Take your seat downtown

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Throughout downtown Farmville, colorful sets of tables and chairs can be seen near businesses and attractions. The bistro-style seating is made possible because of this past spring’s SOUP event hosted by the Farmville Downtown Partnership (FDP).

Kerry Davis Mossler won $1,500 in grant money to fulfill her project from among more than 20 submissions. A proposal to add bicycle parking to downtown won the winning $2,500 bid. A READ Farmville book cart proposal, suggested by the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, won $1,000.

Mossler said her bistro seating project was inspired by New York City.

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“In my daughter’s Brooklyn neighborhood, there were these lime green bistro sets everywhere. I would see people eating lunch, drinking coffee, sitting alone or with friends. They were so welcoming,” she said. “When the SOUP project event came up, I thought it might work for downtown Farmville.”

FDP Project Manager John Burton said the organization was “thrilled that Kerry Mossler’s proposal was voted as one of the winners.”

“The addition of bistro tables and chairs will add to the vibe of downtown Farmville,” Burton said.

Audrey Sullivan, owner of Red Door 104, helped paint the tables and chairs in her studio. Slogans, such as “Love Farmville” and “Walk, Shop, Enjoy” are painted across the colorful table tops.

“The Bistro seating is scattered around downtown,” Burton said.

They are placed in front of various businesses, such as Herf House Cigars and Mainly Clay, at the Farmer’s Market and near High Bridge Plaza.

Sullivan called the bistro seating charming and welcoming.

“Walking through town last night with my daughter and granddaughter, we really enjoyed the little pops of color the tables and chairs offered,” Sullivan said.

Mossler said she thinks the tables and chairs look inviting, as well as whimsical and fun. She hopes they encourage visitors and locals alike to “sit and stay awhile.”

“The Bistro seating will make our downtown more vibrant by adding colorful seating that will inspire people to sit and enjoy downtown,” Burton said.

“The Downtown Farmville Partnership made this happen,” Mossler added. “John Burton, John Miller and the SOUP Committee  were instrumental in seeing the project fulfilled.”

Burton said the vision for downtown Farmville isn’t something which belongs to a single board of directors or small number of people.

“But the entire Farmville community,” he said, adding the FDP was “thrilled” by the response to the SOUP event.

This year’s SOUP event took place at the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts and catered by Aramark. Guests ate soup while voting on their favorite projects.

“We are planning on it being an annual event that Farmville Downtown Partnership presents,” said Burton.