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.”
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.
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.”
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.
Last weekend, several art students from Tuscarora and Heritage high schools joined Dunn in painting a bicycle-themed mural he designed to serve as a backdrop to some bike racks inside the garage. Dunn and other proponents of bringing art to public places hope the project will revive interest in creating a larger mural on an exterior wall of the garage.
During downtown Leesburg’s First Friday event this month, scores of people got a glimpse of a war being quietly waged every day in the Loudoun County Circuit Court archives: the battle against the ravages of time, including mold, bookworms, rust and acid-laden cellophane tape.
For the next week, the store windows of downtown Leesburg will be filled with ghosts, witches, bats and an assortment of other scary creatures, courtesy of local teens engaged in a friendly competition.
The board voted Wednesday to contribute $50,000 toward the memorial, which the local chapter of the NAACP has proposed as a way to present a more complete history of Loudoun’s involvement in the Civil War. The only commemoration of the war at the site is a statue of a Confederate soldier.