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Charlottesville restaurants gearing up for Fridays After Five crowd

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 4:37 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Fridays After Five is coming back to Charlottesville in exactly one week, and businesses are looking forward to the crowds returning.

“We’re really excited about the mall basically becoming what it was before the pandemic,” The Nook General Manager Gino Giansante said.

Some restaurants on the Downtown Mall are making adjustments to their hours to get in on the Fridays After Five action.

“We’re going to be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for Fridays After Five, and we’re going to have an altered menu. Basically, we’re adding some more patio food, we’re adding more cocktails to the list. We’re basically becoming summer-ready coming out of the pandemic,” Giansante said.

Giansante says business during the coronavirus pandemic has been tough, but believes Fridays After Five will definitely boost sales.

“We’re really excited to basically have so many people just roaming, enjoying themselves, going from venue to venue, and stopping by and getting some good food and drinks here,” Giansante said.

The feeling is mutual at Citizen Burger Bar.

“We’re really excited to see people back in town. It’s been picking up every week, but to see the live entertainment we’re looking forward to getting back to normal” General Manager Ashley Neilson said.

It’s not just the businesses counting down the days until the live music returns: It’s the people who live in Charlottesville who are looking forward to the pedestrian mall returning back to normal.

“I think it’s a long time coming, but I think there’s a pent up need to get people to get together and share company with people,” David Franzen said.

Making this return possible is Kirby Hutto, who’s working to make this 33rd year of Fridays After Five series one to remember.

“We still have a lot of work to get everything ready to be able to welcome everyone back, but we’ll be ready come next Friday,” Hutto said.

The first concert for this season is set to get underway 5:30. p.m. Friday, June 18.

Fridays After Five will run until September 17.

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