Danville city officials joined other area leaders and citizens Tuesday morning in welcoming Brewed Awakening as the latest addition to the River District’s growing list of restaurant options.
The restaurant is located at 610 Craghead St. and serves gourmet coffee, lattes, smoothies, ice cream and menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Restaurant owners John and Bonnie Hale also plan to host special events, such as wine tastings, live music and book signings.
Mayor Sherman Saunders wished the Hales success in their venture.
“John and Bonnie, we would like to thank you for bringing your energy and experience to the River District,” Saunders said at Tuesday’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.
The Hales operated a gourmet café and coffee shop in Martinsville for more than 10 years before deciding to move to Danville. Brewed Awakening will occupy the 1,700-square-foot commercial area of The Continental, which is a 40 two-bedroom until residential project under construction at the building.
The Hales submitted the top business plan in a competition held earlier this year by project’s developers, Danville River District Lofts, to fill the commercial space. The Danville Office of Economic Development assisted the developers in the business competition.
Ernecia Coles, executive director of the River District Association, thanked the City of Danville for its role.
“We like to commend the City of Danville for their efforts to work with developers and to work with businesses in their efforts to reimagine this area just as we are,” Coles said. “We believe in the future of this area. We believe it is an exciting place to be, and we look forward to what the future brings. We invite all to come down here and find out what is offered.”
The River District includes the downtown and historic tobacco warehouse areas. Five years ago, the City launched the River District Development Project to provide new amenities and to repurpose empty buildings for residential units and for locating, starting or expanding businesses. Today, private investment is taking place as hoped, and it is outpacing public investment by threefold.
John Hale told those in attendance at Tuesday’s ceremony that he and Bonnie are excited to be in the River District.
“We cannot thank the city enough,” Hale said. “We have never felt so welcomed in opening a business. When we look at the big picture, with everything that is going on here, this is huge. We believe in it (the River District). We thank you for believing in us.”
Brewed Awakening opened to the public last week. The restaurant has an indoor dining area, coffee bar, ice cream stand and outdoor patio.