Here’s what’s new in the Richmond Region
The latest updates on what’s going on and what’s to come
VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND CULTURE
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture, the oldest cultural organization in the Commonwealth of Virginia with one of the largest and finest history collections in the nation, will unveil a $30 million renovation project on May 14, 2022. With this expansion, VMHC is committed to boldly connecting more meaningfully with visitors and offering experiences that are “more engaging, inclusive, and inspiring to encourage and empower the history makers of both today and tomorrow.” New additions will include multiple exhibition spaces; an immersive orientation theater; an interactive learning space; a comprehensive research library with a state-of-the-art rare book and manuscript suite, and various education/meeting rooms. VMHC will celebrate the opening with Our Commonwealth, a multi-sensory exhibit that explores Virginia’s five regions with artifacts from cultural institutions highlighted within. Along with the renovation project, VMHC has developed robust regional partnerships with institutions around the state. This includes a long-term partnership with the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia to share collections and resources to connect more people to the story of Virginia.
THE JXN PROJECT
Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood, known as the “Harlem of the South,” celebrated its 150th birthday in April of 2021. The recently launched JXN Project aims to contextualize the origin story of the nation’s first historically-registered Black urban neighborhood, and to excavate and elevate its hidden histories. In October of 2021, The JXN Project unveiled a series of honorary street designations to pay homage to notable Black Jackson Wardians.
THE POE MUSEUM ANNIVERSARY
Located in Virginia’s oldest building dating back to 1737, The Poe Museum offers the world’s largest collection of artifacts, letters and manuscripts related to Edgar Allan Poe. In 2022, The Poe Museum celebrates its 100th anniversary and kicking things off is the Poe Birthday Bash, taking place January 22, 2022. Other events include a Poe-Rade, a 'Masqued Ball' in honor of Poe’s short story, The Masque of the Red Death, and the acclaimed monthly UnHappy Hours. The museum has also received a major gift of Poe artifacts for the occasion which will be unveiled in early 2022.
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 now offers a new direct flight from RIC to both Chicago Midway International Airport and Denver International Airport. Breeze Airways, a new domestic carrier from the founder of JetBlue, is excited to announce several new direct flights from RIC, one of 16 airports selected to join their network. The low-cost carrier now offers nonstop flights to Charleston, New Orleans and Tampa, and will begin direct service to Palm Beach International Airport in February 2022.
EVENTS & EXHIBITS
Currently on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is Man Ray: The Paris Years, which includes more than 100 portraits of cultural luminaries such as Jean Cocteau, Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso and Miriam Hopkins, to name a few. The exhibit, which celebrates the 100th anniversary of Man Ray's arrival to Paris, can be seen through February 21, 2022.
The American Civil War Museum debuted its latest exhibit on September 1, 2021: 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.
Local muralist and artist Hamilton Glass spearheaded a new public art project during 2020, which continued on through 2021. 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. A map can be found on the Mending Walls website for a self-guided journey or join a Mending Walls tour with Bike and Brunch Tours. A podcast is streaming to hear artist interviews and be sure to check out Mending Walls: The Documentary on VPM.
Hidden in Plain Site is a new virtual tour of Richmond that tells the Black experience story throughout history. Many of these sites have been previously overlooked, and Hidden in Plain Site allows visitors to see the sites and learn from their stories virtually, with an option to view through VR headsets.
2021 brought the inaugural year of the Tri-City Chili Peppers, a new minor league baseball team located in Colonial Heights, VA. Part of the Coastal Plain League, the Peppers are looking forward to another action-packed season in 2022 filled with theme nights including Mardi Gras Night, Christmas in July, and Beach n' Baseball. Information about the upcoming 2022 season can be found here.
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 Talleysville Brewing Company at New Kent Winery and Dancing Kilt Brewery. The Midlothian outpost of Triple Crossing Beer recently opened at Winterfield Crossing and features a variety of wild ales (all brewing operations will be based on open fermentation!) and an expanded food menu. 93 by Trapezium, a satellite location of Trapezium Brewing Co., is set to open in early 2022 in Church Hill.
February 2022 will bring the launch of BRUN, a whiskey and cigar lounge in Richmond's Fan neighborhood. BRUN will feature a full-service restaurant with Caribbean-inspired soulfood, a private membership whiskey and cigar lounge and a live music concert series featuring both national and local acts. Members of BRUN will enjoy perks such as whiskey and cigar education sessions, private dinners and monthly cigar distributions.
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.
The region's second meadery is here! Funktastic Meads, located in Midlothian, focuses on 'pastry-style' meads, which tend to be sweeter and are flavored with ingredients like fruits, spices and hops.
What originally began as a pop-up concept, the team behind Soul Taco has recently opened JewFro in its permanent location in Shockoe Bottom. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, JewFro blends African and Jewish cuisines for a surprising flavor combination. The menu features a creative array of dishes including grilled chicken in South African Peri-Peri sauce over Israeli couscous, Za’atar braised lamb shank tagine and Eritrean-spiced brisket over matzah polenta.
Hatch Local Food Hall is a curated collection of local food vendors comprised of seven distinct local concepts, two bars, a market and outdoor patio and courtyard opening early 2022 in Richmond's Manchester neighborhood. These concepts include: Odyssey Fish, a seafood spinoff from Alewife chef Lee Gregory; Buttermilk + Honey fried chicken from Lillie Pearl owner and chef Mike Lindsey; authentic Mexican street food venture Sincero; Royal Pig Cambodian comfort food; Fat Kid Sandwiches, pasta concept Oro; and The Beet Box, which serves juices and smoothies.
Suzy Sno, the latest venture from Ruby Scoops owner and Food Network's Ben & Jerry's Clash of the Cones winner Rabia Kamara, opened in the fall of 2021 in Jackson Ward. This New Orleans-style sno-ball concept features shaved ice creations with flavors such as Tiger's Blood (watermelon, strawberry and coconut mix), root beer, and Bahama Mama, with plenty additional toppings like marshmallow fluff and candy.
Lillie Pearl, a New American restaurant with Southern influences owned by husband-and-wife team Chef Michael Lindsey and Kimberly Love-Lindsey, opened in downtown Richmond in November 2020. Chef Mike, who named the spot after his grandmothers, takes West African heirloom ingredients and his North Carolina roots through a culinary journey of global influences with dishes like Obe Ata Braised Lamb Shank with jollof rice and the popular 'Smashville' Fried Chicken sandwich. The Lindseys will also be opening their fifth restaurant, Jubilee, in spring of 2022. The restaurant, located in Manchester, is named for Jubliee Day - an alternate name for Juneteenth.
The team behind popular Carytown cocktail bar The Jasper recently announced a permanent location of their successful ramen pop-up Slurp! Ramen. The 2020 pop-up, which was created during the pandemic, will move to a brick-and-mortar spot in the Church Hill neighborhood and will feature tonkotsu, miso, wings and steamed buns. Slurp! Ramen is scheduled to open in spring 2022.
One Way Market, an exotic snacks concept, opened in 2021 in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood. With more than 300 hard-to-find snacks (think Cotton Candy Cap’N Crunch or Oreo Moon Cakes) stemming from countries such as Japan, China, Australia and Malaysia, this convenience store beckons customers with a unique assortment of goods that can’t be found elsewhere.
Top Chef Portland contestant Brittanny Anderson recently opened Black Lodge, a cool-casual neighborhood bar that touts a bevy of upscale bites. Located next to Anderson’s Brenner Pass, her latest venture offers unique pairings including vodka with paddlefish to gin with sturgeon, along with menu items such as a coconut curry lobster roll and chic hot dogs (the Russian Dog is topped with beets, hard-boiled egg and trout roe).
TBT El Gallo is an elevated Mexican street food spot which began as a pop-up event at a local farmer’s market and has since morphed into Chef Carlos Ordaz-Nunez’ first storefront location. Chef Ordaz-Nunez takes classic Mexican flavors and reimagines them in a fresh, daring and modern way, featuring a menu brimming with birria tacos, tortas, and elote-inspired 'children of the corn' fries.
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.
For more fun, head to Hotel Greene, an indoor hotel-themed putt-putt course with a full bar and small plates. TopGolf is also now open with games and golf for all skill levels. Book an axe-throwing session at Stumpy's Hatchet House, located at Stony Point Fashion Park, which features 10 throwing pits, a full-service kitchen and beer and wine for purchase.
COURTYARD RICHMOND SCOTT'S ADDITION
The Scott's Addition neighborhood of Richmond will get its first hotel in February 2022 with the opening of the Courtyard Richmond Scott's Addition. The 128 room hotel will feature a fitness center, indoor pool and The Bistro restaurant, serving breakfast, drinks and dinner. The hotel is within walking distance of many of Scott's Addition's award-winning restaurants, breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries.
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.
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.
THE MOXY HOTEL
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.