Monday, June 13, 2011

Small Town Loss

I believe many people were surprised to read Sunday in The Daily Progress that the small community south of Charlottesville was losing its General Store and hangout, The Batesville Store.

Apparently there was a licensing issue and the store was operating as a store and not a restaurant.  The business blossomed over the years, opening in 2007, growing to be able to seat 60 people.  This is a very small country store in "blink your eye" Batesville but bikers all know this territory.  It is rural and off the beaten path to allow fairly safe and scenic bike riding only 20 miles from Charlottesville.

Yesterday, we went to the first day of the sell off of goods at the Batesville Store.  It was advertised as Everything Must Go but after standing in line for 30 minutes, once inside we found out that only food was for sale.  Being very disappointed and on crazy diets, we left buying nothing. 

We didn't quite leave empty handed because we did discover that locals are in LOVE with this store and were sad to the point of tears that it was closing.  The Batesville Store continues to be a rustic old store from the 1800's where locals and travelers meet for music, sweets, dinner, coffee, and even internet surfing. 

Stocking up on Batesville Store goods.
The store owners make everyone feel welcome and have many friends that stop in regularly.  Those that turned out for the closing sale wanted memories, a t-shirt or chair that was their favorite roosting spot when listening to bands.  The closing of the Batesville Store was not a joyous occasion.  Children were eating their last ice creams and adults were grabbing their last packs of beer.

We owned our own restaurant and coffee shop in a small community and when we closed our customers were so saddened.  For us it was like the loss of a pet, leaving an empty hole in your gut.  Small towns need a place to gather and commune.  It is horrible to lose a business that contributes to the economy and breathes life into a nearly defunct town.  Apparently the owners want it to stay open but the state requirements are too tough to meet.

Where am I to get my Ice Cream?
As we departed, several locals were hopeful that an agreement could possibly be met with the state and the store would reopen.  We have a fingers crossed for Batesvillians and bikers - it's a sad trip through Batesville without the store open.


1 comment:

  1. Such a sad day...and such a quick end to a store that's been part of the community for years! Amazing that we can deliberate for years about signage on a store, but a small business gets shut down virtually overnight. :(

    I hope the store can be saved!


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