‘It’s being built for those who love visiting Sperryville . . . and for others who haven’t realized they do yet’
The group Zero Main Street LLC has purchased from Hazel J. Deal the highly visible corner property in Sperryville where Main Street meets Route 522, with plans to build a bed and breakfast and wine bar.
The property, across the street from the Sperryville Corner Store complex, is adjacent to Hopkins Ordinary Bed, Breakfast and Ale Works. Currently it consists of an empty cinderblock building and assorted aluminum buildings that recently housed antiques for sale.
Incredibly, as if frozen in time inside the sheds, is the old white service station that later became a breakfast and lunch sandwich shop specializing in Virginia ham and homemade barbecue.
The purchase price for the 0.1614 acre property was $315,000.
“Excited to begin the transformation of the old service station into Sperryville’s newest bed & breakfast and wine bar/tasting room,” Zero Main states on its Instagram page. “It’s being built for those who love visiting Sperryville, VA and for others who haven’t realized they do yet.”
While Zero Main’s specific plans have not yet been made public, it appears the service station won’t be preserved, at least at the same location.
“In a perfect world we’d restore this structure back to its original glory days,” the group states in an online posting. “Such a classic Virginia country store.”
Zero Main is affiliated with Thorsen Construction, which has its roots in Woodstock, Va. Thorsen is a third generation boutique-style custom builder focusing on architect-driven residential projects in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. The company was recently voted D.C.’s Custom Builder of the Year.
Bob Thorsen, who lives in Warrenton, and his father, Jim, founded the company in 1976 while building homes along the Shenandoah River outside Woodstock. As the U.S. economy continued to lag from the 1970’s recession, Bob realized the company had to make a change and in 1978 they decided to relocate to Alexandria.
“Over the next 25 years Thorsen developed a reputation as being one of the top local builders in Alexandria,” the company says on its website, expanding operations “into greater northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland, the Eastern Shore, and the Piedmont Region of Virginia.”
Reached by the News this week, James Thorsen, the company’s vice president of construction, said specific designs for the property remain on the drawing board. “We’re still working out the plans,” he said.
As far as the Sperryville Business Committee (SBC) is concerned, it’s not too early to be thinking about spring — as in “SperryFest2019.”
“Many of you have expressed interest in bringing back a community-wide festival to Sperryville and its Main Street, similar to past events that brought together the community and showcased the best of Rappahannock,” Before & After’s Kerry Sutten writes to his fellow business associates.
Sutten says the SBC, which was established following last year’s wildly successful rubber duck race down the Thornton River, proposes SperryFest2019 take place on Saturday, April 27, to include a “street festival” on historic Main Street coinciding with the 2nd annual duck race.
Associated with the festival will be a river and community clean-up tentatively scheduled for Sunday, April 21, the day before Earth Day on April 22.
While not set in stone, the street festival would run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. along Main Street, which would be closed to vehicular traffic. Sutten says the SBC is working with the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office, the Sperryville Rescue Squad, the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the Virginia State Police to accommodate traffic and parking concerns.
“We have also developed a partnership with the Artisan Trail and the Businesses of Rappahannock to support a successful street festival,” he says.
In addition, the SBC assisted by the Rappahannock Historical Society is working on a Sperryville Historic Walking Map, highlighting historical points of interest in and around the village. Discussions also are underway with landowners along the Main Street section of the Thornton River to determine the feasibility of a walking trail along portions of the river.
Also, initial dialogue has begun with state and local officials on ways to enhance the entrances into Sperryville and to implement traffic changes to reduce the speed of moving traffic and increase the safety of pedestrians, such as painting crosswalks across Main Street.
And following last year’s first-ever Halloween celebration on Main Street, the SBC is already looking ahead to this October, proposing an “annual” Halloween event for the village. Main Street in Sperryville was closed for two hours this past Oct. 31 to allow for trick or treating.