Great Road Coffee reuses more than a century-old church in Christiansburg

CHRISTIANSBURG, Virginia. – On the main street of Christiansburg stands a church that has been around since 1908. Although it recently stood vacant, the Larkins changed that just over a year ago by bringing their “best kept secret” into city.

It started Great Road Coffee. Its name dates back to the 1700s.

“The historical value of the Great Road, you know, the migration trail from Philadelphia to Atlanta.”

Mike Larkin, co-owner of Great Road, says he wanted to respect the historic value. Part of that involved leaving the stained glass windows intact.

It’s not just the look that sets this place apart, but the taste and the smell.

Larkin tells us that when he came up with the menu, he told his team, “I don’t want anything that you can find on the side.

The Larkins give kitchen staff creative freedom, and they ran with it. We start with coffee specialties like the Nutty Irishman, with Irish cream and hazelnuts to start the morning.

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Chef Robin Upchurch uses the talent she’s had since she was a little girl to spice up the menu, along with what she calls ‘magic’.

When asked about it, Larkin laughed and said, “She calls it magic. We don’t know exactly what it is.

Either way, it’s great!

My favorite from our stop at Great Road was the cinnamon toffee apple scone with maple glaze on top. It’s a sweetness that lingers in the mouth for minutes after the last bite.

For lunch, the magic continues with dishes such as “Chicken and Bacon Ranch Wrap, Chicken Salad Wrap and Avocado Toast”.

The chicken bacon ranch wrap had our photographer, Chase, and me repeatedly saying, “Man!” It was that good! (Thanks, magic!)

More important than comforting coffee or the magic of food is the mission the Larkins set themselves when they moved here over a decade ago.

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Larkin concludes, “If you’re going to live in a community, be part of the community. And if you have something to offer to improve this community, then that’s what you bring.

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