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NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

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River City Richmond is the magazine devoted to covering the people, the places, the businesses, and everything else that make Richmond a great place to live, work, and play. We are proud of our publication, and want to make sure it continues to reach the people who live and shop in the River City. For some time, our advertisers, our readers, and other business leaders have been telling us that Richmond needs a magazine devoted to the arts, entertainment, dining, and the attractions that make this such a wonderful place to live. River City Magazine is just such a publication. In fact, we are confident that it is the area’s premier magazine for the arts, the dining, and the entertainment offered here.

Text of NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

Page 1: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine


Page 2: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

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EVENTSCalendar of Events

ARTSCraving Creativity?Discover your inner artist by enrolling in

art classes or a local workshop

DESTINATIONSNashvilleLet the music call you home to the Country

Music Capital of the World

Places to LingerExplore all of Richmond’s places to pass

your time while warming your bones











See what’s happening on the

events calendar!

Check out Europa and other local hot spots on page 12


FLAVORScoop du JourIn Search of...International Cuisine

Poe’s Pub

Richmond’s Most Misunderstood Bar

BACKSTAGELive with Three Sheets to the Wind

RAISING THE BARWhere Can You Get A Drink Around Here? Part IIICheck out the best winter cocktails

River City has to offer

NovemberDecember 2012

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



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RiveR City RiChmond is published bi-monthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc.6301 Harbourside Drive, Suite 100 • Midlothian, VA 23112 (804) 639-9994 •Richmondnavigator.comFacebook.com/RichmondnavigatorEmail us at [email protected]. All rights reserved. Any reproduction in whole or in part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.




CREATIVE DIRECTORSTrey TylerLorraine Meade

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTSJared DavisAnn SmallSteve CookCatherine Oakley


PHOTOGRAPHERSTim Hill, Robert Thomas,Zach Wingold, Liz Reese,Julie Cook

CONTRIBUTORSSteve CookJody RathgebMeagan MooreShonda Morrissette

ABOUT THE COVERWarm 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

local happy hours.

WelcomeNew Chef

Jeff Johnson!

American fare with a Cuban fl are

Salsa dancing everyThursday night

Private event space available


16 North 17th StreetRichmond, VA 23219


Voted Best Mojito in Richmond

Join us for “A Revolution in Food”

Havana59.1\3b.1012.indd 1 9/11/12 12:20 PM

8510 Patterson Avenue/804-750-2000/www.buckheads.com

5november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

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Heart with special guest Shawn ColvinNovember 14. Landmark Theater.

Sisters Anne and Nancy Wilson first showed the

world that women could rock when their band,

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

they lead the band, but they wrote the songs and

played the instruments too. They continued to top

the charts through the 90s and have just released

a new CD. Buy tickets online at etix.com.

Virginia Opera: Die FledermausNovember 23, 25, 27. Carpenter Theater.

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

of Gabriel Von Eisenstein, a wealthy man who

loves a good practical joke, even if it humiliates

a friend. But what happens when that friend

hatches an elaborate scheme to teach the

womanizing Von Eisenstein a lesson? The answer

is revealed in the grandest masked ball of the

season! Find tickets at etix.com.


RVA On IceNovember 23 through January 31.

Next to Richmond CenterStage.

Farm Bureau Winter Park at RVA On

Ice is set for a third season. Enjoy hot

chocolate, music and more. Free for

children age 10 and under with paid

adult. Skate rental fees additional. For

more information, call 592-3330 or go to


Tony DeSareNovember 16-18. Rhythm Hall.

Singer, pianist, and songwriter Tony

DeSare was named a “Rising Star” Male

Vocalist in the 2010 Downbeat Critics Poll.

DeSare’s vocal versatility thrills audiences

from major jazz rooms and fans around

the world. He performs with infectious joy,

wry playfulness, and robust musicality. Buy

tickets at RichmondCenterstage.com

Kevin Hart Let Me Explain Tour

November 30. Richmond Coliseum.

On the heels of his starring role in the

hit movie Think Like A Man, actor and

comedian Kevin Hart announced

he would be extending his Let

Me Explain tour which has been

performed for more than 334,000

fans. Buy tickets at LiveNation.com





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Carbon LeafDecember 21. The National.

This five-man band returns to the stage

in their hometown. Hear their signature

indie-rock blend of Celtic, Appalachian,

folk, and country that results in their

unique sound. With ten albums under

their belt, Carbon Leaf is approaching

their 20th year of recording and touring.

Get tickets at TicketMaster.com

Greenberg’s Train & Toy ShowDecember 15-16. Richmond Raceway Complex.

Since 1976, Greenberg’s Train & Toy

Show has been the largest traveling

model train and toy show to serve

the northeastern United States.

Hobbyists will find free workshops,

demonstrations, and hard-to-find

dealers from around the country. Find

more details at GreenbergShows.com

Richmond SymphonyNovember 17, December 1-2.

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 ValastroDecember 13. Landmark Theater.

See the techniques of America’s favorite

baker and star of TLC’s Cake Boss. Buddy

will share behind-the-scenes stories from

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






q Chihuly ExhibitionOCTOBER 20-FEBRuARy 10Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.


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.

Guitar: The Instrument

That Rocked The World. OCTOBER 13-JANuARy 4Science Museum of Virginia. SMV.orgTake 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.



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Guitar: The Instrument

That Rocked The World. 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

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Craving Creativity?Find Your Inner ArtistBy Jody Rathgeb

I 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 paint-

your-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.”

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find Your MediumArt classes aren’t for beginners only. Estab-

lished 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-

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.

ApprenticeshipsWorking with an established artist to learn

and hone skills is a good launching pad for

a committed hobbyist or someone looking

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

relationships, so visit studios like those at

Art Works or Crossroads Art Center and

talk with the artists to find a good fit for an

apprenticeship. Gallery events such as First

Friday are also a good way to find and connect

with artists.

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

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Nashville…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


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

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 African-

American 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

Let the musiccall you home...to Nashville

by Steve Cook


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by Steve CookPublic Relations, at the Country Music Hall

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

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

people who are telling it.”

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.”

Nothing better illustrates that fact than

the Sing Me Back Home: A Journey Through

Country Music permanent exhibit at the

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum


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

suggest you make the Hall of Fame a first

stop. It will firmly set the tone for the rest

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

city where you can hear some great music.

You can do that here in Richmond. Country

music, in all its diversity, courses through the

arteries of the city.

A drive through downtown Nashville

reveals this. For instance, just off Broadway,

you might find yourself driving down Chet

Atkins Place. Take a left on Music Square

West and head up to Roy Acuff Place.

Along the way, you’ll pass the RCA Victor

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

been dubbed. Elvis recorded It’s Now or

Never and Little Sister there, among many

other of his huge hits. It was in Studio

B that Roy Orbison recorded Only the

Lonely, and Dolly Parton produced I Will

Always Love You. There’s no way to visit

this city without having the echoes of your

personal country music favorites bouncing

around inside your head. Take the studio

tour and you’ll probably hear many more.

You can buy tickets for the tour at the Hall

of Fame.

Along your journey, you may want to

stop in at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop and

Gruhn Guitars. George Gruhn is the ultimate

authority on vintage guitars, as his 3,000

square-foot showroom amply reveals.

Country music permeates this city, as

the music permeates your mind and heart.

So, put this magazine down for a moment.

Go to the Nashville Tourism Board’s website

– visitmusiccity.com – and listen to their

musical promotional video, Music Calls us

Home. But come right back, finish the article,

and then you can begin planning your trip.

Are you back? Good. Next stop on

our tour is the Ryman Auditorium. While

not the original home of the Grand Ole

Opry, it is certainly the Opry’s most famous

former home. And even today, the Opry will

occasionally “come home” to the Ryman.

After a studio tour, a visit to the Hall of

Fame (where I’d suggest you bring along

some Kleenex), and a stop at the Ryman,

you’ll be anxious to hear some real music…

real country music, that is.

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

Kristofferson. And today’s newest stars, such

as Dierks Bentley and Gretchen Wilson, did


Even now, the big stars, along with

athletes and other celebrities, can be found

rubbing shoulders with country music fans

from all demographics. Here are a few of the

more famous honky tonks, although you’ll

have fun discovering your own favorite spots.

• Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

422 Broadway; tootsies.net

• The Stage

412 Broadway; thestagonbroadway.com

• Rippy’s Smokin Bar & Grill

429 Broadway; rippysbarandgrill.com

• Legend’s Corner

428 Broadway; legendscorner.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

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

music, America’s music, will be calling you

home…to Nashville. n

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.

Country music permeates this city, asthe music permeatesyour mind and heart.

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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.

2. Bogart’s In The FanFor 40 years, Bogart’s has been famous for hosting

a wide variety of musical acts, most notably of the

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

mid-week karaoke night – backed by a superbly

retro Casablanca mural, a Sunday cornhole

tournament, or just sitting around with friends

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

relax and have fun.

1.Café CaturraWith convenient locations in Richmond,

Midlothian, and Short Pump, this family of café-

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

all are complete with a variety of seating options,

from high-top tables to armchairs by the fire.

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

coffee, or one of their 24 wines on tap.

3.Can Can BrasserieIf you can make it to Can Can on a warmer

day, you’ll often find the large plate windows

overlooking Cary Street are open, making you

feel as if you’ve been transported to a Parisian

street café. But even if Jack Frost keeps the dining

area enclosed, Can Can is a delightfully warm,

European-inspired spot to meet for an upscale

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

of wine with friends.

Places to Linger






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6. Europa Italian Café & Tapas Bar If you’re looking for exceptional meal, Europa’s

warm and inviting dining room offers an

unparalleled experience. But if low-key is more

your style, kick back and relax in their Bodegas

lounge, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by

soft chairs and warm lighting. Enjoy some tapas

and drinks with friends as you take it easy.

5. Popkin TavernThe pool may be closed, but the pool tables are

open at Popkin Tavern. Add the well-chosen beer

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

vintage furniture showroom-turned-restaurant is

a perfect place to gather with a group to enjoy an

evening shooting the bull– and some billiards.

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

4. Urban FarmhouseCouches, cushy chairs, and rustic tables pack this

unique Cary Street fixture that describes itself as

“a casual market café and coffee and tea house

featuring a simple menu of fresh, seasonal and

locally-sourced ingredients.” Stop in to enjoy a

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

shared with a friend.




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.


13november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

Page 14: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

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 award-

nominated country songs.

His first children’s stories were published in the Roanoke-

based 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 pon-

ders the question, she realizes the perfect answer is right within

arm’s reach. With All My Heart will be available at all retail book-

sellers as well as amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. n

With All My Heart was released September fourth by Tiger Tales


Brian Rock

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T here’s

so much

activity with

Richmond’s dining

scene right now…

both old and new

res taurants , that

we’ve expanded our

Scoop Du Jour to a

full page in an effort

to keep you even

more informed.


Goulding’s Rosie

Connolly’s (1548-

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

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

atmosphere. But now, Goulding is putting more emphasis on

the dining. With new chef Charles Robinson in the kitchen

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

Robinson was formerly with Zuppa, and that shows with

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

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

soups and some of his entrée additions, Robinson has also

put a Guinness Cheesecake on the menu…perfect for the


On the other side of the Farmers Market from Rosie’s,

a new dining spot has recently opened. According to chef

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

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

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

are the same.”

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

in Greensboro to Richmond, says he is in meetings with

Mellow Mushroom’s artists and architects as well as local

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

the Carytown store’s theme.

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

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

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

going. It’s not very formal.”

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

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

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

background was in supply chain management.”

While contemplating his career change, Douglas met and

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

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

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

“They have a great corporate staff working to keep the menu

(Continued on next page)

Crave’s unique bar and lounge space

Rosie Connolly’s new chef Charles Robinson

17november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

Page 18: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

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, 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


He says that Fat

Dragon features


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 full-

service bar, Tsui says he has will be offering 24 craft beers on


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

His latest venture, Fat Dragon, located at 1200 N. Fat Dragon, located at 1200 N. Fat Dragon

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


He says that Fat

Dragon features


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

18 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

Page 19: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine



Chicken Fajitas

Tender sliced chicken grilled with onions,

tomatoes, green, yellow, and red peppers.

Little Mexico • 1328 W. Cary • 386-4232



o by




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.

19november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

Page 20: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

Hibachi Filet Mignon

Hibachi filet mignon, scallops, and lobster

served teppanyaki style, cooked in front of

your very eyes.

Kobe • 18 S. 13th Street • 683-8080

In the historic Shockoe Slip



os b

y T

im H


20 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

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Breakfast RellenosOven 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 PaellaWith 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.net216 North 17th Street • 780-2822

Combination PlatterSouvlaki, gyro slices, keftedes, four

doimades, pita bread, and tzatziki.

Greek Grill Cafe • www.greekgrillcafe.net

2313 Westwood Ave • 355-4001

21november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

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22 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

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Maximo’s Suckling PigThe 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

Curry GoatA 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

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


o by





o by




23november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

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24 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

Page 25: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

By Steve Cook. Photos by Julie Cook.

In the early nineties, Mike Britt made

a discovery that would ultimately

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

discovered Richmond’s Church Hill


Admittedly, that wasn’t the ultimately

life-changing event, but it was the beginning.

After moving into the neighborhood, Britt

next discovered a small, local restaurant/bar,

which was housed in what had for decades

previously been a Kayo gas station on East

Main Street. The year was 1992.

“It was called Poe’s Pantry and Pub,”

Britt recalls. “It was a friendly, neighborhood

hangout. I would stop in from time to time for

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

building products industry. But things were

about to change.

In 1994, Britt made a decision that may

have seemed just a bit strange. He bought

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

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


It wasn’t exactly a rash decision. After

learning that the owner of Poe’s wanted to

pursue other interests and was trying to

sell his restaurant, Britt spoke with Shockoe

Bottom developers. He learned that there

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

Bottom and Church Hill were not the same

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

Britt says. “There were no joggers or folks out

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

was about to change.

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

the Shockoe Bottom/Tobacco Row area

would be developed within the

next five to ten years.”

He continues, “That was

19 years ago and it’s still

developing. Although the

neighborhood didn’t change

as rapidly as he had been led

to believe, Britt hung in. He

made some improvements

to the restaurant. He brought

in some excellent chefs. He

learned the business.

Today, as Shockoe Bottom and Church

Hill continue to prosper and grow, Poe’s

Pantry, now simply Poe’s Pub, has developed

into an excellent restaurant. “We may be the

most misunderstood restaurant in town,” Britt


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

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

that Poe’s is both a friendly neighborhood

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

a great restaurant.”

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

American pub with an Irish influence.” The

emphasis is on the food, he tells me.

After 19 years in the kitchen, learning

from “some very talented chefs,” Britt says,

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

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

his baby back ribs, saying he feels they are the

best in town. He also tells me that his soups

and chili are fantastic.

“I think our brunch

(Sundays from 10 ‘til 2) is as

good or better as any in the

area,” he says.

Once a month, the Sunday

brunch becomes Poe’s Biker

Brunch. On those days, he says,

“We have a million dollars in

motorcycles in our lot. It’s more

like a bike show, with some of

the most unique bikes you’ll find


Over the past 19 years, Poe’s Pub has

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.

With two grown children, Britt is, once again,

experiencing the joys of raising a young

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

every minute of it.

He and his wife, Jennifer, run the

restaurant together. His adult son (whom Britt

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

and daughter from a previous marriage have

worked with him as well. Things have indeed

changed for Mike Britt since that day he

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

living…but I’m still here.”

And, judging from the friendly crowd I

met during my visit, it seems pretty clear that

there are many regulars at Poe’s Pub who

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

By Steve Cook. Photos by Julie Cook.


Mike Britt, owner of Poe’s Pub



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

25november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

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Live with Three Sheets To The WindBy Shonda Morrissette

Have you ever been driving down the road, decided to

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Highway to the Danger Zone”, the guilty pleasure world of music,

dubbed “ Yacht Rock”.

No one covers “Yacht Rock” or “Smooth 70’s and 80’s Music”,

any better than Richmond’s own, “Three Sheets to the Wind”,

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

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

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

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

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

sunglasses and enough facial hair to please Burt Reynolds and

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

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

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

characters or celebrities they would expect to find in their audience

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

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

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

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

cakes at bachelorette parties.)

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

Wind. They play The Republic every third Thursday of the month

and will be playing Capital Ale House November third (80’s night)

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

The National on December fourteenth and are offering several VIP

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

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

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

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

at Three Sheets to the Wind on Facebook or go to yachtrock.biz. n

26 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

Page 27: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine


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

OfferingAppetizers ~ Snacks ~ Burgers ~ Sandwiches ~ Dinner Entrees

Restaurant & Bar Hours:Mon.-Thurs. 11:30am - 11:00pm

Fri.-Sat. 11:30am - MidnightSun. 11:00am - 10:00pm

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

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

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


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



Every Sunday


Looking for an exciting job opportunity?

Our four lifestyle magazines and website are GROWING!

If you are a persuasive andenergetic salesperson, we’d like

you to grow with us!

Email your resume to: [email protected]

job opportunity?

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27november/december 2012www.richmondnavigator.com

Page 28: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

Dark and Stormy

House Made Ginger Beer,

Meyers Dark Rum

Featured at:TJ’s Bar and Lounge101 W. Main St., 23231622-2628

Where Can You Get a Drink Around Here? Part III

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

the only way one could enjoy an adult beverage in a

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

Many private clubs had personal lockers for each

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

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

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

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

have bar areas.

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

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

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


The earliest establishments to offer liquor by the drink, he

says, were some of the finer hotels in the area. He mentions

Roger Briggs of Briggs Hospitality, who operated several Metro

Richmond Holiday Inns, including the Crossroads location (at

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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

same people came in regularly to show off their new friends

and occasionally musicians would perform live to get some


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

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

Hot Toddy

Maker’s 46, Nelson

County honey, two

freshly squeezed lemon

wedges and green tea

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

Raising The BarBy Steve Cook

Photos by Zach Wingold

28 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

By Steve CookPhotos by Zach Wingold

Page 29: NOV/DEC 2012 River City Richmond Magazine

The Tobacco Company1201 E. Cary Street

thetobaccocompany.com | 782-9555

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

Half off house wines, domestic bottles, draft beer,

house martinis, and house highballs.

Three for $20 appetizers.

Joe’s Inn205 N. Shields Avenue

joesinn.com | 355-2282

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

Beers on tap $2.50, highballs $2, and

house wine $3.

Home Team Grill1630 W. Main Street

hometeamgrill.com | 254-7360

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

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

Tarrant’s CafeOne W. Broad Street

Tarrantscaferva.com | 225-0035

Happy Hour: Monday-Saturday until 7pm.

Select appetizers on special. half off any small

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

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

3 Monkeys2525 W. Main Street

3monkeysfan.com | 204-2525

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

$2 domestic bottles, $3 highballs.

Eat626 China Street


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

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

margaritas $3, house wines $3, $1 house made

sodas and PBRs $1

Happy Hours

Shady Grove

Virginia gentleman

Bourbon, sorghum,

cinnamon, Virginia

apple cider, flamed

orange zest

Featured at:Lemaire101 W. Main StreetRichmond, VA 23221649-4629

After Midnight

Smooth Ambler

White Whiskey, Licor 43,

House-made Pumpkin

Spice Syrup & Cider,

served hot with vanilla

whipped cream

Featured at:Can Can Brasserie3120 W. Cary Street358-7274

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30 www.richmondnavigator.comnovember/december 2012

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