Changes on the surface and internally on two long-time institutions along Main Street in Floyd this weekend.
Blue Ridge Restaurant is now Blue Ridge Cafe. Sale of the long-time eatery closed on Tuesday of this week and artist/sign master Greg Locke painted the new name on the windows this week.
Whittney Petersen bought the Blue Ridge from Lee and Gail Hooks, who bought it from Gaynell Larson 30 years ago — May 1, 1987. A Southern Californian who owned and operated the True Grits Cafe in Orange County, Petersen moved to Floyd County in 2015 and owns a 74-acre farm and boards horses.
Petersen promises that any changes in Blue Ridge Cafe will be driven by the community and the eatery will use food produced by local farmers as much as possible.
Dinner hours will return, as will the lunch counter that used to be part of the interior, and new plans included a deck and music behind the cafe. She has hired Daniel Weitzenfeld away from Dogtown Roadhouse as the new chef.
The building that houses Blue Ridge had been the location of two banks before becoming a restaurant and still has the walk-in vault that is now used as a freezer, which seems appropriate since the other change on Main Street involves The Bank of Floyd, which officially becomes Skyline National Bank over the weekend.
All offices of the bank close at 2 p.m. Friday and will not open again to the public until Monday morning at 8 a.m. with new signs in place and a new merged computer system. Online banking and mobile banking will be unavailable during the transition.
The new bank, which was created out of a merger with Grayson National Bank last year, sent new debit MasterCards to customers last week and they will need to be used in place of the old Bank of Floyd Visa cards starting on Monday.
The times, they are a-changin.