Doughton Park: Repair & Reopen Bluffs Buildings

Photo by National Park Service, Blue Ridge Parkway

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Julie Hettiger, pictured on left, with her friend, Anna Kerly, in 1966 at Bluffs Coffee Shop Julie Hettiger, pictured on left, with her friend, Anna Kerly, at Bluffs Coffee Shop in 1966

Update! Thanks to your love for The Bluffs, we have met a $25,000 match for repairs to the historic restaurant given by Julie Hettiger and her husband, Ken Nelson.

“When I was growing up, The Bluffs Restaurant was the favorite destination for Sunday outings with my grandparents, my parents and many other relatives, and I have always cherished those memories,” Julie Hettiger says (at left in photo taken at Bluffs). “My husband and I are very excited that the Foundation is so close reopening the restaurant in the very near future.”

The Bluffs Restaurant is slated to reopen in the summer of 2020 after being closed for a decade! Muddy Creek Enterprises, owners of the Muddy Creek Café & Music Halls in Sparta and Winston-Salem, will operate The Bluffs Restaurant under an agreement with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. We've come so far thanks to your dedication to reopening this beloved spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Funding from the North Carolina General Assembly and Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has also been critical. In 2017, the state appropriated $350,000 toward building repairs. ARC provided a $300,000 grant to purchase updated restaurant equipment and furniture. 

Renovations of the restaurant's interior are underway. To safeguard the significant investment of our Community of Stewards, the Foundation has secured a historic lease for the site, allowing for oversight of the new operation as well as the facility.  

Learn more about The Bluffs project with this webinar:

Read about server Ellen Woodruff Smith, who worked at The Bluffs from the day it opened on May 31, 1949, to the day it closed on November 1, 2010. 

Learn more about the Cultural Landscape of Doughton Park 

Do you have wonderful memories of Bluffs Coffee Shop at Doughton Park? Share your story

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Help bring the Bluffs back to life


Photo by Rita Larkin