A Lynchburg legend closes after 50 years, server of 47 years shares memories

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A Lynchburg legend is closing its doors after 50 years of business. On Saturday, the Crown Sterling on Fort Avenue hosted customers for the very last time.

The line was full of people who came back for one last meal at Crown Sterling on its final day.

A frequent customer, Brenda Parsons, was standing in the restaurant’s long line on Saturday, Oct. 23.

“It’s really sad to see this business leave. It’s been here for a long time. They have very good food, so we will miss them. But we wish them well,” said Parsons.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

James Bragg and his wife have owned the restaurant for about nine years. Bragg’s recent heart attack — in addition to the coronavirus pandemic — left him with few options when it came to keeping the place.

“Business kind of slowed over the years because of COVID-19. The city of Lynchburg has propped up a lot of businesses downtown, and it really hasn’t helped other businesses or other areas other than Wards Road,” said Bragg.

Manager Neal Lindsay has been working at Crown Sterling for 47 out of its 50 years in business and was a member of the first server crew.

“You had to have a coat and tie or you weren’t let in, and we wore tuxedos,” said Lindsay.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

He remembers it always being a community staple.

“Everybody has to have a parfait, and everybody has to come to Crown Sterling,” said Lindsay. “It’s more of the family than a restaurant. The people who own it have always been good to us. It’s the same people, the same customers, and I just love waiting on them.”

Lindsay has waited on celebrities, even members of the White House. However, he will miss the family he’s built in the kitchen and in the community the most.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

As for the future of this space, many are hoping something just as remarkable can take its spot. Currently, it’s for sale.

Lindsay plans to retire from the restaurant. Meanwhile, Bragg says he’s thankful for the staff who stuck around throughout the pandemic.

WFXR News was told many of the workers were able to land jobs elsewhere.

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