The girls moved east with their parents Nicky and her husband, Rick, when they took over Clay Corner Inn in the fall of 2011 after the original owners decided to retire. From their previous home in California they spent two years searching out B&B properties along the East Coast, wanting to get closer to their three children, the youngest of whom is in Barcelona, Spain, Nicky’s hometown.IMG_5944

The ladies of Clay Corner Inn live to be in their section of the backyard, where there is a taunting squirrel or two to corral. These little girls love being out in the canopy of trees that surrounds beautiful Clay Corner Inn, and sniffing in all the interesting scents that waft in. Although at times the view of a neighboring feline can just be too much to bear, we are all pretty sure these gals would not trade the Inn-life for anything.
Q: What’s the difference between people from Blacksburg compared to those in California?
A: I love people here! They are friendly and want to pet me and love on me. While walking on campus or downtown Dad says I’m a magnet for attention, because everyone always stops to pet me.


Q: What is it like to have other dogs and people staying in your home?
A: I LOVE IT! I like the dogs but I’m mostly interested in the new people, getting a hug, and showing them around my backyard.

Q: What is it like sharing your backyard with cats, squirrels and birds?
A: It’s RUFF!

Q: [for Minky] How do you like your job?
A: It’s great!…although I sure do wish those pesky squirrels would stop dropping in my yard unannounced.


Clay Corner Inn is located at:
401 Clay St., SW

Coming in our next installment of the Dogs of Downtown; meet Goliath, Marketing Team Member at Nest Realty.

Have you noticed that Downtown Blacksburg has been “going to the dogs” for a while now? What do you think about it?

Why not visit some of the Dogs of Downtown:
Calypso the Golden Retriever and Minkie the Jack Russell mix, Dog-keepers at Clay Corner Inn
Keith R. Dogg “Keefer Dogg”, Assistant Curator at Matrix Gallery
Molly and Minnie the mini-Schnauzers, Sales Assistants at Mad Dog
Goliath the Bulldog, Marketing Team Member at Nest Realty
Bella the Bischon Freis, Diamond and Fine Jewelry Expert at Capones Fine Jewelry
Barkley, Antique Collector at Heirloom Originals
Xena, the receptionist at The Laser Clinic
Milo, the greeter at 130 Jackson, who can often be found stationed outside Bollo’s

Other doggie friendly spots in Blacksburg:
Community Arts Information Office
Fringe Benefit
Greenhouse Boardshop: they usually have treats for Fido
Heavener Hardware Lumber and Rental
Heirloom Originals
High Peak Sportswear
Huckleberry Trail
Mad Dog
Market Square Park
Matrix Gallery
Nest Realty
The Henderson Lawn

PLEASE be a responsible pet owner and pick up after your dogs.

See your design on 2013 Steppin’ Out T-shirt!

18 Nov SO_silly_design

How would you like to see this as the design on the 2013 Steppin’ Out T-Shirt?

Well neither would we! So now is the time for you to submit your design and you could win not only $500 in cool hard cash..(well a cool hard check actually but you know what we mean right?!) But you would also be the proud designer of the 2013 Steppin’ Out t-shirt which carries the honor of  being profiled through advertising/news articles, in store windows where t-shirts are sold, online prior to the festival, and at Steppin’ Out. Seriously you would go down in the annals of Blacksburg History alongside many other renowned t-shirt design artists from past years- including George Wills, Cece Bell, Forrest Worley and Robin Rogers. 33 years of Steppin’ Out t-shirt history.

You can get all the details that you need by downloading this nifty little pdf. SteppinOut_Design_Competition

So what are you waiting for? We are anxiously awaiting your design….or we could all be wearing Steppin’ Out t-shirts that look like this…….

And that would not be good for anyone!

T-shirt Design Contest deadline is Dec 14. Don’t spend the rest of you life saying “If only…..”

“Fitting Inn on Main Street”

29 Mar Main Street Inn_Exterior

Post by: Nancy Moseley

“Fitting Inn on Main Street”

Sometimes I think it must be a little daunting for a new business to come into such a tightly woven community where favorite staples line Main Street and the sight of new construction tends to provoke a “Now what?” reaction.  Sometimes I think it must be a little daunting to be the “new guy” in town.

Though Main Street Inn isn’t exactly all that new. Owners “Rip” & Darlene McGinnis opened the doors of the boutique hotel in November of 2008 in true Hokie fashion, on a busy Virginia Tech football weekend – which is one way to win over a college town.

The  “McGinnises ” also started off on the right foot in naming the hotel, assuring Blacksburg they wanted to seamlessly fold into the community and give something back to the town they love. When I sat down with current General Manager, Rei Allen, I asked more about the inception of the business.

“There was an opportunity to add something that didn’t exist yet, to fill a hole in downtown Blacksburg. But it was also important that we complemented and respected the existing businesses, not compete with them.“

For this reason there is no bar or restaurant on the premises, the Inn concentrates solely on providing the very best service in lodging alone. Guests are encouraged to leave the hotel to enjoy the rest – the dining, the countryside, the events or the university. The front-desk concierge helps visitors take advantage of everything the New River Valley has to offer. Backstreet’s Pizza, right next door, for example, started offering breakfast simply as a way to serve overnighting patrons.

The Inn’s neighborly business strategy helps recirculate local foot traffic and makes it easy for people to embrace the larger community. It’s a hometown win-win.

Enjoy open-floor- plan, suite-style accommodations , each with a separate living room that features a wet bar, microwave, refrigerator and sleeper sofa.  Additionally, there are two non-suited rooms with two full-sized beds that meet current ADA standards. Main Street Inn offers  complimentary wi-fi  and parking . A sizable, warmly decorated lobby is an attractive epicenter for all your comings and goings.

Occupancy remains steady throughout the year, with expected upswings during key Virginia Tech events like game weekends, graduation and new student orientation. Mondays through Thursdays keep busy with business travelers, visiting professors and corporate partners, while weekends peak with social functions like weddings, holidays and reunions.

Allen admits, “People come here for a purpose and the convenience of walking out and being right in the middle of things gives them a little something extra, a genuine and accurate feel for the area.”

The Inn has been known to provide overnight R&R accommodations for Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and boasts notable past guests like David Morse, Julia Styles, Ben Folds Five and Governor Mark Warner.

Allen, who graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in Hospitality and Tourism, spent 10 years in Chicago before returning to Blacksburg with her husband, a microbiology professor. She laughs that the biggest challenge of working at the hotel is also her favorite part.

“There isn’t the support of a huge corporation here. It’s just us. So one minute I could be fixing a broken printer, the next I’m planting flowers out front or meeting with industry execs. But that’s also what I love about it. There’s always something different to do.”

There is art to building valuable relationships with people when you are given such a short amount of time with them and the staff at Main Street Inn has perfected it. Their priority is to provide such a well rounded, good experience that those relationships will naturally turn into something longer term.

“We are ambassadors of downtown Blacksburg. We ask, ‘How long are you here and what do you want to do?’ We help the town and the people who live here put their best foot forward.”

Perhaps becoming one of Main Street’s new favorite staples isn’t too far away for the namesake hotel after all.

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a spoonful of paradise!

9 Jan

Post written by Lauryn Tamburello

I hope everyone has had a chance to have Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt (froyo) by now…it has been quite the craze lately and I don’t think it’s going away!

I moved back to Blacksburg over the summer after being in Northern Virginia for about a year and everywhere you looked, you’d find a self-serve froyo joint…I was in heaven. Then I moved back here and my boyfriend and I had to drive 20 minutes to Radford to enjoy the customized good stuff, I didn’t mind, but I’d certainly rather have one 5 minutes away instead!

Oh and now we do! Frosty Parrot has recently opened on Main Street right next to Mish Mish and across from the Post Office, a perfect location in our quaint town. You certainly can’t miss the shop either, with their fire red walls and colorful mascot parrot beaming through the windows!

Father and Son, Roger and Kyle Henderson can often be found at their proud establishment; Roger is in Partnership with longtime friend Randy Dutton and recently decided this would be a good venture. They started from nothing, no franchise guidelines or assistance and have learned the business through trial and error.

Roger has lived in the area for 20 years after bringing his family here on Father’s Day, 1991.  He is an ordained minister and has served as a Baptist Campus Minister at both VT and RU.  He currently serves on Sunday’s at First Christian Church (Disciples) in Newport.  Until this year, he taught Algebra at Blacksburg High School and continues to serve as the girls’ basketball coach.  Rogers wife, Cindy, is owner of Blacksburg Physical Therapy Associates. Roger says “It is my hope that Frosty Parrot Yogurt Creations continues to serve as a great alternative to the traditional bar scene.”

Kyle is a 2009 Blacksburg High School graduate and has been a part-time student at New River Community College.  Kyle serves as an assistant boys’ JV soccer coach at Blacksburg High School in addition to managing the Frosty Parrot. Roger’s daughter, Lindsey, is a freshman at Radford University but helps out with the family business in her spare time!

Like many folks in Blacksburg, Roger says that he always used the parking difficulty as a reason for not coming downtown very frequently.  “I really denied myself a treat.  Downtown Blacksburg is a diamond in the rough.  There is tremendous quality of food and retail shopping within – and just beyond – our 16 squares.  Downtown Blacksburg is more than the sum of its bars – there is great shopping, dining, and entertainment; certainly worth the inconvenience of a few extra steps.”

For those of you who haven’t yet enjoyed their 12 different flavors of froyo (and over 40 different toppings), stop by! You can check their flavors daily on their Facebook Page, where you can also find their hours.

When you first walk into Frosty Parrot, you’ll notice they thrive on cleanliness and a fun atmosphere, then you’ll see the wall of flavors! Grab a cup, choose 1, 2 or 12 flavors of froyo then head over to the dry toppings followed by some hot fudge or caramel and don’t forget to add some fresh fruit (or Reese cups, what New Year’s resolution?).

Looking for a place to get a head start on some fundraisers for your children’s sports, Greek Life, Relay for Life, etc? Look no further, Frosty Parrot offers “percent nights” from 6-9 where a team, organization, etc can come in to raise money and will receive 10% of ticket sales! The shop is also highly involved with the community, over Christmas, 20% of sales on certain nights when to the Montgomery County Christmas Store, a goodwill for the holiday season); also, they sponsor recreational sports such as basketball.

Also, don’t forget to “Like” Frosty Parrot on Facebook to receive frequent specials and look for their ad in The Burgs, the Collegiate Times and Roanoke Times for more discounts as well!

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Now you can sign up for a Parrot Pals Loyalty Card and earn points towards FREE YOGURT! Just ask for a sign up form on your next visit. Tell us about your favorite yogurt and toppings combination in the comments section below.

125 North Main Street
Blacksburg, VA  24060
Mon – Thu: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00 pm – 12:00 am
Sun: 1:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Down on the camera corner….

15 Dec

Post written by Tracy Watson
It is said that every picture has a story.  If that is true, then John Kline can probably tell it.  Ask him about the antique slot machine he traded for photographing a wedding, or about taking pictures of mining equipment seven levels down.  John Kline has seen and documented many changes since he first grabbed a camera so long ago.  Nowhere in Blacksburg will you find a better, more tangible record of the history of photography or of our town.

John has had a camera in his hands for as long as he can remember. His first camera, a Brownie Reflex, was his companion as a boy scout while he learned about the world around him. At Blacksburg High School he spent many late nights in the dark room as the school’s photograph editor. His summers were spent in the Virginia Tech photo lab. Even his years in the Navy were spent with a camera in hand.

John’s Camera Corner/Gentry Studio has been in downtown Blacksburg for more than 35 years. Having occupied many locations along Draper Road through the years, John recently returned to 213 Draper Road, a space he originally occupied when he first stopped working for Ewald Clark and started his own business. With all the extra room John has been able to fully display a remarkable collection of cameras, from vintage Brownies to 35mm cameras to modern digital cameras. While it may feel like a museum of photography, all these fascinating cameras are for sale and can be serviced right here.

John’s most unique camera can’t be found in his store, however. It’s in the restaurant across the street. A 1960’s photo booth. Pay your money, have a seat, flash your smile and take home a strip of four pictures as a souvenir.

John was among the first to offer  color processing in town many years ago and continues to provide film processing and digital photo printing today. He also does passports on site, photo restoration, large format printing and archival printing of your photographs. And if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, John will photograph your wedding, reunion, or other event offering  all types of photography from aerials to wedding photography.

John is a proud supporter of “living local” in downtown Blacksburg stating that ” Survival in downtown Blacksburg comes first.  We adapt to the changes, but still keep the old alive, for example we are just building a Black and White darkroom again. We have added Records to our store to add a little more variety.  I have even sold sleds in the winter so you may never know what to expect.”

Take a look at http://www.johnscam.com/ or better yet, stop by John’s Camera Corner/Gentry Studio at 213 Draper Road and take a look around.

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