Colonial Williamsburg regained one of its most beloved and renowned eateries, the Blue Talon Bistro. on March 12 “It’s nice to be back and feel like we were missed,” David Everett, owner and chef, said.
p. The restaurant, which is located at 420 Prince George Street, suffered damage from a fire on Dec. 6, 2006 that forced the Talon and two other local businesses to close. Conclusions about the blaze indicate that it was caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette. Though the incident itself was out of the control of the owners and employees of the Talon, this did not deter the restaurant from rebuilding.
p. “Being closed and receiving all the cards that people wrote was almost overwhelming,” Everett said. The Talon held an open house a week before its reopening and, much to the delight of its owners, hundreds of people attended. Everett fondly remembered thinking, “I guess they did miss us.” The bistro, which opened in September of 2004, has gained a large following in the Williamsburg area and draws patrons from all over the United States. One of the many attributes of the popular bistro is its friendly atmosphere, which greets you at its front doors.
p. As for the state of the establishment itself, the entirety of the damage has been repaired. The fire wreaked havoc on a portion of the roof and on the restaurant’s back wall. However, the building has finally been restored to its original splendor. “All the paint color[s] and walls are the same,” Everett said.
p. As the interior of the Talon is in its original condition, there is no need for the staff to readjust in getting back to work. Everett confirmed that no employees were put out of work during the bistro’s closed period. Some found work at various local cafes and restaurants that were willing to come to the aid of their neighboring business in any way they could. The Colonial Williamsburg Company also offered employment opportunities. Other members of the staff participated in the renovation process firsthand, helping to repair the damage that had been done.
p. “I worked at a cafe that was willing to hire me because they felt bad about what happened,” Sasha Dofflemeyer, a graduate student at the College, said. Indeed, the employees of the Talon, including many College students, benefited from the hospitality of the Williamsburg community.
p. In terms of the response by the people of the Williamsburg area, business at the bistro has remained steady since reopening.
p. “Of course, the first days were extremely busy,” Dofflemeyer said. “Then it tapered off.” In fact, the bistro has not lost any business due to the fire, which Everett hopes is the first and last major crisis that his restaurant will ever incur.
p. “We hope that students will eat here,” Everett said after explaining that students of the College have regularly dined at the bistro. Though the young adults of the area eat at the restaurant mainly during the day, many do make time to have a nice evening meal. “Even though we know it’s hard for college students to break away from the Ramen Noodles and find the time or money to eat out, we hope that they do,” Everett said.