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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Coca-Cola to host ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday
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Photo by Morris Stephenson: The old Rocky Mount Coca-Cola Bottling Company building at 147 Franklin Street has been restored to its appearance in 1929 with the original sign being repainted by Coca-Cola Bottling Co. in Roanoke as part of the renovation by Bryan Hochstein, the owner of the soon-to-open Bootleggers Cafe.

Monday, July 7, 2014

By MORRIS STEPHENSON - Special to the News-Post

A morning of activities is planned for Wednesday, July 9 in Rocky Mount to continue efforts to revitalize Franklin Street.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated of Roanoke will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Coca-Cola sign at 11 a.m., while the Bootleggers Cafe will offer a "sneak peak" of the ongoing renovation of the old bottling plant at 147 Franklin Street.

The original Rocky Mount Coca-Cola Bottling Company site was built by Morton and Harry Menefee and opened in May 1929. Now, 86 years later, the building is being renovated for a new restaurant.

Bryan Hochstein, the owner of Bootleggers Cafe, is excited about the project and also about joining local efforts to bring attention to downtown Rocky Mount.

"We are very excited to be a part of the revitalization of historic downtown Rocky Mount," he said. "We are grateful to Coca-Cola for funding the restoration of the sign. Coca-Cola has had a long and proud history in Rocky Mount, and we are working hard to bring Bootleggers Cafe to life and add another proud contribution to the Rocky Mount community."

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated of Roanoke sent a two-man crew to repaint the original logo on the front of the building.

"Coca-Cola has been a part of American life for more than 128 years. Some of the earliest advertising was wall murals painted on sides of buildings throughout the rural south," said Lauren C. Steele, senior vice president of Coca-Cola Consolidated's corporate affairs, who will speak during the ceremony Wednesday.

"We have identified and refurbished more than a dozen signs over the last few years in partnerships with towns and communities wanting to revitalize their towns," she added. "We are excited about the restored sign in Rocky Mount and look forward to a great partnership with the Bootlegger Cafe."

Though the restaurant won't officially open until later this month, the public will be able to see the progress made so far on Wednesday. Coke products will be available and the public will have the opportunity to sample a variety of barbecue sliders from the cafe's menu. Related coupons offering the free samples were published in last Wednesday and Friday's issues of the News-Post.

The Harvester Performance Center, just across the street, will offer a live, lunchtime music set to add to the celebration. The public is encouraged to visit the facility, which opened in April, and enjoy performances by local musicians, like Corey Hunley.

For more information about Bootleggers Cafe, visit The telephone number is 844-444-2668.

For more information about Franklin County events, visit or contact Tarah Holland at (540) 483-3040 or

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