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Follow us!

Special Winter Issue Entertainment and relaxing cafes sure to warm your heart this winter season

Check out Europa and other local hot spots on page 12

[CONTENTS] November December 2012 6 8

EVENTS Calendar of Events

ARTS Craving Creativity? Discover your inner artist by enrolling in

17 19 25



FLAVOR Scoop du Jour In Search of... International Cuisine Poe’s Pub


BACKSTAGE Live with Three Sheets to the Wind

Let the music call you home to the Country Music Capital of the World





Places to Linger

Where Can You Get A Drink Around Here? Part III

Explore all of Richmond’s places to pass

Check out the best winter cocktails

your time while warming your bones

River City has to offer





Richmond’s Most Misunderstood Bar

art classes or a local workshop


See what’s happening on the events calendar!

november/december 2012


PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER William J. Davis, Jr. VICE-PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER Cheryl T. Davis MANAGING EDITOR Alaina Rauth CREATIVE DIRECTORS Trey Tyler Lorraine Meade ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Jared Davis Ann Small Steve Cook Catherine Oakley DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Barry Cook PHOTOGRAPHERS Tim Hill, Robert Thomas, Zach Wingold, Liz Reese, Julie Cook CONTRIBUTORS Steve Cook Jody Rathgeb Meagan Moore Shonda Morrissette RiveR City RiChmond is published bi-monthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc. 6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 • Midlothian, VA 23112 (804) 639-9994 • Email us at All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

8510 Patterson Avenue/804-750-2000/

Welcome New Chef Jeff Johnson! American fare with a Cuban flare



Private event space available

16 North 17th Street Richmond, VA 23219 804-780-2822 Voted Best Mojito in Richmond

ABOUT THE COVER Warm up this winter with cocktails from Can Can such as the Shady Grove, photographed by Liz Reese. Turn to page 28 for more cold weather cocktails and

Join us for “A Revolution in Food”


local happy hours.

Havana59.1\3b.1012.indd 1

november/december 2012

5 9/11/12 12:20 PM


Virginia Opera: Die Fledermaus



Heart with special guest Shawn Colvin November 14. Landmark Theater.

November 23, 25, 27. Carpenter Theater.

Sisters Anne and Nancy Wilson first showed the

It’s the late 19th century Vienna, in the home

world that women could rock when their band,

of Gabriel Von Eisenstein, a wealthy man who

Heart, stormed the charts in the 70s. Not only did

loves a good practical joke, even if it humiliates

they lead the band, but they wrote the songs and

a friend. But what happens when that friend

played the instruments too. They continued to top

hatches an elaborate scheme to teach the

the charts through the 90s and have just released

womanizing Von Eisenstein a lesson? The answer

a new CD. Buy tickets online at

is revealed in the grandest masked ball of the season! Find tickets at

OC T OB ER u u u

RVA On Ice


Tony DeSare

N O V E M B E R uuu



Kevin Hart

Let Me Explain Tour u

November 16-18. Rhythm Hall.

November 23 through January 31.

November 30. Richmond Coliseum.

Singer, pianist, and songwriter Tony

Next to Richmond CenterStage.

On the heels of his starring role in the

DeSare was named a “Rising Star” Male

Farm Bureau Winter Park at RVA On

hit movie Think Like A Man, actor and

Vocalist in the 2010 Downbeat Critics Poll.

Ice is set for a third season. Enjoy hot

comedian Kevin Hart announced

DeSare’s vocal versatility thrills audiences

chocolate, music and more. Free for

he would be extending his Let

from major jazz rooms and fans around

children age 10 and under with paid

Me Explain tour which has been

the world. He performs with infectious joy,

adult. Skate rental fees additional. For

performed for more than 334,000

wry playfulness, and robust musicality. Buy

more information, call 592-3330 or go to

fans. Buy tickets at

tickets at


november/december 2012




Richmond Symphony November 17, December 1-2.

©de Young Museum, San Francisco, Calif. Photo: Teresa Nouri Rishel

Carpenter Theatre. Relax as you take in wonderful classical music at the Carpenter Theatre. Catch the Altria Masterworks: Hungarian Inspirations show on November 17. Or listen to timeless favorites at the annual Let It Snow concert on December 1-2. Find more information at


Buddy Valastro December 13. Landmark Theater.

q Chihuly Exhibition

See the techniques of America’s favorite


baker and star of TLC’s Cake Boss. Buddy

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

will share behind-the-scenes stories from

December 15-16. Richmond Raceway Complex.

December 21. The National.

Since 1976, Greenberg’s Train & Toy

This five-man band returns to the stage

Over ten million people have marveled at Dave Chihuly’s ambitious artwork in 97 exhibitions in seven countries. This artist is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement into fine art. Chihuly’s team has created 200 red glass reeds for a 60 foot long sculpture in the reflection pool as part of this exhibition, in addition to many of his other famous works that will be on display.

Show has been the largest traveling

in their hometown. Hear their signature

q Guitar: The Instrument

model train and toy show to serve

indie-rock blend of Celtic, Appalachian,

the northeastern United States.

folk, and country that results in their

Hobbyists will find free workshops,

unique sound. With ten albums under

demonstrations, and hard-to-find

their belt, Carbon Leaf is approaching

dealers from around the country. Find

their 20th year of recording and touring.

more details at

Get tickets at

his hit TV show, answer audience questions, and even bring a few lucky audience members on stage for cake decorating. Buy tickets online at DEC EM B ER u u u u


Carbon Leaf


Greenberg’s Train & Toy Show


That Rocked The World. OCTOBER 13-JANuARy 4 Science Museum of Virginia. Take a journey through a motley crew of legendary guitars in SMV’s latest exhibition as you explore the history of the world’s most recognized musical instrument. Immerse yourself in diverse genres of music and discover the science of pitch and tone. Crossing over cultural boundaries, the guitar has made a significant impact on a wide variety of groups from gypsies to cowboys to teenage rebels. Examine more than 60 guitars and nearly 100 historical artifacts that immerse you in the heart of music.

november/december 2012



Craving Creativity?

Find Your Inner Artist By Jody Rathgeb


s there a Homer in your heart? A Botticelli in your brain? An Edvard Munch screaming to be let out? Maybe it’s time to dip into your creative side with an art class or workshop. The choices are as

plentiful as drops of water in a pool. You can test the waters with a toe, paddle around a bit or dive in.

Just A Splash: For creative fun without commitment, try a one-shot art session with friends and perhaps a glass of wine. All Fired Up, for example is a paintyour-own ceramics studio where people can gather for fun and come away with a finished product. Similarly, Spirited Art does one-session painting classes for groups that include beverages and snacks from The Wine Loft next door. Both do private parties, too.

Learn To Swim: Classes that teach art fundamentals are plentiful, so you can easily find one near you that suits your schedule and budget. Sessions range from three to 12, and prices from $65 to $250. Topics are myriad: drawing, painting, clay, jewelry, glass art, photography, mosaics, printmaking and fiber. Good places to start are the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, the Studio School at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, Crossroads Art Center and Goochland Art Center. “Your skill level and intensity of interest will tell you where to begin. You will learn more in a longer class and the pacing is gentler,” says Aimee Joyaux of the Visual Arts Center, but she adds that a workshop is also an affordable way to test the waters and find out if you like a particular medium. Pay attention to class size, too. “At Glen Allen,” says Anita Waters, director of marketing and public relations, “beginners’ classes are all small to allow for individual attention.”


november/december 2012

“Topics are myriad: drawing, painting, clay, jewelry, glass art, photography, mosaics, printmaking and fiber.”

Find Your Medium Art classes aren’t for beginners only. Established artists often take classes to explore a new medium or take advantage of materials they might not own, such as a kiln. Similarly, novices might want to try something like en-

Different Strokes: Workshops can also be more in-depth, exploring new media or targeted to a specific audience; some places call them “intensives.” They allow participants to try specialized art like botanical illustration or figure drawing, or enjoy art with similar people. For these, Lifelong Learning Institute and classes at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden are great ways to explore.

Go For The Gold: If you want the artistic equivalent of training for the Olympics, look

caustic painting or mosaic to see if they like it before investing in their own equipment. Not sure about media? Look for classes labeled “all media,” suggests Jenni Kirby of Crossroads Art Center. “The teacher will introduce different materials like pastels, watercolors and acrylics,” she says.

Apprenticeships Working with an established artist to learn and hone skills is a good launching pad for a committed hobbyist or someone looking

into the Certificate Program co-sponsored by VMFA’s Studio School and

for a new career. These are one-on-one

VisArts. “This is for the student who doesn’t necessarily want to go for

relationships, so visit studios like those at

a BFA, but wants a series of classes that make sense,” comments Mary

Art Works or Crossroads Art Center and

Holland, director of the Studio School. “It’s set up like an art school,

talk with the artists to find a good fit for an

but it’s not degree-granting.” Students take foundation classes and art

apprenticeship. Gallery events such as First

history, plus an area of concentration. Classes can be taken at either

Friday are also a good way to find and connect

VMFA or VisArts. The program culminates in an exhibition. n

with artists.

november/december 2012




ashville…Music City. Indeed, the capital city of Tennessee has a rich musical heritage. It’s difficult to think

of Nashville and not think of country music.

But long before the Grand Ole Opry began broadcasting in the mid-twenties, long before such Opry legends as Roy Acuff and Minnie Pearl were even born, Nashville was dubbed “Music City” (kind of ). Actually, one has to go back

Let the music call you

Nashville by Steve Cook

to the year 1874, and across the pond, to England, or so I was told on several occasions during a recent visit to Nashville, to find the roots of the “Music City” moniker. The story goes that in that year a choir known as the Jubilee Singers, students at Fisk University, a Nashville AfricanAmerican school, had the honor of singing for Britain’s Queen Victoria. Following their performance, the Queen is reported to have said, “These young people must come from a musical city.” Whenever it was actually first called “Music City,” Nashville is indeed, as Queen Victoria put it, a musical city. The folks involved in promoting this beautiful, modern, north-central Tennessee city are quick to point out that Nashville is not just country music. With some of the best recording studios and backup musicians in the country, singers and song writers representing virtually every musical genre seem to wind up in Nashville. That’s all well and good, but the truth is, country music is the heart and soul of this city. And even if you don’t consider yourself much of a fan, a visit to Nashville may very well put you in touch with your country-music side. There’s something about country music that just seems to naturally resonate with most of us. Why? That’s the question I put to several of those


november/december 2012

From left: Ryman's Auditorium, for many years the home of The Grand Ole Opry. • Nashville really comes alive at night. • No visit to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

by Steve Cook

Public Relations, at the Country Music Hall

Never and Little Sister there, among many

of Fame and Museum put it best, “It’s the

other of his huge hits. It was in Studio

story of our people,” she told me, “and it’s the

B that Roy Orbison recorded Only the

Fame (where I’d suggest you bring along

people who are telling it.”

Lonely, and Dolly Parton produced I Will

some Kleenex), and a stop at the Ryman,

Always Love You. There’s no way to visit

you’ll be anxious to hear some real music…

It is indeed…not just America’s story, or more appropriately, the story of America’s people, but it truly is the people doing the telling. Even those who could be called “country music stars” seem to come across as real people, with real emotions. “Even if you don’t have the same story,” says one twenty-something fan of country music, with whom I spoke, “you can relate to the story. You can share the feelings.” “And,” she adds, “you can understand the lyrics.”

occasionally “come home” to the Ryman. After a studio tour, a visit to the Hall of

real country music, that is.

Country music permeates this city, as the music permeates your mind and heart.

Yes, it’s time for some honky tonking. Country music gets reborn every night in the honky tonks along lower Broadway, where the music and the fans are literally pouring out the doors. Maybe you’ll catch the next Nashville legend. Willie Nelson played the honky tonks. So did Kris

this city without having the echoes of your

Kristofferson. And today’s newest stars, such

personal country music favorites bouncing

as Dierks Bentley and Gretchen Wilson, did

around inside your head. Take the studio


Nothing better illustrates that fact than

tour and you’ll probably hear many more.

Even now, the big stars, along with

the Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through

You can buy tickets for the tour at the Hall

athletes and other celebrities, can be found

Country Music permanent exhibit at the

of Fame.

rubbing shoulders with country music fans

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (

Along your journey, you may want to

from all demographics. Here are a few of the

stop in at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and

more famous honky tonks, although you’ll

Gruhn Guitars. George Gruhn is the ultimate

have fun discovering your own favorite spots.

suggest you make the Hall of Fame a first

authority on vintage guitars, as his 3,000

• Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

stop. It will firmly set the tone for the rest

square-foot showroom amply reveals.

When you go (and you really must), I’d

of your trip. You see, Nashville is not just a

422 Broadway;

Country music permeates this city, as

• The Stage

city where you can hear some great music.

the music permeates your mind and heart.

You can do that here in Richmond. Country

So, put this magazine down for a moment.

music, in all its diversity, courses through the

Go to the Nashville Tourism Board’s website

arteries of the city.

– – and listen to their

A drive through downtown Nashville

412 Broadway; • Rippy’s Smokin Bar & Grill • Legend’s Corner

musical promotional video, Music Calls us

428 Broadway;

reveals this. For instance, just off Broadway,

Home. But come right back, finish the article,

you might find yourself driving down Chet

and then you can begin planning your trip.

Atkins Place. Take a left on Music Square

Are you back? Good. Next stop on

429 Broadway;

I could go on (and on and on). And if you want to read more, visit the official website, Spend a little

West and head up to Roy Acuff Place.

our tour is the Ryman Auditorium. While

time on the site, and I have a feeling that the

Along the way, you’ll pass the RCA Victor

not the original home of the Grand Ole

music, America’s music, will be calling you

Studio B, the “Home of a 1000 Hits,” as it’s

Opry, it is certainly the Opry’s most famous

home…to Nashville. n

been dubbed. Elvis recorded It’s Now or

former home. And even today, the Opry will

november/december 2012



By Megan Moore, Photos by Tim Hill

1 2


Places to Linger As the weather turns chillier, outdoor activities become more limited, and you can’t help but think: there’s

nothing quite like a couch, a fireplace, and a drink with friends to get you toasty again. Happily, there are plenty of places in the greater Richmond area that are perfect locations to kick back, chill out, and warm up. Check out this selection of relaxing cafes and restaurants sure to warm your palate and your heart.

1. Café Caturra

2. Bogart’s In The Fan 3. Can Can Brasserie For 40 years, Bogart’s has been famous for hosting

If you can make it to Can Can on a warmer

Midlothian, and Short Pump, this family of café-

a wide variety of musical acts, most notably of the

day, you’ll often find the large plate windows

slash-wine bars has a mellow, yet upscale, feel and

jazz variety. But whether you opt for a concert, a

overlooking Cary Street are open, making you

all are complete with a variety of seating options,

mid-week karaoke night – backed by a superbly

feel as if you’ve been transported to a Parisian

from high-top tables to armchairs by the fire.

retro Casablanca mural, a Sunday cornhole

street café. But even if Jack Frost keeps the dining

While you’re there, enjoy a panini, a fresh cup of

tournament, or just sitting around with friends

area enclosed, Can Can is a delightfully warm,

coffee, or one of their 24 wines on tap.

and a beer or two, Bogart’s is a great casual spot to

European-inspired spot to meet for an upscale

relax and have fun.

lunch, brunch, dinner, or even a night-ending glass

With convenient locations in Richmond,

of wine with friends.


november/december 2012

6 4

Europa’s Bodegas lounge is where you’ll find yourself surrounded by soft chairs and warm lighting. Kick back and relax while enjoying some tapas and special drinks.

4. Urban Farmhouse 5. Popkin Tavern


Europa Italian Café & Tapas Bar

Couches, cushy chairs, and rustic tables pack this

The pool may be closed, but the pool tables are

unique Cary Street fixture that describes itself as

open at Popkin Tavern. Add the well-chosen beer

If you’re looking for exceptional meal, Europa’s

“a casual market café and coffee and tea house

list, dark wood accents, and unique menu, and this

warm and inviting dining room offers an

featuring a simple menu of fresh, seasonal and

vintage furniture showroom-turned-restaurant is

unparalleled experience. But if low-key is more

locally-sourced ingredients.” Stop in to enjoy a

a perfect place to gather with a group to enjoy an

your style, kick back and relax in their Bodegas

cuppa, a smoothie, or a pastry, even better when

evening shooting the bull– and some billiards.

lounge, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by

shared with a friend.

soft chairs and warm lighting. Enjoy some tapas and drinks with friends as you take it easy.

4 7


7. Mansion Five26 If you catch a show at the Hippodrome or just happen to be in the area, stop in to Mansion Five26, a beautiful Jackson Ward manor house converted into Richmond’s only speakeasy. Get ready for elegant décor – complete with long couches perfect for lounging – and upscale southern cuisine: a perfect example of Jackson Ward’s renewal. n

november/december 2012




Brian Rock B

rian Rock is a children’s author and former Chesterfield County

school teacher living in Chesterfield, Virginia. He has enjoyed writing stories since he was old enough to hold a no. 2 pencil. Although he was once put out of class for writing too many stories, he went on to receive a master’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature from

Hollins University. Along the way, Brian has performed as a stand-up comic, worked as a “McCountant,” and written awardnominated country songs. His first children’s stories were published in the Roanokebased children’s newspaper, Kid’s World. His poems have been published in Highlights for Children and Poetry Train. His first two picture books, Don’t Play With Your Food and Piggies received critical praise. His newest picture book, With All My Heart, was released this September fourth by Tiger Tales. This comforting story for the very young follows two bear cubs as they ask their momma the impossible question, “Who do you love best?” As momma ponders the question, she realizes the perfect answer is right within arm’s reach. With All My Heart will be available at all retail booksellers as well as and n

With All My Heart was released September fourth by Tiger Tales


november/december 2012


november/december 2012



the “unchained” restaurants to worry, says Scott Douglas,

so much

owner of the Carytown Mellow Mushroom. “Each store

activity with

is individually owned and they (the folks at Mellow

Richmond’s dining

Mushroom’s corporate headquarters in Atlanta) like the

scene right now…

concept of individual spirit, ideas, and décor. No two stores

both old and new

are the same.”

restaurants, that

in Greensboro to Richmond, says he is in meetings with

Scoop Du Jour to a

Mellow Mushroom’s artists and architects as well as local

full page in an effort

artists, in order to put the finishing touches on his choice for

to keep you even

the Carytown store’s theme.

more informed. Tommy Rosie Connolly’s new chef Charles Robinson

Douglas, who is in the process of moving from his home

we’ve expanded our

Why Richmond, in general, and Carytown specifically? “I’ve lived around the Richmond area, but never in

Goulding’s Rosie

Richmond,” says Douglas. “I always liked Richmond.” And

Connolly’s (1548-

as regards his decision to open on Cary Street (in the space

A East Main St., 343-1063) has been a perennial favorite in

formerly occupied by Plan 9 Records), he says, “Carytown fits

the Bottom with those who enjoy the cool Cheers-like pub

the Mellow Mushroom culture, which is very funky and easy-

atmosphere. But now, Goulding is putting more emphasis on

going. It’s not very formal.”

the dining. With new chef Charles Robinson in the kitchen

The Minnesota native, who says he’s “lived all over,” is

(pictured above), expect to see some additions to the menu.

both a newcomer to the city as well as to the restaurant

Robinson was formerly with Zuppa, and that shows with

business. “I was looking for a career change,” he says. “My

the addition of some cool, make that hot, new soups, such as

background was in supply chain management.”

Chicken Curry and Irish Thyme, on the menu. In addition to

While contemplating his career change, Douglas met and

soups and some of his entrée additions, Robinson has also

fell in love with Mellow Mushroom. “I especially love their

put a Guinness Cheesecake on the menu…perfect for the

crust,” he says, describing it as somewhat sweet and chewy.


He also loves the unique pizza chain’s management style.

On the other side of the Farmers Market from Rosie’s, a new dining spot has recently opened. According to chef

“They have a great corporate staff working to keep the menu (Continued on next page)

Justin Wright, Crave (1705 E. Franklin St., 678-9616) will be offering some interesting Caribbean dishes, along with deliciously fresh salads, and other more American fare. One of the inviting features of this new restaurant is its unique bar/lounge space, featuring sofas and low tables for a more intimate dining/drinking experience. Everyone on the staff seems to be very friendly and accommodating. It’s definitely worth checking out. If you’ve heard rumors of a chain restaurant coming to Carytown, don’t panic. Yes, it’s true, come spring, Carytown will have its own Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers. But there’s no need for those of us who are fans of Crave’s unique bar and lounge space

november/december 2012


Tfresh. We’ll also have a full service bar,” says Douglas, “including 40 hand-crafted and micro brews.” It seems the hits just keep on a’comin’ from Chris Tsui… hit restaurants, that is. Tsui, the owner of Osaka Sushi restaurants, as well as Wild Ginger and the Blue Goat, has just opened yet another spot that has all the makings for becoming yet another hit. His latest venture, Fat Dragon Dragon, located at 1200 N. Boulevard (formerly Stronghill Dining Company), which opened in late October, is the product of a concept for a Chinese restaurant that Tsui says he’s had in the back of his mind for years. What is that concept? “It’s not your traditional Chinese restaurant,” Tsui says. We are putting a spin on the menu, just as we’ve done with our other restaurants.” He says that Fat Dragon features farm-to-table dining, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy Chinese fare, but with vegetables and meats produced on local farms. Tsui has brought in Shanghai native, Chef Zhao, from New Jersey, and has hired Steve McKenna, co-host of HDNet’s Drinking Made Easy, as the bartender. In addition to a fullservice bar, Tsui says he has will be offering 24 craft beers on tap. As to why he selected North Boulevard as the location for his latest venture, Tsui says, “The concept fits the neighborhood.” He points to the growing popularity in the area. “They’re putting in 180 apartments in the Interbake Building on the corner of the Boulevard and Broad, and they’re building lots of new apartments in Scott’s Addition. And, with the Redskins training camp being put behind the Science Museum (just blocks away), there’ll be thousands of people coming into the area to watch them.” He says regardless of what’s done at the Diamond, it will only bring more people into the area. For more info on Fat Dragon and Tsui’s other dining spots, visit the corporate website: n


november/december 2012





Even if you can’t afford to travel the globe, Richmond has many restaurants that offer you a taste of international cuisine. Here’s a few dishes from around the world that are served up locally to get your mouth watering.

Chicken Fajitas Tender sliced chicken grilled with onions, tomatoes, green, yellow, and red peppers.

Photo by Liz Reese

Little Mexico • 1328 W. Cary • 386-4232

november/december 2012



Hibachi Filet Mignon Hibachi filet mignon, scallops, and lobster served teppanyaki style, cooked in front of your very eyes.

Photos by Tim Hill.

Kobe • 18 S. 13th Street • 683-8080 In the historic Shockoe Slip


november/december 2012

Breakfast Rellenos Oven roasted green peppers stuffed with chorizo, scrambled eggs, sour cream, and chives served with a side of south western hash browns Cha Cha’s Cantina • 1419 E. Cary Street • 726-6296

Seafood Paella With abundant seafood around the island, Cuba is famous for its seafood paella. Havana 59 offers its interpretation of the popular dish. Fresh mussels and shrimp, with chunks of fish, chicken, and ham mixed with Valencia saffron rice, sofrito, and peas. Havana 59 • 216 North 17th Street • 780-2822

Combination Platter Souvlaki, gyro slices, keftedes, four doimades, pita bread, and tzatziki. Greek Grill Cafe • 2313 Westwood Ave • 355-4001

november/december 2012



november/december 2012

Curry Goat

Photo by Tim Hill.

A traditional Jamaican dish stewed until tender and falling off of the bone. It’s served over a bed of rice and red beans, steamed cabbage, and carrots. At Jamaica House, they believe that goat is best when curried. Jamaica House • 1215 W. Broad St. • 358-5793

Photo by Tim Hill.

Pork Shoulder Sauerbraten Pork shoulder served over braised purple cabbage, potato rosti, and a ginger snap with a raisin sauce. Blue Goat • 5710 Grove Ave. • 288-8875

Maximo’s Suckling Pig The pig is served with sliced potatoes, onions, and tomatoes, all of which have been marinated in Maximo’s secret sauce. This dish, which serves 4-6 people, must be ordered 24 hours in advance. Maximo’s Spanish and Italian Bistro 14 N. 18th St. • 447-0654

november/december 2012



november/december 2012

[ FLAVOR ] SO THIS IRISH GUY WALKS INTO A BAR... AND BUYS IT! By Steve Cook. Photos by Julie Cook.


n the early nineties, Mike Britt made

would be developed within the

a discovery that would ultimately

next five to ten years.”

and chili are fantastic. “I




c h a n g e h i s l i f e … f o r e v e r. H e

He continues, “That was

(Sundays from 10 ‘til 2) is as

discovered Richmond’s Church Hill

19 years ago and it’s still

good or better as any in the


area,” he says.




neighborhood didn’t change

Once a month, the Sunday

life-changing event, but it was the beginning.

as rapidly as he had been led

brunch becomes Poe’s Biker

After moving into the neighborhood, Britt

to believe, Britt hung in. He

Brunch. On those days, he says,

next discovered a small, local restaurant/bar,

made some improvements

“We have a million dollars in

which was housed in what had for decades

to the restaurant. He brought

motorcycles in our lot. It’s more

previously been a Kayo gas station on East

in some excellent chefs. He

like a bike show, with some of

Main Street. The year was 1992.

learned the business.

Admittedly, that wasn’t the ultimately

“It was called Poe’s Pantry and Pub,”

Mike Britt, owne

r of Poe’s Pub

Today, as Shockoe Bottom and Church

dinner and drinks.” At the time, he and his brother owned a sales rep agency. He had relocated to Richmond because it was a central location for most of his customers, in the commercial

“Poe’s Pub has evolved into a popular dining spot for both locals and those who live outside the neighborhood”

evolved into a popular dining spot for both locals and those who live outside the neighborhood. Britt has seen unexpected changes in his life. One of those changes, whether unexpected or not (that’ll remain his secret) is his blonde-haired, three-year-old daughter who is sitting on his lap as we talk.

building products industry. But things were about to change.


Over the past 19 years, Poe’s Pub has

Britt recalls. “It was a friendly, neighborhood hangout. I would stop in from time to time for

the most unique bikes you’ll find

Hill continue to prosper and grow, Poe’s

With two grown children, Britt is, once again,

In 1994, Britt made a decision that may

Pantry, now simply Poe’s Pub, has developed

experiencing the joys of raising a young

have seemed just a bit strange. He bought

into an excellent restaurant. “We may be the

child…and it’s obvious that he’s enjoying

Poe’s Pantry and Pub. Why? “Well, every guy

most misunderstood restaurant in town,” Britt

every minute of it.

has a dream of owning a bar,” he says, with a



He and his wife, Jennifer, run the

“Many think we’re just a bar. Some think

restaurant together. His adult son (whom Britt

It wasn’t exactly a rash decision. After

we’re a biker bar,” he says. While noting

says has a lot of talent in the kitchen himself ),

learning that the owner of Poe’s wanted to

that Poe’s is both a friendly neighborhood

and daughter from a previous marriage have

pursue other interests and was trying to

hangout, and is biker friendly, he says, “We’re

worked with him as well. Things have indeed

sell his restaurant, Britt spoke with Shockoe

a great restaurant.”

changed for Mike Britt since that day he

Bottom developers. He learned that there

Britt, who is Irish, describes Poe’s as “an

were big plans for the area. At the time, the

American pub with an Irish influence.” The

Bottom and Church Hill were not the same

emphasis is on the food, he tells me.

discovered Church Hill, two decades ago. Looking back on the past two decades, Britt says, “It’s had its (challenging) moments, but it’s been fun. It’s a tough way to make a

places they are today. “It was a rougher area,”

After 19 years in the kitchen, learning

Britt says. “There were no joggers or folks out

from “some very talented chefs,” Britt says,

walking their dogs.” But, Britt was told, all that

“I’d pit our food against anyone’s. We basically

And, judging from the friendly crowd I

was about to change.

living…but I’m still here.”

offer comfort food.” He points, with pride, to

met during my visit, it seems pretty clear that

“From what I learned (in the mid-nineties),

his baby back ribs, saying he feels they are the

there are many regulars at Poe’s Pub who

the Shockoe Bottom/Tobacco Row area

best in town. He also tells me that his soups

hope he’ll still be here for many years to come. n

november/december 2012


[ BACKSTAGE ] Live with Three Sheets To The Wind By Shonda Morrissette


ave you ever been driving down the road, decided to

from Steely Dan spit on Topper Dandy. When asked which TV

scan the radio, and it landed on that song? You know,

characters or celebrities they would expect to find in their audience

that 70s or 80s soft rock song to which you know every

they listed Face from The A-Team, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, and

word? No one is around and you start belting it out,

Zach Galifianakis. We also learned that (for real) Captain Max

because let’s face it, you know it, and secretly, you love it. Or better

Power will officiate your wedding for $500, and that the group is

yet, you roll your windows down, crank up the volume and proudly

always for hire. (Although, Topper Dandy no longer jumps out of

sing for the world to hear? Either way, my friend, you are on the

cakes at bachelorette parties.)

“Highway to the Danger Zone”, the guilty pleasure world of music, dubbed “ Yacht Rock”.

So if you’re looking for a place to party “All Night Long” and be loved for “Just the Way You Are”, check out Three Sheets to the

No one covers “Yacht Rock” or “Smooth 70’s and 80’s Music”, any better than Richmond’s own, “Three Sheets to the Wind”,

Wind. They play The Republic every third Thursday of the month and will be playing Capital Ale House November third (80’s night)

gifted musicians and vocalists who take the music seriously, but not

and forth (smooth 70’s). They are also very excited to be headlining

themselves. The core five-man lineup consists of Danny Marnier

The National on December fourteenth and are offering several VIP

(drums, vocals), Sonny Pockett (bass guitar), Walter Ego (keyboards,

packages. Be sure to get your tickets early because they tend to sell

vocals), Topper Dandy (guitar, keys, vocals), and Captain Max

out quickly. It will be an experience you won’t soon forget. But if

Power (vocals, guitar). Complete with stage names, boating attire,

you do that simply means, in keeping with the name of the band,

sunglasses and enough facial hair to please Burt Reynolds and

you had an even better time than expected. Keep up with the band

Tom Selleck equally, their goal, according to Captain Max Power,

at Three Sheets to the Wind on Facebook or go to n

is for “people to leave feeling happy, like they’ve gone on a journey somewhere other than every day.” Named Best Cover Band in Richmond two years running, and judging from audience reaction, they have accomplished their mission. At a recent packed out Republic Restaurant and Bar performance, the band, as their stage characters, granted River City an interview between sets on their bus, “The Steely Van”. Among other things, we learned: they claim the Solid Gold Dancers have finally lifted the restraining order on them, Captain is a legitimate first name (they cited others such as Crunch, Kangaroo, Kirk, Morgan, and “And Tenille”); Danny Marnier invented the hot tub; Walter Ego’s favorite drink is the Moscow Mule; and Donald Fagan


november/december 2012

[ F L AV O R ]

Looking for an exciting job opportunity?

Join us every Sunday for Brunch. It all starts at 11am with a great brunch menu & Bloody Mary, Mimosa & Sangria Bar.

Restaurant & Bar Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11:30am - 11:00pm Fri.-Sat. 11:30am - Midnight Sun. 11:00am - 10:00pm

BlueGrass Music ay Every Sund Night

The area’s Award Winning Bar and Restaurant with great beer, great food, and captivating views of Richmond

Our four lifestyle magazines and website are GROWING!

Offering Appetizers ~ Snacks ~ Burgers ~ Sandwiches ~ Dinner Entrees

If you are a persuasive and energetic salesperson, we’d like you to grow with us!

321 West 7th Street Richmond, VA (804) 232-3446

Email your resume to:

Close to all hotels in The River District & only a short drive from Broad St., Short Pump, Midlothian or the Airport


november/december 2012


Raising The Bar

By Steve Cook Photos by Zach Wingold

Where Can You Get a Drink Around Here? Part III


rior to 1968, as we have discussed in our previous issue,

Roger Briggs of Briggs Hospitality, who operated several Metro

the only way one could enjoy an adult beverage in a

Richmond Holiday Inns, including the Crossroads location (at

public setting was in a club that had a BYOB policy.

Staples Mill and Broad) and the hotel at 3200 W. Broad. “The

Many private clubs had personal lockers for each

Jolly Roger (at Crossroads) was one of the first to offer guests

member to store his or her beverages of choice. After liquor-by-the-drink laws were enacted in 1968, bars, or more appropriately, restaurants with bar areas, began to

the opportunity to have a drink with their meal,” News says. “That was a very popular nightspot.” One West End resident, Mary Beth, says that, in the seventies,

spring up. It was slow going at first, recalls long-time Richmond

she worked at a place known as the Skylight Club, which was

restaurateur, Jimmy News. “There weren’t that many restaurants

attached to Piggy’s Attache Lounge, located on West Broad,

in town at the time,” he says. “And those that were here did not

just east of Horsepen Road. “The Skylight,” Mary Beth says,

have bar areas.

was an after-hours club. “It was like any small town bar. The

News, who was the chef and “a minor partner” at a popular

same people came in regularly to show off their new friends

Fan-district nightspot, Mad King Ludwig’s, on West Grace Street,

and occasionally musicians would perform live to get some

says, as he recalls, “We didn’t apply for a liquor license until



While space doesn’t allow us to reminisce further, here, we

The earliest establishments to offer liquor by the drink, he says, were some of the finer hotels in the area. He mentions

invite you to join us at as we continue our discussion of early Richmond watering holes.

Drinks to Cozy Up with This Winter Dark and Stormy

Hot Toddy

House Made Ginger Beer,

Maker’s 46, Nelson

Meyers Dark Rum

County honey, two freshly squeezed lemon

Featured at: TJ’s Bar and Lounge 101 W. Main St., 23231 622-2628


november/december 2012

wedges and green tea Featured at: The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing 4708 E. Old Main St., 622-2628

Happy Hours The Tobacco Company

Tarrant’s Cafe

1201 E. Cary Street

One W. Broad Street | 782-9555 | 225-0035

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 3-7pm.

Happy Hour: Monday-Saturday until 7pm.

Half off house wines, domestic bottles, draft beer,

Select appetizers on special. half off any small

house martinis, and house highballs.

pizza. $2 off wines by glass. $3.50 rails, $3.50

Three for $20 appetizers.

pints or $3 mugs of draft beers, $1 off specialty drinks.

Joe’s Inn

3 Monkeys

205 N. Shields Avenue

2525 W. Main Street | 355-2282 | 204-2525

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 3-6pm.

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 3-7pm.

Beers on tap $2.50, highballs $2, and

$2 domestic bottles, $3 highballs.

house wine $3.

Eat Home Team Grill

626 China Street

1630 W. Main Street

644-3474 | 254-7360

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 5-7pm. Half

Happy Hour: Monday-Friday from 4-7pm.

dozen shrimp your way $6. Select drafts $3,

House wines $3, rails $3, domestic tap beers $2.50.

margaritas $3, house wines $3, $1 house made sodas and PBRs $1

After Midnight

Shady Grove

Smooth Ambler

Virginia gentleman

White Whiskey, Licor 43,

Bourbon, sorghum,

House-made Pumpkin

cinnamon, Virginia

Spice Syrup & Cider,

apple cider, flamed

served hot with vanilla

orange zest

whipped cream Featured at: Lemaire 101 W. Main Street Richmond, VA 23221 649-4629

Featured at: Can Can Brasserie 3120 W. Cary Street 358-7274

november/december 2012


[ C I T Y S PA C E S ]


november/december 2012


River City Nov/Dec 2012  
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