Although Leesburg Vintner was closed Monday, owner Mike Carroll was working in his shop while a ribbon-cutting for Delirium Cafe was taking place across the street.
“I think it’s going to be a game-changer,” Carroll said as he peered through the blinds at the growing crowd outside the cafe, a franchisee of a popular Belgian beer company. “It’s created a buzz unlike anything I’ve seen since I’ve been here.”
In the early 1950s, Reggie Simms mended damaged books so they could remain in circulation at the Purcellville Library. But he was not allowed to check them out for personal use.
For two decades after it opened in 1937, the library was open only to white patrons. Simms and other African Americans were excluded until the library was desegregated on April 9, 1957.
On Saturday, the library will mark the 60th anniversary of that milestone with “Cross the Line,” a day-long program focusing on the desegregation of public facilities in Loudoun County. Simms will join other African Americans from that era in sharing memories of the cultural shifts in Loudoun as segregation died a slow death in the 1950s and ’60s.
The line outside B. Doughnut is already starting to form at eight o’clock Saturday morning, even though it won’t open for another hour. Some of the customers sit in chairs outside the shop on Loudoun Street in downtown Leesburg, reading a book or swiping at their phones to pass the time.
By 9 a.m., when the door opens, the line has grown to more than 40 people. Greeted by the mingled aromas of roasted coffee and fried dough, the customers begin placing orders for doughnuts with their favorite fillings and toppings — vanilla bean, lemon curd, cinnamon sugar.
Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet kicked off the county’s annual budget review process Wednesday by presenting a proposed spending plan for fiscal 2018 that funds almost all of the school system’s request and provides staffing for several new facilities while holding property tax bills steady.
The $2.5 billion budget complies with the Board of Supervisors’ demand for a plan that avoids increasing the average homeowners’ tax bills. It would boost local funding by $61 million for the school system and $27.7 million for the general county government.
Transporting more than 100 pianos across town last spring, from Battlefield Shopping Center to Market Street in downtown Leesburg, was no easy task. In fact, Robert Purdon, general manager of the Piano Company, described the move as “a logistical nightmare.”
Nearly 30 people spoke against the proposed business at Catesby Farm, about five miles west of Middleburg, arguing that the noise and traffic it would generate would disturb neighboring farms and overwhelm the narrow roads in the area. Some said that the traffic would also disrupt nearby Willisville, a small village settled by freed slaves after the Civil War.
The intrigue plays out several days a week in a studio apartment in downtown Leesburg, accessible only through a small parking lot and up a steep flight of stairs. It is a “safe house” for a spy — a Russian agent now cooperating with the U.S. government.
Across the hall, several wayward students are hatching a plot to escape detention from a classroom with furnishings straight from the 1980s.
The safe house and the classroom — in a suite of rooms above MacDowell Brew Kitchen — are not real. Nor are the scenes that unfold there. They are the “escape rooms” run by Exit Plan, a locally owned business that creates puzzle-filled adventure games for groups of people to solve.
One of the most valuable pieces of real estate in Loudoun County is a triangle of undeveloped land along the south side of the Dulles Greenway, bounded roughly by the Greenway, Old Ryan Road and the Loudoun County Parkway. The nondescript parcel — formerly not-very-good farmland — is desirable solely because of its location next to the future site of Ashburn Station, the western terminus of Metro’s Silver Line.