News

PHOTOS: Arthur Ashe Boulevard Renaming Kick-Off Party at River City Roll

Hundreds of folks came out Friday, June 21st for the Arthur Ashe Boulevard Kick-Off Celebration at River City Roll. The entire evening was a benefit for the Metro Richmond Tennis Club and raised over $10,000 for the organization.

A huge thanks goes out to everyone who sponsored a lane or made other contributions towards this worthy local cause, and more than that, all of those who helped make the vision of renaming the Boulevard for Arthur Ashe a reality. It took a lot of time, effort, and hard work, and we made it happen together.

(Photos: Michael Way Photography)

Join Us For a Weekend of Events Celebrating the Renaming of Arthur Ashe Boulevard Beginning Friday at River City Roll

The Arthur Ashe Boulevard Initiative will sponsor a three-day celebration honoring tennis great Arthur Ashe. Citizens, leaders, community organizers, and Ashe family members will commemorate the naming of Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond on June 20th through 22nd – and the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association is taking part in a big way, hosting our own kick-off celebration Friday evening.

In addition to an official sign unveiling to re-name the roughly 2.5-mile Boulevard in honor of the late tennis champion, the celebratory events will re-introduce Ashe’s inspiring life story to Richmond and offer a variety of family-friendly events.

The official dedication and street unveiling ceremony, sponsored by the City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, and the Virginia Museum of History & Culture (VMHC), will be held at Saturday, June 22, at 11 a.m. at the VMHC.

National, state and local elected leaders will be in attendance and participate in the dedication ceremony, along with Ashe family representatives. Civil rights leader and U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, (D-Ga.) will deliver the keynote address.

“We’re thrilled to name Dominion Energy as our presenting sponsor for our weekend celebration, as we officially rename the Boulevard after my uncle, said David Harris, nephew of the late Arthur Ashe and a key driver in the Boulevard’s renaming. “Together, we’ll celebrate Ashe’s achievements both on and off the tennis court. My uncle’s incredible legacy transcended sports and is tied to foundational roots of Richmond. With Dominion Energy’s support and others, we’re putting a stake in the ground for Arthur Ashe’s legacy of social justice for generations to come.”

“This is a great step forward for Richmond to honor Arthur Ashe in a bold way,” said Tom Farrell, chairman and CEO of Dominion Energy. “We’re proud to be part of it, and to celebrate our hometown with friends, neighbors, and the Ashe family.”

The company’s sponsorship is being provided through the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation.

The latest schedule of community events—all of which are free, family-friendly and open to the public include:

  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Social Justice Forum, Thursday, June 20, 7-9 p.m., Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Learn about social justice and find out how it was part of Arthur Ashe’s legacy.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Tennis Tournament & Movies at the Park, Friday, June 21, 6-9 p.m., Byrd Park. Join local tennis organizations in celebration of Ashe’s sport; stick around for an evening of movies and other festivities.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Kick-off Celebration & Bowling Party, Friday, June 21, 7 p.m. to midnight, River City Roll. Enjoy kids and family bowling night (7-9 p.m.) as well as live music (9 p.m. to midnight) at this Scott’s Addition bowling alley along Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Donations suggested.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Unveiling Ceremony & Exhibition Opening, Saturday, June 22, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Virginia Museum of History and Culture. Join us as we make history with the City of Richmond; A-list celebrities, city officials, and government dignitaries will officially unveil the re-named Boulevard.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard Community Celebration, Saturday, June 22, 1-5 p.m., Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center. Celebrate with the community and participate in sponsored tennis clinics for kids and adults.
  • Arthur Ashe Boulevard After Party, Saturday, June 22, 8-11 p.m., The Graduate Richmond: the official Arthur Ashe Boulevard Celebration host. Cap off three days of excitement around Arthur Ashe and the City of Richmond.

To learn more about Arthur Ashe Boulevard or the schedule of events, visit arthurasheblvd.com.

Parking & Circulation Study: Where We’ve Been, What’s Been Recommended, and Where We Go From Here

With the tremendous growth that’s taken place in Scott’s Addition over the past five to seven years, the neighborhood has experienced a number of growing pains. As development has become denser, thanks in part to a rezoning that took place in 2017 that reduced the parking requirement for new development, parking (and lack thereof) is a pressing concern. I wanted to take a few moments to catch everyone up on the process to address these concerns, what has been done so far, and where we go from here.

Where we started

We began working with the City of Richmond and their contractor, DESMAN, on a parking and circulation study beginning in mid-2018 (see the goals of the study here). This study took a look at the entirety of Scott’s Addition and then broke down the projected need for parking, block by block, using drones and people on feet walking the neighborhood to produce two sets of data. The idea behind this was to get a snapshot of parking utilization during a peak weekday time and peak weekend time, as seen below.

ScottsAddition_June13_ParkingMaps_11X17

The data, which was presented at two public meetings in order to garner feedback from stakeholders, shows that some blocks are at 90% utilization at these two measurement points, but much of the neighborhood has adequate parking available at the current time. However, we plan for the future as best we can knowing that denser, taller development is coming to Scott’s Addition and that our neighborhood could, and probably will, look much different in the coming years.

General findings

DESMAN noted the following observations and heard the following top concerns as they conducted the parking and circulation study:

Top observations

  1. Heavy on-street overall utilization at mid-day (88%) on weekdays and over parking on various blocks in the mornings and weekends, according to land uses.
  2. Comparatively low utilization of off-street parking (36-49% overall) with only about 20% of all facilities operating at or near effective capacity.
  3.  On weekends, on-street utilization climbed through the days (55% in the morning, 71% in the afternoon) to peak at 120% of effective capacity (1,599 cars vs. 1,336 spaces.) [Potential displacement of 263 vehicles if properly marked and enforced.]
  4.  On the same weekday, there were between 2,245 and 2,393 off-street spaces open.
  5.  Many vehicles parked in places where parking should not be allowed (i.e. abandoned curb cuts, fire hydrants, into intersections, etc.)
  6.  No on-street handicapped parking spaces. [2% off-street standard would require ~ 31 spaces.]

Top feedback received

  1. Concerns regarding on-street parking practices and enforcement.
  2.  Zoning does not seem to be requiring enough parking to support new uses as they are introduced.
  3.  Curbside turnover and availability is a major concern for businesses in the area.
  4.  Lack of designated parking for area employees and/or residents if curbside parking is restricted.
  5.  Desire to see infrastructure improvements to support walking and biking through the area.
  6.  Short-term desire for structured parking through a Public/Private Partnership.
  7.  General acknowledgment that long-term growth will need to less car-centric, more focused on live-work or alternative transportation modes.

Based on these observations and concerns that were heard, DESMAN put together a list of possible options to help mitigate the parking and circulation issues in the neighborhood and presented their findings in January of 2019.

SA_Presentation_190116

Current tentative recommendations

Based on observations, resident and business feedback at the public meetings, and input from the City of Richmond, DESMAN has stated that they are recommending the following three items for our neighborhood’s consideration. These have not been officially delivered to the City of Richmond nor to our association but an official presentation will be made in the coming months. It is important to note that none of these changes will be made immediately, if at all, and we are very interested in hearing and answering your questions, comments, and concerns.

Institute three-hour parking neighborhood-wide

DESMAN recommends we institute three-hour parking throughout the entirety of the neighborhood to help with turnover of parking in the neighborhood and open up spaces. Obviously, this is not a one-size-fits-all solution and will not work for the entire neighborhood. If this were to be implemented (between the hours of 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM), it would be done sensitively and carefully to ensure businesses and residents aren’t negatively affected. There is a possibility that we will consider issuing parking permits to allow for around-the-clock parking on a case-by-case basis as well.

Create shared parking agreements

Another recommendation, which is something we are already actively pursuing, is shared parking agreements between lot owners and those in search of parking spaces. We are in talks with several vendors who specialize in these types of arrangements already. Think of this type of setup as the “Uber” of parking. Let’s say a residential building owner has a parking lot that sits two-thirds empty during the day when many residents are at work. A neighboring office user may want to come to an agreement with the lot owner to use a portion of these open spaces. Likewise, the same owner could offer individual spaces for rent during the day to the public through a mobile app that allows for on-demand reservations. There are a lot of opportunities to open up additional parking inventory under a scenario like this, and we’ll continue to explore our options.

Offer tax abatements for structured parking

As the neighborhood grows and new high rises go up around Scott’s Addition, there is also an opportunity to offer developers tax abatements for allocating a portion of structured parking in their respective buildings to the public (for a fee). There is an existing precedent for this type of scenario in other neighborhoods, so we believe we could institute this here successfully.

Things we can do on our own

There are also a number of things we can do on our own to increase our parking inventory and make for a safer neighborhood, which we’re currently exploring. They include:

  • Filling in curb cuts near bay doors that are no longer used for loading zones
  • Updating, replacing, and/or removing outdated parking enforcement signage
  • Striping available street parking to show acceptable parking bounds and keep the line of sight clear at street corners

Where we go from here

At this point, we’re waiting for the official documents from DESMAN with recommendations on parking going forward, and we’ll share those documents here when we have them. We also plan to host another public meeting or two to take feedback from businesses, residents, and other stakeholders before we go forth with any changes to our current parking setup. Then, and only then, will we announce possible changes that will affect the neighborhood. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your questions, comments, and concerns to us here.

Scott’s Addition Events for May the Fourth & Cinco de Mayo

It’s the first weekend in May and there are so many things happening in Scott’s Addition, plan accordingly.

Saturday May 4

River City Roll

Saturday at 3pm, River City Roll kicks off its Summer Concert Series. That’s right – the boutique bowling alley is going to bring us live music over four Saturdays this summer. It’s free and it’s family friendly! You can expect to see four bands the first Saturday of each month, some will be inside while others are outside.

This Saturday rolls from 3pm-10pm and includes music from:

  • Bart Chucker Band 3pm-5:30pm (inside)
  • Killer Tofu 5:30pm-6:45pm (outside)
  • Kentucky Derby Break 6:50pm
  • The Pietasters 7pm-10pm (headliner /outside)

The event will include a beer truck and outdoor Belle Isle Bar, plus shrimp po’ boys on the patio.

Can’t make it this Saturday? RCR will bring the bands back on June 1, July 6 and August 3.

Galactic Pub Crawl

Yes. It’s International Star Wars Day! And May the Fourth Be With You while you’re touring Scott’s Addition for the first ever Galactic Pub Crawl. That means you should expect to see a ton of people dressed in their best Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate, and Battlestar Galactica gear walking around the neighborhood as they tour participating pubs. Yeah – it’s going to be like a mini-neighborhood Comic Con from 3pm – 9pm.

Here are a list of the participating pubs:

Attendees get Dark Side or Light Side keepsake badges and color changing lightsabers with sound (free for the first 150 people who register). There are also commemorative pins, photo ops, and special drink and gaming specials. Where do I register? Bingo Beer Co. or buy $20 tickets at this link: more info here.

Blue Bee Cider’s Third Annual Virginia Cider Jam

Come taste ginger infused cider made by cider makers all across Virginia at Blue Bee Cider, Saturday. Food food from Zorch Pizza, Shyndigz Dessert and Nightingale Ice Cream will also be on hand along with live music starting at 1:00pm. There will also be local artisans and vendors and it’s family and pet friendly.

 

Sunday, May 5

The Big Pig Project & Brunch Market

This Sunday is the third Annual Big Pig Project. What is that, you say? It’s a fundraiser hosted by Lunch | Supper that benefits the Ronald McDonald House. RMH provides housing and support to families with children who need extended medical treatment in Richmond.

Area companies sponsor a concrete pig and decorate it however they chose, then those themed pigs are auctioned off at the Big Pig Project this weekend. Money raised supports RMH. And before you say, ‘nah – I don’t need a pig’, make sure you go take a look at them at the event. They are some really amazingly decorated works of art. In fact, eight of the 60 pigs are online for you to see today and they were decorated by area artists like Matt Lively, Hamilton Glass and Jessi Leonard, to name a few. The Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association sponsored a pig and I hear it’s a little version of our namesake: General “Pigfield” Scott.

If a pig is out of your budget there’s plenty of other stuff to partake in. In fact, the Brunch Market will be set up inside the Urban Roost and there will be plenty of food, vendors and live music to entertain you.

The Big Pig Project is rain or shine Sunday, May 5 starting at 12pm. The first auction begins at 1:45pm. Summit Avenue will be closed off from W. Clay (BlueBee Cider) to Broad Street and Marshall Street will be closed from Highpoint to Altamont. Parking is available at the old Clarion Hotel and on neighboring streets.

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

Just celebrate the margarita and tacos, why don’tcha? You can do that starting at 2:30pm at Bingo Beer Co. They’ll be kicking off the fun with some live bands, including a performance from Los Ramones. PS – Bingo’s patio is now open! So even if you can’t sit outside this weekend, you can make it a destination for the rest of summer.

Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association Introduces New Brand, Identity System

At long last, Richmond’s fastest growing neighborhood now has its own fresh, bold logo and brand identity. The Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association revealed the new sleek design at its public meeting April 3.

The logo was designed by the Barber Martin Agency, a Scott’s neighbor that acquired and rehabbed an aging warehouse space at the corner of Roseneath Rd. and Leigh St. in the fall of 2017.

Graphic Designer, Bailey Jenkins, who designed the artwork, told SABA members BMA is so thrilled with its new space and energy in the neighborhood that it jumped at the chance to help design a logo that not only kept the integrity of the area’s history but also embraced the modern change underway.

Under the direction of COO and SABA Board Member, Greg Simos and Chief Creative Officer Deb Hagan, several artists dove headfirst into the effort to create a historic yet modern design. The art was then submitted to an association marketing committee that ultimately selected the design created by Jenkins.

Jenkins said she studied General Winfield Scott, the neighborhood’s namesake, before crafting her design. She said it was the goal to create a logo that could be used as a key system to help visitors navigate where they can find food, beer, shopping, residential areas and more. She said she wanted to define the eat, play, work environment unique to Scott’s Addition.

The core logo with the “SA est. 1901” can be accompanied by any number of icons like forks, pint glasses, and bags to indicate what type of business is being referred to on the neighborhood’s website, promotional items or on decals for the businesses themselves.

SABA president Trevor Dickerson said, “We want the logo to be used by everyone in the neighborhood to help build pride in Scott’s Addition, the same way the RVA logo has been adapted to show pride in Richmond.”

In addition to adding the logo to its marketing efforts, the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association intends to use the new logo on banners that will mark the gateway into the neighborhood, and eventually add the design as a mural to buildings.

Play Time at Tang & Biscuit

By now you’ve likely heard of Tang & Biscuit, a shuffleboard facility, that opened in Scott’s Addition. Plenty has been written about it; About how big it is, and how it has 10-lanes, an event space with yard games or how it’s got a 50-foot bar – but I’m not sure anyone has written about what playing the game is actually like. So, I thought I would.

Recently, a group of us got the chance to experience it for ourselves. Just a random Friday night decision to try something new.

We arrived at 9:00pm, parked in the back parking lot, and walked into an already crowded Tang and Biscuit. I mean people from the front door to the back door were playing shuffleboard, cornhole, Jenga or Connect 4. Some were there to watch football, drink at the bar or just eat.

We waited a bit, maybe 10-minutes, for a lane to clear from the previous players. We then received our biscuits: four yellow and four black and were sent on our way.

None of us remembered how this game was played but a Lane Captain was sent over to give us the low-down on how it was supposed to be done. It was loud and I tuned out, so I just trusted that someone in my group paid attention and went along with what they did before realizing there’s a handy-dandy cheat sheet at each of the shuffleboard lanes. The laminated card is written like airline safety instructions; it’s got an illustration with step by step details and rules on what you’re supposed to do.

Similar to Cornhole, Horseshoes or Bocce, two players (opponents) are on one side of the lane while their partners are on the other side of the lane. All eight of the biscuits (pucks), yours and your opponents, are lined up in the bottom part of the triangle that is painted on each end of the lane. You shoot from there, taking turns pushing it to the opposite triangle and trying to drift it into the scoring zones.

Now here’s the deal: while the puck slides easily, there’s a finesse to it. Too hard and you’re smacking the back wall. Too soft and the puck is landing in the dead zone. You’ve got to get it just right to land it in the triangle. And when it gets there, it can’t touch a line or it doesn’t count. You also can’t land in the widest part of the triangle (the Kitchen) or you lose 10 points.

You can strategize and hit your own puck to get it into scoring zones, like a combo in pool, or do the same to play defense and push your opponent’s biscuit off the scoreboard. Kinda awesome and you can see where it gets beyond competitive.

We ordered drinks while we played. Most of us had beer but some did the Tangtails; Tang & Biscuits’ signature drink which is Tang powder mixed with various liquors and served in a cute lightbulb. You have to do it – because it’s part of the experience, but Tang is definitely an acquired taste. I’ll just leave it at that.

And, let’s face it shuffleboard is a game you can play while holding a tang (stick) in one hand and a Tang cocktail in the other. In fact, I would argue that I played even better once I did.

Because you have the lane for an hour your party of four can play several games while scoring yourselves on a chalkboard. Or, you can bring extra friends and play them when you move on and want to give other people a chance to experience it.

There is food to order. It was pretty good bar food but it did take a while to get it. Like, we were almost done by the time it arrived, we were told that was a fluke.

Like I said – the place was packed, and it’s so bright and cheery in there it’s hard not to stop and glance around at everything while you’re playing. I do think my favorite part was seeing so many different kinds of people having fun. Really it was a mix of young, old, black, white, families and singles and on and on. And yeah – it was just fun. Fun putting my phone down and just doing something together as a group. It feels bonding and indoctrinating.

Since it was a weekend the lane time was $50 an hour; divided by four that’s not too pricey. I’m pretty sure that’s cheaper than taking four people bowling – still costly if you add drinks and food, but I’d definitely go back.

 

 

First ever “RVA Fit-Give” will see area fitness studios support Massey Cancer Center

This Saturday, area fitness studios are teaming up for the first-ever RVA FitGive, an initiative that aims to raise $50,000 for VCU’s Massey Cancer Center.

Seven local fitness studios will team up to hold 12 hours of simultaneous classes and raise the funds.

Launched by local fitness entrepreneurs, the RVA FitGive is Richmond’s first-ever 12-hour fitness event to support VCU Massey Cancer Center. 5:00 AM until 6:00 PM, seven different fitness studios will host donation-based classes to support cancer research all in one day.

Participating studios include Pure Barre Midlothian, Pure Barre Richmond Near West End, Turn RVA, Endorphasm, FLOW Cycle, GS Nation, and the November Project. Turn, locally owned, operates in Scott’s Addition.

It all takes place this Saturday, December 1st.

For a minimum donation of $25, you can take a class at any participating studio. You can also donate online here.

What’s New in Scott’s Addition: Summer | Fall 2018

The late summer, early fall was bustling with new ‘additions’ to Scott’s Addition’s social scene. So, we thought it would be a good time to update everyone on what’s moved in. (Prayer hands if I left anyone out.)

Tang & Biscuit This baby opened late August and boy is it something. The first indoor shuffleboard social venue in Richmond.

It’s called Tang and Biscuit because that’s what the stick and puck are called. I didn’t know that – I thought it was some catchy reference to the food and the cute Tang cocktails they serve in a lightbulb. Ooops.

Tang and Biscuit has 10 regulation shuffleboard lanes, a 50-foot bar, a kitchen serving a fun menu, and a back room full of large yard games including Connect Four, Jenga and Cornhole.

It’s also got tons of TV’s and big screens. Really an optimal place to play games, watch people play games or just people watch.

If you don’t play Shuffleboard and let’s face it, very few do, there are Court Captains that get you through it. The games are about $20 an hour, weekdays and $30 an hour on weekends. And yep – it’s kid friendly and has league play available.

Tang and Biscuit is located at 3406 W. Moore St. $

Courthouse Creek Cider

The young family that grew an orchard of apples and pears in Goochland County has now opened a tasting room inside the newly renovated Highpoint Building on Broad St. (yep, the building with Bernie Sanders painted on the side).

All the production of their awesome cider is still done on the 4.5 acres they have in Maidens, but they’re now bringing it right to us to taste in Scott’s Addition. They’re producing about 10 ciders now (according to their website) and you can sample on their outside patio or garden.

It is open Tuesday to Friday after 4pm and Saturday and Sunday after noon.

Courthouse Creek Cider is located at 3300 W. Broad Street. $

City Barre A friend of mine said City Barre is the chicest fitness studio she’s ever been to. And I don’t think many could argue that. It’s located in a former warehouse space but you wouldn’t know that with all the gold, velvet and ornate light fixtures that now fill the room. It’s swank!

There are plenty of Barre classes but the studio owner, Gretchen Stumpf, really hopes you’ll hang out a while and has added a comfy patio and lounge with self-serve coffee to her space.

A variety of classes are offered all week long, in a variety of time slots that begin at 6:00am. There are also several membership options to choose from but you can just drop-in and try a class.

City Barre is located at 1404 Belleville Street $$

Longoven

Longoven wasn’t even a full-blown restaurant, just a pop-up in 2016, and was getting awesome reviews in Bon Appetit magazine.  And now that it’s here in Scott’s Addition – it’s blowing guests away with its uber cool, minimalistic atmosphere and absolutely artistic plates of delicious food. A far cry from what that space used to look like, by the way.

I went in before opening and asked, “So, what kind of food do you serve, is it foofy, foodie stuff?” I wasn’t trying to be rude or ignorant but most food has a style and a theme. Co-owner Andrew Manning politely responded – “You should follow us online.”

Longoven’s menu is a la carte and served throughout the restaurant but walk-ins are welcome. There is also a Chef’s table and dinner is served off a tasting menu through reservations. You can also just pull up to the bar and grab cocktails, wine and beer.

A friend described it like this, “It was a unique experience. It felt elite. The ambiance is great and the way the food is presented feels more like New York, San Francisco or Chicago than Richmond.”

Longoven is closed Sundays and Mondays and is located at 2939 W. Clay Street. $$$

Aloi

Aloi, which was once just a neighborhood food truck, opened in late July in the space that once housed Idle Hands Bread Company and flanks The Arcade on the corner of Leigh Street and Summit (Yes, the building with the retro Arcade mural that was painted over – but that’s a whole other story).

When it was doing food truck fare, they had a pretty awesome Poke bowl. Now a restaurant, the owner of Aloi who also co-owns Sabai, is serving up seasonal Contemporary American cuisine. It means they’re making food that’s in season and can be purchased from local farmers.

Aloi also has a full bar with cocktails, beer and wine and guests call it a “chilled atmosphere”. Reservations are accepted and it’s closed on Monday and open after 4:30pm most days of the week.

Aloi is located at 3103 W. Leigh Street. $$

Photo: M. Guyer

Perch was probably our most anticipated restaurant opening of this year. Why? Because it’s housed in the old Joy Garden restaurant and part of the gateway into Scott’s Addition.

The landmark Chinese neon marquis façade is long gone and what stands now is a beautiful modern and inviting entrance that includes indoor and outdoor patio seating. It’s bright and airy and quite the contrast from the dark and dated restaurant that long-lived on Broad Street.

The menu is an eclectic twist on traditional Filipino cuisine, and the plating is fabulous. You can dine in the dining room, or the private community table with a clear view of the kitchen so you can see all the in’s and outs of what’s going on behind the curtain.

Perch is closed on Mondays and reservations can be made online. It’s located at 2918 W. Broad Street. $$

Other spots to check out:

Don’t Look Back opened in May 2018

Stella’s Market opened in April 2018

River City Roll opened in April 2018