RiverCity May/June 2017
In Search Of:
Outdoor Dining Living Spaces
AFRO ZEN ALLSTARS AN INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE M. LOWE
JOE LALUNA “OL’ BLUE EYES” IS BACK!
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO EAT!
STREET FESTIVALS RIVER CITY AND BEYOND
RiverCity MAY/JUNE 2017
RichmondNavigator.com PRESIDENT // PUBLISHER
William J. Davis, Jr.
VICE-PRESIDENT // PUBLISHER
Cheryl T. Davis
CONTRIBUTING GRAPHIC DESIGNER
Jack Smith, Cary Webb
John Dixon Elena Marinaccio Lauren Serpa Tammy Soto CONTRIBUTORS
Zach Brown Tom Gresham Denise Johnson Davy Jones
In This Issue 04
THE DOOLEYS OF MAYMONT
New Book Explores Maymont’s Founders
“Ol’ Blue Eyes” Is Back
Street Festivals in River City
In the Arts District
HIT THE STREETS
IN SEARCH OF: Desserts
ONLINE // SOCIAL
HAPPY HOUR GUIDE
RiverCity magazine is published bimonthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc., 6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 Midlothian, VA 23112 P: 804-639-9994 E: Info@RichmondNavigator.com
RichmondNavigator.com Facebook.com/RichmondNavigator Twitter.com/RichmondNav GENERAL // EDITORIAL INFORMATION
About Our Cover: Shyndigz, Richmond’s first latenight dessert-only restaurant, gets our cover this issue with their sky high Salted Chocolate Caramel Cake, detailed in our In Search Of: Desserts section. Also in this issue of River City is editor Elena Marinaccio’s interview with George M. Lowe of Afro-Zen Allstars.
Contact Us! E: Info@RichmondNavigator.com
RiverCity May/June 2017
In Search Of:
All articles and contents of this magazine are not necessarily the opinions or thoughts of RiverCity magazine, Advertising Concepts, Inc or the publisher.
Living Spaces AFRO ZEN ALLSTARS AN INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE M. LOWE
JOE LALUNA “OL’ BLUE EYES” IS BACK!
ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO EAT!
All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.
STREET FESTIVALS RIVER CITY AND BEYOND
FIRST OF ALL
New Biography Tells the Story of the
Dooleys of Maymont by Elena Marinaccio
We’ve all been to Maymont Park. Chances are you’ve probably toured the imposing Dooley Mansion and the beautiful gardens in the park. But how much do you know about the Dooley family? Author, Mary Lynn Bayliss, Ph.D., has pulled back the curtains to reveal the fascinating stories of the Dooleys in her new book, The Dooleys of Richmond: An Irish Immigrant Family in the Old and New South. Dr. Bayliss’ well-researched book begins with John and Sarah Dooley, who emigrated from Limerick, Ireland in the early half of the nineteenth century. Soon after arriving in America, the couple moved from Northern Virginia to Richmond, where Dooley started what ultimately became one of the nation’s largest hat-making businesses. John Dooley and his sons served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. In the war’s final hours, Dooley’s business was completely destroyed in the city’s evacuation conflagration.
“I knew in 1997 that there was a book, here,” said Dr. Bayliss, who began researching the family history more than 20 years ago.
You can purchase The Dooleys of Richmond in local bookstores, from Amazon and at University of Virginia Press (Upress.Virginia.edu).
His son, James, became a prominent attorney in the city and ultimately was instrumental in the industrialization of the new south through his development of a vast railroad network. In 1886, he and his wife, Sallie Mae, acquired a tract of farmland along the James River and built their 12,000 square-foot, 33-room mansion, which they named “May Mont,” combining Mrs. Dooley’s maiden name and the French word for hill. Sarah Dooley, an avid gardener, took an active role in planning the gardens. Through their efforts, the couple transformed their farmland into one of the South’s finest estates. Dr. Bayliss, who began researching the family history over twenty years ago, says, “I knew in 1997 that there was a book, here. I wrote a letter, to Jeffrey Platt (then, executive director of the Maymont Foundation) and told him I intended to write a book.” She says her research was complicated by the fact that following the death of Sarah Dooley in 1925, someone, for no known reason, decided to burn the family’s papers. Now, after years of painstakingly tracking down documents that survived, she is able to share the fascinating account of one family’s contributions to the re-growth of postbellum Richmond and the South.
Close Your Eyes and
Ol’ Blue Eyes is Back! by Steve Cook
“When I’m singing Sinatra, I feel like I am Sinatra. Singing [Sinatra’s music] is a catharsis for me.” – Joe LaLuna Joe LaLuna, a longtime Richmond-area resident doesn’t consider himself an impersonator. “I don’t think you can impersonate Sinatra,” he says. “I don’t try to imitate him. I just have a natural ability to do his music.” LaLuna says he grew up in an Italian family on Long Island, NY listening to the legendary crooner. “I was drawn to that sort of music.” His favorite Sinatra song? “That depends on what I’m feeling,” he says. “There’s a song for every moment…when you’ve found your love, when you’ve lost your love…” I first met LaLuna after an amazing, nearly two-hour non-stop performance at Sedona Taphouse, where he appears monthly. “Performing can be quite draining,” he tells me, but adds that the crowd reaction can also be energizing when he hears such comments as “Wow, we don’t hear that music anymore. When I close my eyes, I can picture Sinatra singing.” Besides public appearances, LaLuna has performed at everything from a sweet 16 birthday party (“They all loved Sinatra,” he says of the teens in attendance) to corporate gigs to assisted living communities. Follow LaLuna on Facebook (JoeSingsSinatra.com) for upcoming performances. If you want to hear Joe sing Sinatra at your next function, phone 804-601-1741.
Golden Devotion An Interview With George M. Lowe of Afro-Zen Allstars
Words: Davy Jones
istening to Afro-Zen Allstars means being transported to a different place, to a different time. It means joining a sublime, multicultural vision conceived by George M. Lowe, a warm, devoted autodidact I had the pleasure of speaking with recently. Lowe’s journey with music has been as profound as any you’ll find. He taught himself to read and write music at the age of 42. (“There was a time when I played eight or nine different instruments,” he mentioned at one point.) He then learned to arrange and score without any formal training. And music helped him find his way during one of the darkest emotional times you can imagine. Now, he’s reviving the Golden Age of Ethiopian music via his Afro-Zen Allstars, an ensemble of some of Richmond’s most talented, jazziest and funkiest musicians. I fell in love with their Greatest Hits album, a debut collection that showcases the group’s precision and versatility. We sat down for lunch at Addis, the delicious Ethiopian restaurant off the 17th Street Farmers Market, and in between bites of fasolia, I asked him about how his incredible musical journey started.
Images: Elena Marinaccio
When did you start playing in bands? My wife died at the end of 1995, in fact on New Year’s Eve. It was an extremely tragic situation...I was a mess, and I ended up joining my favorite band as a means to give myself something to look forward to. My dearest friend Paul Watson, who is a renowned Richmond musician, had recently joined the Ululating Mummies, and he invited me to come to a rehearsal…At first I didn’t want to. I had been a musician since I was a teen, but had never been in a band, due to extreme performance anxiety. But I did [go] and then I realized it would be a good thing for me. They were only playing six or seven times a year at the time, but I needed more so I really pushed. And in the three years I was in the band we played 100 gigs. I left them and I didn’t play with anybody — I was just focusing on recording at home — for four years. And then Rattlemouth contacted me. Two of them were members of the Mummies, [and] they wanted to play some of my compositions. I wasn’t sure that I was up to it, because their music was technically demanding. Everything was right at the edge of my chops. I had to work really hard. I played with them for 10 years, and we played nothing but original music for years. At the time that I joined Rattlemouth — in the same week — I joined another band, Hotel X, and we played African-influenced music and African music.
Can you describe the “Golden Age” of Ethiopian music? There was a period of time in Ethiopia from the late 1960s to 1974 where there was a very thriving, booming music scene that combined elements of traditional Ethiopian music as RichmondNavigator.com 7
“The first record of tradition-based modern Ethiopian music to be released in the West was in 1987. I heard that record and it took five seconds for me to be completely hooked forever.” – George M. Lowe
well as some Western influences. There was some absolutely magical stuff that was happening there. In 1974, there was a military coup, and it turned into a Marxist dictatorship that completely shut down the culture for 18 years. It robbed the world of that music. The first record of tradition-based modern Ethiopian music to be released in the West was in 1987. I heard that record and it took five seconds for me to be completely hooked forever.
Multiculturalism is so important right now, and Afro-Zen Allstars represents that in a powerful way, I think. What motivates you to bring this music to life in Richmond? I have often said, and it’s not as true as it used to be, that those guys aren’t going to come here and play this stuff for us. It’s important music and people need to hear it. I’ve been really torn. Originally, I wanted to do exclusively Ethiopian music. But I’ve scored so much stuff that isn’t Ethiopian that I really love, that eventually I couldn’t stick to that. The [band’s repertoire] currently has 55 tunes in it, and in addition to Ethiopia, it includes songs from Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rajasthan, Cuba, Mexico, Senegal, Benin…we just learned a piece from Benin that is so cool, I can’t even stand it. I can’t wait to play it.
“I do this stuff to increase the amount of joy in the world.” – George M. Lowe
I do this stuff to increase the amount of joy in the world. Nothing brings people together quite like music does, and being exposed to the musical culture of some other place can result in understanding more and grasping the fact that people are much more alike than they are different. I saw you made Greatest Hits at Minimum Wage Recording with Lance Kohler. How did you enjoy working with Lance? Lance is a community treasure, for certain. Not only is he a great guy, but he’s awfully good at what he does... I hate to record. I mean, I really hate to record. Even when I had a studio at my house, I hated to record. Minimum Wage is the only place I’ve worked where I had any level of comfort. The session we did — we did one day and we got 10 songs, seven of them in one take, and I was completely comfortable the entire time. It was wonderful…it was just so easy. It was a testament to the gentlemen who play with me. Being in the studio can be stressful, and studio time can be a divisive time, [but] it showed these guys to be utterly good-natured and completely supportive of each other and total pros.
You write arrangements for some of the strongest players in the city’s music scene. What’s it like working with such talented musicians? I’m constantly amazed at my good fortune. I hand them the charts, they very quickly look over the charts, and within 10 minutes, most times, we’re already playing it pretty much perfectly and ready to be in front of people — oftentimes the first time through. It’s insane. Written music is a language, and these guys are extremely fluent… While it’s true that this is my project, it’s the people that participate that have made it truly special.
You can see Afro-Zen Allstars for yourself at Garden Grove Brewery in Carytown on May 12 and Music in the Park at Forest Hill Park on May 14.
CraftMaster Homes’ Mason model, a 3,842 square-foot 5-bed-
by Steve Cook is available in the Sycamore Woods neighborhood room home, of Magnolia Green.
MAGNOLIA GREEN Something For Everyone by Steve Cook e have something for everyone,” says Tom Page, general manager of Magnolia Green, the master-planned community in Mosley that really is a small town in the making. Michelle Atkins, marketing manager at Magnolia Green, agrees. She speaks from experience. Atkins and her family have lived in the community almost since its inception in late 2008. “Magnolia Green offers a variety of home styles and neighborhoods designed to meet your needs no matter your stage in life,” she says. “Combined with our incredible amenity package, it makes living in Magnolia Green very exciting.”
“Magnolia Green offers a variety of home styles and neighborhoods designed to meet your needs no matter your stage in life.” – Michelle Atkins
As I listen to both Page and Atkins describe all they love about Magnolia Green, I find myself beginning to fall in love as well. When Page says there’s something for everyone, that’s not just hype. From young couples who are just starting their life together, to empty nesters; from the most active, to those who desire a quieter lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is much to love about Magnolia Green. Even though you are “out in the country,” so to speak (although Downtown Richmond is only a 20-minute drive and major shopping destinations are 15 minutes away), residents
have an amenities package that is second to none. Already, they are enjoying Arbor Walk with both a competition pool and fun pool, plus a multi-purpose field (great for soccer practice), a sand volleyball court, basketball and badminton courts and a walking trail around the site. But just wait ‘til this summer when the incredible Aquatics Center will be opening. This facility offers an eight-lane competition pool, a large splash pool for the smaller kids, an activity pool with water tower slides, volleyball and basketball for the older kids and a lounge pool for the adults. There’ll be a snack bar offering sandwiches, pizza and adult beverages, plus a really cool custom-built pirate-themed playground for kids of all ages. Now, that should get you through the summer. Come September, a beautiful new golf clubhouse (did we mention an 18-hole Nicklaus-designed golf course on site?) will be opening adjacent to the Aquatics Center. The clubhouse will offer a full-service restaurant and bar, and outdoor dining overlooking the 1st and 10th fairways, and will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Page says the facility, which also offers banquet space for parties up to 180 persons, will be open to the public. If you’re looking for the coolest new facility in which to hold a wedding or any other private function, you had better reserve space now because this place is going to fill up fast. See contact info below to reserve a date. Summer 2018 will see the opening of the new tennis facility, featuring 8 lighted tennis courts, 2 pickleball courts, a pro shop, and an open-air pavilion for enjoying a cold beverage after a tough match. Page says that at about the
Clubhouse views: Slated to open in the second-half of 2017, the Craftsman style clubhouse will feature 4,800 square feet of event space, plus a 1,300-square-foot covered rear dining porch. The main dining room (top left) can accommodate up to 150 guests, while the private dining room can be utilized for parties under 60 guests.
same time, a pool and clubhouse will open for the exclusive use of those living in the two age-targeted neighborhoods, Charleston Club and Charleston Village. Finally, in 2019, the community resident’s club will open, designed to accommodate smaller events and board meetings, as well as provide an opportunity to get in shape at the fitness facility. There’s even more that prospective homebuyers will likely be interested in hearing about, such as the schools. Children in Magnolia Green attend Winterpock Elementary, Tomahawk Middle and Cosby High, all firstclass, award winning schools. Then, there’s the weekly farmers market, which Atkins says is held Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. from May through October. As an added incentive,
This two-story Ryan Homes model is located in Shoal Valley, the only neighborhood in Magnolia Green with golf course views.
Opening this summer, the aquatic center will feature an eight-lane Junior Olympic competition pool, a splash pool and activity pool for children of every age, as well as a lounge pool for adults. Coming fall of 2018 the tennis center will feature eight lighted tennis courts, two pickleball courts and a pro shop.
let me just mention that Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen will be a vendor at this summer’s market. Keep in mind that Magnolia Green is still in its early stages. The first phase of residential development is virtually complete and homes in the second phase are now being sold. In their respective neighborhoods, you’ll find townhomes starting at about $220,000, as well as traditional single-family detached homes, which start at about $300,000. Four builders are offering custom homes priced from $500,000, and soon construction will start on an apartment community. Lastly, the community offers age-targeted, maintenance provided neighborhoods with first-floor master suites for the couple looking to move down. With the vast variety of residential options, you could well live in Magnolia Green, moving
up or down through the years as your personal needs change. And really, why would you ever want to leave all of this? Down the road, Page says the community will eventually be home for about 3,000 families. And because the community’s developer, iStar, a New York based $7 billion development firm that has assets across the country, has set aside parcels of land for county use, there will ultimately be a 28-acre county park, replete with baseball and soccer fields, basketball courts and a picnic pavilion. Land has also been provided so the county can eventually build an elementary school right within Magnolia Green. How convenient is that? There are also parcels that have been set aside for commercial use, such as a grocery store, boutique retail, bars and restaurants
and office space. Page envisions a time where Magnolia Green residents can live, work, shop and play all within the community. Currently, he’s hoping to find an investor who would like to open a day care center. “We have thousands of kids and many more coming,” he says. While that may be a slight exaggeration, this is a community that is attracting many families who are seeking great schools and who can’t find such amenities anywhere else. “Our amenities package is unparalleled anywhere in the mid-Atlantic,” says Page. Tom Page and Michelle Atkins have every reason to speak about Magnolia Green with such passion. This is a cool place that truly does offer something for virtually everyone. If you long for life in a “small town” where neighbors become fast friends, where the kids have room to play and where everyone gets together for frequent social gatherings, visit with Atkins and her staff at the community’s Welcome Center. Let them show you all that Magnolia Green has to offer and direct you to the neighborhoods and builders that might best suit your needs. Personally, I’ve heard enough just from my brief visit. I’m ready to start packing.
The Magnolia Green Welcome Center is located at 17301 Memorial Tournament Drive, Midlothian; 804-818-6900; MagnoliaGreen.com. For golf clubhouse events and weddings, contact Casey McNutt, Director of Sales at 804-639-5701, extension 7.
Hit the Streets by Zach Brown
Summer in the city usually means flocking to restaurants with patios, spending lazy days on the James, and strolling through Maymont. However, summer is also prime time to catch a glimpse of Richmond’s healthy obsession with festivals. Dominion Riverrock Festival, May 19 – 21 Kicking off the summer festival lineup, Dominion Riverrock returns to Brown’s Island May 19 through 21. The event will cover a broad range of activities, such as a 5k Mud Run, a 10k Trail Run, a mountain bike race, kayaking and yoga — all in celebration of a healthy lifestyle that thrives in the great outdoors. Nearly 50 vendors, ranging from L.L. Bean to Sierra Nevada Brewing, will set up shop around the festival’s interactive village. Of course, it wouldn’t be Riverrock without the proper soundtrack. “This might be the best band lineup we’ve ever had,” says Event Coordinator Megan Schultz, alluding to Hard Working Americans, The SteelDrivers and The London Souls — all featured this year.
Broad Appétit, June 4 This is Richmond we’re talking about and for so many, the capital means food. Clear your schedule and ready your stomachs as local restaurants compete to win over your taste buds with their signature dishes. Top picks will join the likes of past winners, such as Lady N’awlins, Savory Grain and Quirk Hotel’s Maple & Pine. The festival, which takes place on Broad, between Henry and James streets, also includes a farmers market and live music.
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, June 10 If there is an appropriate subtitle for summer, the Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival has it nailed. The tour of the three B’s stops over in the Richmond Raceway Complex, showcasing 60 Beers, 40 Bourbons and enough BBQ to go with both. The festival will feature live music, top barbeque vendors, and all-you-care-to-taste samplings of featured beer and bourbon while you stroll the complex floor to live music.
Watermelon Festival, August 13 The annual Watermelon Festival returns to Carytown for its 34th appearance. Kids can take part in local crafts, games, bounce houses and even a Velcro wall. For the booth-hopping parents, local artisans will be on hand with craft displays while over 20 vendors offer tasty samplings of food, beverages and desserts. Meanwhile, the day will be scored by 30 bands across five different stages along Cary Street.
43rd Street Festival of the Arts, September 16 For nearly 30 years, the 43rd Street Gallery has hosted this festival, featuring a selection of Richmond’s arts and crafts scene. Only 75 artisans will be allowed to set up shop amidst the festival grounds along 43rd Street in Forest Hill. “We see the limited number of artists as a way to maintain a more exclusive body of work and well-juried show, but allow customers and festival goers more opportunity to better know the artists we host,” said gallery owner Robin Cage. Since the majority of the artists are local, what better way to end the summer festivals than getting to know the people who are helping shape the aesthetic culture of our city.
• • • • • While Zach Brown was discovering the sizzling sidewalks of our own River City, Tom Gresham was up the road, just a piece, taking in all the action in Ashland. While, the pace of life up that way may be somewhat slower and more relaxed, Ashland is definitely not a sleepy little town. There’s a lot happening on their streets, too, as Tom reveals in his article, Hit The Streets: Ashland. You just might want to take the time to take the fifteen-minute drive up that way, sometime. Read on… RichmondNavigator.com 13
: s t ee
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STREET FESTIVALS and parties have become an integral part of life in Ashland in the late spring and summer. These events give residents and visitors the opportunity to socialize, dance and enjoy good food and company, while soaking up the unique atmosphere that the “Center of the Universe” famously has to offer. Tom Wulf, executive director of the Ashland Main Street Association, said the events, which are organized by nonprofits, play an important role in generating excitement in town — and are part of a yearlong calendar of community-focused outdoor events. “This is a very tight community and we love to do fun things together,” Wulf said. “These events are really good for our businesses because they bring in a lot of people from outside of town. They’re also good for our community because they help Ashland form a sense of identity.” If you are interested in joining the party this year, you will have a number of options to consider. Here are three favorite events from past years that return to the town calendar. Ashland Street Parties play a prominent role in the summer season. The events, which take place in Library Plaza at 201 Railroad Ave., will be held this year on select Saturdays from May to September. This year’s season-opening event will be presented May 20, from 6 to 11 p.m. The parties provide reliably vibrant live music, a family-friendly atmosphere and a mix of refreshment choices. Founded to honor the memories of Jay Pace, former editor/publisher of the Hanover Herald-Progress, and Nina Peace, a former lawyer, judge and member of the Hanover Board of Supervisors, the Ashland
Don Gobble, saxophonist for King Edward & the B.D.’s, plays at The Midsummer Eve Ashland Street Party.
Photo: Katie Cartwright Photography
h s A
Photo: Ashland Strawberry Faire
Photo: Katie Cartwright Photography
Photo: Ashland Strawberry Faire
Photo: Katie Cartwright Photography
Clockwise from top left: Couples dance to Ron Moody & The Centaurs at a 2015 Ashland Street. Top right: Little Mister Strawberry and Jr. Mister Strawberry Pageant winners at Ashland Strawbery Faire; Bottom right: Jr. Miss Strawberry Pageant winner Emily Fleming with Nutzy the Squirrel. Bottom left: Singer songwriter Steve Bassett plays the Ashland Street Party, 2015.
Street Parties also help local nonprofits with fundraising efforts. For more information, including ticket prices and schedule, visit AshlandStreetParties.com. Fourth of July brings out the best in Ashland, starting with the beloved annual Fourth of July Parade. The festive local tradition features a walking parade that makes its way through town on Hanover Avenue to the lawn of the Hanover Arts and Activities Center, the sponsor of the event. The parade is filled with local walkers of all ages and interests, encouraging widespread participation by community members. At the end of the parade, revelers will join together for live music, delicious food, a variety of lawn
games, an apple pie baking competition and even a patriotic pet contest. This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Independence Day. Admission is free.
“This is a very tight community and we love to do fun things together,” Wulf said. Not quite in the streets, but certainly nearby, is the 36th Annual Ashland Strawberry Faire, held on the campus of Randolph-Macon College. The centerpiece of the festivities, of course, are delicious,
freshly picked strawberries, enjoyed either unadorned or in a variety of mouth-watering recipes. The festival also offers plenty of other culinary treats, but the food is only part of the fun. There will be hundreds of booths, arts, crafts and entertainment, including live music. The Ashland Strawberry Faire also features the staging of the annual Strawberry Pageant, among other activities. Proceeds from the Ashland Strawberry Faire provide scholarships to 10 Hanover County students and grants to nonprofits. This year’s festival will be held on June 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the event is free. For more information, visit AshlandStrawberryFaire.com. RichmondNavigator.com 15
Desserts Proper Pie Company
2505 E Broad Street, #100; 804-343-7437 ProperPieCo.com You know the old saying, right? Pie for dinner, pie for dessert…pie always, for every meal, ever. Well there’s nowhere better to get your daily fix — savory or sweet — than Proper Pie Co. in Church Hill. Their selection, featuring savory favorites like Pork Chile, Spinach & Gorgonzola, and Sausage Roll, changes on a daily basis (check their morning facebook posts), but one of their standbys is the Banoffee Pie. This biscuit crust is layered with toffee and banana, and topped with bitter cocoa. It’s the perfect dessert. Or lunch. Or both.
1903 W Cary Street; 804-938-3449 Shyndigz.com Richmond’s first late-night dessert-only restaurant serves up some of the city’s favorite cakes at their Carytown location. This sky high Salted Chocolate Caramel Cake is one of eight permanent fixtures on the Shyndigz menu, in addition to daily specials and a cake du jour. You can check their website’s cake calendar before you go to see what they’re offering that day. Can’t stay for cake? Their new location at 831 West Cary St. Shyndigz 2Go offers all their offerings to go.
Virginia’s Beer Authority
Dutch & Co.
400 N. 27th Street; 804-643-8824 DutchAndCompany.com The Honey Pot at Dutch & Co. is truly one of Richmond’s culinary treasures. But what exactly is it? “It changes seasonally, and it can be anything we want,” says Co-Chef Phil Perrow. In the past, these locally-crafted honey pots have been packed with everything from lavender ice cream to honey sponge cake to citrus merengue. This spring Perrow (along with Co-Chef Caleb Shriver) fills the pot with smooth honey pudding, topped with crunchy granola and even crunchier honey brittle, dressed in aromatic hibiscus gel and bright edible flowers.
tastebudz by Elena Marinaccio and Steve Cook
With the gorgeous weather we’ve been experiencing the past couple of weeks, I’m guessing that many of you are thinking about and/or planning a trip to the beach. If you’re heading towards the Outer Banks, we have a treat for you. One of our very favorite Taste Buds, Kelly Salonica Staikopoulos, who recently returned from the OBX Taste of the Beach annual food and beverage festival, has given us an overview of some of her favorite food and wine spots. But first, let’s check out what’s going on around the River City.
LET’S DO BRUNCH: I was over at Julep’s on Grace Street recently. Owner, Amy Ayers has done such a fantastic job with that place. She tells me that they have a new brunch menu. Just looking at their menu gets my taste buds worked up. How about Julep’s fried green tomatoes or their cinnamon biscuit pie? Then there are the lavender beignets, or their signature shrimp and Byrd Mill grits. And those are just the appetizers. Entrées includes the Country Benedict with country ham and then there’s the Blue Crab Benedict. For the sweet tooth try the Banana Foster French toast. Of course, you can’t go wrong with their biscuits and gravy featuring house-made country sausage. And to top it off, check out the mimosa bar as well as their build- your-own Bloody Mary bar. Speaking of their bar, which I kinda was, Julep’s has introduced a new and delightful way of giving back to the community. On the first of each month, their talented bartender, Ty Cataneo will create a featured cocktail. During that month, every time one of those cocktails is purchased, Julep’s will donate two bucks to the charity of the month. Then, on the second Wednesday of the month, they will have their Cocktail For the Cause Happy Hour from 4:30 to 7. Ten percent of all sales during that period will be donated to their featured charity.
UP ON THE ROOF: I’ve been up to the Q. The Q Rooftop is the new name of the beautiful bar on the roof of the Quirk Hotel at 201 W. Broad St. While there for a media preview, I had the opportunity to meet David Dunlap the chef at the hotel’s restaurant, Maple & Pine. David was preparing some of the truly fantastic creations that are served at the rooftop bar. Morgan Slade, the director of food and beverage, describes the Q’s menu as “elevated street fare.” I was especially fond of the very tasty ginger-scallion crispy rice appetizer. Morgan mentioned that the Q also has a new cocktail menu. Monica, the lovely bartender, coerced me into trying a bourbon concoction called the Bowtie. To sit up on the roof, enjoying the view and the gentle breeze that nestled my golden locks, while sipping on a Bowtie and nibbling on the Chef’s creations, made for a perfect afternoon. 18 RiverCity
POE FOLKS: Tucked at the bottom of Church Hill and on the eastern border of Shockoe Bottom sits one of the city’s most venerable restaurants — Poe’s Pub (2706 E. Main St.). Poe’s has long been a popular spot to enjoy a cold one, but if you haven’t tried the food, you’re missing out. Owner Mike Britt tells me that everything on the menu is good. And I’ll tell you that the spare ribs are excellent. Mike makes his own BBQ sauce. In addition to the regular menu, look for daily specials on the chalk board. Here’s something else you might not know about Poe’s. They host a Singer/Songwriter open-mic night every Tuesday. So, for all of you local aspiring entertainers, put Poe’s Pub on your Tuesday night list. The food is great. The drinks are wet and delicious and the music is very good, too.
UP ON ANOTHER ROOF: I also had an opportunity to take a sneak peek at the new HofGarden (thehofgarden.com) in the Hoffheimer Building at 2818 W. Broad in Scott’s Addition. Actually, this really cool Bavarian Biergarten is located both in and on the building. The first floor offers a cool taproom that will prove the perfect getaway to enjoy a cold one, catch a game on the big screens and mingle with friends. But if you really want to get away, get on the elevator and go to the roof. When it comes to rooftop bars, this is something special. Carter and Annie Snipes, along with bar/restaurant guru Bobby Kruger have put together a welcome concept for the city. Think carefully curated craft beers and simple, yet delicious German fare with a beautiful view of what is becoming the city’s hottest entertainment, dining and sipping neighborhood. It all adds up to a delightful evening. Currently the HofGarden is open from 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
BEST OF OBX 2017: Not only was March’s Outer Banks Taste of the Beach event the yummiest way to eat and drink myself silly in the presence of one of the most stunning seashores on the east coast, it was the quintessential way to explore and curate dining and drinking havens that neatly fit into my Favorite Eats file. Following are some of the highlights that will easily make it into yours:
TRiO in Kitty Hawk is an eclectic gathering place/tasting depot. With so much of their globally inspired wine and beer list on tap, they make it easy for those who want to sample a variety without the commitment to just
one. TRiO’s artisan cheese board is equally captivating with a scrumptious selection that has this New Yorker, well, not missing New York. Bonus: their retail section makes it easy to take home your must-haves. triowinebeercheese.com The Wright family’s Sanctuary Vineyards in Jarvisburg, complete with tasting room and award-winning wines, checked off all of the qualities a noteworthy wine should embody: excellence in notes, flavor and aroma, with discerning names you’re not likely to forget. Worthy of packing for my trip home were Wild Pony White (a portion of the proceeds benefit the Corolla Wild Horse Fund), OBX Ice (a tropical dessert wine), and The Plank (a red muscadine that Blackbeard would take a dive for). Cheers! sanctuaryvineyards.com Ortega’z Southwestern Grill and Wine Bar in Manteo is Mexican with an OBX detour, where coastal North Carolina puts a fresh spin on a traditional favorite. It’s no wonder Guy Fieri flipped over a number of dishes when he visited, especially their fish tacos (I did too!), so much so that they’re listed on the menu as Guy Fieri approved Fish Tacos. If you’re looking for thumbs-up fare, Ortega’z wins hands down. ortegaz.com
Join me at richmondnavigator.com for a complete list of best eats and libations in OBX. RichmondNavigator.com 19
Join us every Sunday for Brunch starting at 11AM with a great brunch menu. Jazz Brunch 1st Sunday of every month.
Restaurant & Bar Hours: Mon.– Thu. 11:30 AM – 11 PM Fri.– Sat. 11:30 AM – Midnight Sun. 11 AM – 10 PM
The area’s Award Winning Bar and Restaurant with great beer, great food and captivating views of Richmond! Bluegrass/Americana Music Every Sunday Night! 321 W. 7th Street | (804) 232-3446 | www.legendbrewing.com
(804)644-4400 ONLINE ORDERING: 1700 Dock St. Richmond 23223 BottomsUpPizza.com
A RICHMOND TRADITION SINCE 1990!
HAPPY HOUR GUIDE LIBERTY PUBLIC HOUSE
418 N. 25th St.; 804-225-8275 TheLibertyRVA.com A family friendly dining spot in Church Hill. Diverse menu featuring appetizers, soups, salads and entrees ranging from steak and chicken to seafood and pasta. MONDAY THROUGH SUNDAY 3 TO 7 P.M. • Draft beer – $2 off • Draft wine – $2 off • Rail liquor – $2 off • Select appetizers – $2 off One More Thing: Monday night is burger night with $7 burgers and drink specials from 5 to 10 p.m.
1020 Hull St.; 804-269-0464 Facebook: Croakers-Spot-Restaurants This is indeed the spot for seafood-focused soul food & cornbread. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY 3 – 7 P.M. Wine – $4 Cocktails, select – $5 Beer, bottles – $3.50 Beer, local drafts – $3 One More Thing: Ask about their appetizer specials.
BUZ AND NED’S REAL BARBECUE (BOULEVARD LOCATION)
1119 N. Boulevard; 804-355-6055 BuzAndNeds.com One of the city’s most popular barbecue spots, known for their ribs, brisket, chicken and sauce smoked in real hickory. MONDAY THROUGH SUNDAY 3 – 6 P.M. • Virginia drafts – $1 off • Chicken sliders (2) – $3 PLUS UNIQUE SPECIALS FOR EVERY DAY AS FOLLOWS: Mixed Monday: $5 Buz-a-Ritas and Hard Lemonades (3 – 9 p.m.) Tall Boy Tuesday: $1 off the already cheap 22-ounces (3 – 9 p.m.) Wine Down Wednesday: $1 off any bottle or glass (3 – 9 p.m.) Domestic Thursday: $10 domestic buckets (3 – 9 p.m.) Crafty Friday: $3 off craft pitchers (3 – 9 p.m.) Game Day Saturday & Sunday: $10 domestic buckets, $15 Craft Buckets (11 a.m. – 9 p.m.) One More Thing: Tuesday Nights enjoy discounts on their famous spare ribs. Flip to West End’s Best Magazine for Happy Hour details at Buz and Ned’s West Broad location
MY NOODLE & BAR
1600 Monument Ave.; 804-308-1613 MyNoodleAndBar.com MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY 5 TO 7 P.M. • Beers, draft – $1 off • Roulette Wine, red or white – $5 One More Thing: My Noodle and Bar has the best restaurant patio on Monument Avenue, if for no other reason than it’s the only restaurant patio anywhere on Monument.
Outdoor Dining Yes, Richmond, you can get away from it all right in the heart
of the city when you choose some of the city’s best restaurant patios. We’ve rounded up the very best al fresco dining in the River City. Each location truly does provide a setting that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the food and drinks are just as delightful as the patios.
Legend Brewing Co
Photos: Lauren Serpa
by Steve Cook
321 W. 7th St.; 804-232-3446; LegendBrewing.com We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Legend offers what may well be the best view of the city skyline you can find. Lounge on the deck, quench your thirst with a refreshing Legend’s brew, and dine on the brewpub’s delicious fare. There’s always a lively crowd on Legend’s very popular deck. Get there early to get a good seat. The menu is formal but the food is tasty and filling.
1700 Dock St.; 804-644-4400; BottomsUpPizza.com What could be better than sharing one of Bottoms Up’s signature red or white pizzas along with good friends? How about enjoying that pizza on Bottoms Up’s cool deck, overlooking the Bottom and the Canal? Start your evening with one of their tasty appetizers such as the Bottom’s Up Chili or the unbreaded, deep-fried wings, tossed in their sweet and spicy wing sauce.
Photos: Lauren Serpa
Bottoms Up Pizza
Photos: The Hard Shell
Photos: John Dixon
700 E. Main St., 20th Floor; 804-545-3412; KabanaRooftop.com Enjoy the impressive view from the city’s highest public rooftop, twenty stories above the city sidewalks. This stylish restaurant and bar offers Asian-inspired cuisine, inventive cocktails, and a contemporary, festive environment.
The Hard Shell
1411 E. Cary St. 804-643-2333; TheHardShell.com/downtown Inside, you’ll find an intimate, upscale-casual tavern serving traditional seafood, steaks and a raw bar with wine & cocktails. Outside, a canopied patio allows you to enjoy that same great food, but with a people-watching view of the Bottom.
Capital Ale House
623 E. Main St. 804-780-ALES (2537) / CapitalAleHouse.com The patio at the Downtown Ale House is more like a secluded garden courtyard. You’ll never guess you’re sitting right in the heart of all that the city has to offer. The diverse menu offers creative fare to suit everyone’s tastes. As for the ales, select from more than 40 beers on tap and more than 140 in the bottle.
201 W. Broad St.; 804-340-6040; DestinationHotels.com/quirk-hotel What a gorgeous view from a gorgeous rooftop bar, serving “elevated street fare,” both altitudinally and quality-wise, along with creative craft cocktails. Treat yourself and take a trip to the top — the Q Rooftop, that is.
Photos: Elena Marinaccio
The Q Rooftop at the Quirk Hotel
Living Spaces The Luxe Life Arrives at Cary Street Station Apartments by Denise Johnson
ary Street Station, Richmond’s newest apartment community, creates a luxury experience with a distinct industrial charm combined with the architectural integrity of a bygone era. With vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, shopping and restaurants — all situated in the heart of the Fan District — Cary Street Station Apartments will offer residents an authentic Richmond experience that pays homage to the city’s unique history. Located at Cary Street and Robinson, this 285-unit, all-inclusive apartment community was formerly the site of the Greater Richmond Transit Company bus depot. Richmond’s public transportation system has changed over the decades as technology has evolved, transitioning from rail in the 1800s to trolley and now buses. While the bus depot has moved on, the historic buildings left behind are a rich part of the city’s tapestry — a fact that the developers of Cary Street Station did not forget. Each building will bear a plaque that features a different person or event associated with GRTC and a model bus stop will be incorporated into the property design — a nod to GRTC’s great influence and contribution to the city. “We worked closely with the National Park Service to make sure that the design and placement retained its architectural integrity,” says Chris Johnson, principal of the Monument Companies, developers of the project. The result is a strikingly industrialized, luxury complex that offers living spaces with majestic windows, granite counters, hardwood
cabinets, and polished concrete and cement floors that add a chic modern finish to each unit. Each apartment has stainless steel appliances, a washer and dryer, and a breakfast bar, and each building has secured entry. The common areas include mixed seating, a fitness center and pool, parking, a community room and a dog park. Residents won’t have to trek to other neighborhoods or parts of the city for shopping or daily activities, as the eight buildings that make up the enclave of apartments will include retail space and a restaurant. Still, proximity to other points of interest is a great advantage, as Cary Street Station is near Byrd Park, museums and downtown Richmond. Being located in the Fan allows for easy access to the Downtown Expressway and Powhite Parkway, making it easy to branch out to other areas of Richmond or surrounding counties. “We wanted to create an upscale, active environment with the convenience of having everything in one place, and only one payment,” Johnson adds. Yes, the luxury of Cary Street Station extends to offering utilities, internet and cable available when residents move in, with all services included in one monthly rent payment. Pricing starts at $1,159 for a one-bedroom up to $2,199 for three bedrooms. Residents can choose from varied floor plans that range in size from 517 to 1,509 square feet. As of this writing, 160 units have been leased, with two additional buildings becoming available for July and October of this year. RichmondNavigator.com 25