photo_ft_news_John McAuliff Chilton House-1_20200601

John Chilton McAuliff stands outside the Chilton House in Warrenton, a bed and breakfast he opened in 2016.

A digital gift card that can be used at more than 20 businesses in Old Town Warrenton is now available for purchase. The program, called Old Town Card, was created by Experience Old Town Warrenton and is redeemable at participating restaurants, retail stores and other businesses.

EOTW logo

The gift “card” is a code, either emailed or texted to the recipient, and redeemed at participating businesses. Mastercard will process all the transactions conducted through the program, meaning that any business that already can accept credit cards can participate; there are no special fees.

John McAuliff, the owner of the Chilton House, a bed and breakfast on Culpeper Street, was the driving force behind the launch of the program. “I’ve had this idea for three or four years,” he said, “but we just couldn’t find a creative way to do it,” citing challenges in administering the financial side of a program like this efficiently.

Because Chilton House has not been offering breakfast during the pandemic, McAuliff said that the bed and breakfast has been offering the new digital gift card to guests in lieu of breakfast, encouraging them to purchase a meal from a downtown business.

“The Old Town Card allows us to provide a unique experience for visitors and residents, and we’ll be providing gift cards to our guests regularly,” he said in a May 29 press release.

McAuliff earlier called the initiative a “bounce-back-from-COVID project” and said that it would be part of a larger effort to drive customers to Old Town businesses in the future.

“Studies have shown that local independent retailers recirculate 47% of their revenue back into the community, while only 14% of national chains’ revenue stays in the community,” EOTW Executive Director Charity Furness said in the same press release. “We encourage everyone to consider giving a gift of the Old Town Card to the special people in their lives, like the teachers who worked so hard to make this semester possible.”

To purchase the digital card and find more information, visit

Merchants enrolled in the Old Town Card program as of June 1:

  • 360 Health & Fitness
  • Black Bear Bistro & Brick Oven
  • Carter & Spence
  • Chilton House Bed & Breakfast
  • Ciao Bella Celebrations
  • Deja Brew Café
  • DejaVu Boutique
  • Earth Glaze & Fire
  • Ellie’s Place
  • Experience Old Town Warrenton
  • Fauquier History Museum
  • Framecraft
  • Gateau Bakery
  • Haute Cakes Pastry Shop
  • High Flyer Arms
  • Latitude Fair Trade
  • Main Street Wellness Co.
  • The Natural Marketplace
  • Von Canon General Store
  • Wellness Kitchen of Warrenton
  • Warrenton Hobby Shoppe

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