A new restaurant, The Milk Parlor, has opened in downtown Blacksburg where Sycamore Deli used to be. The restaurant is focused on bringing live music and entertainment, as well as a new sandwich menu, to the Blacksburg community.
The Milk Parlor is a music venue with a full service bar and restaurant that opened Aug. 9.
With the recent launch of its website and a new layout of the space, “the atmosphere and layout are a lot cooler than Sycamore Deli,” said Michelle Berry, general manager.
The restaurant opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and provides lunches and to-go menus as an option. Some of the most popular sandwiches include a variety of grilled cheeses, Reubens, capris and a popular favorite called the “Spicy Redneck,” which is a pulled pork sandwich served on French bread.
With a smaller menu of about 10 options, Berry believes that it will be a great change from Sycamore Deli’s previous 100+ food options.
“I think having the smaller menu helps,” Berry said. All of the melts are served on garlic bread, unless the customer opts for other breads or vegan options, like vegan cheese. The Milk Parlor staff likes to ask customers for suggestions on the menu items as well.
Additionally, while the restaurant already holds different music or dance events every night, Berry is working on having live music events held every night.
“There will be an event Monday through Saturday no matter what, once we get into the swing of things,” Berry said. “We would like to get all different types of crowds to come down.”
Upcoming events include dance nights, open mic nights featuring The Comedy Conglomerate at Virginia Tech and a large variety of local bands spanning several genres, such as the Bumpin' Uglies and Sidewalk Slam, which is a group that combines hip hop and banjo playing in its music. The Milk Parlor expects some of the bands to cover artists like G-Space, Speakeasy and Grateful Dead. There is a $3 cover for the bands.
In addition, The Milk Parlor is continuing one of Blacksburg’s favorite traditions from Sycamore Deli: Salsa Night Wednesdays. They will be held every Wednesday night from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., with an hour-long Salsa lesson at the beginning of each session.
Chapman Pendery, a junior majoring in computer science, has been to The Milk Parlor multiple times and recently went to Salsa Night. He said it was a blast and recommends the restaurant to anyone.
“I used to go to Sycamore like once a week; it was like my favorite place at Tech,” Pendery said. “(The food at The Milk Parlor) was ... like a boujee grilled cheese ... and definitely different because in Sycamore there were tons of options. But, I wouldn’t say it was a bad change.”
Pendery also had friends who participated in the restaurant’s Open Mic Night who also loved the new atmosphere.
“I still think it’s definitely a nice bar. I see that the patrons are still really passionate about the place,” he said. “I’d say it’s the same place, but completely different vibes.”
Moreover, Samantha Shamim, a senior majoring in religion and culture, also went to The Milk Parlor for Salsa Night toward the beginning of the semester. While she didn’t try the food and doesn’t drink, she said she would still recommend the place to people.
“I did like The Milk Parlor a little more,” Shamim said. “I liked the new decor, and it was a pretty safe atmosphere.”
As The Milk Parlor staff gets into the swing of things this year, they are trying to get the word out about their business.
“It takes a lot for people to walk down here,” Berry said. “We’re one of the only downstairs bars besides The Cellar, and I don’t think people are necessarily aware.”
The Milk Parlor will also be available for the public to rent out on Fridays, for any reason, such as for date parties. The public can go to The Milk Parlor’s Facebook page, @TheMilkParlorBlacksburg, for information about renting the space, the menu, hours and purchasing tickets for music events.