Richmond Food News: Week of July 8-12

A new cafe in Lakeside, Brewer’s Waffles in Manchester, 10 years of Pearl’s Bake Shoppe and events for the voracious

That’s a Fact

On July 8, a new cafe and smoothie bar, Pulp Fiction Lakeside, debuted in the former Early Bird Biscuit spot on Lakeside Avenue. A wellness-focused food truck spawned the brick-and-mortar business, which is partnering with local purveyors for coffee beans and baked goods. P.S.: Want to get in touch with your inner Aussie? Pulp Fiction may just be the only spot in town with a Vegemite bagel sammie. (Richmond magazine)

Don’t Leggo

Waffles and milkshakes are coming to Manchester when Brewer’s Waffles opens its doors on Sunday, July 14. From the mind of Ajay “A.J.” Brewer — owner of the community-centric Brewer’s Cafe — along with two partners, the eatery has an adjoining art space and aims to serve the neighborhood. For my inaugural order I’m eyeing The Munford: Granny Smith apples, dried cranberries, caramel sauce and lemon zest atop a waffle. (Richmond magazine)

A Pearl of a Place

In our first-ever Westhampton Guide, writer Sarah Geroux takes readers along for the sweet journey of Pearl’s Bake Shoppe. Over the course of a decade, Laurie Chapman Blakey has evolved the business from a small space on Grove Avenue that she owned with a partner to an almost 5,000-square-foot baking palace on Patterson where she serves as the sole owner. (Richmond magazine)

Pop-ups x Pop-ups

Jackson Ward’s Soul Taco recently partnered with Switch — the month-old multi-level pop-up bar with rotating themes, decor and menus — to host its own weekly pop-ups on Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight inside Switch. The pop-up within a pop-up will feature a handful of items from Soul Taco’s regular menu. (News release)

Brew News

The Veil Brewing Co. has revealed plans to brew a special-release beer to honor Quy Pham, the beloved longtime  bartender at Mekong who recently died while competing in a triathlon. All proceeds from the release will benefit Pham’s wife and two children.

This Saturday, July 13, from 2 to 6 p.m., Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity will host the House That Beer Built Pint Night, kicking off series of events held in partnership with local breweries and Blue Bee Cider. The mini beer fest features sips, food trucks and live tunes with proceeds dedicated toward the completion of a home for a local family. (News release)


Hotel Greene, from the husband-and-wife team behind Greenleaf’s Pool Room, is set to open later this month at 508 E. Franklin St. and marries mini golf, bites and libations. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

On July 6, after a five-year-run, Willow Lawn bid farewell to Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar. A couple weeks ago another chain venture, Matchbox, closed its Short Pump location after three years in business. (Richmond BizSense)

Last week, during a holiday weekend filled with hot dogs, brews and fireworks, Richbrau Brewing got the suds flowing in Shockoe Bottom. The brewery is a reincarnation of a brand that first emerged in the 1930s, and the preservation of Richmond’s hoppy history is at the forefront of its mission. (Richmond magazine)

Also shakin’ in Shockoe these days is Carmela’s, an eatery at 3 N. 17th St. from the owners of Belmont Pizzeria dishing out Sicilian-style ‘za and antipasti.

Short Pump Town Center got a little cooler a couple weeks ago with the opening of Frost Gelato. It’s the chain’s first Virginia location, offering an abundance of Italian gelato and sorbet, including floats, milkshakes and sorbet blended with Pellegrino, dubbed Sorbettini.

Upcoming Events

  • Lobster Roll Lunchtime Under the Umbrella, Yellow Umbrella Provisions (July 11-13): Made-to-order lobstah rolls
  • Breaking Bread Series, Mobelux (July 12): Inaugural dinner of the series featuring a cultural discussion paired with drinks and Afghan cuisine
  • RVA Reggae JERK Festival, Brown’s Island (July 13): Caribbean cuisine, cultural performances and rum education
  • Seventh Annual Smoke & Vine Festival, James River Cellars Winery (July 13): A celebration of wine and cigars
  • 2019 SABD Presents: The Big Release, Scott’s Addition (July 13):  Special cider, mead and beer releases throughout the neighborhood
  • Sour & Wild Beer Festival, Strangeways Scott’s Addition (July 13): More than a dozen limited-quantity brews on tap during a tart and funky takeover
  • The Royal Pig, Cask Cafe (July 14): Chefs from Bingo Beer Co., Shagbark and Weezie’s Kitchen dish out authentic Cambodian/Khmer fare.
  • Sincero Pop-up, Ardent Craft Ales (July 14): The pop-up focused on authentic Mexican food returns with new menu items.
  • Vegan Summer Harvest Dinner, Brenner Pass (July 14): A collab with Pittsburgh’s Apteka featuring a seasonally driven vegan menu
  • Beer Pairing Dinner, The Stables (July 15): Five courses paired with beer from Ardent Craft Ales
  • Growing Microgreens, Tricycle (July 16): Learn the ins and outs of growing microgreens from an expert in the field.
  • Cool Wines, Hot Nights, Mise en Place (July 17): A crash course in wines from Germany, Greece and France, ideal for summertime sips
  • Cupcakes and Cocktails, Graduate Richmond (July 18): Decorate booze-infused Lush Cupcakes and watch a cocktail demo.

In Other Food News …

  • I can’t tell you the last time I went to a Burger King, but I can tell you I was stunned to see a commercial where the chain boasted $1 crunchy tacos, similar to those from Taco Bell. I envision a sauce packet with a passive-aggressive “Stay in your lane” memo from TB any day now. Speaking of BK, they’ve rolled out the plant-based Impossible Whopper to more markets. (Eater, Food & Wine)
  • With the July heat coming on strong and thoughts leaning toward barbecue, stumbling on this article about a West Texas staple cocktail felt serendipitous. I suggest grabbing a Topo Chico, tequila and lime juice to get the full experience as you explore the backstory of Ranch Water. (Punch)