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A bumper crop of rooftop bars?
More rooftop bars planned in city


Date published: 8/31/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

Downtown Fredericksburg currently has zero rooftop bars. By this time next year there might be three, all right next to each other.

Luigi Castiglia, Ryan Bullock, and Blake and Aby Bethem are all planning rooftop bars at their establishments on William Street between Charles and Princess Anne streets.

The Bethems will open Vivify Burger Lounge at a building they own at 314 William St. They recently got a $10,000 grant from Fredericksburg's Economic Development Authority for the rooftop project, which is still going through the permitting process.

Bullock plans to apply for an EDA grant this fall to build a rooftop bar atop the space he leases from Luigi Castiglia at 318 William St. Bullock plans to open The Orion, a sushi-oriented restaurant and space-themed nightclub, in late October. Bullock recently hired a well-known area sushi chef for his business.

Bullock and Castiglia, who owns the self-named Italian restaurant next to The Orion, are working together on plans for the two rooftop bars atop Castiglia's large building. They also plan to shore up the structure that hangs over the sidewalk area and turn it into a balcony with additional seating. People could access the rooftop bars from the balcony or from inside Castiglia's and The Orion.

Castiglia is now making over the space between his restaurant and The Orion that was formerly an Italian market called Bella Italia. It will be a bar specializing in martinis and tapas that Castiglia hopes to open by the end of September. The smaller Castiglia's bar was removed, and a wall dividing the restaurant from the new bar was taken down.

Bullock and Castiglia plan to offer free valet parking for their customers on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights once both new ventures are ready. The cars would be parked in a lot behind the Princess Anne building and perhaps an adjacent lot.

Castiglia might later create a large private dining area at the back of his building that would be accessed from the Charles Street side through the former Monroe Press store.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com