vol. 95 / wonder city

vol. 95 / wonder city

Looking for a quick getaway? This week Evan Kaufman, the Director of the Hopewell Downtown Partnership, is joining us as guest editor. His nonprofit has been hard at work revitalizing one of our region’s most charming Main Streets: Broadway in Hopewell. Take it away, Evan...
Just a half hour drive from Richmond’s Southeast, the Wonder City may be a tiny town of 22,000, but it punches above its weight when it comes to history, dining, and culture. Hopewell recently served as the set for the new Walking Dead TV show, but this waterfront town has a lot more to offer than staged plane crashes and zombies. Plan an afternoon or day trip and discover why Hopewellians call it the Wonder City for yourself!



Since 1634 when the first settlers established City Point—Virginia’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement and today part of the National Park Service’s Petersburg National Battlefield, the confluence of the James and Appomattox Rivers has been the lifeblood of Hopewell. The new boardwalk at Hopewell City Park offers a half-mile promenade along the waterfront. At City Point you can explore Appomattox Manor and the wartime cabin of President (then General) Ulysses S. Grant. After enjoying Hopewell’s verdant riverfront the fresh seafood and cocktails of the Boathouse at City Point beckon. There’s no better way to end an outing than with a drink and a view of the river from their terrace.


Hopewell Riverwalk, 245 Appomattox St. / City Point National Battlefield, 1001 Pecan Ave. / The Boathouse at City Point, 701 W Randolph Rd.



Over the past several years, Broadway in Hopewell has transformed into one of the region’s most charming Main Streets. It seems like new businesses are opening every month, so it can be hard to keep up, but here are a few must-visits for your day trip to the Wonder City. Guncotton Coffee & Gallery (pictured) is a hip nonprofit-run coffee house and venue space with a “whack and unwrap” latte that can’t be missed. Saucy’s BBQ, a Petersburg favorite, opened a second location in this Tri-City, and everything on the menu from pulled pork to brisket is cooked to perfection. There’s no better way to finish out your culinary tour through Hopewell than with a stop at Haley’s Honey Meadery! Every one of their honey wines on tap are delicious, but Liquid Silk may be the best of all!


Guncotton Coffee & Gallery, 238 East Broadway / Haley’s Honey Meadery, 237 East Broadway / Saucy’s BBQ Hopewell, 207 E City Point Rd.



Most Richmonders likely haven’t noticed the steadily growing roster of festivals, open mic nights, stand-up shows, farmers markets, and concerts in the Wonder City, but the culture of this member of the Tri-Cities is thriving. Hopewell’s historic Beacon Theatre offers a wide variety of live music and touring bands. Every 1st and 3rd Thursday, Downtown Thunder gathers some of the regions coolest hotrods and vintage cars for a party and live music along Broadway from 6-9 pm. Those who love the outdoors can join the Friends of the Lower Appomattox River (FOLAR) for their Paddle-or-Battle event on the 28th to canoe, kayak, or SUP their way down the Appomattox in a race or on a guided tour.


Beacon Theatre, 401 N Main St. / Downtown Thunder, along Broadway / FOLAR’s Paddle-or-Battle, Hopewell City Marina

Bonus Tip

Tri-Cities Pride 

If you were disappointed Pride Month was over so soon, never fear: Virginia celebrates its own local Pride in September. For the first time in history Tri-Cities Pride is taking its Petersburg Out & Proud festival to Hopewell. On Monday September 16, Guncotton is hosting a pop-up MonGays screening of the Gospel According to Andre. All money raised from this showing of the documentary on the first black man to break into the world of high fashion will go to support Nationz Foundation’s free mobile HIV testing and food pantry outreach in the Tri-Cities.


MonGays / September 16 at 7 pm / Guncotton, 238 East Broadway 

claire prendergastgo, eat, see