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Mill Street Makeover

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Nestled in the heart of Sylva, North Carolina, Mill Street is gearing up for a transformation like never before. Every five years, the Main Street Sylva Association rolls up its sleeves and dives into revitalizing projects, and this time, Mill Street is in the spotlight. Just a skip and a hop away from the lively main drag, Mill Street is set to undergo a makeover aimed at boosting its charm and attracting more visitors, all while breathing new life into the local economy.
Photo from
Leading the charge is none other than Bernadette Peters, the mastermind behind Sylva’s Economic Development and Association. She’s got her eyes on Mill Street and sees endless possibilities. With its unique funky vibe, this street is practically begging for a makeover. Peters has cooked up a comprehensive plan to kick things off, starting with a facade grant initiative tailored specifically for the businesses lining the street. It’s a collaborative effort, with property owners banding together to reveal designs and snag grants to help cover the costs of sprucing up their spaces.
But that’s not all; Peters and her team are diving deep, looking to infuse Mill Street with personality and pizzazz. From patching up brickwork to splashing vibrant murals across its walls, the goal is to create an irresistible atmosphere that captures the hearts of both locals and tourists alike.
Photo from Sylva Herald
Tembo Hospitality manages multiple businesses along Mill Street. CEO of the company, Craig Smith, states how he “…loves to see just the culture continuously grow,” in this little downtown. “You’ve got this incredible mountain view, the fun and experience around culinary and the arts, and really celebrating what these small business owners are bringing to the region.”  
Among these businesses managed by Tembo Hospitality is Ilda, a southern-Italian inspired restaurant with Chef Santiago Guzzetti at the lead. Craving pizza? There’s also Meatballs, a New York-style pizza at the end of Main Street providing great food inspired by a loving community. Soon to follow will be a brand-new coffee shop, Blue Ridge Bootleg, whose fresh-ground coffee will awaken your soul by country music artist Matt King. 
If you find yourself in the Sylva area, make sure to stop and visit this historic downtown and taste the unique flavors this town has to offer, along with fantastic shopping options. Follow along the journey of Sylva’s Mill Street Makeover and what Tembo Hospitality Group does next on our website and Instagram.