Tourism is at the heart of developing businesses along Route 151, Rockfish Valley Highway, and Maureen Kelly, director of the Nelson Tourism Office, works closely with the business group known as Nelson 151. Kelly described the phased reopening efforts as an opportunity to “earn consumer confidence that drives visitors and the long-term customers.”
Reopening began May 15, serving visitors at venues with patio seating that are now operating with 50% reduction in seating capacity. Patrons must be seated at least six feet apart and any game areas or playground facilities closed.
Those who feel uncomfortable with going out just yet have carry-out options for their orders. Each venue is listed with their open services updated on www.Nelson151.com. Check the site for additional details and changes as government orders and operations adjust. Supporting patronage is welcome with understanding and patience.
Virginia’s limit on gatherings of groups was lifted to 50 by Governor Northam on June 5. Face masks are required for all employees and for any customers to enter inside.
Brewing Tree Beer Company is open for outside seating Friday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Families are invited to spread out on the 5 acres of space. Curbside to-go food remains available through the Scratch Kitchen truck. On the opening Saturday, May 16, a solo guitar-playing singer provided entertainment for the patrons at several tables spread apart. (540-381-0990, www.facebook.com/brewingtreebeer)
Blue Mountain Brewery has patio seating open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is continuing curbside pickup. Reservations are not required but guests must wait for limited available seating. Live music on Fridays, 5:30 – 8 p.m. (540-456-8020, www.bluemountainbrewery.com).
Wild Man Dan is offering curbside pickup and outdoor seating Friday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (540-798-1781)
Wild Wolf is open Thursday through Monday for patio seating. Curbside pickup is available Wednesday to Sunday. Servers wear masks waiting on outdoor tables (434-361-0088, www.wildwolfbeer.com).
Devils Backbone Brewery is open daily for outdoor seating by reservation only. Service is offered for six or fewer in any group. A high level of safety assured with masks required of all patrons and servers. Order daily from 12 – 8 p.m. for curbside pickup and regional delivery options. Offering beer, wine and cocktails to-go. Ready-to-heat family meals are also available. (434-361-1001, Devils BackboneToGo.com)
Silverback Distillery has outdoor space open on weekends. Reservation are preferred. Social distance is not required of the patrons standing together outdoors. Open Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Curbside Silverback specialty cocktails are available to-go. (540-456- 7070, www.sbdistillery.shop)
Afton Mountain Vineyards is offering curbside pickup and online sales and is open with reserved patio seating for take-away tasting flights and bottle sales to Wine Club Members only. All parties are limited to two to four adults. Masks are required unless seated. Send questions to [email protected]. Reservation updates for Phase 2 are planned. (540-456-8667, www.aftonmountainvineyards.com)
Cardinal Point Vineyards has lawn and patio seating open. Reservations are recommended. No children and no pets allowed. Masks are required unless seated and parties are limited to 10 persons. Rappahannock Raw Oysters available by pre-order by Wednesday at 8 p.m. for pickup Saturday. Curbside wine sales also available. (540-456-8400, www.cardinalpointwinery.com)
Flying Fox Vineyard is offering curbside pickup for online sales and has limited outdoor space. (434-361-1692, www.flyingfoxvineyard.com)
The patio is open at Valley Road Vineyards. Reservations are not necessary but accepted. Guests must be 21 or older. Walk-ins welcomed on a space-available basis. Families and pets on leash are welcome on the lawn. Curbside pickup available daily. Free delivery (three bottle minimum) offered to Nelson, Albemarle, and Augusta County, Charlottesville, Staunton, and Waynesboro. (540-456-6350, www.valleyroadwines.com)
The lawn at Veritas Winery and Vineyard is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for bottle sales and cheese boards only, no reservations. The picnic area offers reservations with full menu, wine list and an innovative tasting option. Masks are required unless seated. (veritaswines.com)