Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Downtown Staunton ... Byers Street Bistro

Staunton's famous "Watering Can" artwork at the railroad overpass on Greenville Avenue at Johnson Street/Commerce Road. The flower garden will be overflowing by summer's end.
Byers Street Bistro in the green building

Got a text from a friend yesterday morning about meeting for lunch so we headed to one of our favorite restaurants ... Byers Street Bistro ... in the Wharf area of downtown Staunton. We had met there 10 days ago, the day before she left for Europe, and we met yesterday which was her first day back at work after returning from Europe. I wanted to hear all about her trip ... and she wanted to get caught up on local politics.

The Wharf area of Staunton is not on the water, as the name would imply, but rather is the location of the old train yard which is now a parking area. The train station is immediately behind the Wharf buildings; in the station is the Depot Grille and across from it is the American Cafe in the old American Hotel. Those are favorites, too, along with Blue Mountain Coffee in the Wharf ... but yesterday we headed to the Bistro.

If you have never been and you're in the mood for a sandwich, try the Wharf sandwich which is roast beef, roasted red peppers, roasted onions on a winterberry bread -- it is fabulous. With a side and iced tea, your lunch will come to about $9.

The Bistro has a variety of seating choices. On nice days and pleasant evenings, the patio is the place to be. Inside there is the bar and booth seating on the first floor ... and then there is the upstairs area with tables for various size groups. We have had as many as 12-14 there at a time at one table. It is the place to go after the Christmas parade when toes are frozen and a nice cup of hot chocolate hits the spot.

Yesterday, because it was sprinkling and a bit on the cool side, we chose to sit upstairs where we could talk during our two-hour lunch.

The Bistro has a lively nightlife with its bar, over-sized TV screens, and locals mixing it up with tourists. They also have a side room that can be reserved for groups. It's a great local spot for lunch, for dinner, or for meeting friends for a drink.

Parking is never a problem. Between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, the Wharf parking lot costs $0.50 an hour (up from $0.25 an hour previously) and is plentiful. Stop at the gate when entering, punch the button, and grab a time ticket ... and when you leave there's a real, live person to take your money. If you happen to leave after 5, you will find the gate is up and a container is there to deposit your money on the honor system. After 5 pm and on the weekends parking is free.

Photos by SWAC Girl

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