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RiverCity May / June 2018

Steve Bassett

Back and Better Than Ever




William J. Davis, Jr.


Cheryl T. Davis


Steve Cook


Tammy Wersinger







Michael Lay


Ryan Hooley


Joey Wharton


Jimmy Davis




Davy Jones, Ashley Jefferson, Whitney Kiatsuranon, Josh Young EDITORIAL INTERN


RiverCity Magazine is published bimonthly by Richmond Navigator Media 6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 Midlothian, VA 23112 P: 804-639-9994 E:

In This Issue 02










Interview with Steve Bassett






Contact Us! E:


All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.


He’s a Richmond musical icon. Singer/songwriter Steve Bassett is back, with a new CD. And word on the street is that he’s better than ever. Read Davy Jones fascinating interview with Steve. And according to writer, Ashley Jefferson, the Kanawha Canal is better than ever, too. Find out what’s going on “All Along the Canal.” All that and more in this issue of River City Magazine. Photo courtesy Jennifer Challis.


A Division of Advertising Concepts, Inc.

Articles and contents of this magazine are not necessarily the opinions or thoughts of RiverCity Magazine, Advertising Concepts, Inc. or the publisher.

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The Richmond Navigator Guide to This Season’s Performing Arts

There’s music in the air and on stages all around Metro Richmond. Here’s a sampling:


This all Canadian cast from Toronto, Ontario will take you back in time to one of the greatest bands in pop history. Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $30 advance, $35 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /


The Commander brings his special blend of oldtime rock ‘n’ roll, redneck country, boogie woogie and swing. Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $27.50 advance, $32.50 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804447-8189 /



This local group performs the incredible .classic rock & pop songs from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Hollies, The Zombies, Moody Blues, Queen, and many others Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $15 advance, $20 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /


Gates open 5p.m., Showtime 6p.m. / Tickets $21 to $31 early bird; $36 at the gates / Innsbrook After Hours, 4901 Lake Brook Dr. Glen Allen /


Regina Carter is the foremost jazz violinist of her generation.

Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $40 advance, $45 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /

Offering their unique heir blend of compelling songs and high energy performances


Bocephus is back with his traditional country, blues and Southern rock.

Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $50 advance, $55 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /

Gates open 5 p.m., Showtime 6 p.m. / $26 - $59 / Servpro Richmond Pavilion, 4901 Lakebrook Dr., Glen Allen, 804-423-1779 /


Creator Dave Malloy’s innovative probings about genius, success/failure, parallel universes, and the process of making art that’s told in a collage of musical styles from klezmer to punk rock. See website for show times / $15 - $40 / Firehouse Theatre, 1609 W. Broad St. 804355-2001 /


Rumours has quickly become one of the most sought after and highly regarded tribute bands in the genre.


Doors open 5 p.m., Show 7 p.m. / $40 advance, $45 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /

Soul2Soul The World Tour 2018 7:30p.m. / See website for ticket pricing or call 800-745-3000 / The Richmond Coliseum /


An American reggae band from Huntington Beach, California.

Door 7p.m., Show 8p.m. / $24 advance; $29 day of show / The National, 708 Broad St. /


Energetic, diverse and infectious music featuring three part vocal harmonies. 7 p.m. / $17 advance; $21 at the door / The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, 2880 Mountain Road, Glen Allen/

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Richmond’s best one-day music festival!

Noon to 10 p.m. / $30 advance / Mayo Island, 501 South 14th St. /

JUNE 19: THE NEIGHBOURHOOD American indie rock band.

Doors 6:30p.m., Show 7:30p.m. / Tickets $24.50 advance; $28 day of show / The National, 708 Broad St. /

May / June 2018



Something’s coming. Something good: One of the most beloved musicals of all time. Previews June 20 and 21. See website for times and ticket prices / The November Theatre, 114 W. Broad St., 804-282-2620 /


This community-based organization has been providing exciting and dynamic musical experiences to the Richmond community for over 43 years. 6:30 p.m. / Free / Altria Theater, 6 N. Laurel St. /


The Santiago Sent Us Tour comes to Richmond.

7:30 & 10 p.m. / $51.50 to $152.00, 800-514-3849 and at Altria Theater, 6 N Laurel St. /


The Ultimate ‘80s Tribute Band


Doors open 7p.m., Show 8p.m. / Tickets $16 / The National, 708 Broad St./

A four-person rock band from Arizona.

Doors open 6:30p.m., Show 7:30p.m. / Tickets $25.50 advance; $28 day of show / The National, 708 Broad St./



Offering a unique style of rock & roll gumbo.

Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $35 advance, $40 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /

Gates open 3p.m., Showtime 4p.m. / Tickets $21 to $31 early bird; $36 at the gates / Innsbrook After Hours, 4901 Lake Brook Dr. Glen Allen, VA 23060/


Miss D & the Dancing Dolls return to Richmond

7 p.m. / $35.75 to $107.75, , 800-514-3849 and at Altria Theater, 6 N Laurel St. /


The Ultimate Johnny Cash Tribute - He looks like Johnny, he sounds like Johnny. Nobody does Cash like Terry Lee Goffee. Doors open 6 p.m., Show 8 p.m. / $45 advance, $50 door / The Tin Pan, 8982 Quioccasin Road, 804-447-8189 /

There are numerous smaller theaters and music venues all around town. For information on additional performances, check’s online events calendar.

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A Different Frequency

Steve Bassett

on His New Album,

Tres Leches by Davy Jones

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May / June 2018

I am music and it is me. We arrived here together.” “

So reads part of the conclusion of Steve Bassett’s 2013 autobiography, Sing Loud. It contains the earned wisdom of a singer-songwriter and master of the Hammond B-3 organ who has truly been there and back. Bassett’s career has taken him from his native Richmond to the soul mecca of Muscle Shoals, Alabama; from session work to singing jingles; from Carnegie Hall to Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion, where a song he co-wrote, “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” was celebrated in 2015 as the commonwealth’s new official popular state song. His latest album, Tres Leches, offers a fresh celebration of Richmond’s exceptional place in music’s geography, layering Bassett’s firm grasp of the foundational sounds of rock, soul and R&B with the ascendant talents of drummer Dusty Ray Simmons (Cris Jacobs Band, Fear of Music and The Gold Sauce) and accomplished young studio co-owner Adrian Olsen (Matthew E. White, Bedouine, Foxygen and Butcher Brown). Bassett and I spoke recently on a beautiful early-spring afternoon, just outside his pre- and post-production space on the grounds of Richmond’s storied Montrose recording facility. How did you come to collaborate with Dusty Ray Simmons and Adrian Olsen? I had gotten to know Adrian here, and Dusty and I were on a session together here when I met him, and I had hired him to play with me a couple times since then… Adrian and Dusty called me and said, “We want to bring you to the dark side.” That’s the words they used to pull me back from the safe R&B and blues thing that I’d been doing more towards the rock and roll that I started playing in the 60s and 70s... Dusty, Bob Rupe, Russell Lacy, Corey Wells, Daniel Clarke and I gathered over there at the studio and jammed for a couple days. A couple of them had songs that they brought with them, but for the most part we just jammed, and we created these pieces of music... Everybody was busy doing other things, but Dusty and I were in touch a lot, so for the next several years, around his performance schedule and touring schedule, he and I would schedule sessions here. And Dusty Ray and I pulled nine or 10 of the songs out of that catalogue.

Your vocals on the album are especially compelling. I had Dusty produce me singing. Left to just singing, I sing in certain ways, I guess. Directed, I can go different places in terms of character, and that’s what I used. It’s kind of a theatrical approach that I would use back in the jingle days. There’d be times when they’d want it clear, and there’d be times when they’d want to get down into the Louis Armstrong kind of thing, and Dusty liked me down in that register and in that modality, so he tended to produce me there. And some feedback I’ve gotten from the record from friends of mine, they like hearing me do that.

What was the lyrical process like? We sat around and told stories about music and touring and philosophized on the state of the music business, or a life in music, and Dusty would sit down and write a little bit, and I would. We ended up writing the material that way, with the exception of two songs that made it to the record: “Freedom” and “That’s What Love Gave Me,” which were written by Bruce Olsen – Adrian’s father, who was around at the time. Photo: Jennifer Challis

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Photo: Jennifer Challis

“I’m still optimistic, because I keep learning, and I keep getting better. I’m singing better than I ever have. It was supposed to be over by now ... But in terms of the things that most interest me — which is creating music, writing songs, producing records — it’s constantly invigorating.”

There’s a lot of reckoning on the album, and looking back, but there’s also a certain hope for the future. That sounds like a balance of Dusty and me. He’s in the thick of it now. So is Adrian. These kids are busy. The sun is shining and they’re making hay. And I’m still optimistic, because I keep learning, and I keep getting better. I’m singing better than I ever have. It was supposed to be over by now. I would have thought when I was 28 that 40 years later, I’d probably have done what I could do. I’d be on the down side of it. But in terms of the things that most interest me — which is creating music, writing songs, producing records — it’s constantly invigorating, because if you keep applying yourself to it and doing it from your heart, then you continue to access creative things, which is a big turn-on for me.

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What kind of shows have you been enjoying playing? Something like the annual LIVE ART performance at the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, or more intimate gigs like the County Seat in Powhatan? That LIVE ART show is one of the most exciting shows for me, because it allows me to reenter that world I came up in of preparing for a musical stage production… that camaraderie backstage. Of course, in that situation, there’s 250 of us. There’s the kids — there’s a couple hundred kids — and then there’s all the musicians and all of the artists and their support teams that are on the show. The rehearsals are a gas, and of course, the show is a gas, but the show goes by like that. Boom, it’s over... To have 100 people in front of you having dinner and cocktails, and dancing, having the time of their lives to the great soul songs is a different kind of fun on a different frequency. Pulling up to a piano in the corner of the country club ballroom during a fundraiser cocktail party, where nobody is paying any attention to you at all — they’re all having their exchange and doing their thing, but you’re

May / June 2018

Davy Jones’ Event Picks

May 23: St. Vincent at the National

708 E Broad St.; 804-612-1900; If you caught St. Vincent’s previous show in June of 2015 at the National — with its choreographed micro-movements and cube-shaped stage-within-a-stage — ­ you know that Annie Clark’s approach to performing live involves pushing into daring new territory. With her current “Fear the Future” tour, which comes on the heels of her lauded 2017 album, Masseduction, she’s venturing even further into that realm of exploration, inviting audiences to open their minds to how rock music can be staged. Clark is a thrilling and dynamic guitarist, and her current show offers a rare opportunity to see a familiar instrument played in a new context by a truly fearless artist.

June 3: Natalie Prass at the Broadberry over there in the corner playing and singing some music, and you see a foot tapping here, or see a mouth moving to a lyric, or a head swaying, or something like that — just as much fun, but on a different frequency... Being able to go into a room and dial into what’s going on in a room, and then fit what you do in there with it — it’s a similar approach to being a session musician, where you’ve got an artist that comes into a studio, and there’s five or six of you there, and you’ve got a choice to play everything you know and shine, or find a thing that you can do that fits in with the other cats but does nothing more than embrace this artist to allow them to be the original part of it and to have the hot licks. It’s similar to playing a cocktail party in a way, if you can dig it that way. I love it all. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• You can catch Steve Bassett performing: May 18th at the County Seat in Powhatan; with the Mystic Soul Bubbas June 1st at Westchester Commons; June 3rd at SPARC’s annual LIVE ART show; and June 7th at Cul’s Courthouse Grille in Charles City.

2729 W Broad St.; 804-353-1888; After decisively winning over the music community with her self-titled 2015 release on Richmond’s revered Spacebomb Records label, Natalie Prass is on tour with a new set of songs in tow: a sophomore LP entitled The Future and the Past. The Richmond resident is now on ATO Records, and while her group of studio collaborators includes familiar faces, her sound has been evolving, as you can hear via her synth-driven lead single “Short Court Style,” which calls to mind the groovy efficiency of disco, as well as her empowering anthem “Sisters.” She’ll take the Broadberry stage on June 3rd, with CLD GRL opening.

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Although spring seemed to come a little late this year, when it finally sprang, we couldn’t help but be amazed at what it brought. The entire city seemed to be ablaze with beautiful blooms. We asked our photographers, Dave Masucci and Josh Young, to share some of their favorite floral finds.

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May / June 2018

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Hot Dogs So where do you go when you’re in the mood for a good hot dog? We put that question to our readers. We received so many responses that we blew out our contest page on our website. But not before we got a winner. Congratulations to Bruce Eggers, who told us that City Dogs was his favorite place because of “the taste and atmosphere.” Bruce will be receiving a gift certificate to a great local restaurant. We heard raves about other local hot dog joints, too. We’ll share some of those below. Thanks to all of you who helped us in our search for a great dog.

City Dogs

1309 W. Main St.; 1316 E. Cary St.; With two locations, one in the Slip and one in the Fan, City Dogs has been serving up some of the city’s best dogs for a decade. One thing for sure, many of our readers love City Dogs dogs. Elizabeth L. wrote, “Their wide selection of dogs and styles makes it really special! Of course, the TASTE of them is top notch as well!” With 13 different dogs, there’s certainly something for every taste. Pictured here is the popular Philly Dog, topped with provolone cheese, green peppers, onions and mayo. This family-run operation is committed to giving each guest “the ultimate hot dog experience.” Our readers will testify that they’ve succeeded in that endeavor. Photo: Dave Masucci

The Dog House at The Diamond 3001 N. Boulevard; 804-359-3866;

The hot dogs at the Diamond are so good that you just might hear folks singing, “Take me out to the Dog house.” That’s the name of the specialty hot dog cart just behind home plate where you’ll find a tempting variety of gourmet hot dogs. The Diamond Dog, smothered in chili and coleslaw, is a crowd favorite. But when The Travel Channel’s Food Paradise TV crew came to town, they seemed to take a special liking to the Squirrel’s Bacon Me Crazy dog. The bacon jam, which tops the dog, along with bacon and bacon bits, adds a unique and flavorfully sweet taste to your dog dining delight. Photo: Josh Young

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May / June 2018

Hot Dogs The Dog Wagon Plus 2930-C W Broad St.; 804-977-9198;

“Born” as a food cart, the Dog Wagon Plus has been operating as a full-fledged restaurant (located behind Three Notch’d Brewing) since February of this year. One happy guest wrote of their hot dogs, “They’re the best in the world.” No doubt, David Silversmith, who owns the restaurant would agree. He says, “Our hotdogs are amazing, because of the quality ingredients and ingenuity we use to make each and every dog. We use custom-crafted buns, all-beef hotdogs and have made some fabulous combinations. The Dog House Plus is open seven days a week and on the weekends, it’s dogs and more dogs 24- hours a day. Photo: The Dog Wagon Plus

Perly’s Delicatessen Restaurant 111 E. Grace St.; 804-912-1560;

Perly’s, so they say, “Is Yiddish for Delicious.” If that’s true, then everything is perly at Perly’s, Downtown Richmond’s legendary Jewish deli. The Chazerai (we wont’ tell you what that’s Yiddish for) Hot Dog is their all-beef dog topped with a rye crusted fried pickle, egg salad, lettuce, red onion, and fresno chili hot sauce.

Photo: Perly’s

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Hot Dogs Pop’s Dogs & Ma’s Burgers 7301 Brook Road; 804-266-5781;

Nostalgia runs rampant at this cozy little hot dog and hamburger stand in North Richmond. With just seven chrome stools at the counter, plus picnic tables out back, you may want to take out. Dragon M. wrote us and recommended Pop’s red onion sauce as the secret to their dogs. Richard B. points to another secret, telling us that it’s “The love that’s put into it.” When we first told you about the place back in 2014, we wrote, “Everyday, you can get two plump Sabrett dogs (The hot dog of New Yorkers) with all the fixin’s, and that includes chili, slaw, cheese, relish, up to five choices of mustards, even sauerkraut, plus fries and a drink for five bucks.” That was nearly five years ago. Thankfully, some things never change. They still offer the same deal today.

Sam’s Hot Dog Stand

9502 Chamberlayne Road (Hanover Commons Shopping Center), Mechanicsville; 804-559-7267; We have to tell you about Sam’s. We heard from so many of you who love the place. For instance, Dave W. wrote, “The dogs are the type that you used to get 30 years ago at the baseball parks. The chilis are amazing. And the people who operate the business are the greatest.” We heard that type of praise over and over for both the food and the folks at Sam’s Hot Dog Stand. The folks are Judy Williams and her husband Scott, who own the local franchise. Everyone raved about the chili, including Judy, who said that the main reason they chose to be a part of Sam’s was the chili. “It’s all meat, no beans,” she added. Sam’s all-beef hot dogs come with your choice of nearly 15 toppings. The chili dog with mustard, onion and coleslaw is one of the most popular. If you choose to top your dog with their delicious sauerkraut, why not order a side of Judy’s own homemade potato salad? You’re gonna love it.

Photo: Dave Masucci

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May / June 2018

The Ultimate Hotdog Experience

Celebrating the Flavors of Life!

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Our fresh ingredients combined with great atmosphere and impeccable service will have you coming back for more! Just give us a try and you’ll be convinced.


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CELEBRATING GREAT FOOD + SERVICE FOR Nourish Body & Soul while preserving the highest level of quality, service and value. Our ever-changing menus feature healthy, eclectic, world cuisine combined with local, seasonal ingredients to create dishes appealing to any palate.

★★★★★ “Best Dogs in RVA. Great service.”

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tastebudz by Steve Cook

There’s literally so much restaurant and food stuff happening all around town that as I travel the city and discover the wonderment, you could figuratively knock me over with a feather. Technically, there is a difference, metaphysically speaking.

SPENDING TIME IN THE GARDEN: Spring and summer are definitely the best times of the year to get out in the garden, especially if you’re talking about the fun-filled Beer Garden at Lunch. Supper! Restaurants at 1213–1215 Summit Ave. in Scotts Addition. First, the beer. Rick Lyons, owner of Lunch. Supper! Tells me that in addition to offering four beers on tap, plus a draft wine, the beer garden will also offer one to two rotating canned beer selections, as well as a five-item appetizer menu, featuring fried oysters, fried green tomatoes and a Farm Table Sampler. Rick says the that there will be a series of special events every Thursday in the garden through October. Here’s the basic Thursday lineup: 1st Thursdays: Strummer, “An acoustic trio with an eclectic set list, best enjoyed with strong, dark liquids,” says Rick. I don’t think he means chocolate milk, but I hate to assume. 2nd Thursdays: Wine tastings (first will be a rosé pairing with food from Four Forks) 3rd Thursdays: Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, a jazz quartet 4th Thursdays: Farmer’s Market (featuring Four Forks, Bow Tied Farms, Rudy’s Produce, Silverstone Butcher, and more) The garden will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and on Sundays from 10 a.m. ‘til 3 p.m. For more info, check out 14 RiverCity

MOM’S THE WORD: As you may know, one of the River City’s most popular restaurants, Julep’s New Southern Cuisine (420 E. Grace St.) is usually closed on Sundays. But Amy Ayers, the restaurant’s owner, says, “We have had a lot of requests for Mother’s Day. To respond to this, we are happy to open our doors and provide a place for others to celebrate on this special day.” Amy adds that the restaurant will be offering its full dinner and cocktail menu from 5 to 9 p.m. Reservations are encouraged. Phone 804-377-3968 or online at

A TASTE OF THE OLD WORLD: In our March/April issue, we told you about Café Rustika at 414 E. Main St., which recently changed its name from Café Rustica and converted to an all-German cuisine restaurant and schnitzel bar. I hadn’t been in to Café Rustika at that time, but I have since then and I’ve got to tell you, this place is Photo: Joey Wharton fantastic. We mentioned the authentic German, home-baked rolls, which owner/chef Sam George’s mother bakes fresh each morning in the restaurant. Well, I sampled one of these tasty little brötchens and it is amazing. I’m not even sure “amazing” is a strong enough word. They’re crusty on the outside, but inside, it’s like a little bit of soft doughy heaven massaging my taste buds. I also sampled their Black Forest Cake. Fantastisch! It’s a chocolate-layered cake drenched in kirshwasser with kirshwasser infused whipped cream and dark Morello cherries topped with shaved chocolate. Need I say more? Well, I will say that if you love German food or just great cooking, you need to check the place out. It’s kind of quietly hidden away on Main, but it’s worth finding.

May / June 2018

THAT’S THE SPIRIT: Hey, how about that new Virago Spirits Distillery, which has recently begun production in its 11,000 sq. ft. space at 1727 Rhoadmiller St. I’m impressed with what these folks have planned. This family-owned, family-operated boutique distillery will offer classically inspired, creatively interpreted spirits and liqueurs, focusing, in particular, on rum, gin, brandy and herbal liqueurs. They’ll soon be releasing their initial offering, the Four-Port Rum, which is a distinct blend of columnand pot-distilled rums from four ports across the Caribbean: Barbados, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and Panama. Brad Hanneburg, who owns the distillery along with his brothers Barton and Barry, says, “In order to create a uniquely Virago twist, this special blend combines the bold spice and earthy funk of British-style rums with the softer, more seductive profile of Spanish-style rums.” Later in the year, a 50-seat tasting room will open where customers will be able to sample products, order cocktails, and purchase bottles for off-site consumption. Brad’s wife, Vicki, will be running what sounds like it’s going to be a very cool tasting room. There’ll even be a little patio for those pleasant Richmond evenings.

LET’S GO TO THE HOP: Evan Byrne’s new place, The Hop Craft Pizza & Beer, at 1600 W. Cary Street is now open. This is a cool, little pizza joint specializing in handtossed, thin-crust Grandma’s Sicillian-style pizza. By the way, when Evan mentioned his “grandma” style pizza, I thought he was just being sentimental. Maybe all of you knew this already, but I looked it up. Grandma is a real style of pizza. If you’re as uneducated as I used to be, stop by and try one. In addition to the pizza, The Hop is offering close to 300 craft beers in bottles and cans, plus a small wine selection and other grab-and-go items. The Hop also delivers. So you can get your high-end pizza along with beer and wine and never have to leave home. Of course, they’re not mind readers. You have to order it, which you can do online. The Hop is doing a beer tasting every Friday from about 5 to 7 p.m.

EATING AN ELEPHANT: “How do you eat an elephant,” Michael Hild asks rhetorically. He follows up with the answer, “One piece at a time.” I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Michael recently . He and his wife Laura are heavily committed to changing the face of Manchester, through their business, Church Hill Ventures. I contacted Michael, wanting to know more about their plans for the resurrection of the old Climax Beverage brand, which is one part of the couple’s piece-by-piece re-imagining of the Hull Street business corridor. The Hilds have been buying up parcels along the corridor for several years and the fruits of their labors are about to be enjoyed by those who have already come to know and love Manchester as well as by many others who will be drawn to the area as this part of the city continues to evolve.

Even if you haven’t heard of the Hilds, you have probably heard about some of their projects such as Hot Diggity Donuts or Butterbean Café. Maybe you’d heard that two new breweries are coming to Manchester (Dog Town and Manastoh). These are all Michael and Laura’s projects. I don’t have room in this column to eat the whole elephant, but let’s start with Hot Diggity Donuts. That’s the first food-related piece that we’ll be seeing. Michael refers to the place not as a donut shop, but as a “donut lounge.” He says you’ll enjoy your coffee and donut by day, but when the lights go down, the space at 1213 Hull Street will become the place to go for desserts and cocktails. I’m thinking that maybe I could go around 4 in the afternoon and enjoy the best of both worlds. Michael says he anticipates Hot Diggity Donuts should be opening any day now, perhaps by the time you read this. Sometime this summer, their Butterbean Café will open just across the street (1204 Hull Street). This is going to be a hip, welcome spot for Manchester. The website describes it this way: “Offering hand-pulled espresso, craft beer, and kombucha alongside delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches made from scratch, The Butterbean welcomes you to stop by and hang out any time of day. The Butterbean also carries just the right amount of grocery staples to grab those last minute ingredients or a few items to take to a party. Whether you’re looking for a quick stop or a place to unwind, The Butterbean is Manchester’s go-to spot.” Michael and Laura’s idea for bringing back the Climax Beverage brand is part of a major renovation they’re planning for the old Siegel Supermarket at 20th and Hull Streets and its surrounds. The Hilds have something really special up their collective sleeves that includes a food and beverage hall, as well as new restaurants for the neighborhood. If it all comes to fruition over the next few years, the Manchester/Swansboro-area could well be the city’s new hot spot. But we’ll have to save that discussion for a later date.

Because I’ve run out of room and my editor is screaming at me to finish this. Now I’m going out to literally and figuratively scour the city and see what else is new. You can help. If you have any restaurant news to share. Or if you’ve had a positive restaurant experience, here or anywhere on earth, we would love to hear about it. Our email address is

Read Tastebudz Online each week at RichmondNavigator. com. If you have any restaurant news or recommendations, email us at

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Great Beer. Great Food. Great Views.


For nearly 25 years, Poe’s Pub has been a friendly neighborhood hangout for the folks in Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom, and Beyond.

Join us every Sunday for Brunch starting at 11AM with a great brunch menu. Jazz Brunch 1st Sunday of every month.

restaurant and bar hours:

Isn’t it time you made Poe’s Pub your neighborhood hangout?

Bluegrass/Americana Music Every Sunday Night!

Located at the foot of beautiful Libby Hill Park

Mon.–Thu. 11:30 am–11 pm | Fri.–Sat. 11:30 am–Midnight | Sun. 11 am–10 pm

321 W. 7th Street | (804) 232-3446 |

2706 E. Main Street

648-2120 • Like Us On Facebook


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1840 Manakin Road, Manakin, Virginia 23103 | Just 4 Miles West of Short Pump Mall 16 RiverCity

Hours of Operation Mon-Wed: 11 am-10 pm • Thurs: 11 am-11 pm Friday-Sat: 11 am-Midnight • Sunday: 11 am-11 pm

1700 Dock St., Richmond | 804-644-4400 |

May / June 2018

Happy Hour Guide Café Rustika

Penny Lane Pub

Authentic German cosine in a comfortable, cozy and welcoming setting. You must try the brötchen – traditional German rolls. They boast “the strictest Happy Hour” in town. It’s exactly one hour.

A Richmond tradition since 1979, offering “a touch of Liverpool in Richmond.” Enjoy all of your favorite football games (they mean soccer, mate) on the TV. 

414 E. Main St.; 804-225-8811;

421 E. Franklin St. | 804-780-1682


MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: 4 TO 7 P.M. Draft beers $5

Wine, house red and white $4

Domestic bottled beer $1 off

Beer, half-liter draughts $3

House liquor $1 off

Kolsch – the real stuff, from Cologne $2 One More Thing: There are secret happy hour menu items as well, depending on the chef’s mood, such as mini schnitzels, small sandwiches and charcuterie. If Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund or the German National Soccer Team are playing live during service then there are other special deals as well!

The Savory Grain

House wines $5 One More Thing: During EPL Season, Penny Lane may be opening early on Saturday and/or Sunday, but always by 10am. Check the website or call for opening time.

The Mill on MacArthur 4023 MacArthur Ave. | 804-716-1196

2043 W. Broad St. | 804-592-4000

Great appetizers such as The Little River Blue Crab and Artichoke Dip, plus sandwiches, salads and entrees. You can now cater your next event with Savory Grain’s delicious catering menu! TUESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: 4 TO 7 P.M.

Enjoy home-style foods, with a focus on locally farmed produce, in a family-friendly atmosphere. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: 3 TO 7 P.M. Table wines (red & white) $2 off Draft beer $2 off

Draft beer $4

House high balls $2 off

Flights $4

Appetizers $2 off

Bottled beer $4

One More Thing: Wednesday’s from 5 to 10 p.m. is Secret Specialty Burger Night. A variety of specialty burger dinners are offered for only $13 each.

Highballs $4 Wine (house red, white and sparkling) $4 Tuesdays – $5 Burgers and bourbon Wednesdays – $1 Oysters and happy hour drafts all night One More Thing: Friday Late Night Sessions feature local music and bar specials. On Sundays, there’s a Jazz brunch from 11 a.m. ‘til 3 p.m.


If you are a restaurant or beverage manager, please send your Happy Hour specials to Our Happy Hour Guide is provided as a service to our readers. This is not an advertisement, nor is any compensation involved. All happy hour listings are subject to change. Please drink responsibly.

1012 Lafayette St. | 804-358-2011 If you love cheese, you’ll really love the flaming cheese; better known as Saganaki. Select small plates are also available during happy hour Monday through Friday, 4 to 6 p.m. at the bar. $6.00 or less. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: 4 TO 6 P.M. AT THE BAR ONLY.  House white, red or Retsina (white wine made with pine resin) Carafes $10 Stella Artois on tap $4 Buskey’s Cider on tap $4 One More Thing: There’s also a Daily Specialty Cocktail (bartender’s choice) for $6.

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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. by Whitney Kiatsuranon

Bottom’s Up Pizza 1700 Dock St.; 804-644-4400;

Located in “The Bottom,” Bottom’s Up Pizza has been delighting pizza lovers with their iconic patio, nestled under the railroad tracks, for decades. Enjoy some of the city’ finest pizza and its landmarks all at the same time.

Julep’s New Southern Cuisine

420 E. Grace St.; 804-377-3968; Curb side, you will find a patio experience unlike any other at Julep’s. Enjoy the outdoor ambience along with a mix of flavors that captures the tastes of Atlanta, Charleston, New Orleans and Savannah. Look for the turquoise umbrellas — a sure sign you’re in the right spot, a spot that just happens to be in the center of one of the city’s fastest growing entertainment and dining districts.

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May / June 2018

Legend Brewing Company 321 W. 7th St; 804-232-3446;

A legendary view of the city skyline awaits at Legend Brewing Company, one of Richmond’s pinnacle patio destinations. Legend has been attracting beer lovers since 1993 with their popular brews and views. There’s always something going on including weekly live music. Check their website for upcoming events.

Little Mexico

1328 W. Cary St.; 804-525-4216; You’ll find a little hidden gem of a patio at Little Mexico in the VCU district. The patio is located off to the side in a shady little nook that is perfect for Taco Tuesday and cheap margaritas. Relax in the shade while you enjoy the authentic aromas drifting from the kitchen.


1215 Summit Ave.; 804-353-0111; For one of the city’s most entertaining patio experiences, head over to Scott’s Addition and Lunch.Supper. Their patio is large and usually filled with folks playing corn hole and giant Jenga. A beer garden and a weekend market filled with local vendors add to the fun. Whether it’s brunch, lunch or supper, you’re going to love patio dining at Lunch.Supper!

Photo: Joey Wharton

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Richmond Neighborhoods

Life Along

The Canal by Ashley Jefferson

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May / June 2018

Photo: Ben Schumin. Taken in 2003


here’s so much to do along the beautiful Kanawha Canal. Stretching 197 miles between Richmond and Botetourt County and running parallel to the James River, the canal sets a beautiful backdrop for those who live, work and play in the surrounding communities.

Aligned with several monuments, memorials, trails and national parks, the energy of the canal

is as vibrant as ever. Every weekday, groups of excited children trek along the historic Richmond Slave Trail, then gather at Box Brown Plaza to take turns trying to fit themselves into the memorial box, similar to the one Henry Brown used to ship himself to freedom in 1849. Virginia locals and tourists from all across the country line up at the Turning Basin, between 14th and Dock streets, to take a 45-minute trip on the Riverfront Canal Cruise tour. And area residents jog along the Virginia Capital Trail that aligns the canal from Jamestown to Richmond.

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Historically, the canal offered much more than a picturesque backdrop to boat rides, field trips and exercise routines. It began as an idea presented by George Washington to the Virginia General Assembly in 1784. Washington asked the Assembly to build a canal that would bypass the Falls at the James River. They obliged. One year later, with Washington serving as honorary president, the state incorporated The James River Company and began working on what would become the first towpath canal system in North America. After several years of construction and restructuring, the canal became a major thoroughfare between Richmond and the rest of Virginia. Between 1850 and 1860, nearly 200 boats traveled daily up and down the canal, transporting tobacco, wheat and other goods to and from the local market.

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The busyness of the canal was short lived, however, as the construction of the railways began to take place. Marred by manmade and natural disasters, such as the Civil War and the flood of 1870, the canal quickly became a backdrop to an area that was forcibly changing. But the change brought new life for the canal. One that people from Richmond, and those from a little further way, seem to enjoy. All the way from Brooklyn, New York, John Green moved to downtown Richmond just over a month ago. Yet somehow, he has managed to make his way to the Canal Walk at least twice a week since he’s been in town. “The Canal Walk is one of my favorite places to be.” says Green. “It’s very peaceful and very beautiful. I come here often to walk around and clear my mind.”

May / June 2018

Photo: Ben Schumin. Taken in 2003

Green goes on to say that the freight trains and the nearby businesses help him feel like he isn’t that far from home. “I’m from Brooklyn. But I’m here now and I like it here,” he said. “It’s relaxing. And I can always walk further up the canal to the stores and the restaurants. Having them there helps me experience less of a shock from my move.” Green is not the only person to enjoy the area’s lively restaurant scene. Happy Hours abound along the canal, with places like Buffalo Wild Wings, Conch Republic and Sine Irish Pub welcoming hundreds of patrons each night. Casa del Barco has a Happy Hour every day. However, it’s their Sunday brunch that fills the neighborhood hot spot to capacity. “Everything is around me,” explains Nick Carter, who lives along the canal. “It’s high living, really. The best restaurants are all around. Unique stores are here. My yoga studio is a block away. And from my window, I have the view of the water.” Carter lives in the William Hill Apartments, located just across the street from Morton’s Steakhouse. Though he loves the location of his unit, he feels there may be something better for him a little further up the canal. “I’m looking at the new East 51 apartments at Rocketts Landing,” says Carter. “Those apartments are going to be very nice. They’re a little far from the action. But it’s still along the water.” The new East 51 at Rocketts Landing apartments are slated to open this month. But, Carter may want to wait for the 12-story, Locks development high-rise. The $58 million project will be constructed at East Byrd and South 10th streets, not far from where Carter was enjoying his meal. Currently known as The Locks Tower, the luxury apartments will feature state-of-the-art designs and amenities, but isn’t expected to be available until 2019. As it seems, no matter where you are along the canal, there is something to love and enjoy. And if Carter does decide to move, a refreshing walk along the canal will bring him right back to where he started.

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onstruction of apartments is said to be at its highest in nearly two decades. And while that trend of rapid construction is expected to continue over the coming years, there is one apartment complex that has stood the test of time — The River Lofts at Tobacco Row [2 South 25th St.]. The complex, with buildings ranging from 150 to 200 years old, is “luxury loft living at its finest” and has proven itself to be much more than a pop-up apartment complex. The River Lofts at Tobacco Row consists of seven commercial and residential buildings that sit stately along the Kanawha Canal, snugged tightly between East Main and East Cary streets and stretching widely across 22nd and 25th streets. Surrounded by beautifully

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mature North American Red Oak and Japanese Zelkova trees, The River Lofts are protected from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding Shockoe area. Such a presentation would make any visitor think that they have entered into a new zip code rather than an apartment complex. The River Lofts are home to some of the areas most bustling businesses, including the famed Bookbinder’s Seafood & Steakhouse and powerhouse consulting firm, Ernest & Young. However, what really stands out are the residential units. Each floor plan is unique in its layout and design, with some homes boasting 13-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces and deep-soaking Jacuzzi tubs. Other units have a priceless view of both the James River and the

May / June 2018

canal right outside of their window. Yet, no matter which unit you live in, all are invited to take advantage of the private movie theater, sand beach volleyball area, billiards room, fitness centers, swimming pools and other amenities. The complex even offers professional dry-cleaning delivery services. To describe the units as “luxury living” is an understatement. “The reason I love this place so much is the sense of community that we have here,” says Jackie Cave, the general manager of The River Lofts at Tobacco Row. “Because our property is so large, it feels like we are our own little town. And just being on the river and being on the Liberty Trail and being a part of such a rich history, it just feels like home.” The location of the complex is prime, to say the least. While the apartments themselves offer enough amenities to make anyone want to stay home, if someone should have a reason leave, their trip wouldn’t be very far. The complex is just steps away from Shockoe’s best cafes, bars and restaurants. Farm Fresh is only blocks away from the community’s gorgeously tree-lined streets. And the Richmond City Garden Trail is closer than a petal to the stem of a rose. “I love the location,’’ says Henry Marsh, former mayor of Richmond and The River Lofts resident. “It’s convenient for me because I don’t have to catch an Uber anywhere.” Marsh has lived in the community for 20 years, since the time he was

serving as a state senator. “They have a lot of perks in the building,’’ he adds. “But if the weather is nice, I can walk almost everywhere.” It’s no surprise that Marsh has lived in the complex for so long. Everything he needs is just steps away from his front door. Amazingly, with all of its luxury benefits, The River Lofts at Tobacco Row is still relatively affordable. Units range from just under $1,000 for a one-bedroom apartment to about $2,300 for a townhouse. The complex has something for everyone. And as the largest community along the Canal, it is a wonderful place to live.

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River City May/June 2018  
River City May/June 2018