Those who live or work in Stanardsville may soon have a new coffee and lunch spot, thanks to the creativity of Maybelle Market owner and cattle rancher Todd Sansom. Maybelle’s on Main, slated to open this summer at 102 Main St. in downtown Stanardsville, will be an offshoot of the Maybelle’s Market gas station and store in Dyke, but with a focus on lunch and coffee .
“We are excited about Maybelle’s new venture,” Greene County Tourism Director Alan Yost said. “Both local residents and tourists are looking for a place to grab a light meal and buy local produce. I imagine customers sitting on the patio furniture enjoying the great food that Maybelle’s has proven to deliver in their current location. Todd, Katie and their team will provide a restaurant that will enhance the small town ambiance of Stanardsville.
The downtown building, nestled between United Bank and Stanardsville Station (and directly across from the Greene County Records Office), is owned by Alan Pyle of the Lafayette Inn and dates back nearly 100 years. According to “Stanardsville…Then and Now”, the TC Graves gas station was built around 1930 and then rebuilt further from the main road through town.
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“In the 1920s, Thomas Clingman Graves built a two-story brick building that housed a gas station and his residence,” said Joann Powell of the Greene County Historical Society. “Twice his building was destroyed by fire – January 1930 and December 1931. The building now standing there is his third, built in 1932.”
The town center was also home to Watson and Durrer Insurance Company in the 1970s and may have housed an optometrist and then a few law firms at one time, but has remained vacant in recent years. With the streetscape improvement project advancing this spring – extending Great Valu’s sidewalks to the pharmacy and adding 21 new Colonial-style lampposts – the time seemed ripe for something new to help those who work. in the city.
“We’re really trying to scale with this thing, so we’re going to start at (10 a.m.) at three or four in the afternoon,” Sansom said of the planned opening hours. “Lunch, coffee at the end of the morning… and then the weekends will be a little busier, especially during the tourist season. We really think we need something that will attract people heading to 230 (Shenandoah National Park).
For visitors coming from across the mountains or otherwise bypassing Ruckersville’s main visitor center, the location could be a great place to offer brochures and other guides to county attractions. Legal staff or jury members at any of the courthouses can easily walk to the store, and it’s only one block from the post office and county administration building.
“Having Maybelle’s on Main will bring a great operation closer to home,” said Don Pamenter, board member of the Stanardsville Area Revitalization Project (STAR). “This will give Stanardsville a real boost and hopefully attract other businesses. I hope they bring their wonderful sausage sauce and cookies to the store along with their many other tasty products.
Sansom plans to use the space in front of the building for colorful outdoor seating (picture large, brightly colored patio umbrellas and potted plants), but guests can park in one of the lots behind the building (near from the courthouse) or across the street next to the registry office and cross.
“One of the things that’s important about the direction we’re taking with this place is that I want it to be community-centric and I wanted to fit in with the schools,” Sansom said. “Some of the students from the tech center are going to be involved in building this. Of course I’m supplying the materials and I have a general contractor who’s going to sort of oversee things, but we’re going to let the kids get their fingerprints on it. .
While re-mounting the utility carpet and working to rehabilitate the original oak flooring, electrical and plumbing work has been underway for a few weeks. Next on the agenda, according to Sansom, is installing some of the countertops and appliances for the kitchen area. Many pre-ordered items for the new cafe are currently stored in a vacant hay barn on Sansom’s property.
On Monday, March 21, students from Thomas Mallory’s carpentry class at Greene County Technical Education Center were on hand to build shelves in the store. Buddy Barre of Barre Builders LLC, who is the contractor working on the project, helped supervise the students during the afternoon project.
Due to the small space available in the Main Street location, Sansom says the plan is to have a sandwich and coffee station to start, rather than a full kitchen. The Greene County Record, however, confirmed that Sansom purchased an espresso machine for mixed coffee drinks.
“We don’t do the hood and the fryers and all that – there’s no space,” he said, noting that pre-made items can be brought in from the main location once they’re there. settled on their lunch menu. “So coffee, sandwiches…and I think there’s room for ice cream there; this will likely attract students later in the day. That’s sort of the plan for year one, and hopefully it will grow from there.
Sansom is still finding staff for the new spot, but hopes for an opening date in early summer.
“It’s all an experience,” Sansom said. “We feel there is a need in the city; let’s see how we can match it. So it was with (Maybelle’s Market); there were things about it that did better than we would have expected and there were other things that we thought were going to work out that didn’t stick. … At least for now, I kind of want to do this for a year – we’ll see what we can learn and if we need to, tweak it.
For more information on hiring or the cafe’s new location, contact [email protected] or visit mymaybelles.com. For more information on the Stanardsville Streetscape Project, visit Stanardsville.org.