A new era has officially been welcomed in to the Smith Mountain Lake area.
Drifter's, which was originally named Waller's, held their ribbon cutting on Wednesday, August 19. The event was teamed up with Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce. Long-time couple Ryan Walters and Jaclyn Westfall bought the restaurant a couple of months ago from Waller Perrow, who was the original owner.
Though the ribbon cutting was just held, Drifter's has been in business with their new name since June 20. SMLRCOC Executive Director Christopher Finley said the reason for putting off the ribbon cutting was to give both Walters and Westfall some time to get acquainted with their new positions as owners.
"We intentionally held off this ribbon cutting to give Ryan and Jaclyn enough time to transition, workout the kinks, and to get back to business," he said.
Finley also praised Walters and Westfall for doing an "absolutely phenomenal" job so far and added that he had a positive experience dining at the restaurant with his family.
He also mentioned that it's inspiring to see them become part of the young generation of leaders for the lake community.
"It's refreshing to see," Finley said. "We need that next lifeline of leaders to carry this lake forward into the future."
Before the ribbon cutting, Walters expressed how grateful they are for the love and support that has been shown since taking over.
"The support we've had from the chamber and the community has been absolutely overwhelming," Walters said.