The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation announced Thursday that the Bluffs Restaurant in the Parkway’s Doughton Park will suspend food service for the rest of the season for the safety of guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The restaurant, at Parkway Milepost 241 near Laurel Springs, is scheduled to reopen in spring 2021, the release stated. A water supply issue temporarily closed the restaurant after it opened on Aug. 22, but this was resolved.

“We are so grateful for the support we’ve received from Parkway visitors and the community, including those who came out for our opening day,” said Shana Whitehead of Muddy Creek Enterprises, operator of the Bluffs Restaurant.

“It was a difficult decision to postpone our full reopening until the spring, but we want to move forward in the safest possible way,” said Whitehead.

Donations to the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation funded extensive interior renovations to the Bluffs Restaurant earlier this year after the former coffee shop had been closed for a decade. 

“Thanks to our donors, we were able to reach the milestone of restoring The Bluffs this year,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “Now the facility will be poised to welcome back diners for a full season in 2021.”

The foundation plans to host a grand reopening in the spring of 2021 if large gatherings are allowed then amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the nonprofit is exploring options for scheduled interpretive programs at the facility.

Announcements about upcoming programs will be available at

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