Construction is underway to complete the promenade project on College Avenue.
Once the heavy equipment moves out, restaurants along this stretch of downtown Blacksburg can move in tables and chairs for outdoor dining.
"I'm hoping at least 10 more tables," said Renae Gillie, owner of Gillie's Restaurant and Bollo's Café & Bakery. She offers outdoor dining on her own property at Gillie's at the corner of College Avenue and Draper Road, but can now expand after Blacksburg Town Council approved allowing restaurants to use its right of way.
"I feel as if it's going to be successful," she said.
Town Council is helping businesses get off to a good start by waiving the application fees and cost for space for the first year. It wants owners to put that money toward tables, chairs, heaters or anything needed to get up and going instead. Gillie expects to be even busier once the work is complete. "This is going to be a beautiful addition to downtown," she said. "I think it will draw people to come down, enjoy the dining area, go to the theater, and go to the Lyric, so I'm very excited about it."
Council is working on drawing up the license agreement right now so businesses can apply.