LEBANON, VA – MAY 31, 2022 – When Eric Adams opened the Weeping Willow Café & Tap House in Lebanon, Va., it was the realization of his long-held dream to provide a place where people could come to hang out with family and friends. Coffee, bagels, pastries, soups and salads are the current fare, but future plans call for expanded hours and a menu featuring appetizers, dinner, live music, craft beer and wine.
Adams’ new business, Weeping Willow Café & Tap House, located on 56 West Main Street in Lebanon, was recently approved for a $10,000 VCEDA Seed Capital Matching Fund grant.
“VCEDA was pleased to assist Weeping Willow Café & Tap House with a seed capital matching grant,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “Quality of life is enhanced in our region when restaurants open in our communities. Providing residents and visitors alike with dining options enhances and revitalizes downtown areas and promotes entrepreneurship and the creation of jobs. The business projects three full-time and three part-time employees.”
Adams noted renovations at the property where the restaurant is located have included the building of a cold room for kegs. Recently beer taps and a beer cooler were installed.
“If it hadn’t been for the grant from VCEDA, it would have been really difficult to do this project in a timely manner,” Adams said. “It was definitely a Godsend to help us out.”
The addition of an outdoor patio dining option is also in the future plans to continue to create a relaxing atmosphere.
“We see this as a great opportunity to revitalize downtown Lebanon and to also provide an outstanding workplace for present and future employees,” Adams said. “It has always been a dream of mine to own a tap house. Lebanon lacked a place to go to hang out with friends and family.”
The menu features all day breakfast options, including avocado toast and Belgian waffles. Sandwiches, including a grilled pimento and cheese, are on the menu, along with salads, coffees, teas and lemonade.
Adams worked with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) in developing his application to VCEDA and received a letter of support from the Russell County Industrial Development Authority.
“The Small Business Development Center at Southwest Virginia Community College is pleased that Weeping Willow Café and Tap House received VCEDA’s Seed Capital Matching Fund grant award of $10,000,” said SBDC Program Manager Margie Douglass. “Businesses such as this enhance the visitors’ experience in scenic towns like Lebanon and draw them back over and over again. It was a pleasure for the SBDC to provide technical support in developing the grant application package to owner, Eric Adams.”
The restaurant is open five days a week. Current hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closing hours will be extended as the beer taps become operational. The restaurant may be found on Facebook and may be reached by calling 276-415-9199.
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. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.
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.