Salem Fair Impacts Local Restaurants

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) – Restaurants in Salem have seen different impacts on their business due to the popularity of the Salem Fair.

On the last day of the Salem Fair, local restaurateurs are still feeling the effects.

Restaurants like AllSports Café have seen larger groups come to eat together.

“Maybe the whole family gets together and goes to the fair. We have seen an increase in larger tables. So instead of our typical two to five people, 10 to 12 people came in and had dinner,” said Dusti Harrelson, assistant manager of AllSports Café.

The dinner rush was also earlier than usual.

“Instead of our dinner rush between 7 and 7:30 p.m., with the fair going on, I think everyone wants to hang out and eat before they go out,” Harrelson said.

AllSports Café’s business remained steady during the Salem Fair.

“It stays pretty much the same whether the fair is here or not. We have a great clientele here,” Harrelson said.

Other restaurants have noticed a decrease in the number of customers.

Peggy Fleming, owner of Gina’s Food With Flavor, said she noticed the fair’s impact on her restaurant last year.

“I had planned earlier in the year to wrap up fair week and go out and enjoy the fair festivities myself because I knew business was going to be slow,” Fleming said.

She took the opportunity to promote her restaurant.

“During the week, I met new people who were going to the fair. Then I went to the fair and networked a bit and talked to people and told them to come over to Gina’s,” Fleming said.

Fleming hopes to bring Gina’s Food with Flavor to the Salem Fair next year by becoming a vendor.

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