Historic preservation project located in the oldest remaining home on Main Street within the town's original Sixteen Squares.
We are located in the oldest remaining house, circa 1892, on Main Street within the town’s original Sixteen Squares. When this home was built Main Street was a dirt road where horses pulled wagons and picket fences kept milk cows from roaming. Virginia Tech was then known as Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College with a total student enrollment of 135.
During April of 2007 while living in California I decided to take on a project in my hometown of Blacksburg. I found this property for sale with a description indicating if no buyer were willing to preserve the historic house then it would be demolished. Eventually I moved back to Blacksburg to buy the property and to convert the home into The Blacksburg Tavern, a restaurant tribute to Blacksburg, Virginia Tech, and Southwest Virginia. I am the second tavern owner in my family after my ancestor Eliphaz Riley who established a tavern in Maryland in 1750.
We offer a traditional regional farmer’s menu, much like the original family who lived in this house would have prepared: chicken, beef, ham, vegetables, biscuits, apple butter, ice cream, cobbler, as well as a full bar with beer, wine, and mixed drinks with a special emphasis on bourbon. The Blacksburg Tavern showcases Appalachian and other music with live performances whenever possible.
Art at The Blacksburg Tavern depicts local history and landscapes. Our wall murals were painted by artist Virginia McLaughlin, my great-aunt, at the age of 91 assisted by her son Salyer. She has painted similar murals at The Inn at Mount Vernon on George Washington’s famous estate and at various other landmark historical buildings and private homes. A book of her work is available on her website, www.virginiajacobsmclaughlin.com. Paintings by local artists hang over our fireplace mantels. Our extensive collection of Blacksburg and Virginia Tech historical photographs cover our remaining walls.
We are beginning with an abbreviated schedule; however we plan to expand our hours of operation soon. We welcome your comments and suggestions in person and on social media. Your patronage supports our operating and preservation expenses.
Thank you for joining us at The Blacksburg Tavern!
Daniel Riley, Owner,