The Dew Drop Inn

Contributed by Evelyn Edson, president,
Scottsville Museum

The Dewdrop Inn at 440 Valley Street was a Scottsville landmark for many years.  Nobody can remember exactly when the first version of it opened — some time in the 1930s?

The Inn went through a number of different owners.  John Pearce remembers when it was a high school hangout in the 1950s, with plenty of loud rock n’ roll blaring from the jukeboxes.   He used to get a Dixie cup of ice cream that he ate with a wooden spoon.  When Chris and Judy Wade moved to Scottsville in 1974, they rented a house right across the alley from the Dew Drop.  It was then run by Bill and Agnes Clayton. Agnes did the cooking and Bill, as Chris recalls “ran a tight ship.”  Our neighbor, Walter Parrish, like to order the bowl of white beans—35 cents.  After Agnes died, Bill sold the property, and the atmosphere changed dramatically.  After listening, unwillingly, to a stream of profanity from the pay phone which was all too close to the Wade kitchen window, they decided to move to a quieter place and found a house on Warren Street.

When Elsie and Ralph Rowley took over in 1985, they reported that the Inn had recently degenerated into a “dirty, dark, noisy, smelly beer joint,” and “the scene of numerous fights, brawls, and at least one knifing.”  They cleaned the place up, named it Pig and Steak Too, and reopened for a more respectable clientele. Several years later, Jackie Lohr became the proprietor, advertising “Fresh Cut Steaks and Seafood Specials.”  But even more important was the regular schedule of live music, mostly the blues.

Jackie retired in 2003—doctor’s orders—and by 2006, the “Famous Dew Drop Inn” was in the hands of Billy and Fran Milstead.  The restaurant closed for good in 2009 and sat empty for several years. “Who’ll renew the Dew?” inquired The Hook, a Charlottesville weekly.

Tourists still come to Scottsville, looking for the Dew Drop Inn, inspired by its appearance in the television series, “The Waltons.”  What they will find instead is the Beijing Kitchen, dishing out delectable Chinese specialties from egg rolls to Mu Shu pork, and — in season — soft serve ice cream.

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