By Pruett Norris
Just off campus, the Appalachian reports that the former bar and restaurant Cafe Portofino will prospectively be replaced by a hotel! The project, appropriately titled the Cafe Portofino Hotel, is being developed by the Winkler Organization as a 20-room, two-story building located at the site of the original Cafe. John Winkler, who applied for the project permit, said that he thinks it will bring a great deal to the Boone community to have another hotel downtown. In his words, “I think it’ll help the parking situation, and people will be able to come into town and stay and walk and enjoy downtown Boone without having to come in, you know, a mile from out of town.” Maybe you’ll stay there one day, listeners!
In more prescient local news, the expansion of U.S. Highway 321/421 is projected to cost $92.6 million to accomplish, according to the Appalachian. While the project isn’t slated to begin construction until 2027, with an estimated completion in 2030, residents are already beginning to worry about how this will affect them and their properties. There are three approaches in consideration as the Department of Transportation oversees the project: a left side expansion, a right side expansion, and a best-fit expansion, which would alternate sides of the road to be expanded depending on what works best. That seems to be the most popular of the three in interviews the Appalachian conducted. Here’s hoping 421 can expand without impacting too many Boone residents, wildlife, and homes!
Nationally, NPR reports that Beyonce is leading the nominations at the Grammys, which will be held on February 5th, 2022, at the Crypto.com center in LA. Beyonce is now tied with her husband Jay-Z for the most nominations by any artist, and is only three awards away from classical conductor Georg Solti for the most Grammy awards. She’s up for 9 different awards across multiple categories, including her album “Renaissance” for album of the year. Bluegrass singer Molly Tuttle, a recent performer at the Appalachian Theater, is up for Best New Artist. Good luck to all the contenders, and listen to their music, listeners!
Finally, the weather as ever from Boone Weather DOT COM. The cold streak continues with a high of 40 degrees today and a low of 23. Brrr!