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Lynchburg’s oldest new restaurant

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Guests of the Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Lynchburg have many dinner dining options.  We tend to send our guests to locally owned restaurants because these places are unique to Lynchburg.  The Dahlia opened in 1947 and has quite a history.  It is off the beaten track and it is not something a tourist would find without a little direction.

I was introduced to the Dahlia by a nurse in the emergency room of Lynchburg General Hospital.  While restoring the windows (before we opened as a bed and breakfast) a window rope got stuck and while trying to close the window I pulled and pulled until the rope broke and the window came guillotining down on my fingers.  After wrapping the bleeding fingers in a paper towel we headed to the emergency room for stitches.  While chatting with the emergency room nurse about the local night life or lack there of she mentioned The Dalia was a place to hang out and grab a beer.   A couple weeks later we found ourselves eating the greasy food in the smoke-filled bar and met quite a few colorful local characters.  Evidently the owner didn’t always abide by the ABC laws and the place was closed.

A couple years later the place has reopened.  Freshly painted walls, new booths and tables, a new bar and a new menu.  They open for dinner at 5:00 and we arrived at 4:30 for an early dinner.  We ordered a couple of beers and some wings and waited till 5:00 so we could order dinner.  At 5:00 our waiter, a local artist, took the order and by 5:15 we were enjoying our dinner.  By 5:25, every table, booth and stool at the bar was full and by the time we left, about 6:00 there were at least 20 people waiting to be seated.

The food was excellent, the atmosphere was wonderful (the smoke-filled dining room doesn’t exist any more due to a state wide ban on smoking in restaurants).  The seafood was as fresh as you could get in Lynchburg because the owner of the seafood market/restaurant next door is the owner of the Dahlia.

If you want to try a cozy restaurant that is off the beaten track that caters mostly to locals (because the tourists don’t know about this place) I can recommend the Dahlia without reservation.  Speaking of reservations, they don’t take them so if you don’t want to wait for a table, get there early.