Restaurants cook up new life in Danville

After fire, Dairy Queen to reopen with indoor seating; Farmhouse Family Restaurant to take over at old Libby Hill
Two restaurants will be opening on Riverside Drive over the next couple of weeks: the newly-built Dairy Queen and Farmhouse Family Restaurant.
Danville’s longtime Dairy Queen, 2909 Riverside Drive, burned down last July and the owners — Arrington Management Group of Rocky Mount — decided to not only rebuild, but to enlarge the restaurant to include indoor dining and restrooms while keeping the outdoor dining patio.
On Monday, Brian Arrington, vice president of operations, watched as new furniture was unloaded and carried into the restaurant.
“We’re really excited about the indoor dining,” Arrington said. “We’ll have 36 seats inside, the sound system is going in now, and there will be music outside, too.”
There will be charging stations for phones, tablets and laptops inside as well as modern registers and headsets to communicate with drive-thru customers.
Arrington said the four Dairy Queen locations his company manages have always been “seasonal,” despite having a lot more on the menu than ice cream — but Danville has been the most seasonal, since it did not have indoor seating.
“Before, it was just not as relevant; now the entire feeling is new — it’s going to pop,” Arrington said. “It will be as nice a dining experience as any of our competitors.”
Arrington said the final inspections should be done by the end of the week, the parking lot will be sealed and striped on Friday and 30 employees will be training at the location next week to get ready for the grand opening May 30.
“It’s going to be a fun place for everyone to come and hang out,” Arrington said. “It’s all coming together nice and pretty.”
About three-quarters of a mile up the road — at 2105 Riverside Drive — the former Libby Hill seafood restaurant is undergoing some major renovations and Juni and Ronald Roberts plan to open the doors of the Farmhouse Family Restaurant the beginning of June.
About 90 percent of the kitchen equipment has been replaced, the dark colors in the dining area have been painted lighter colors and the nautically-themed murals have been repainted by North Carolina artist Donna Oakley to reflect farms scenes.
“There was a lot of blue; we needed to get the fish house feeling out,” Juni said.
The Roberts have restaurant experience, running the Sanitary Café in Reidsville, North Carolina, with relatives the last five years, Juni said. The Farmhouse Family Restaurant will carry much of the same fare, she said — breakfast, home-cooked meats and vegetables, and daily specials.
Ronald said he and his wife have thought about a Danville location for a while, and when they looked over the former Libby Hill site, they knew they had found it.
“We saw the structure and the potential, and here we are,” Ronald said.
Monday was busy at the site, with contractors working on the heating and air system and working on the outside lighting. The new cash register was expected to arrive in the afternoon.
“We’ll be opening the first week in June, if inspections go as expected,” Juni said.
The former Libby Hill isn’t the only Danville restaurant that’s being reborn as something new. The former Schoolfield Lunch location at 1009 W. Main St., is being remodeled and will become the Schoolfield Restaurant.
Schoolfield Lunch served mill workers and the Schoolfield community for the better part of a century. John Shutts and Scott Sliney are working to keep the historic feel of the location while bringing it up to date.
Thibodeau reports for the Danville Register & Bee.
Source http://www.godanriver.com/news/danville/restaurants-cook-up-new-life-in-danville/article_7ddd2e4a-1bb5-11e6-a8df-5b18e7e76c88.html?mode=story

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