Welcome to Downtown Ashland!

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Following months of brand development and constituent marketing research, Ashland Main Street Association has officially changed its name to Downtown Ashland Association, launching a new, visitor-focused website – ashlandvirginia.com.

As an accredited member of Main Street America and the Virginia Main Street program since 2013, Downtown Ashland Association works in partnership with the Town of Ashland to revitalize Ashland’s historic downtown to ensure local businesses and the community not only grow, but thrive.

“We decided to rebrand the organization to ensure that our message is clear: come enjoy Downtown Ashland!” said Maggie Longest, Executive Director of Downtown Ashland Association. “We are most excited about the launch of ashlandvirginia.com as a storytelling tool to share all there is to see, do, and experience in our quaint and quirky downtown.”

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With a directory of local businesses, a comprehensive events calendar, a news-style blog featuring profiles and sample trip itineraries, ashlandvirginia.com is a one-stop resource that encourages visitors and residents to shop locally and enjoy this unique, historic community.

“With our new site, you’ll never miss a chance to enjoy downtown,” said Downtown Ashland Association President Lorie Foley. “We have fabulous restaurants and shops, cycling routes, historic walking tours, turn-of-the-century rail history, sports games at Randolph-Macon, and shows at Ashland Theatre. Plus, you can bring the family to events like Train Day and Light Up the Tracks. There is so much to explore in Downtown Ashland!

Subscribe to “Get Centered” — our monthly enewsletter — and follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you never miss a thing. See you Downtown!

Downtown Ashland Association is a nonprofit community organization that relies on your support to help Downtown Ashland shine. We believe in a vibrant business community. We believe in celebrating and preserving historic character. We believe in the power of community partnerships.

Ashland Theatre Recognized for Historic Preservation


The Art McKinney Historic Preservation Award was presented to Ashland Theatre Foundation and the Town of Ashland on May 29, 2019 in recognition of the extraordinary renovation of the 1948 property in the heart of Downtown Ashland.

The following video tells the Theatre’s remarkable history.

The Ashland Theatre building at 205 England Street first opened in 1948 and continued to operate as a movie theater until 1996.  It was purchased by local developer A.D. Whitaker who made initial restorations and generously gave the building to the Town of Ashland in 2013. A Downtown Ashland Association volunteer committee re-opened the theater in “pop-up mode” in November 2014, leading to the creation of Ashland Theatre Foundation, which undertook a capital campaign and $2.1 million renovation. Ashland Theatre reopened in December 2018 to public acclaim.


Ashland Theatre is beautifully restored and serves as the center of entertainment for Downtown Ashland, with a wide variety of performances including first-run films, live music, and community events. See the full schedule and buy tickets online at ashlandtheatre.org.

Ashland Theatre
205 England Street
Ashland, Virginia 23005
(804) 401-7007

Jake’s Place: Southern Comfortable

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Jake’s Place restaurant offers Southern Comfortable atmosphere, food, and drinks in an historic location at 115 Thompson Street. A 1920s service station is now a culinary hotspot for Ashland and beyond. Jake’s Place offers southern-style dining, takeout, catering, and special events.

Owners Wendy and John Yohman hatched an unthinkable plan in 2013—to renovate the old BP station into a thriving restaurant. After two years of investment and hard work, the duo launched Jake’s Place—named for Jake and Rosalie Spears who operated the service station for more than 45 years.

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Today, the original swinging doors welcome you to a quaint dining room with handmade tables by the hearth. The back patio offers space for family outings and corporate gatherings. On the menu is something for everyone, from John’s famous smoked brisket to homemade pies. No one leaves Jake’s Place hungry.

The Yohmans’ story is part of Ashland’s renaissance. The town is actively cultivating new life in old structures. We embrace history and bring it into the modern day, in a way that only homegrown hometown efforts can achieve.

Ashland is an authentic and vibrant setting for locals and visitors. Nowhere is this more evident than at Jake’s Place. On a typical Friday night, you’ll find a packed dining room that feels like a friendly gathering. Wendy and John greet guests and offer wine and craft beer, while the kitchen delivers unforgettable southern dishes.

There is a special feeling when you walk into Jake’s Place, and you’ll be quick to share the story with friends and neighbors. It’s an experience that lives up to the the restaurant’s moniker: Southern Comfortable.

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Jake’s Place Restaurant & Market
115 Thompson Street
Ashland Virginia 23005
(804) 798-3287