Here’s what’s new in the Richmond Region
The latest updates on what’s going on and what’s to come
RICHMOND BEER TRAIL
The Region's award-winning craft breweries have teamed up to develop a tour de brew. The Richmond Beer Trail guides visitors to more than 35 breweries (and counting!) to taste beer and collect stamps at a minimum of five breweries in exchange for collectible gear.
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, have launched BLK RVA. The new tourism campaign highlights and celebrates the Black cultural experience in the Richmond region. Follow along on Instagram at @visitblkrva.
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 ACWM is currently offering free admission to any Virginia public school teacher or student from now through June 2021.
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 is both Provocations: Guadalupe Maravilla and The Otolith Group: Xenogenesis from now through August 9, 2020.
NEW NON-STOP FLIGHTS FROM RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Summer 2018 brought the launch of Allegiant Air's two nonstop flights from Richmond to Nashville. Allegiant Air also flies direct from RIC to Orlando/Sanford and Tampa/St. Petersburg. Allegiant offers twice-weekly, nonstop service from Richmond to Sarasota. February 2020 brought a brand new seasonal, twice-weekly flight from RIC to Punta Gorda, Florida.
EVENTS & EXHIBITS
NEW EXHIBITS AT THE VIRGINIA MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS
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.
Currently at the VMFA, making its only East Coast stop, is Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities. This exhibit is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see treasures recovered from two powerful ancient Egyptian cities that sank into the Mediterranean more than a thousand years ago. This is on display from now until January 18, 2021.
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.
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is showcasing Wind, Waves and Light - Art in Motion by George Sherwood from now until October 18, 2020. This outdoor exhibition features 13 large-scale, stainless steel sculptures that move and change with the wind.
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.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE NEWS
The Richmond Region's brewery scene continues to expand, with new breweries constantly opening and the launch of the Richmond Beer Trail. Newly-opened breweries include Dogtown Brewing in Manchester, Main Line Brewery (which features a large outdoor stage for live music), and the Scott's Addition outpost of Strangeways Brewing. December 2019 brought the debut of Starr Hill Brewing's Richmond location in Scott's Addition, with a rooftop bar and live music stage.
The Region is home to more than fantastic breweries - 2018 saw the opening of Courthouse Creek Cider and Virago Spirits, both in the Scott's Addition neighborhood, along with Trial & Error, a small rum-producing distillery within Bombolini Pasta in the Fan.
The Jasper cocktail bar recently opened in Richmond’s popular Carytown neighborhood. Award-winning bartenders Mattias Hagglund, Thomas “T” Leggett and Kevin Liu named the new spot for Jasper Crouch, a 19th century Richmond barman. The Jasper also serves small plates to compliment the beverages.
Brambly Park is an urban winery, restaurant and park 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.
ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque, Richmond’s beloved food truck, opened it’s first restaurant location in Scott’s Addition in March 2018. The restaurant, which blends Texas and Central Virginia style-barbeque, was recently named the ‘Best BBQ in Virginia’ by Food & Wine Magazine.
Three-time James Beard semifinalist Lee Gregory opened his first solo restaurant, Alewife, in late 2018. Alewife features Chesapeake Bay and Mid-Atlantic seafood and emphasizes conservation with fewer straws and ice cubes. Alewife was named "The South's Best New Restaurant 2020" by Southern Living Magazine.
The trendy Scott’s Addition neighborhood added another dining option with the opening of Perch in fall 2018, helmed by chef Mike Ledesma. A blend of Pacific flavors and Virginia cuisine comprises the menu.
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. Urban Hang Suite is also home to RichWine, a boutique wine shop focusing on unique, clean-farmed wines.
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’s Manchester neighborhood is experiencing a revitalization, including the opening of Brewer’s Waffles. The specialty waffle cafe features sweet and savory waffle dishes and decadent milkshakes.
People's Pie, a to-go pizza spot in Scott's Addition, opened in mid-2020 and is the first solo restaurant from chef Craig Perkinson, formally of Southbound. People's Pie is known for their unique pizza offerings, including Detroit-style and vegan options, pizza by the slice, and Perkinson's famous 'Water Ranch' dipping sauce.
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.
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.
AC HOTEL BY MARRIOTT
Plans for a brand new AC Hotel by Marriott were recently announced summer of 2019. The 9-story hotel, which will be located in downtown Richmond along the Canal Walk, will feature 150 rooms and a 4,000 square foot rooftop restaurant. Construction is set to begin in mid-2020.
The Richmond Marriott begun a multi-million dollar renovation in late 2019, starting with renovations of all 410 guest rooms. Improvements will continue into the lobby, fitness center and restaurant, which will become a brand new concept.
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 Commonwealth, which has been a Richmond staple directly across from the Virginia Capitol for over a century, recently completed extensive renovations. The pet-friendly property gives a nod to Richmond’s arts scene. Rooms feature 'tattooed' doors and handcrafted furnishings from local Virginia artisans, and each hotel floor contains a mural painted by a local RVA muralist.
Graduate Richmond is now open! The brand is a collection of scholarly-themed hotels located only in university towns across the United States. Graduate Richmond is a pet-friendly hotel (no pet fees!) located right downtown, and features a lobby cafe and bar, complimentary bikes rentals and a seasonal rooftop pool and bar!
THE JEFFERSON HOTEL
In March 2013, The Jefferson Hotel began a 3-phase reconstruction project. The hotel's 262 guest rooms have quietly been transformed into 181 spacious new rooms and suites, featuring entry foyers, dressing areas, and luxurious new marbled baths. Each of the magnificent public spaces within the hotel has also received a refresh including new furnishing in the Rotunda and Palm Court lobbies that convey the residential feel found in the new guest rooms. Lemaire restaurant has also been refurnished and the hotel's signature ballroom spaces - Grand Ballroom, Empire Room, and Flemish Room - have received fresh color palates, LED lighting, and carpeting.
THE MOXY HOTEL
The Moxy Hotel (a Marriott-branded hotel owned by Shamin Hotels) is set to open in late 2020. 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.
DELTA HOTELS BY MARRIOTT RICHMOND DOWNTOWN
The Crowne Plaza has recently completed renovations and is now re-branded as a Delta Hotels by Marriott Richmond Downtown, which is Marriott's newest upscale and full-service brand. The renovations included adding 2,000 square feet of meeting space, updating the guest rooms, adding a restaurant and remodeling the ballroom. This is the brand's 7th location in the United States.
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).