Here’s what’s new in the Richmond Region
The latest updates on what’s going on and what’s to come
Richmond Region Tourism and The Black Experience Initiative, an advisory board of community members focused on developing unique ways to attract tourism while highlighting Richmond’s Black culture, launched BLK RVA in August 2019. This tourism campaign highlights and celebrates the Black cultural experience in the Richmond region. Follow along on Instagram at @visitblkrva.
VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND CULTURE
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture reopened its doors to the public July 1, 2021, while renovations and expansions continue. This reopening includes the launch of their latest exhibit, Partners in History, which is a shared collections partnership with the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of VA. The exhibit features iconic artifacts such as a desk used by renowned civil rights attorney Oliver W. Hill. When the museum fully re-opens in Spring 2022, Our Commonwealth will debut. This extensive marquee exhibition will provide an in-depth, multi-sensory exploration through the five major regions of Virginia and will feature stories and artifacts from partner organizations and cultural institutions throughout the state.
AMERICAN CIVIL WAR MUSEUM AT HISTORIC TREDEGAR
The American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar debuted its newly-expanded space in May of 2019 in the renovated historic Tredegar Iron Works site. The 28,500 sq. ft. space includes increased gallery space and a new permanent exhibit, A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America . The ACWM is the preeminent center for the exploration of the Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians.
THE INSTITUTE FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
Housed in an iconic new building designed by the renowned Steven Holl Architects, the Virginia Commonwealth University's Institute for Contemporary Art opened on April 21, 2018. A non-collecting institution, the ICA presents the work of contemporary artists through exhibitions, performances, installations and interdisciplinary programs, while providing an open forum for dialogue and collaboration for both the region and art world at large. Currently on display through November 7, 2021 is Ibrahim Ahmed: It Will Always Come Back To You. Through photo collage, sculpture, video, and large-scale installation, Ahmed wrestles with the cultural forces that prevail in the working-class neighborhood of Ard El Lewa in Giza.
NEW NON-STOP FLIGHTS FROM RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Richmond International Airport continues to gain some exciting new flights! February 2020 brought a brand new seasonal, twice-weekly flight from RIC to Punta Gorda, Florida from Allegiant Air. JetBlue recently added a daily, non-stop flight to Tampa. Southwest announced a new direct flight from RIC to Chicago Midway International Airport beginning April 12, 2021 along with a daily flight to Denver starting on May 9, 2021. Breeze Airways, a new domestic carrier from the founder of JetBlue, is excited to announce three new direct flights from RIC, one of 16 airports selected to join their network. Beginning July 2021, the low-cost carrier will offer nonstop flights to Charleston, New Orleans and Tampa.
EVENTS & EXHIBITS
In December 2019, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts debuted Rumors of War, a sculpture created by artist Kehinde Wiley, best known for his portrait of President Barack Obama. According to the VMFA, the inspiration for this work came when Wiley was visiting Richmond for the opening of his retrospective exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic in June 2016 and encountered the city’s Confederate monuments. Rumors of War was first unveiled in Times Square in September and moved to it's permanent home in Richmond on December 10.
Also on display this fall at the VMFA is Ansel Adams: Compositions in Nature. The exhibit, which runs September 25, 2021 - January 2, 2022, features more than 70 photographs spanning over five decades from the influential photographer.
The American Civil War Museum debuted its latest exhibit on September 1, Richmonders at War. The exhibit uses interactive panels that allow visitors to access directions to, and historical context about, twelve Civil War sites around the city. Through the use of QR codes, visitors can experience the history that surrounds them in the Museum and also outside the Museum walls.
The Robins Nature Center, at Richmond's Maymont, is now open after extensive renovations. Themed "Run of the River," the center highlights the ecology of the James River located along Maymont's border and features a 34-foot tall climbing sculpture, freshwater interactive animation and aquarium updates.
Local muralist and artist Hamilton Glass has spearheaded two new public art projects during 2020. Mending Walls RVA is an art project that brings together public artists from different cultures and backgrounds to create murals that address where we are now in society, and how we can move forward through understanding and collaboration. All in Together is a public art project in collaboration with Matt Lively in which coloring pages can be downloaded and decorated, turned back into the All in Together project, and then placed together to create 8'x8' installations. Artwork from both projects can currently be seen throughout the Richmond region.
All roads lead to Hot Wheels at the Science Museum of Virginia. From September 25, 2021 - January 23, 2022, head to the SMV for their latest exhibit Hot Wheels: Race to Win. The exhibition, which is included with museum admission, offers a look at the thrilling world of racing, investigates the scientific process for designing super-fast cars and helps guests who have the need for speed understand how it is achieved.
Violins of Hope, a touring exhibit that tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, will be in the Richmond region at three museums from August 4 - October 24. Head to the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the Black History Museum & Cultural Center of Virginia to view these violins on display, along with a special concert by the Richmond Symphony on September 9, with members of the Symphony playing some of the Violins of Hope during the performance.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE NEWS
The Region's award-winning craft breweries have teamed up to develop a tour de brew. The Richmond Beer Trail guides visitors to almost 40 breweries (and counting!) to taste beer and collect stamps at a minimum of five breweries in exchange for collectible gear. Newly-opened breweries include Main Line Brewery (which features a large outdoor stage for live music), the Scott's Addition outpost of both Strangeways Brewing and Starr Hill Beer Hall & Rooftop, Talleysville Brewing Company at New Kent Winery, and Dancing Kilt Brewery.
Brambly Park is an urban winery, restaurant and live music venue located in Scott's Addition. This two-acre park features a variety of small-batch wines, beer and cocktails and is completely dog-friendly in all outdoor spaces. With outdoor bocce, cornhole, horseshoe and croquet, Brambly Park has an activity for the entire family.
Jolene Family Winery is New Kent County's latest addition to the winery family! Open Thursday through Monday, this lakefront winery offers both tastings and bottles of their award-winning wines and features small plates for snacking, food trucks and live music. Be sure to check their calendar for daily food offerings and musical performances.
RichWine, which launched in summer of 2020, is a boutique wine retailer that curates natural, organic and biodynamic wines out of their Manchester shop.
Food halls are all the rage in RVA. Head to the new Ukrop’s Market Hall which features Richmond favorites like fried chicken and breakfast pizza. Hatch Local Food Hall is a curated collection of local food vendors opening this fall in Richmond's Manchester neighborhood.
Lillie Pearl opened in downtown Richmond in November 2020. It's a homage to Chef Mike Lindsey's grandmothers featuring New American, Southern and West African cuisine and influences. Chef Mike will also debut Buttermilk + Honey at Hatch Local Food Hall, featuring various fried chicken sandwiches.
Blue Atlas opened in fall 2020 and is a market/restaurant concept with market items offered at counter service and happy hour and dinner served in the dining room. The restaurant, located in Richmond's Fulton neighborhood inside an old schoolhouse, also features an outdoor patio and lawn with views of the RVA skyline.
Award-winning Chef David Dunlap recently opened Midlothian Chef's Kitchen, which offers lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The restaurant also hosts regular events and specials including cooking classes, prepared meals subscriptions, and beer & wine dinners.
Urban Hang Suite, a collective cafe and lounge, opened in late 2018. Along with a full coffee menu, Urban Hang Suite offers a variety of food, beer and wine, and is the only local spot that sells Triple Crossing's famous Falcon Smash beer outside of the brewery.
The Richmond region gained some European flair with the opening of Restaurant Adarra in the spring of 2019. Adarra’s Basque-inspired dishes follow the seasons of Virginia farmers and producers, with a focus on natural and biodynamic wines.
Richmond juice bar and bistro The Pit and the Peel will open its newest location on June 10, 2021. Along with their popular acai bowls and fresh juices, the space will offer new menu items including jackfruit barbeque tacos and cauliflower crust pizza, with a full bar to enjoy cocktails on their rooftop deck.
Richmond’s first shuffleboard court has arrived! Tang & Biscuit is now open in Scott’s Addition and features 10 regulation-sized courts and a bar with Tang-inspired drinks. Rounding out Scott’s Addition’s activities is The Circuit Arcade Bar, a barcade with over 40 self-tapping beers, River City Roll, a boutique bowling alley with food and beverage, Bingo Beer Company, a bar/ arcade/ brewery/ restaurant/live music concept and Slingshot Social Game Club, which features extreme duckpin bowling and ultimate bocce ball.
HAMPTON INN RICHMOND WEST
Henrico County opened it's newest hotel in April of 2021. Hampton Inn Richmond West, located a short distance from the Children's Museum of Richmond and Short Pump Town Center, features 135 guest rooms, a 24-hour business center, an outdoor pool and bicycles to rent.
SHERATON RICHMOND AIRPORT HOTEL
December 2019 brought the grand opening of Shamin Hotels' Sheraton Richmond Airport Hotel, which is the only full-service Sheraton in the Richmond market and the closest hotel to the Richmond International Airport (located at the airport's entrance). The hotel features spacious guest rooms, complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport, 8,000 square feet of flexible meeting and banquet space, an outdoor pool, and the Gate 55 restaurant and bar.
TRU BY HILTON
Ashland recently opened a brand new Tru by Hilton hotel, directly off Interstate 95. The 5-story, 91-room hotel is convenient to Randolph-Macon College, the Ashland Amtrak Station, and Kings Dominion.
The Richmond Marriott recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation, which included renovations of all 410 guest rooms and improvements to the lobby and fitness center. The hotel also introduced their new restaurant, Fall Line Kitchen & Bar, an upscale-casual restaurant serving comfort food, regional craft beer and creative cocktails. The name is a nod to Virginia's most prominent geological feature.
OMNI RICHMOND HOTEL
The Omni Richmond Hotel recently completed a $10 million guest room renovation, which included refurbishing the decor and amenities in the 359 rooms, hallway corridors and the five suites. Renovated guest rooms now include 49” flat screen TVs, Keurig coffeemakers, desks, club chairs and ottomans. Bathroom upgrades include new vanities and backlit mirrors, rain shower heads and makeup mirrors.
THE MOXY HOTEL
The Moxy Hotel (a Marriott-branded hotel owned by Shamin Hotels) is set to open in late 2021. Moxy Hotels are boutique, lifestyle hotels currently with locations in the United States, Europe and Asia.
FOUR POINTS BY SHERATON RICHMOND
Four Points by Sheraton Richmond recently completed renovations of all of the hotel's 194 rooms, the ballrooms, and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. More renovations are currently in the works on the fitness center and pool.
HOMEWOOD SUITES BY HILTON RICHMOND-CHESTER
Homewood Suites will be conducting renovations to modernize the decor of the lobby. The hotel contains 2,300 square feet of meeting space, including three rooms that open into one and can hold up to 200 people theater-style or 150 people for receptions.
DOUBLETREE BY HILTON RICHMOND-MIDLOTHIAN
Renovations were recently completed in 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond Midlothian. All 26,000 square feet of meeting space were renovated to include new floor coverings, walls, draperies and public space furnishings. The space includes their largest function room - James River Ballroom (7080 sq ft) and the Shenandoah Ballroom (6300 sq ft).