The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation announced last week the results from its first annual Plates for the Parkway, held in several communities along the Parkway last month. Through this event, participating restaurants donated a portion of proceeds from a meal or meals that day to the Foundation. To date, participating restaurants have donated more than $7000 to the Foundation. All proceeds will help the Foundation continue its work to protect, preserve and enhance the Parkway.
Karen Hawks, owner of Hungry Farmer Restaurant in Cana, Virginia, initially wanted to participate in the event because she grew up near the Parkway. “The Parkway is wonderful, but it needs a lot of help. If we don’t take care of it, who is going to? We reap so many benefits from the Parkway, from the customers it brings to the enjoyment we get from it. Plates for the Parkway was a great way to introduce our restaurant to Parkway travelers while giving back to something we love.”
Restaurants from communities along the 469 miles of the Parkway were invited to participate on the Sept. 18th event. 38 restaurants joined the affair, with several holding events on alternate dates. Christy Bell, Development Director for the Foundation, says “We are so thankful to the restaurants who participated and for the customers who braved the bad weather on the 18th to attend. We encourage Parkway enthusiasts to visit these restaurants throughout the year to thank them for their support. Next year, we hope to involve at least 75 restaurants and raise $20,000 for the Parkway.”
In Virginia, participating restaurants included: Stella, Bella and Lucy's - Waynesboro; Devils Backbone Brewing Company - Roseland; Pomegranate Restaurant & Gathering Place - Troutville; Peaks of Otter - Bedford; Local Roots (event December 6), Martins Downtown and The Village Grill - Roanoke; Hungry Farmer Restaurant – Cana; and Bubba's BBQ & Deli - Virginia Beach.
In North Carolina, participating restaurants included: Freeborne's - Laurel Springs; Mountain Aire Seafood & Steaks - West Jefferson; Mast Farm Inn - Valle Crucis; Mellow Mushroom and Pepper's Restaurant - Boone; The Blowing Rock Grill, Mellow Mushroom, The Village Café and The Woodlands Barbecue - Blowing Rock; The Morning Glory Cafe - Black Mountain; The Local Joint - Fairview; Baja Café, Cafe Azalea, Chai Pani, Chef Mo's Restaurant and Bar, Copper River Grill, Corner Kitchen, Early Girl Eatery, Filo Pastries, Loretta's Café, The Junction, Piazza, Plant, Pomodoros Cafe East, Salsa's and Tomato Jam Cafe – Asheville; City Lights Cafe and Guadalupe Café – Sylva; and Tarheel Foodie -Raleigh, NC.
Plates for the Parkway is a part of the Foundation’s larger Parkway Plus program, which allows patrons of participating dining and lodging establishments in communities along the Parkway an opportunity to add $1 or more to their bill in support of the Parkway. Recruitment for next year’s Plates for the Parkway event will begin in January. For more information about how you can help, contact Christy Bell at 866-308-2773 x177 or visit platesfortheparkway.org and parkwayplus.org.
Hiking in the Smokies