101 GuidescityTravel

richmond, virginia city guide {update}

by Grace Bonney


All photos by Jay Paul

Today’s Richmond City Guide Update comes from the original guide author, Leslie Kingery of Glappy World, a consulting firm for technology implementation, social media strategy and application and interactive design. Her niche is in the travel and food industry, and she admits to being a foodie. Today Leslie takes us on a guided tour through the sites, sounds, eats and attractions of this historic city. Thanks, Leslie, for a wonderful update! — Stephanie

*Grace and Amy are actually going to be in Richmond this week! Anyone in the area should head over to meet them at the D*S Book Tour Event happening TOMORROW, Nov. 16th! See the details here.

Read the full guide after the jump . . .


Richmond stands in the center of the state of Virginia with close proximity to the mountains, the sea and Washington, DC. The city has a rich history, dating back to colonial times when the capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond, then served as the capital of the Confederate States of America and now the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Our lovely city sits high on a hill, giving it a magnificent view of the James River surrounded by a plethora of architecturally significant areas, each with its own unique personality. The city is also dotted with major universities: University of Richmond, Virginia Union University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the Medical College of Virginia.

Richmond is a wonderful walking, biking and cultural city with incredible museums, festivals, cafes and shopping. The city has often been cast as very southern and traditional, but the vibrant music and arts scene is gently prodding it design-wise into a much more modern city. Proof is in the success of the city’s well-attended monthly tours of modern homes and offices hosted by Modern Richmond Tour, with architects and owners on hand to speak about their projects.


Antiques in Manchester is a wonderful open-air upscale antiques mall concentrating on mid-century modern furniture and accessories. AIM is co-sponsored by Micheal Sparks Design, Ghostprint Gallery and Maurice Beane Studios. AIM is open Saturdays between 9:00am and 4:00pm in the covered walkway beside 205 Hull St. until the end of December, weather permitting.

Appomattox Tile Art
The tiles are beautiful, but so is the building they occupy in old town Petersburg, Virginia. Formerly a Model-A Ford factory of 45,000 sq. ft. in the Beaux Arts style, this historic location provides an excellent space to inspire timeless creations. A staff of 45 plus artisans makes marvelous mosaics and more.

Blue Elephant
Blue Elephant is an upscale furniture consignment shop located in Richmond’s historical Fan District. You’ll find gently used furniture and home decor along with pieces from local artists. Recently, they had many different “owl” accessories — loads of nature fun for your home.

A gem located just south of the river in the once-gritty part of Manchester, this architectural salvage yard has meticulously organized everything into all manner of categories, shapes and sizes — all delightfully arranged at your finger tips. Whether you’re an interior designer or a DIYer, this repository of history is a worthy stop for anyone looking to restore their turn-of-the-century home back to its original glory.

Charles Luck Stone Center
Did you ever think stone could be as sexy or en vogue as New York Fashion Week’s latest trends? No? Guess again. The flagship showroom, designed by Peter Fraser of Fraser Design Associates, is an inspiring muse for those looking to build anything out of stone. Whether it’s a fireplace mantelpiece or a custom mosaic from an Italian artisan, you’ll rock (er, walk) out wearing more than just the clothes on your back.

Chop Suey Books
Complete with the cool Caturday adventures of Wonton overseeing the store, this is great place to lose yourself amid a fabulous collection of used books or in the upstairs art gallery.

This itty-bitty boutique store in the heart of the Libbie/Grove shopping district carries a carefully edited collection of furniture, art, lighting, bedding and accessories. Think slipcovers, rattan baskets and cashmere throws — perfect pieces to finish off your weekend river house.

Located in a rural stretch of forests and farmland, this 19th-century general store turned home accessories and gift store is a welcome respite from the ubiquitous shopping malls, strip malls and big-box retailers located just a few miles down the road. It’s a wonderful nod to days gone by — lazy summer afternoons sipping sweet tea and enjoying the company of others — the perfect backdrop for the shop’s casual French-country-inspired goods.

La Difference
Affectionately referred to by locals as “La DIFF,” this unique furniture store blazed a trail into Richmond in 1992. Defying all Commonwealth odds, their selection of modern and contemporary furniture became a haven for those craving furniture with clean, unfussy lines. Occupying downtown’s old Watkins Cottrell Building, La Diff kicked off 2011 with an expansion to the west of the city. And recently, they collaborated with their neighbors to hold the First Shockoe Design Day.

Expats from California, the owners of this oh-so-fabulous mid-century modern home furnishings store, are hard at work scouring the planet to bring a little dash (or a lot, depending on whom you ask) of Palm Springs heaven (a la Kelly Wearstler and Richard Neutra, to name a few) to the Old Dominion’s traditional chintz and chippendale. If you just can’t resist and end up purchasing a little piece of recycled vintage, don’t forget to have your grill and goods photographed. They’ll add it to their ownership section on the website — with your permission, of course.

Micheal Sparks Design
This new space not only acts as a showroom for the resale of mid-century modern furniture, but it is also a gallery for contemporary artists and a creative space for the designers. The owner, Micheal Sparks, has lived all over the world and brings a fresh retail view to Manchester.


Think the only VA souvenir out there is a “Virginia is for Lovers” T-shirt? Don’t fret my pet — er, mongrel. This pooch has you covered. Although not a souvenir shop in the traditional sense, this boutique has everything you need for a unique hostess gift, birthday gift, wedding gift or anything in-between — just don’t forget something for little Fido. Worth mentioning is their incredible selection of indie card makers, whose stationary, letterpress and even wrapping paper are to die for.

Renmark Consignments
Filled with traditional and quirky accessories for the home under the watchful eyes of Eapoe (named for Edgar Allen Poe) and Scamper. Designer Tayne Renmark has a discerning eye for wonderful picks. And in the spirit of giving back, a percentage of sales will benefits local non-profit Art 180.

Ruth & Ollie
This is not your grandmother’s store. Well, maybe not your grandmother. Named after the shop owners’ grandmothers: Ruth was traditional, and Ollie was funky. After a quick stroll through the showroom, one might imagine Ruth as being quiet and reserved, her traditional tendencies just a soft-spoken sidekick to Ollie, whose loud, offbeat personality dominates center stage. Don’t miss the repurposed rugs-as-pillows and the amazing lighting selection.

Renovation Resources
This tiny store on Broad Street offers an incredible selection of traditional and contemporary product lines for your kitchen and bath — always something new, useful and beautiful to see. Pop in when they’re open for the First Friday Artwalks.

S B Cox Demolition
Tucked away at the bottom of Church Hill, these rough and tough guys don’t limit themselves to razing old buildings; they also salvage what they can before swinging the wrecking ball. As you might imagine, the place is dirty, dusty and unorganized, but if you’re looking for a clawfoot tub, a mint green toilet, a bargain or all of the above (and you have A LOT of time on your hands), then Cox is your place.

Strawberry Fields
Located on Strawberry Street, this small boutique offers up fresh flowers and locally made candy, cards and soaps. Unique lighting and decorative pieces made by local designers Wendy Umanoff and Eric Schmoldt are also available.

These Four Walls
Just a few doors down from La Diff, this showroom houses a collection of furniture and accessories that sharply contrasts its neighbor’s. While La DIFF commonly takes its cues from across the Atlantic, T4W suggests south of the border influences. Unique, hand-carved chairs, tables and benches dominate the floor, punctuated by brightly painted case goods and an eclectic selection of accessories.

The Shops at 5807
Twenty-one different shops within a shop are at the unique Shops at 5807. Faves include Open House, with their wonderful up-and-coming indie design stars and products ranging from textiles and ceramics to bedding and dinnerware. Their Holiday collection, which includes the adorable plump penguins, are loads of fun! And then VERVE Home Furnishings, a mod boutique mixing 60s South Beach kitsch with 70s shagedelic Lucite and chrome. Think Jonathan Adler meets Austin Powers — now that’s groovy, baby!

I dare you to find another fabric store in Richmond selling anything so scrumptious at $2.99/yd. Huge, beautiful selection of discounted fabric in both Richmond and Charlottesville.

Williams & Sherrill
Notable for its selection of fine fabrics and wallpaper, this 25,000 square foot showroom boasts an astonishing collection of over 1,000 furniture, fabric and accessory vendors. Whether you buy something or not, it’s worth a stop. Their in-house design team has an incredibly discerning eye, creating living and dining vignettes you’ll pine over long after you’ve left the showroom floor.

*I included a few fashion shops, as the spaces they occupy are as spectacular as the goods they sell.*

Paul & Paul just wanted a great fitting shirt. One Paul studied the art of shirt making in London, and soon these two southern boys headed back to the states with a shirt that was not only a great fit and of the highest quality but also added some innovation to the classic men’s design. Now headquartered in a renovated tobacco warehouse in downtown Richmond, you must stop in to see their industrial space and definitely buy one of their great-fitting shirts.

Need Supply Co
An awesome new space and a wonderful selection of both local and national indie designers, but their denim is still king. They have not only the best selection of designer jeans but also a super knowledgeable staff that knows how to put you in the perfect pair by lifting your behind and elongating your legs.

The best of New York, London and LA fashion is housed in one very mod and open space. The windows are incredible and always make me stop, gaze and drool. AND they have fabulous trunk and fashion shows on Carytown’s Fashion First Thursdays.


Richmond has a robust arts scene with many incredible art galleries located throughout the city. These two wonderfully designed spaces, Page Bond Gallery and Glave Kocen Gallery, are as amazing as their collections. They are on located on Main Street just steps away from each other.

And do stop in Reynolds Gallery to view the beautiful, thought-provoking art, also on Main.

And over on Broad Street . . .

ada Gallery
John finds the best of emerging and mid-career artists. And say hello to John at Art Basel Miami and in NYC at his sister gallery, MULHERIN + POLLARD.

Eric Schindler Gallery
Kirsten Gray has a discerning eye, choosing the best and most unusual locally produced art for Richmond’s longest-running art gallery — over 50 years! Her art openings are a wonderful mix of old and new faces; it always feels like a homecoming to me.

Ghostprint Gallery
Beautifully curated shows bring together undiscovered cutting-edge and internationally recognized artists, as well as offer custom tattoos in their studio, Ghost Print Tattoo.

Quirk Gallery
Quirk Gallery wears its name well — it’s quirky, fun and always exciting. In the front of Quirk, an extraordinary gift shop houses unique goods from local jewelry makers, potters and artists. Heading farther back, the gallery opens up to an ever-changing exhibition of expertly curated shows featuring both emerging and established artists.

Planet Zero Events & Art Center
An incredible events space, with galleries and artists’ spaces just over the bridge from the Shockoe Slip area. Do try the yummies at Planet Zero Café. The BLT brie on a toasted baguette is fabulous!

Museums, Gardens & Noteworthy Architecture

Richmond is graced with many historic and architecturally significant buildings of different styles and periods.

This is actually a Tudor house built in England, saved by Richmonder Thomas C. Williams, Jr. and brought to Virginia and painstakingly reassembled. Agecroft also hosts Richmond Shakespeare, a treat under the stars!

Byrd Theatre
This grand movie palace has been largely unaltered in appearance or function and has been operating almost continuously as a theatre since 1928. Today it offers second-run movies for $1.99. And just as in the early days of the Byrd Theatre, you can catch a Saturday night performance of the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ prior to the movie.

The Capitol
The first full-scale building in the form of a classical temple since antiquity. While in France, Jefferson was inspired by the 1st-century Roman temple “La Maison Carree” in Nimes. Jefferson, an amateur architect, enlisted the help of Clerisseau, an expert on ancient buildings. Clerisseau directed the creation of a plaster model for the new building, and Jefferson drew plans.

Corrugated Box
An adaptive reuse of a 40,000 square-foot historic warehouse building, the Corrugated Box Building has an open, modern and flexible floor plan with a community of vibrant, creative businesses — a great mix of design, web, photography and food.

Edgar Allen Poe Museum
Called “America’s Shakespeare,” Poe penned such classics as The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher. The museum is housed in the wonderful Old Stone House and features many of Poe’s belongings.

Hollywood Cemetery
Virginia presidents Monroe and Tyler, General J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States, and the remains of over 18,000 Confederate dead are buried in this park-like, pastoral setting high above the James River. Incredible monuments, tombs and statuary grace the landscape. Do look for the incredible granite stone pyramid and the fabulous cast-iron dog.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
Has a remarkable 27-year history and is continually growing and changing (as great gardens do!). Special events, like the upcoming Dominion Garden Fest, magically transform Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden into a winter wonderland of fantasy, festivity and family fun for the holidays.

A true gem in the middle of the city — spacious grounds, a grand Victorian estate, Japanese and Italian gardens, a children’s petting zoo and several animal exhibits. Entry is free, but donations are suggested to maintain this gorgeous oasis.

St. John’s Church
Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech here in 1775. Re-enactments occur each Sunday in the summer beginning Memorial Day weekend and running through Labor Day weekend. The Anniversary Re-enactment is held on the Sunday in March closest to March 23, the actual date of Henry’s speech.

Fan District
The largest intact Victorian community in the United States, covering over 100 blocks. The area’s name comes from a fan-shaped street pattern created by the pentagonal shape of Monroe Park at the base of the district. Houses in the area date before 1880 and through the 1920s. The historic Monument Avenue borders the area with its majestic statues and grand homes. One of the best places to walk for miles and see fabulous homes and gardens, breeze into an unique shop or stop by a patio cafe for a beer and some food.

Library of Virginia
This library building is magnificent. So worth the stop in for a quiet get-away to research, read and enjoy its ever-changing exhibitions.

The National
Like most old buildings, The National theatre, which opened in 1923, had seen better days prior to last year’s painstaking restoration, which transformed it from a dilapidated vaudeville movie theatre into a breathtakingly beautiful concert hall. A state-of-the-art sound system sits right at home next to ornate plasterwork and weathered stone stairs. Now, instead of bypassing the capital city, artists and bands have no excuse but to put Richmond on the music map.

The Richmond History Center
Offers a comprehensive history of Richmond with interesting exhibitions. They also offer unique tours of the city, from History Hound walking tours of the Fan (yes, you can bring your dog!) to Civil Walk Samplers by bus.

The Science Museum of Virginia
Housed in the former Broad Street train station designed by John Russell Pope in the neoclassical style. The museum is also the parent organization of the very modern Richard Neutra Rice House.

Virginia Center for Architecture
Once a private residence, this 27,000 square-foot Tudor-Revival mansion designed by architect John Russell Pope was purchased by the VCA in 2003. This incredible foundation’s sole mission is to “invite the public to explore the power and importance of architecture through exhibitions, educational programs, publications and its stewardship of a historic landmark.” You will not be disappointed.

The neoclassical structure that houses the library and headquarters of the The Virginia Historical Society was built in five stages over a period of years from 1912 to 2006. The Confederate Memorial Association built the first part as a shrine, completed in 1913, to the Confederate dead and as a repository for the records of the Lost Cause. In 1946, the Confederate Memorial Association merged with the Virginia Historical Society. The Virginia House, part of the Virginia Historical Society, was the home of Alexander and Virginia Weddell and was completed just before the stock market crash of 1929. The home overlooks the James River west of town and was constructed from the materials of a 16th-century English manor house.

The well-regarded WRVA Building is located in Richmond’s oldest intact neighborhood. This is a great area for strolling and admiring the largest collection of antebellum structures in the city in addition to Johnson’s modern structure. Several wonderful parks dot the hills where you have fabulous river and city views; wonderful spots to lounge in the grass or play Frisbee with your pups.

The well regarded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts last year completed a four-year expansion project, which added more than 165,000 square feet to the museum’s previous 380,000 square feet. London-based architect Rick Mather, in partnership with SMBW, a Richmond architectural firm, designed the award winning expansion and transformation of the VMFA’s 13 1/2-acre campus. In honor of its 75th anniversary, the VMFA announced a landmark exhibition, Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris. VMFA was the only East Coast venue for the exhibition’s seven-city international tour. Visitors from almost all fifty states viewed this amazing exhibition.

Sitting high on a hill overlooking both over the James River and downtown, Philip Johnson designed the WRVA Building, located in Richmond’s oldest intact neighborhood. This is a great area for strolling and admiring the largest collection of antebellum structures in the city in addition to Johnson’s modern structure. Several wonderful parks dot the hills where you have fabulous river and city views; wonderful spots to lounge in the grass or play Frisbee with your pups.

Eat, Drink

We have a bevy of established and new wonderful restaurants in our small city. In this guide, I’m just listing those with interesting spaces as well as wonderful food. There are many more!

The menu varies nightly with some unusual but wonderful combinations, like the white anchovies with grilled marinated romaine or the country pate with pickled pumpkin and eggplant. Check their blog for their interesting and fun tasting events, such as the Suds + Swine.

Owners/designers/artists Steve and Lainie Gratz gathered ideas, materials, paintings and furniture from all over the United States and built, with the help of furniture designer Tom Brickman, a well-designed, fresh eating and drinking space that rivals any in the very cosmopolitan cities of LA, Miami or New York. The details, like the bathroom door handles or the boulders (rock) buried into the walls, will make you swoon. Not only are the food and handmade cocktails amazing, but also with the help of Chris Bopst, amazing music plays into the wee hours of the night.

Belvidere on Broad
Fresh, natural, organic food choices with vegan and gluten-free options and an ever-changing craft beer list makes this both a great neighborhood and a destination eatery. Located in a former bicycle shop with rotating art on the walls, go for the Trio Sampler Starter of house-smoked applewood salmon, Maryland lump crab cakes and organic white bean hummus, the very unique turkey and white bean burger and finish with the dark chocolate Bailey’s brownie. Yum!

The Black Sheep
This pint-sized cafe just off Broad Street has quickly become a local favorite. They serve up possibly the biggest sub this side of the Mississippi, known as the Battleship. Get a side of Poor Man’s Shrimp Cocktail and an Orange Nehi. I dare you to save room for the banana pudding.

Blue Goat VA
An urban gastropub featuring Euro comfort food, sourced locally, in a nose-to-tail concept encouraging guests to order multiple plates and share them family-style as they come out from the kitchen. The space is both warm and industrial; I like the plank bar tables that run the length of the dining area.

The Boathouse at Rockett’s Landing
Has a perfect sundown view of Richmond seen from an amazing industrial space in the bend of the James complete with refreshing drinks and appetizers. It is the perfect Happy Hour spot!

Can Can
Croissant and coffee, champagne and oysters, a burger and pommes frites — Can Can is a beautiful place to dine whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-day cocktails at the bar. If you have time to linger over coffee, sit by the window up front and people watch. In addition, they bake fabulous breads daily. Like a true Parisian, dash in after work and grab a crusty baguette.

Packed on Broad Street’s First Friday Artwalk, this cafe has a fun bar that stocks $1 PBRs and great comfort food. The entrees are generous and tasty. Try the Fried Green Tomato appetizer or a plate of their vegetable sides.

Kuba Kuba
Cuban food at its finest in a cozy cafe-cum-store stocking wonderful Cuban products. Save room for the famous tres leches cake made by the owner’s mom and a cup of cafe con leche.

There are many good coffee shops in Richmond, but Lamplighter holds a special place in my heart. I love the innovative reuse of a former gas station that is now run by bike enthusiasts. They roast their own beans. They have a wonderful, tasty and lighthearted food menu. And I ALWAYS run into a friend or three.

Legend Brewing
Has the most incredible view of downtown Richmond from across the river. Visit at sunset, have their infamous Brown Ale and burger on the patio.

Mama Zu (no website)
Located in Oregon Hill, which is adjacent to the fan, this unorthodox restaurant serves up scrumptious Italian food. With a huge local following, many fans are willing to wait hours for a table just to savor the dishes infused with garlic, fresh basil and mozzarella. Order the white bean, garlic and arugula — it’s an explosion of flavor for your taste buds.

Legions of brunch fans show up at the doors Sundays hankering for the famous Devil’s Mess and a rock solid Bloody Mary. The chalkboard dinner menu changes every 3 weeks, but their signature Thai Spicy Shrimp over linguine is always on the menu. Millie’s is highly regarded for their food, but they have both an amazing collection of vintage jukeboxes and real 45s.

The Roosevelt
Lovely addition to Church Hill’s quaint neighborhood with wonderful southern-inspired food, Virginia wines and a Coca-Cola cake. Genteel atmosphere with its wood floors, refashioned church pews and pale blue walls are so inviting.

Wonderful neighborhood space that serves incredible Greek food. Go during their Meze Ora weekdays and try their small plates, such as the Grilled Haloumi. Sit at the fabulous long community table and share great food and good stories.

Incredible wines, very knowledgeable staff and tasty small plates are served at this tiny, tasty wine bar. Order the fried stuffed olives or fried chickpeas along with a stellar slate of chesses and meats.

Water Grill
Has an awesome outdoor patio for brunch and people watching. A hearty selection of Eggs Benedict and pancakes as well as burgers will satisfy everyone’s Sunday morning hunger.

See & Do

First Fridays Richmond
Almost every city has an art walk these days, but this one has being going strong for 10 seasons. Not just great art, but also fantastic people watching. One of the galleries, 1708 Gallery, hosts InLight, an exhibition of contemporary public art inspired by light. This year, it took place along the James River.

Modern Richmond Tour
In addition to its monthly tours, Modern Richmond Tour hosted an architecture and design film series.

Richmond Folk Fest
Held on the riverfront, this is one of Virginia’s largest FREE events and celebrates American culture through music, dance, traditional craft and food. Last year’s festival featured more than 30 performing groups on seven stages for an estimated 200,00o folks that shimmied, shaked and boogied to the music. This is a hugely popular and fun family event produced by Venture Richmond.


The Jefferson Hotel
Recognized as Richmond’s grandest hotel and one of the finest in America since 1895. Known for its breathtaking architecture, elegant décor, and alligators (do ask!), The Jefferson Hotel offers a uniquely Richmond travel experience.

The Grace Manor Inn
There are many B & Bs in the fan/Museum district areas. I have not stayed in any, but this one is highly recommended. Do comment if you have more. The Grace Manor Inn has incredible 3-course gourmet breakfast, an outdoor saltwater swimming pool, and is beautifully decorated in the period. My friend said the food was just so good!

RVA Guides to Events/Happenings

R Home
Produces the yearly R Home for the Holidays, and this year’s guest speaker is Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge! Make your reservations for November 16 10-1:30 at Planet Zero. Details here.

Gungho Guides
The definitive guide to where you SHOULD be, Gungho Guides is a well designed, fold out, fit-into-your-back pocket guide with a city map and a wonderful online events calendar.

A great online directory of restaurant reviews, things to do and articles about our city.

RVA Magazine
A local arts magazine that is, in their words, “lending a voice to a subdued creative class of Richmond. RVA searches out the best artists, ideas, events, bands, photographers and culture-jammers Richmond has to offer and gives them a platform for exhibition that “gets” them.”

Style Weekly
A weekly city newspaper with a good arts and events section.

Suggested For You


  • Wow… love your blog, read it all the time and what a treat to see my newly adopted (and still somewhat baffling) city explained. Thanks!

  • I love that you’ve covered Richmond, it’s one of my favorite cities! I noticed one highlight that was left off though, the University of Richmond – between its gorgeous historic campus and multiple fine art galleries its really worth a visit.

  • OMG, I grew up there, too and miss it all the time. It only gets cooler every time I go back! EVERYONE should get a camera and go spend time at Maymont. The stones through the pond at the Japanese garden warm the cockles of my heart. :) Oh and Kuba Kuba is increds!

  • i moved to rva 3 years ago and instantly fell madly in love ..thanks for allowing me to reflect on all the places i take for granted.

  • your city guides could be my favorite design*sponge feature. helping to fill the gap left by domino’s shopping guides. (which i adored)

  • Wow, awesome review. It’s taking a large amount of restraint to run out of work right now and visit some of my favorite spots and explore some you’ve turned me on to. Thanks for reminding us how much we’ve got in Richmond.

  • Thanks so much! I’m actually visiting a friend in September who lives nearby… now we have a whole bunch of things to do for a fun-filled weekend! :)

  • This guide is great, I was so excited when you sent the call out for a Richmond Design Guide! I agree with Jane that this is a great replacement for the Domino void!

  • Thank you for posting about Richmond. I’ve lived in the Church Hill neighborhood for 9 years now and my husband works for Legend Brewing Company (actually south of the River)-so nice to see our area spotlighted, Thank You!

  • I was just about to write you an email to suggest a Richmond guide, since I might be moving back to the capitol city soon. I grew up near Richmond (I remember Pink Cadillac too, before it was shortened to Pink) and have been living in Philadelphia recently while working on my master’s. In the last two years the city has really experienced an exciting cultural boom. It is a great place to live and has history and inspiration abound-plus the cost of living is very, very affordable. Thanks for including an often excluded small city in your extensive guide. (it looks like there are a lot of new things on the list that I need to check out!) It really does deserve the recognition.

  • OpenHouse was one of the first boutiques to pick up my line. I can attest to the fact they give new designers a try!

    I have been wanting to head south to meet some of the retailers I’ve been able to work with in the past year or so, and this will provide a wonderful road map. I was just thinking yesterday how curious I am about all of the new things that seem to be happening down there! thanks!

  • wow! it’s easy to write-off your hometown, but i grew up here (moved away when i finished high school in 2002) and had forgotten what a great town it is, especially for its size. this has made me nostalgic for so many places i used to visit often, and it seems like new things are always popping up. great guide – – thanks!

  • Awesome, this is so comprehensive and perfect. I am wondering if I can add a link to this post on the site where I am renting my Richmond home? (www.littlerichmondhouse.com)

  • YAY! I’m from RVA and it was so fun seeing all these places I know and love! I used to live down the street from Chop Suey while in design school at VCU and this brought back many memories!! :)

    And STICKY RICE wasn’t mentioned, but it’s my favorite place for sushi and tater tots!!!

  • Thanks for the write up about one of my favorite cities! Your list is fantatsatic, and yet, there is so much more to see and do in Richmond. I highly recommend taking a Richmond History Center Tour. Just make sure you leave time to check out Quirk. I never visit without running by that awesome midtown gallery.

  • What a fun surprise to find my city on d*s today! If you’re in the Northside visit Consignment Connections and grab a bite to eat at the Northside Grille.

  • I live in New York but visit Richmond frequently. This is a great list! There’s lots that I’ll have to try on my next trip. I’m happy to see 2 of my favorites on the list … Quirk Gallery (amazing) and Ipanema (delicious).

  • Nice add to an awesome blog!
    I came to RVA a little over 10yrs ago and never looked back! Richmond’s got something for everybody. Thanks for sharing how rich our metro area is.
    I’d like to submit one more *Extra… our mod custom frame shop, Frame Nation. Located in shockoe bottom, we are our traditional city’s answer to what’s next in picture framing.
    A designer client has referred to us as Richmond’s custom framing boutique.
    Again, great guide! Thx!

  • To KMcKinney:
    I had a couple problems with some of the links and then therefore, Grace did as well. Northside and Southside were to be listed separately. It will be corrected a bit later.

  • GREAT city guide on a GREAT city! A big hug to our friend Leslie Kingery and a big thank you to Kelly Brown for putting this together, and for including LaDIFF, the Richmond Folk Festival, and a few dozen other Richmond faves!

  • Loving this Richmond Guide! Glad to see Virginia better represented for all its great design. I look forward to maybe seeing a Charlottesville Guide in the future!

  • So exciting to see a guide on my hometown. I grew up in Richmond and moved to GA and then NY and love seeing all the changes in Richmond since being back. Great guide.

  • Thank you for including Savor on your list!
    We’re glad you liked the Peach and Brie grilled cheese. :)
    Richmond is a really cool city to live, work and be.

  • YAY! I’m so happy you covered my adopted city. Just wanted to mention two great vintage clothing stores.. Halcyon in the Fan and Bygones in Carytown. Both have great fines and prices!

  • While we’re thrilled to be listed on the D*S Richmond City Guide, we are surprised to read that our products “might empty your piggy bank.” Green building products do tend to be pricier than builder grade products, but are comparable in price to good quality building products. EcoLogic works very hard to make going green affordable for everyone.
    Stephanie Ackermann
    Owner, EcoLogic

  • Thanks so much for featuring Richmond. I sometimes forget some of the amazing places in RVA that make it so special.

  • Thank you for including the Virginia Center for Architecture! D*S readers will especially enjoy our fall exhibition “The Green House” covering green design and architecture. It opens on September 10!

  • Thank you for including the Virginia Center for Architecture! D*S readers will especially enjoy our fall exhibition “The Green House” covering green design and architecture. It opens on September 10!

  • this is so awesome! I love design*sponge and I live in Richmond.
    This post has made me discover a few new spots here :)

  • richmond is the best! i’m currently a student at VCU, and I love Richmond with all my heart :) I’m glad it’s finally getting the representation it deserves!

  • It’s been great fun and a bit of hard work to put together this guide. Grace, we appreciate the opportunity to show off our city and your birthplace on such a wonderful & beloved blog.
    Leslie & Kelly

  • Wow, this is an amazing guide! So thorough – I can’t wait to go back there. I’m a native NY’er but my father’s ancestors are buried at Hollywood, I’ve always been totally fascinated by the history of this city. It’s exciting to know there’s so much going on there in art and design these days. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for featuring Richmond! I was born, raised, and attended design school in the river city, and am still proud to call it home! So many great things featured, the list could go on and on, but be sure to also check out Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, especially around the holidays (mentioned) and Godfrey’s on Sunday mornings! Thanks again!

  • Love this! I live in Petersburg but this gives me a whole list of places to check out when I feel like heading north to Richomond! And I agree, Appomattox Tile is truly awesome, as is much of Pburg.

  • So so so excited about this guide! I hope everyone takes advantage of the wonderful advice given. Especially for my (very soon to be) husbands fabric store, ufab!! No worries about the square footage, they have big plans for expansion, coming soon!

  • i lived in richmond in the 90s and i miss it so much. i just always feel this great energy whenever i’m there … it’s always felt like home to me. i dream of moving back one day!

    the Fan is so fun and quirky … beautiful architecture and tree-lined streets. fun to just walk the streets and check out all the amazing buildings/homes. and i always visit Mongrel when i’m back in town … one of my favorite stores of all times! great gifts and cards … just cool, cool stuff. i’ve never found another store that quite captures the feel that it has.

    ah, memories! thanks for this guide!

  • Thanks for the wonderful mention. My wife’s shreeks of glee when she saw my little shop mentioned here might make her forget about the past year of being broke starting the business. Also I am happy to let you know that we will no longer be “space challenged” as we are expanding our little store from 900 sq ft to 4000 sq ft in the next month or so. And yes we will have a lot more fabric at $2.99/yd to fill it!!!!

  • Oooh Virginia! I love this posting Grace! I grew up in Fairfax County, 2hrs from Richmond and have visited it while living there. The whole state is lovely.

  • I have lived in Seattle and read your blog for quite some time now… I may have even posted comments a few time. Imagine my surprise when I see my old Richmond house in a photograph here!

    And, in small world land, I even helped the Pink Cadillac owners (now just called Pink BTW) start their blog!

  • Thank you for this lovely walk through of Richmond. Living in New Zealand, my only knowledge of Richmond has been through reading Patricia Cornwell’s books in which the main character lives there. She always made it sound so beautiful, and now I know why.

  • I LIVE IN RICHMOND! I moved here about 2 years ago with my fiance and we both love it. He is a big mountain biker and it has such a great culture for that. Thank you for posting about my beautiful city!

  • oh man! i just went to richmond last weekend and had checked d*s last thursday to see if there was a richmond design guide! if only y’all were a week earlier :) we ended up just wandering around carytown…really enjoyed chop suey (used book store mentioned above) and also had a lunch at weezie’s (not mentioned, but delicious!). i also second the request above for the charlottesville design guide!

  • My worlds are colliding! I live in Park Slope, but was born and raised in Richmond. Thank you so much for posting this guide! I will probably kick myself later for this, but one thing that was left off the list was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE vintage store…anywhere. Halcyon Vintage on Robinson Street in the fan is amazing. All my friends in fashion drool over my jewels (yes, punny, but very true) from this boutique. Inexpensive, yet the finest quality I’ve seen around. And the owner, Connie, is amazing.

  • There is no mention of Richmond’s fantastic thrift store culture. Most notably, Diversity Thrift (North Side) and Love of Jesus (South Side). A design-minded visitor to Richmond MUST see these stores.

  • Dear Stephanie,
    While Leslie and I strived to give D*S readers an accurate depiction of all the places listed, sometimes the meaning can be misconstrued. In no way do I think your store is expensive but for many D*S readers a custom kitchen is way out of their budget – including mine. I’ve always been a huge fan of Ecologic and I’m delighted every chance I get to tell people about the wonderful things you and the store are doing for the community. Keep up the good work and yes, I agree, “green…for everyone!”

  • Thanks for mentioning Richmond,va – this town is growing a lot and even if I gripe about it not being NY or SF it makes up for it with all its history and charm.

  • Thanks for this nice compilation. Richmond is good enough for me to call home for 37 of my 55 years. Hooray for Fan District, where I learned to be hippy in the 70’s, local band groupie in the ’80’s, and proud homeowner in the 90’s! This river city has something for everyone.

  • Hi. I have always loved your blog, felt a kindred spirit. In addition to all the great content, now I truly know why. My family has literally been in Richmond/Richmond area for about 400 years or so. We are almost sure to be “kissing cousins”. Thanks so much for this! My Dad is now in Assisted Living over on the Northern Neck but next time we head “down the Rivah” I will definitely check out some of these places.

  • Not even a tiny little mention of Style Weekly, the city’s 27-year-old alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion? Maybe next time! I think you’d also like our new magazine, Belle. All of our publications feature 100 percent local content, too! :)

  • I absolutely loved your article! It’s been a few years since I lived in the glorious RVA, and you have hit on all of my favorite parts of the city! Thank You for bringing back so many good memories!

  • Thank you for including Renmark in your article!! Your listings have made me remember a few places I haven’t been to in a while and become aware of some I didn’t know are out there!! Can’t wait to go exploring!

  • To Jason
    Yes an oversight to not mention Style. We should have posted it under Extras as well as R Home.
    And about vintage shoppes, Connie Carroll is a good friend & probably 25% of my wardrobe comes from Halcyon. Our focus here is on design, but not really fashion, along with places to dine & places to see while in Richmond.

  • Leslie and Kelly,
    Great work on my adopted city! I married a native 23 years ago, and he marvels at the places he still has not been. This summer we are doing at least one “Richmond thing” a weekend. Last week was the Patrick Henry speech at St. John’s. Don’t miss it!

  • Another amazing vintage shop in Richmond is Bygones, right next to the Byrd Theater. I got a pearl necklace made with gold thread there for $8 back in 2003 that I consistently get the most compliments on. I used to call it my “man-getting necklace” because boys would get distracted by it and stare.

    Also, World of Mirth across the street in Carytown is the best toy store I’ve ever been to ever ever.

  • I moved to Brooklyn in 2006 after living in RVA for 6 years… reading through this made my chest get really tight. Kuba Kuba, Ipanema, Mongrel, Need, love them all. Thanks for bringing back the memories.

  • I just skimmed the guide, but I’m so happy to see that my city is featured here! I didn’t realize Design*Sponge was from RVA. There’s a misspelling in the link for “These *Four Walls”.

  • Absolute Art Tatoo, where a fine selection of country music can be enjoyed while fixin’ yourself up with a souvenir of the permanent kind from any one of their talented artists. Josh brown & Brian Bruno to name a few. Oh, and they are right above Ipanema, so the smells often seep into the vents and give you a hunger!

    Village Cafe, just a few doors down from Ipanema. Eat like a king on the cheap.

    Carrytown, World of Mirth. Fun for the whole family.

  • This is such a great post! I grew up in Richmond and went to VCU before moving up north. I was planning to post a piece on Richmond, myself. Think I will simply link to yours instead. I have lots of photos of the Fan, Church Hill, Oregon Hill, Carrytown… and Uof R, too. It is a beautiful campus. Anyway, thanks for such a great & comprehensive write up!!

  • Oops! i misspelled Carytown ;-o
    Also, I can attest to the quality of “Style Weekly”, “Belle” and also “Skirt” magazine. Must-haves for locals & visitors alike :D

  • Oops, I misspelled Carytown :-o
    I can attest to quality of Style Weekly (1st to really cover Richmond events and cool spots around town) and Belle! I also enjoy Skirt mag that I pick up whenever I’m down here :)

  • Our family just relocated to Richmond from Portland, Oregon so many thanks for this list. Eat.Shop.Richmond! Our weekends just got a little more productive.

  • Thanks so much for mentioning us! I love Design*Sponge! I am just now arriving home from a long day out! You all inspire me daily- and Richmond is a great place and has so much to offer!! Thank You!!

  • wow! Love that you covered Richmond. I was born and raised here. I moved away for college and came back for graduate school at VCU. It’s a wonderful town…so much to do.

  • i have only been to richmond once. i was attending a printmaking conference there in the spring of 2008. i absolutely loved walking around with my camera through the alleyways.

    to this day, i still salivate everytime i think of the vegetarian orzo paella that i had at cous cous. and i think i ate at impenada at least four times during my three day visit.

  • And thanks for not finding/mentioning my favorite secret shops/places. It’s better that no one finds out about them. I guess that’s kind of selfish, but I have my reasons! Still, a great guide. Nice work! Richmond rules!

  • i’m so ecstatic that you featured richmond as a great place for architecture! i think it’s commonly overlooked and under-recognized. such an absolutely gorgeous collection of historic architecture and intangible history. love it!

  • Woohoo, a design guide about my hometown! I live in SF now, but all of my family still lives in the good old RVA and I visit often. I miss it terribly.

  • Yay!! Richmond, my home! Thanks for making this to share with everyone. Kuba Kuba is soooooo good! OH and for pizza lovers, you MUST go to Bottoms Up pizza in Shockhoe Bottom. A “slice” of pizza is actually 1/4 of a pizza and costs $8!

  • I’ve wanted to move to Virginia ever since I visited with my dad several years ago. Richmond sounds great! My husband and I may move here from Austin TX someday.

  • What a delight to be included in such a fun and informative space! As a brand new venture for two “almost hip” 50 somethings, we are trying to provide a “fresh” face to home decor in Richmond.

  • What an amazing compilation! We often have customers that travel from far away to visit us at Charles Luck Stone Centers and always ask “what else” they should check out. Our concierge now has a great guide to give to our style minded guest! Thanks Again!!!

  • I have lived in Richmond all of my life and have recently gotten engaged. I am HUGE fan of modern and mid-century modern design and we have been struggling with trying to find a venue for the wedding/reception that boasts modern or mid-century modern design. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’m completely stumped! Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  • Hi Kellie,
    Are you familiar with the Rice House? It’s a beautiful example of mid-century architecture here in Richmond, designed by Richard Neutra. Modern Richmond Tour is hosting all-day tours Sept 26. http://modernrichmondtour.com/mrt/the_Rice_House.html I’m not sure if the Rice House is set up to host weddings but there will certainly be people there on the 26th who could give you some great suggestions! You can always go to my website as well and contact me if you need/want more ideas :)
    Good luck and Congrats on the engagement!
    kelly b.

  • Thanks so much for including Gather on your list! I had a wonderful new customer from Charlottesville today because of it…I’ve just returned from a trip to Brimfield and the Northeast and it’s great to be back home in our awesome city!

  • Thank you SO MUCH for finally giving me a clue as to where someone who merely lives “near” Richmond can go to find terrific stores beyond the boring standard mall!! I followed your city guide last weekend and had a WONDERFUL time!! LOVE the entire site!

  • Does anyone have any suggestions on affordable hotels in Richmond? We’re also trying to plan a car-less weekend vacation there…is it possible?!

  • I am moving to Richmond in January and am job searching. I am currently a Director of Dvlpment for a national organization. Any thoughts on websites, blogs to start looking? Tx!

  • I love that Richmond Shakes got a nod but what about all of the other great theatre spots around town? The obvious Barksdale/Theatre IV as well as Firehouse Theatre Project & African American Reperatory Co. (all downtown) Henley Street & Chamberlayne Actors’ Theatre (in Northside), Swift Creek Mill just outside of town & HATTheatre in the far West End.

  • i’ll be going to richmond the first wknd in march for a wedding. does anyone know of 1) affordable hotels that sound as fabulous and charming as the shops and restaurants in this guide?; and 2) where i can rent a bicycle to explore?

  • Oh, Home Sweet Richmond. However, it looks like you’ve forgotten Bygones, the loveliest vintage store in all the land. It’s literally right next to the Byrd Theatre- if you’re in the district, you simply HAVE to stop by.

  • You’ve given me some things to look for in our new city (originally from NY, recently from Atlanta). How about Mary Angela’s Pizza in Carytown? Best pizza south of NY!

  • People tend to concentrate on the Civil War history of Richmond, but Richmond has a lot of Revolutionary War history. It was attacked and raided by Benedict Arnold in 1781. Mad Anthony Wayne, Marquis de Lafayette, and Cornwallis were all fighting and skirmishing in and around Richmond. The battle of Blandford/Petersburg in 1781, was a pretty good sized battle.

    I was also very impressed with the older architecture. Richmond has many beautiful buildings including the VCU campus.

  • Sigh…I’m a born and bred Richmond girl, VCU alum, now living in D.C. and this made me Oh-So-Homesick! Am madly in love with this blog, thanks for all the ideas and beautiful images!

  • I’ve lived outside of Richmond for 18 years! But now this gives me so many more ideas of places to check out! I can’t wait for some journeys down there with my bff! Thanks!

  • Sorry for the delay in reply about cool RVA hotels… There is the Jefferson Hotel downtown http://www.jeffersonhotel.com/ & The Berkley in the http://berkeleyhotel.com/.
    And there is a boutique hotel out in the county that is a part of W – ALOFT RICHMOND WEST , but I couldn’t find a direct link to it and lastly the Westin: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/index.html
    Funny, I met someone with Kimpton Hotels & we discussed a boutique hotel in the beautiful Fan area. Maybe that will come to fruition!

  • Great guide! I live in San Francisco, but get to Richmond a few times a year visiting family and have a few spots to add. PINK…great apparel shop in Carytown- hip + girly. I always find great thing here, especially dresses! Also Clementine, which is a secondhand shop in Carytown. I have scored two Loeffler Randall dresses here in perfect condition and many more little treasures. Also, Anthill in Carytown is great for estate and vintage costume jewelry.

  • Thanks for once again including openhouse! Happy to still be here!! Putting out lots of holiday this week, so swing by this week and check us out :o) Oh, and The Roosevelt is a great addition to the guide! It’s our new fave restaurant!

  • I love going back to Richmond! I grew up there and graduated from VCU Arts and wow, have they expanded!! I’m impressed and a little envious of studios. Richmond is full of some really beautiful old homes and I always enjoy revisiting the Fan and trying new and favorite restaurants. It gets better & better. Church Hill has changed a lot since I was there. Always loved the Capitol, so pretty and my mom worked there. I agree that Uof R is a beautiful campus! I always stop by Mongrel & Quirk, visit Va Museum & eat at Mamma Zu or their other place, Edo’s Squid (as good as anything here in NYC :) I see several places on this list I’ve never tried, so look forward to going down over the holidays. Thanks for update!!!

  • Thank you for making me terribly homesick! I can’t wait for the excuse to visit over the holidays. Don’t forget to visit Steady Sounds – 322 W. Broad Street – in the middle of the first Friday galley walk district for some great vintage show posters and a sound track to help you decorate.

  • Can’t wait for the event tomorrow! Richmond is indeed a wonderful city, with excellent restaurants, great neighborhoods, and more cute new shops all the time. For anyone looking for a lovely place to stay in Richmond, check out Maury Place, in the Museum District just off of Monument Avenue–the rooms are totally luxe, the owners are charming, and the location is perfection. http://www.mauryplace.com/

  • Recently moved from Richmond to the Bay Area- and I miss Richmond!! Love so many on this list, but special love to Blue Elephant. An amazing shop with affordable vintage goods AND the first place to sell my jewelry.

  • Just a little correction to an otherwise great city guide: the gallery listed as “Planet” Zero is actually Plant Zero. My sister had her wedding reception there in May and it was awesome!

  • Psssst…. It’s “Plant Zero”. I think you’ve pretty much nailed it hotel-wise but very interested to hear that Kimpton might open something here! Woooohoo! Best of luck with the rest of the book tour!

  • I might be mistaken but I do believe there is a huge gap in the museum section… The VMFA. I mean, we were the only east coast location exhibiting Picasso. Thats pretty important right? ;-) other than that- great guide! I love my city! Cant wait for tomorrow!

  • Lauryn, I did include it, but I think I messed up the link. Am checking with Stephanie. It is a fabulous building & art museum. I visit regularly! Here’s the VMFA link: http://www.vmfa.state.va.us/Default.aspx
    Marg I don’t know if Kimpton will open anything here, but I’ve planted the seed : )
    Open House, thanks for your comments> I do love your picks!
    Melissa, thanks for including Maury Place! I need an out of owners lodgings list!

  • Good updates. And there’s so much more to see and do in Richmond! For people who will walk for food, join us for a Real Richmond food tour. We walk Richmond’s distinct and cool neighborhoods, sampling at several local restaurants and food purveyors along the way and season the tours with architecture, history, and what’s going on now. Dig in!

  • Sorry to see the visual arts center of Richmond not on the list of awesome places to be in town! I’m sure if you came by, you would love what we do! We’re all about the DIY and the free range creativity! Really enjoyed your talk today – an inspirational story from an awesome role model. Thanks Rhome and La Dif for making it possible.

  • Lauren & Marg, “planet”, not “plant” was a huge typo…should have cut & pasted : )
    And Teresa, I’ve heard great things about Mama J’s. It was written up in a NYT article a few weeks. Will definitely have to visit!

  • Don’t forget to check out the Fountain Bookstore in Shockoe Bottom. Recover from a rumble down the cobblestones by slipping into this adorable shop. With its exposed brick, charming displays, and knowledgeable staff, you’ll want to hang around and chat. To boot, it’s a great place to pick up extra copies of Design* Sponge at Home for that style savvy person on your holiday shopping list!

  • If your not white richmond is probably the most racist city in this US of A. The haters will do some crazy stuff here like cutting the brake lines in your car for starters. I won’t go into all the details but just want to put people on notice its a hateful place so if your not white invest in some surveillance cameras and watch the hate begin. Seriously I’m not trying to be funny, its not a nice town. Oh, love this site though. Great design ideas here!!!!

    • tony

      i’m terribly sorry to hear about your experience in richmond, but i know many, many friends who aren’t white who’ve lived there for over 10 years without anything like that happening. i’d never been as naive to say that (sadly) racism doesn’t exist in the south, but i haven’t heard anything like this in my lifetime from my friends in town.


  • Tony,
    I, too, am very sorry to hear about your experience in Richmond. I have many friends of all races that live & work here and I haven’t heard that they have experienced these problems. Richmond is rapidly changing as DC gets closer and more people are moving in from different parts of the country & the world. Like, Grace, I do know that sadly racism does exist in parts of the south, but I hope less & less so as time goes by.

  • So exited ! We are moving to Richmond in January 15 with my wife and my 3 years old son :). We are from Europe and we are eager for our new hometown Richmond . How’s that place for living ? I’ve heard that is super beautiful for starting new life with my family

  • I noticed you overlooked a really awesome business located in Carytown. Franklin Goose, located at 3401 Cary, is a great resource for new parents, experienced parents, grandparents, and friends of kids and parents. They carry cloth diapers, goods for feeding, bathing, teething, travel and potty training as well as a whole slew of fun innovative toys and organic clothing ranging from birth age 4-5. The staff has done a ton of research to make sure all the products they provide are both good for your baby and good for the environment. They also have a full website, where you can order, click in-store pick up and they will run it out to your car when you pull up.

  • Dario, Richmond is great for families..lots to see & do with an easy going affordable lifestyle. As Mil mentions below, there are some wonderful businesses that cater to families like Franklin Goose.
    And Mil, I didn’t overlook Franklin Goose, I was just listing businesses that were design oriented – whether in product or space. Franklin Goose is a wonderful shop with wonderful products & service for families as you mentioned.

  • I need your help. Anyone who knows Richmond neighborhoods…

    My husband, 21-month daughter and I are moving to Richmond next month. We are an urban couple from Chicago looking for a good place to live. Any advice would be appreciated!


  • I went to U of R and stuck around Richmond for about 4 years afterwards. I’ve been back in my native NY for about 6 years now and I still miss the RVA with all my heart. It is such a fun and friendly city – thanks for including it in your city guides!

    PS: To Steph, although I’m pretty sure you don’t need the advice anymore, if you want a small city, neighborly vibe, try the Fan. If you’re more suburban, go for the West End.

  • A great addition to the restaurant section would be S@mple at 1 N Morris St- open since January, located in the heart of the Fan. Stellar food (international small plates), extensive wine & cocktail menu, high-tech focus and a gorgeous, modern interior custom built by three local contractors.

  • Beth, I had several fantastic meals @Sample, but it was never packed, even though I told many to go. As you know it recently closed for a variety of reasons, but definitely not because of the stellar food. Several restaurants are struggling or have recently closed. I think the meal tax is a huge hindrance.

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