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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
RAISING THE BAR
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
WRITER’S BLOCK Brian Rock
Richmond’s Most Misunderstood Bar
art classes or a local workshop
See what’s happening on the events calendar!
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 •Richmondnavigator.com Facebook.com/Richmondnavigator Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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/www.buckheads.com
Welcome New Chef Jeff Johnson! American fare with a Cuban flare
A PUBLICATION OF
Salsa dancing every Thursday night ALL ARTICLES AND CONTENTS OF THIS MAGAZINE ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE OPINIONS OR THOUGHTS OF RIVER CITY RICHMOND, ADVERTISING CONCEPTS,INC OR THE PUBLISHER
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.
5 9/11/12 12:20 PM
[ CALENDAR OF E V E N TS ]
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 etix.com.
is revealed in the grandest masked ball of the season! Find tickets at etix.com.
OC T OB ER u u u
RVA On Ice
N O V E M B E R uuu
SE PTEMBER uuu
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 LiveNation.com
tickets at RichmondCenterstage.com
[ CALENDAR OF E V E N T S ]
COMING TO RICHMOND...
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 RichmondCenterstage.com
Buddy Valastro December 13. Landmark Theater.
q Chihuly Exhibition
See the techniques of America’s favorite
OCTOBER 20-FEBRuARy 10
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 GreenbergShows.com
Get tickets at TicketMaster.com
his hit TV show, answer audience questions, and even bring a few lucky audience members on stage for cake decorating. Buy tickets online at etix.com DEC EM B ER u u u u
Greenberg’s Train & Toy Show
VISIT RICHMONDNAVIGATOR.COM FOR MORE LOCAL EVENTS
That Rocked The World. OCTOBER 13-JANuARy 4 Science Museum of Virginia. SMV.org 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.
[ ARTS & ATTRACTIONS ]
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.”
“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
[ DESTINATIONS ]
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 home...to
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
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
rubbing shoulders with country music fans
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (countrymusichalloffame.org).
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; tootsies.net
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.
– visitmusiccity.com – and listen to their
A drive through downtown Nashville
412 Broadway; thestagonbroadway.com • Rippy’s Smokin Bar & Grill • Legend’s Corner
musical promotional video, Music Calls us
428 Broadway; legendscorner.com
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; rippysbarandgrill.com
I could go on (and on and on). And if you want to read more, visit the official website, visitmusiccity.com. 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
[ DESTINATIONS ]
By Megan Moore, Photos by Tim Hill
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.
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.
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
B LO C K ] WRITER’S
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 amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. n
With All My Heart was released September fourth by Tiger Tales
the “unchained” restaurants to worry, says Scott Douglas,
owner of the Carytown Mellow Mushroom. “Each store
is individually owned and they (the folks at Mellow
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.”
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
Richmond,” says Douglas. “I always liked Richmond.” And
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 www.richmondnavigator.com
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: www.eatrestaurantpartners.com. n
IN SEARCH OF
L A N AT I O
S E H S DI
N R E I NT
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
IN SEARCH OF
Hibachi Filet Mignon Hibachi filet mignon, scallops, and lobster served teppanyaki style, cooked in front of your very eyes.
Photos by Tim Hill.
Kobe â€˘ 18 S. 13th Street â€˘ 683-8080 In the historic Shockoe Slip
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 • www.chachascantina.com 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 • www.havana59.net 216 North 17th Street • 780-2822
Combination Platter Souvlaki, gyro slices, keftedes, four doimades, pita bread, and tzatziki. Greek Grill Cafe • www.greekgrillcafe.net 2313 Westwood Ave • 355-4001
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 • jamaicahouseonline.com 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 • www.bluegoatva.com 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
[ 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
[ 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 yachtrock.biz. 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
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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 RichmondNavigator.com as we continue our discussion of early Richmond watering holes.
Drinks to Cozy Up with This Winter Dark and Stormy
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
wedges and green tea Featured at: The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing 4708 E. Old Main St., 622-2628
Happy Hours The Tobacco Company
1201 E. Cary Street
One W. Broad Street
thetobaccocompany.com | 782-9555
Tarrantscaferva.com | 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.
205 N. Shields Avenue
2525 W. Main Street
joesinn.com | 355-2282
3monkeysfan.com | 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
hometeamgrill.com | 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
White Whiskey, Licor 43,
Spice Syrup & Cider,
apple cider, flamed
served hot with vanilla
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
[ C I T Y S PA C E S ]