Fourteen years ago, Dave’s Taverna opened in downtown Harrisonburg. Since then, the popular restaurant purchased and renovated a larger building in 2002 to accommodate its growing business. After their move, they continued expansion in 2006 to their rooftop with the taratsa where customers can enjoy a full menu and bar under the stars. Now named Dave’s Downtown Taverna, the restaurant is credited with starting the momentum for the downtown revitalization trend. The restaurant, keeping a tally of all of their customers from day one, is now expecting to serve their one-millionth customer in the coming week.
Owners, David and Julie Miller started in the kitchen and personally cooked and waited on many of these nearly one million diners. “We’ve seen lots of faces at Dave’s,” says Dave Miller, “students, families, downtown workers, tourists – every kind of customer.” Over the years Dave’s has built a loyal following with its distinctive Greek-style menu and lively atmosphere. Now the business, 100 employees strong is a local institution.
Eddie Bumbaugh, executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance says, “I’m old enough to remember when McDonald’s announced its one-millionth customer, and they had locations all over the country. So for a restaurant in downtown Harrisonburg to reach that number is very impressive.”
In addition to presenting the one-millionth customer with a $500 gift certificate to Dave’s Downtown Taverna, the Millers plan to alert local media and throw a celebration. It’s expected to happen sometime within the next 10 days.