By closing the first floor gift shop, the museum reclaimed enough space to add 38 new seats. The capacity is now 403 seats with a plan to add 12 more seats.
This is good news for tourists and office workers who often find the cafe filled to capacity. The draw is the presentation of indigenous food, divided into cuisine from the Northern Woodlands, Mesoamerica, South America, Northwest Coast and Great Plains.
As soon as the museum opened in 2004, the cafe was an instant hit, attracting the best reviews from the Washington Post, Southern Living and Rachel Ray. It has a Zagat Rating. Even executive chef Richard Hetzler, the executive chef/food & beverage director, has a cookbook.
The high-end inventory from the first floor shop has been moved to the Roanoke Museum Store on the 2nd floor.
Not only will there be a little more elbow room but some patrons will be able to see the shows in the Potomac atrium while dining.