Q: What is the Downtown Culinary District and what is its purpose?
A: Downtown Harrisonburg and the surrounding County have a rich and diverse agriculture and food-related heritage, culture, and economy. Many large food-related businesses, including City Exchange, Wetsel Seed, Cassco Ice, Rocco Feeds, and Shenandoah’s Pride, started in Harrisonburg and made a national impact on the food industry.
The food-related tradition continues with numerous and varied businesses and culinary activities. Downtown currently has more than 30 unique restaurants and eateries; more than 15 food-related businesses; more than 5 food-related events; and approximately 5 food and beverage production businesses.
Downtown Harrisonburg is developing the reputation as the regional dining destination, with multiple awards recognizing the quality and diversity of our restaurants and eateries. As the trend toward foodie and culinary interests grows, downtown Harrisonburg is positioned well to market our attractions.
With the leadership of HDR and support of Harrisonburg Tourism, the Downtown Dining Alliance, the Harrisonburg Farmers Market, and Friendly City Food Co-op, on January 28 the Harrisonburg city council passed a resolution creating a Downtown Culinary District. The district will be promoted with the goal of attracting and retaining businesses and customers who value food-related experiences and products.
Eddie Bumbaugh is the Executive Director for Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.