Clifton Forge evolves as some downtown staples close and other businesses emerge

It continues its reputation as a small town with a big personality

If you’ve never been to Clifton Forge, it can be described as the ultimate small-town life.

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. – If you’ve never been to Clifton Forge, it can be described as the ultimate small-town life.

It’s a small town with a big personality thanks to all the shops and restaurants lining the streets of downtown.

“We’ve got our staples that have been here forever: Jack Mason’s, the 42Deli, Bella Pizza and Michaels Pizza,” said Clifton Forge Town Manager Chuck Unroe.

But Clifton Forge saw one of its longtime businesses, Cafe Michel, close in January due to Chef Michel’s retirement.

“That restaurant is actually for sale, and we’re hoping that he’s going to be able to locate someone in there to open that back up as an eatery of the same caliber he had,” added Unroe.

Another Main Street staple, the Club Car Shop & Deli, is closing its doors at the end of the month after 22 years of business.

“I was very disappointed because it’s like it’s been here for 20 some years and it’s part of the warmth of the town,” said Jane Greenwood who owns Lollie’s Quilt Shop nearby.

While it’s the end of an era for some of these businesses, plenty more are excited to call Clifton Forge home.

Lollie’s quilt shop opened three and a half years ago and adds to the town’s charm.

“Some of these other shops were coming and so it was starting to grow and I thought, ‘I would like to kind of be a part of that. Help that continue to grow,’” said Greenwood.

It continues to grow, with more eateries and attractions drawing people in.

“We’re seeing larger crowds in town now. More people walking around. We have a lot of activity going on here,” said Unroe.

A historic town with a flourishing future.

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.