End of Roanoke Downtown Summer Refreshment Zone

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -Sunday was the last day visitors to Roanoke could enjoy the designated outdoor refreshment area.

It was the first time Roanoke had a designated area. Nick and Lauren Olski recently returned to Roanoke from Northern Virginia. The two enjoyed strolling downtown with drinks in hand.

“Whoever is responsible for this, let’s make it permanent,” Nick said.

“It was pretty quiet when we got out. I was worried it was too crazy when I first heard about it, but it was actually pretty quiet,” Lauren added.

More than a dozen restaurants participated. New downtown business Olde Salem said it appreciated being part of the designated area.

“It’s helped the business a lot, actually. So, you know, right now we don’t have outdoor seating,” Olde Salem general manager Cameron Weeks said. will do in the future, but not yet. And so, it was nice to be able to use the farmers market, after we were done, people were staying there and talking and congregating outside as well.

Weeks thinks the 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. window kept things under control. But he would like to see the area expand.

“I mean, you have this really quick little stretch. You have to do two rounds to finish a beer, that’s how it is,” Weeks explained. “There are other bigger events going on, you know, these businesses here could benefit from people being able to grab a beer from them and walk there.”

The Olski family say they are disappointed with his end. But they are eagerly awaiting his return.

“It seems like something that would work well in the area,” Nick said. “You know we have, there are a lot of young people here who like to be outside and hang out with friends and so on. But you know it sounds like a good thing for the city and the community.

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David H. Henry