SPARTA – The National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation announced that renovations to the interior of The Bluffs Restaurant at milepost 241 on the Parkway are underway, and Muddy Creek Enterprises will be the operators, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation said in a March 11 statement.
“The reopening of The Bluffs provides an opportunity to bring back a place that has meant so much to so many people,” said Bill Heath, director of operations for Muddy Creek Enterprises, in a statement. “To be a part of that experience is something to be cherished and appreciated.”
Muddy Creek Enterprises are the owners of the Muddy Creek Café and Music Halls in Sparta and Winston-Salem, will operated The Bluffs Restaurant under an agreement with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
The restaurant is slated to reopen this summer, per the foundation, which is the primary nonprofit fundraising partner of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
“The Bluffs project has truly been a community effort, so we’re thrilled that Muddy Creek, a local business, is a partner in this long-awaited revitalization,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, in a statement.
“On behalf of the National Park Service, we are so pleased to see this beloved area of the park come back to life,” said Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent J.D. Lee in a statement. “The Bluffs at Doughton Park was one of the earliest developed areas on the Parkway. This site is integral to the park’s history and will again be part of its future thanks to the support and involvement of so many.”
The Bluffs opened in 1949 and was the first of what would be only four restaurants ever opened on the Parkway. The former coffee shop closed in 2010.
For the rehab project, new interior fixtures and design upgrades were selected to replicate the original look and feel of the restaurant. The interior design will follow the guidelines of the National Park Service and N.C. Historic Preservation Office. Atriax Group of Hickory, is overseeing the design and construction.
While work is underway, the National Park Service asks for the public’s cooperation by staying behind safety fencing, only using open and designated sidewalks, and not distracting the workers.