PENNINGTON GAP, VA – JULY 9, 2021 — With extensive experience in the food service industry, having been a server, cook, manager and district manager for a chain restaurant, Charly Butcher, of Pennington Gap, decided it was time to open her own business and in the fall of 2020, formed Butcher’s Dining LLC, doing business as Charly’s in Lee County.

Charly’s, located on 41751 E. Morgan Avenue in Pennington Gap, is the recent recipient of a $9,000 Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) seed capital grant.

The sit-down family restaurant features homemade soups, biscuits and gravy and everything inbetween, with a focus on down home cooking and comfort food on its menu.

“Assisting local entrepreneurs in their quest to start a business and provide jobs is what the VCEDA seed capital program is all about,” Belcher said. “Charly’s projects 10 full-time and 15 part-time employees as the business continues to grow.”

Butcher noted opening her own restaurant was a natural step as her career in the food service industry continued to evolve.

“I’ve been in food service since I was 18 years old,” Butcher said. “I always worked for someone else and decided when I opened Charly’s, it was the right time to open my own business. The building location presented itself and I felt like I was in the right place to do it.”

She officially opened her doors to the public in October 2020 and currently has four full-time and seven part-time employees, not including herself.

“The VCEDA grant helped me with all the start-up costs,” Butcher said. “I had gotten two loans – one from Lee County Economic Development Authority and one from the Pennington Gap Industrial Development Authority and the grant was used for furniture, equipment and supplies.”

Butcher said since the restaurant opened, it has been continuing to grow in popularity. In addition to regular menu features like “messy” sandwiches which require a fork to truly enjoy, wraps and more, daily specials are added in and just recently, Butcher said, a Friday fish fry meal was added.

“As crazy as it sounds, the menu item that is everyone’s favorite is our cheeseburger,” Butcher said. “It’s such a basic thing and easy to make and it’s what people want.”

Daily lunch specials include Hot Dog Mondays, Taco Tuesdays, pulled pork Wednesdays, chicken salad croissants on Thursdays and now, Fish Fry Fridays. 

In June, the restaurant began opening seven days a week and is now open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Butcher worked with the Small Business Development Center at Mountain Empire Community College. The Lee County Economic Development Authority provided a letter of support for the project.

The new business may be reached at 276-318-0652 and is also found on Facebook at or through its website at

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. or

About the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority Seed Capital Matching Grant Fund: VCEDA region for-profit businesses one year and under with less than 10 full-time employees are eligible to apply for dollar-for-dollar matching grants up to $10,000 from the VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund. Applicants work with the Small Business Development Centers at Mountain Empire and Southwest Virginia community colleges to prepare the applications to VCEDA that include detailed business and financial plans. Businesses must be located in or plan to operate in the VCEDA region in southwestern Virginia that includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton.