Foodies – unite in Richmond!

National Geographic Traveler picked the top six places in the world for food travelers in 2016 and – spoiler alert – Richmond topped the magazine’s list. Our own Ardent Craft Ales, in Scott’s Addition made the list! Congratulations!

Southern cuisine can trace its roots back to Virginia, home of the first permanent settlements in the American South. While nearby Washington, D.C., and southern culinary titan Charleston, South Carolina, are both regarded among the U.S.’s best food cities, Richmond’s blend of English, Native American, and African-American influences help the city stand out.

Chefs in this capital city with plenty of charm are now whipping up southern cuisine with a contemporary flair. Simultaneously, purveyors are rediscovering colonial-era Virginia ingredients like local peanuts, old-fashioned country ham, and seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. Those in the industry are also taking notice of their booming craft brewery scene. Local brewers such as Ardent Craft Ales and Strangeways Brewing have made a name for themselves, while California-based Stone Brewing Company plans to undergo a massive expansion to the city in early 2016.

What to Eat: Indulge in pork “fries”—deep-fried logs of pulled pork—at trendy Heritage and try Chesapeake Bay oysters at Rappahannock, products of a recently restored population (although the populations are still suffering). You can get peanut butter pie or an appetizer of pimento cheese, BBQ pork rinds, and pickles at the Roosevelt, run by local restaurateur Kendra Feather.

What to Drink: It’s said that Thomas Jefferson considered cider a necessary table drink. Artisan cider, with as many subtleties and nuances as wine, is currently undergoing a revival in the third president’s beloved home state. Visit the tasting room at Blue Bee Cider in downtown Richmond to try their rotating selection of small-batch ciders.

Edible Souvenir: Stop by Belmont Butchery for some of owner Tanya Cauthen’s famous handcrafted bacon. It’s cured simply with salt, sugar, and spices and then smoked over hickory wood.

Food Experience: Explore the city’s thriving craft beer scene with Richmond Brewery Tours. Tickets include round-trip transportation, complimentary snacks, a guided tour of one of the breweries, and a tasting flight at three different breweries. Tours are given Thursday through Sunday.

Cultural Tip: You will sometimes see country ham called Virginia or Smithfield ham on Richmond restaurant menus. This traditional product is cured with salt and seasonings and then hung to dry in a smokehouse for several months.

Fun Fact: Mary Randolph of Richmond published one of the earliest southern cookbooks in 1824. The Virginia Housewife contains some of the first written recipes for classic dishes like fried chicken, stewed okra, and corn bread.

Staff Tip: Richmond is all about the beer scene right now. Stone Brewing, a popular West Coast staple, is planning to open its first facility on the East Coast in the Greater Fulton area of Richmond in early 2016, adding to the list of well-established brewers in the area. Their plans include a brewery, packaging hall, and farm-to-table restaurant. Looking for something more immediate? Richmond is also home to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, where you can sample award-winning libations, including my personal favorite—the Great Return, a West Coast-style India pale ale.  Head to their tasting room every Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. for seasonal drafts and their year-round food-truck court.

Welcome another Start Up to Scott’s Addition: Uzurv

Reservation startup hitches onto Uber’s success, by Michael Thompson (found in Richmond Biz Sense)

UzurvDonlon and Frans are Richmond-based Uber drivers who met through an event they were both working in Richmond. The conversation between them dealt with ways in which using Uber could be improved for everyone involved. They agreed that creating a reservation system that allowed more information to be shared about potential riders and drivers could be a great business, piggybacking on the popularity of the fast-growing, ride-sharing market.

Now, let Scott’s Addition introduce you to Matt Donlon and Trish Fitzpatrick, the people behind Uzurv, a reservation app for users of tech-driven car services like Uber and Lyft.  They are leasing a 2,500-square-foot office at 2816 W. Broad St. in the Hofheimer Building!

Uzurv (YOO’-zerv) lets customers reserve rides ahead of time so they aren’t limited just to drivers that happen to be on the clock for immediate, on-demand rides. This is separate from, but complementary to, ride hailing services like Uber.

“Uber is a great engine,” Donlon said. “What we’re doing is a service that builds off that engine … Riders want the economics of Uber but the reliability of a car service and the trust and familiarity of a chauffeur.”

Uzurv works by allowing riders to send out a reservation request for a ride that is then posted on the feeds of drivers working with ride-hailing services.

Uzurv rider

Reservation app to enhance your on-demand riding experience. Stay in the loop on the latest UZURV news by signing up at www.uzurv.com.

Taylor’s Do It Center to replace Pleasants Hardware

Virginia Beach company to buy Pleasants Hardware – found on Richmond Times-Dispatch

A Virginia Beach-based hardware retailer announced that it is buying the century-old Richmond-based Pleasants Hardware chain. Taylor’s Do It Centers has 11 stores, between Hampton Roads and North Carolina.

Demolition of the flagship Pleasants store is slated to begin this spring to make way for a planned retail development that will include the region’s second Whole Foods Market store. Pleasants opened its first store in 1915 at 1607 W. Broad St. The company has operated from its current spot on West Broad Street since in 1976.

Taylor’s was founded in 1927 and the Taylor family has been involved in company leadership since 1929. A third generation of Taylor’s is now in charge. Besides Joe Taylor, brother Russ Taylor is the company’s vice president/operations manager.

The marketing material for Taylor’s stresses themes similar to those that have been emphasized by Pleasants — cheerful, knowledgeable service; community involvement and charitable giving. We, at Scott’s Addition, hope that they can continue showing similar values and community involvement.

New Wawa to be built on the Boulevard, in Scott’s Addition

Wawa heads to the Boulevard – found in Richmond Biz Sense

J.F. Williams III isn’t waiting around to find out the fate of The Diamond. The local developer and retired commercial real estate broker has signed a deal to bring a Wawa location to 3100 N. Boulevard, on the razed site that once housed Bill’s Barbecue. Williams said Wawa has agreed to a long-term lease for 1.44 acres at Ellen Road and North Boulevard. He owns an additional 1.5 acres at 3108 N. Boulevard, where Shenandoah Shutters’ facility once stood.

“It’s really the first new development north of the bridge (on North Boulevard), and I think it’s significant in that regard,” says Williams.

Despite The Diamond being in limbo, North Boulevard has seen its share of activity in recent months. Local developer Ed Lacy bought the shuttered North Boulevard Car Pool property in December and is looking to lease it. Chris Tsui and his Eat Restaurant Partners recently opened a burger spot at 1300 N. Boulevard, and local ice cream maker Gelati Celesti announced it is opening a storefront at 1400 N. Boulevard.

Williams said whatever happens, he believes in the potential of the area.

“It’s going to happen one way or the other,” he said. “We’re anxious to know what ‘mixed-use’ means and who the developers are.”