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A classic diner returns (I hope)



From the 1950s

If you’re like me, as things reopen after a year of staying in, you’ve been thinking about how much you’ve missed eating out. I’ve even been thinking about where to go for an eating-out celebration. Until yesterday, my plan was to go to Bernadin’s in Winston-Salem. But I learned yesterday that a classic diner on the Blue Ridge Parkway, long closed, will reopen on May 27.

The restaurant is The Bluffs. It first opened in 1949. It was in operation for 61 years until it closed in 2010. The National Park Service could not find anyone to operate it. A great many people remember the place fondly, and the Park Service was under pressure to reopen it. Lots of people donated money to a campaign organized by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Appalachian Regional Commission contributed, as did the stingy state of North Carolina. You can read about this at the restaurant’s web site, here.

Those outside the eastern United States may not know that the Blue Ridge Parkway is a national park. The Bluffs is at Doughton Park. That’s at Laurel Springs, at Milepost 241. Part of what’s exciting about this reopening is that it’s a public-private project worth supporting.

I’ll have a report soon after The Bluffs reopens. I’m just hoping that they get it right. Judging from the photos, authenticity was priority 1 for the renovation. I hope the same is true of the cuisine, though I suppose that heavy porcelain dinnerware, and glasses and cups that aren’t supersized, would be too much to hope for.


The renovation

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