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.
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!
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.
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.
It’s that time again, that sweet spot at the tail end of summer when things are still slow and hot, but fall is a brilliant prospect ahead. Take this long weekend to savor the moment. We’ve rounded up three suggestions in hopes of encouraging you to play, sing, laugh, and enjoy a good ol’ fashioned ball game with your pooch.
Labor Day plans and more coming your way...read on!
Start your Labor Day celebration early on Friday by making a special trip to Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream for the Breakfast Cabaret, a longstanding tradition by the Professor and the Dancing Madwoman with deep neighborhood roots. A true community space with a funky bohemian vibe, Crossroads is the perfect spot to kick off your holiday weekend with strangers who will quickly become friends. Expect a lively musical performance, jokes, and a wild sing-along led by musicians Barry Bless and Twila Sikorski. Complete with a top hat and waxed mustache, Barry serves as the ringleader with his accordion in hand and surprises up his sleeve. And if you’re up for more zany action at Crossroads this holiday, consider heading back on Saturday for a Variety Show with DJs, bands, live readings, and local vendors.
Perk: After you’ve fueled up on songs, coffee, and one of their famous breakfast sandwiches, walk across the street to explore Forest Hill Park, a historic 105-acre urban park. Make sure to stop at the “Stone House” where we’ve left the first three Here readers a few surprise RIC t-shirts hidden by the door!
What’s a holiday weekend without plenty of good belly laughs. Laughter Yoga, yes—it’s really a thing, is said to boost your immune system, improve sleep, lower stress, and reduce pain. Some even claim that a minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the ol’ rowing machine! This irresistibly weird and wonderful thing even has a club, called RVA Laugh Club of course, that meets on a regular basis at Integral Yoga Center of Richmond. We have Richmonder Slash Coleman (writer, producer, storyteller) to thank for the range of physiological and psychological benefits laughter yoga is bringing to RVA. Slash, who is a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader, will guide you through a sixty-minute class with prolonged voluntary laughter (1-10 minutes at a time) using Yogic Breathing Laughter Exercises, eye contact, and a host of childlike playfulness. The next Laughter Yoga session takes place this Friday at 6 pm!
Perk: If you want to get paid to laugh and further connect with your community, consider Laughter Yoga Leader Training with Slash to become a Certified Laughter Leader and authorized to start your own Laughter Yoga Club. Because we want to see more laughs in RVA, we’ll cover half of the cost for the three-day intensive training for the first Here reader to email us to let us know they’re ready to bring more chuckles to the neighborhood.
The Richmond Flying Squirrels return home for the final games of the 2019 season this Labor Day weekend, with four games at The Diamond from Friday through Monday to close out the franchise's 10th season celebration. The fun begins on Friday night with happy hour specials, mini wrestling, and a chance for kids (14 and younger) to run the bases after the game. On Saturday night, the game will be followed by an In-Your-Face Fireworks show up close and inside the fences. Come Sunday you can find a Dueling Fireworks show, one of the largest of the season, following the game. Things wrap up on Labor Day afternoon with Fan Appreciation Day & Labor Day Celebration. Gates open at noon on Labor Day and you can even bring your pooch (dogs are admitted free, just make sure to request a dog-friendly seating section).
Perk: Calling all students and teachers. Present your teacher or student ID at the ticket booth for a sweet Back-to-School Deal—$6 general admission tickets for all remaining games!
vol. 93 / game onComing at you with three quirky and offbeat activities this weekend!
VOL. 93 / GAME ON
Game on, Richmond. We've got a curious mix of tips, recommendations, and oddities this week. Show your love for this place we call home and get out there to explore them all—from a wine dinner that tests your VI.Q to the grand opening of a retro video game store to an opportunity to explore beautifully abandoned Virginia places and the people that once occupied them.
Let's get to it, friends…
Think you’ve got drink smarts, a sense for expense, or a nose for Bordeauxs? If so, head to Perch this Sunday for What's Your VI.Q? to play a blind-tasting wine game to test your “Vintelligence quotient” with the fine folks from Virginia Wine. Chef Mike Ledesma and the Perch RVA team will be on hand for a fun afternoon of wine tasting and food pairings. The event organizers plan to match up some of the tastiest Virginia wines with wines from around the world for a chance to vote on your favorites. In addition to showboating your wine tasting abilities, there will also be a handful of VIP judges casting their vote (like Danielle DiBlasio of Williams Corner Wine, Michael Smith of Laura Lee's, Shayla Varnado of Black Girls Wine, Phaedra Hise of Style Weekly, Jason Tesauro of Barboursville Vineyards, and Beth Dixon of Perch RVA). Word has it that if Virginia scores in the Top-3, the winning wines will earn by-the-glass placement on the menu for the month.
If sipping vino isn't your really thing, step around the corner to the grand opening of DawnStar, a new retail store in Scott's Addition offering a lil' retro gaming action. The keen observers around town have likely spotted DawnStar pop ups at local breweries of late and the gamers among us have probably already lined up. For the uninitiated, or, you know, a little too young to remember, we're talking old school video games (think Playstation, GameCube, and Nintendo64). This highly anticipated joint is spearheaded by the likes of Dakotah Coates and Meaghan Riley of The Circuit Arcade Bar and Andrew Griimoiire of Wax Moon Records. The trio also promises to offer up some weird, old consoles like TurboGrafx and Neo Geo. DawnStar will open its doors on Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, and after the opening festivities they plan to operate their retail store Friday to Sunday and weekdays by appointment.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, consider testing your knowledge of abandoned Virginia this weekend. John Plashal, a celebrated Richmond photographer and author of "A Beautifully Broken Virginia" photographic coffee table book, has two big events on the books that showcase his travels through the backroads of Virginia in pursuit of abandoned homes, churches, schools, hospitals and other structures that have fallen into a beautiful state of disrepair. In addition to the documentation of his finds, John assimilates into these rural communities with the goal of getting the respective backstories on each, all of which are either historically relevant or anecdotally fascinating. The result is "Stories of an Abandoned Virginia," a highly visual and emotionally powerful presentation about beautifully abandoned Virginia places and the people that once occupied them. You can catch John’s stories and photos on Friday during the Pump House Tour & Stories of an Abandoned Virginia and again on Saturday at historic Battersea, a substantial stuccoed brick house located in the City of Petersburg near the south bank of the Appomattox River.
Our friends at Ledbury are back this week with their annual Warehouse Sale (through August 25), offering a chance to shop their 315 W. Broad Street store at up to 80% off! This has become something of a must-attend Richmond tradition with opportunities to score shirts at thrifty prices, as well as blazers, pants and polos on deep discount. Ledbury tell us they plan to restock on Saturday as well, so there will be fresh merchandise for weekend Here. shoppers too. Go support local business in Richmond and sweet prices.