In search of…a place to eat

Oddfellas: A place to eat...later in the week

Friends drove over from Wythe County Tuesday for dinner…or at least in search of dinner.

They hoped to eat at Mickey G’s but Tuesday is the one day of the week that the restaurant is closed.

So they headed for Pine Tavern. No dice. PT is open Thursday-Sunday.

Oddfellas Cantina? Nope. Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Cafe del Sol is closed while its fate remains in limbo.  Even when open, the coffee shop closed at 4. Same for the Floyd County Store.

That left Blue Ridge Restaurant and El Charro as dinner choices for a Tuesday night, unless you factor in food franchises like Hardees, Subway or Pizza Inn.

They ended up grabbing a sandwich at Bread Basket before heading back to Max Meadows after learning that Floyd can be a restaurant-deprived town for a sit-down dinner on a Tuesday night.

16 thoughts on “In search of…a place to eat”

  1. Interesting you say Pizza Inn is just a “fast food” place…we are a “fast-casual” restaurant…our menu items are made by hand, from scratch, every day…not just a frozen product that gets sent thru an oven. Luckily, we have so many good customers that are aware of this and travel quite far to come in every week to enjoy our food…they don’t feel as if they have to “settle” for so called “fast food”! I hope not everyone out there has this mind set…again…we are a locally owned and operated restaurant!

    • My point in listing Hardees, Subway and Pizza Inn was that the three are franchises of national or regional chains. The couple in question came to Floyd to eat at a restaurant that was unique to Floyd and not available where they lived. The Pizza Inn in Hillsville was much closer for them than the one in Floyd as were the franchises for Hardees and Subway for the area.

      Amy and I eat at the Subway and Pizza Inn in Floyd when we’re in the mood for the food at either establishment but we see little value in driving to Christiansburg or Hillsville to eat at the Subway, Pizza Inn or Hardees there. If we go to Hillsville or Christiansburg to eat it would be for food that we could not find in Floyd or a restaurant that is not available in our area.

      Let’s not get bent out of shape looking for slurs that were neither intended nor present in the article.

  2. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the Subway, yes they put a meal together really quick, so it maybe fast food is correct. However the staff is also very friendly, helpful, efficient, they have fresh ingredients, pretty good bread, and these people clearly understand the idea of service and show that they appreciate customers. Floyd is blessed with many types of dining experience, and sometimes when you are not prepared to feed yourself a quick meal is good to get.

  3. Hi Doug, After hearing various rumors about town concerning the fate of Cafe Del Sol, and The Sun Music Hall, I thought I would set the record straight. While certainly we are all very sad to be losing Cafe Del Sol, I am also happy to report that DogTown Pizza has just signed a lease to take over the Cafe space, as well as the Sun Music Hall. Jon Roberts and Scott Smith have wonderful plans for a complete renovation of the cafe space that includes building a wood fired pizza oven and focusing on locally grown food, as well as local beer & wine offerings. They also hope to offer early morning freshly made coffee & donuts, great lunches, and create an evening atmosphere that will entice us all to visit for a relaxing after work meal. Their plans also include enlarging the cafe area, including a smaller stage area that will focus on presenting our very talented and diverse local musicians, as well as begin offering a wonderful line up of regional and national acts on the larger stage. We are all very excited about these upcoming changes here at Wintersun!

  4. My wife Anne and I are the couple Doug is referring to in this post, and we are heartsick at the news that DogTown Pizza is taking over Cafe del Sol. Why you might ask? As a retired chef and former restaurantuer, I can tell you that Floyd does not have a large enough population to support two restaurants with similar offerings. One or both of them will not make it. Since location is everything in this business, it’s probably going to be Mickey G’s, because DogTown will have a huge advantage from tourists and attendees at the Friday Night Jamboree. I don’t know the folks at DogTown Pizza nor have I had the opportunity to eat their food. I’ve only met Michael Gucciardo and eaten his food once. I can tell you this; Michael is the real deal. He is a CHEF.

    Very few people understand what that means. It takes years of training and experience to become a real chef, not someone who cooks and has the audacity to call himself a chef. (And before all you PC people get your feathers ruffled, I’m using the pronoun in a generic sense. Their are many great female chefs; I know a lot of them.) A chef who opens a small restaurant in a small town certainly doesn’t do it for the money. The profit margin for such places is usually only 5-10%. That means an annual gross of $300-600,000.00 just to clear $30,000. 30K for a 90-hour work week. That works out to about $6.65 an hour, about the same thing a kid working in a fast food joint makes when he STARTS.

    Chefs live and breathe food. They go to bed thinking about food and they wake-up thinking about food. The job of chef is one of the top five most stressful. It ranks just behind that of air traffic controller. 90% of all restaurants fail in the first year. Many chefs sacrifice their home and personal lives. The divorce rate is higher than the national average, as is the incidence of alcoholism and drug abuse. Chefs are like artists. They don’t cook because they want to, they do it because they have to.

    Mickey G’s is a jewel. It is one of the handful of restaurants in SW Va who make their food from scratch. Anne and I intend to make the 2 1/2 hour round-trip from Wythe County as often as we can while we can. I’m not a religious person, but I would like to quote Luke 23:34, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

  5. Hi Ron, I have lived in Floyd 32 years. I have worked with Michael Gucciardo at the Pine Tavern, I have been involved in the “growing” of floyd for many years working/volunteering at many establishments. If Michael is the chef you say he is…if Mickey G’s is a jewel (and I agree wholeheartedly on both statements) then I think he need not worry. Michael has loyal fans from all over S.W. Virginia as well as Floyd and he is now, in my opinion…the best restaurant in town. So breathe a sigh of relief…I predict he’ll be fine and Dogtown will be no competition.

    We may be small in size but we pack a big punch. There are now several art galleries where for many years there was one. I think the music offerings this year are gonna raise the bar….gift shops, restaurants….I hope everyone in Floyd can practice “friendly competition” and be supportive and kind to each other. The theory we’ve all been striving toward says – the more Floyd has to offer, the more people will come and visit us. I really hope it holds water.

  6. I agree with Rio, competition can be a good thing. There is nothing wrong with having several quality restaurants in Floyd. I try to buy locally as much as I can, this just gives me one more reason to do so. I look forward to visiting both restaurants this summer.

  7. I think Mickey G’s will do fine. He isn’t leasing a huge space, his restaurant is almost always full at this point (the lowest of the tourism season), and the food is REALLY good. I don’t know how many restaurants Floyd can support. Many are open for only the busy part of the week (Oddfella’s, The Pine Tavern, the Chateau Morisette). Having eaten the pizza at both Dogtown (from the truck they operate) and Mickey G.’s I would say they are both very good, but not similar at all. Dogtown has a more California style pizza. It sounds like they are looking to be more like a place to hang out, listen to music, have a beer (or not), AND eat. I think a place like that has a chance to do well in Floyd. The space over the Harvest Moon should also be opening soon with another well known local chef at the helm. I doubt there is enough business for all the restuarants in Floyd to stay open, but that is the nature of the free enterprise system. I don’t eat out often, but it is nice to not leave town and get some of the best food in the NRV.

  8. I have worked with Michael Gucciardo at the Pine Tavern, I have been involved in the “growing” of floyd for many years working/volunteering at many establishments. If Michael is the chef you say he is…if Mickey G’s is a jewel (and I agree wholeheartedly on both statements) then I think he need not worry. Michael has loyal fans from all over S.W. Virginia as well as Floyd and he is now, in my opinion…the best restaurant in town. So breathe a sigh of relief…I predict he’ll be fine and Dogtown will be no competition.

    • I certainly hope all you folks are right. And I hope you remember in January and February after you’ve knocked back a few at Dogtown, and it comes time to eat, to get in your car and have your designated driver take you to Mickey’s. A half-dozen lost sales here, and half-dozen lost sales there Monday – Thursday night means the difference between keeping the doors open or not. The economics of running a restaurant doesn’t rely on good intentions.

      • Oh…and one other thing. Calling Mickey’s the best restaurant in a town with a population of 429 is like saying to someone, “You don’t sweat much for a fat chick.” Mickey’s is one of the best restaurants in SW Virginia.

        • Ron….I agree, and Mickey G’s can hold its own when compared with the best restaurants in Bethesda’s restaurant mecca and Baltimore’s Little Italy.

  9. I agree with you, again, regarding G-town, Philly, NJ and NYC. I would like to include Portland, OR, which is, in opinion, the foodie capital of the U.S.

  10. Hey folks–been there. ..done it and even sold T-shirts. I am sorry that the Cafe is not still in the mix, because we did offer a diversity from other offerings. That being said, I wish Dogtown well, and I agree that there is a need for a “hang-out” space with food and drink. I also agree, having enjoyed Michael’s food for many years, that he has a reputation, and will do well. Natasha will be offering an entirely different experience. And Oddfellas is a great place for food and music.
    The question remains, however: What and how much can be supported? I hope there is adequate local support, and that there is enough variety and appeal for folks like Ron and Anne continue to make the trip–and spread the word. Good luck to all!

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