Gathering places – part 2 of a series

Floyd gathering places

Floyd, VA is blessed with several gathering places where you can make new friends and get vital data on business opportunities. These are establishments where there are customers or staff who interact with interesting newcomers and make introductions where appropriate.

This is not a formal activity as in Chamber of Commerce breakfast meetings. It is an unstructured activity that springs out of the hospitality provided by the business owner involved. As newcomers to Floyd, we were delighted by the number of people we were introduced to during the past two years.

We have become fast friends with several of the people we met in two particular gathering places and they feel almost like a home away from home. Both places provide excellent service and satisfying menus, but the real draw for us is the fact that we are almost always assured of meeting interesting people when we go there.

We promote these establishments to others because of the level of service they provide, but it is the potential for networking that makes these two places so valuable to Floyd.

Cafe Del Sol

Cafe Del Sol, owned by Frank and Sally Walker, offers all of the conveniences of the best high-end coffee shops. Friendly staff serve Espresso drinks, distinctively different sandwiches, and marvelous home-made soups in a bright and cheerful room hung with works of local artists. The place is constantly filled with people chatting, reading, or working on laptops. There is live entertainment  almost every week.

I consider this to be the premier gathering place in Floyd for anyone seeking advice on almost anything from musical talent to suppliers of firewood. Asking about real estate will almost guarantee that you get barraged by helpful advice from all sides.

Cafe Del Sol also provides free wi-fi service and a computer terminal so you can look up information to carry your investigations further. In my opinion, anyone planning to launch a new venture will find people in the Cafe Del Sol who will have useful advice or someone to refer you to for more help.

This place is so valuable that it was a real interruption to local activity when it closed last week for renovations.

Oddfellas Cantina

Oddfellas Cantina, owned by Rob Neukirch, is open for lunch and dinner five days a week. Distinguished by excellent food and a relaxed atmosphere, it is also a place where you can hear local musicians perform night after night. Table-hopping patrons swap introductions and the friendly staff are always willing to provide helpful advice to patrons.

Lunch at Oddfellas will always provide the observant visitor with an entertaining view of life in Floyd at its best. Here too, the inquisitive visitor might find an abundance of advice on almost any subject by asking, "Who in Floyd does…?"

When Oddfellas closed for renovations last month, Floyd social life was severely constrained. It almost felt like the town had closed down, because of the absence of good food and entertainment. This restaurant would be a welcome addition to any city. I, and many others, are very happy that Rob decided to open it here.

It is a worthwhile experience to dine at Oddfellas. I recommend it highly.

Others

There are other gathering spots in Floyd where you can meet people and get useful information, but I have not spent enough time in them to assess their value as incubators of business opportunities.

The Blue Ridge Restaurant, for example, is a diner which serves good country food at reasonable prices. The staff is helpful and friendly and the bustling atmosphere at breakfast time gives you a good start any day.

The patrons seem to be working people who are fuelling up for a hard days work. More time is spent shoveling down biscuits and gravy than in conversation. I have asked for and received helpful advice here, but this is not the kind of place that lends itself to leisurely dining and long conversations. There are usually people waiting for your to vacate your table so they can sit down and eat. It’s hard to ignore people who are standing in the doorway with their bellies growling with hunger.

Yes, you can gather in the Blue Ridge Restaurant, but its true value is as a refuelling stop for the visitor with chores to do.

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0 Responses to Gathering places – part 2 of a series

  1. David:

    Good observations.

    Floyd’s nature turns just about anyplace people congregate into a gathering place, be it the bank, the hardware store or the gas pump. There’s a regular crew that sites in the barbershop and talks but seldom gets their cut. A regular group meets each morning at Hardees. Perhaps it’s the nature of small towns or, particularly, of small, friendly towns.

  2. D L Ennis says:

    Floyd is indeed a very special place!
    DL

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