Tapped & paired: New places invade Barracks
The idea behind the Sedona Taphouse is simple: good beer, good food, and a comfortable atmosphere for all.
Although Dish had no luck reaching the owners by presstime, owner Dennis Barbaro recently told local food website The Charlottesville 29 that he "wanted a place that would appeal to women equally as much as men, a place that I would like to go and enjoy quality food and awesome beer and also a place that my wife and her friends would feel equally comfortable.
The upscale brew pub, which is slated to open on Millmont Street (right behind Barracks Road Shopping Center) in the former Millmont Grille location in the first week of June, will be Barbaro’s second Sedona Taphouse. The first, located in Midlothian, won two 2012 Best of Virginia awards in Virginia Living magazine’s – a first place for Best Overall Bar, and a second place for Best Place to Buy Beer.
The Charlottesville location promises to follow this successful model, with a rotating list of over fifty local and international craft beers on tap, and nearly ten times as many bottled offerings, as well as an extensive wine list, and hand crafted martinis.
The food side of things will be captained by executive chef Jordan Clegger, formerly of eclectic Richmond eatery, Mosaic Restaurant.
Though Barbaro is a New York native, this new venture is a return to C’Ville. He trained for four years at the Bonefish Grille in the Hollymead Shopping Center, honing his craft beer knowledge.
Sedona Taphouse’s website emphasizes giving back to its local community, saying “We work tirelessly to support our local community through our ongoing charitable initiatives. We give back, every day and every month,” and in 2012, the Taphouse raised more than $20,000 for central Virginia charities.
The new Taphouse promises to respect Charlottesville brews. “Rest assured that our local breweries will be well represented,” touts the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We've been huge fans for years!” – Emma Eisenburg
Trio of new places at Barracks
Right next to Burger King in the Barracks Road Shopping Center, where they demolished the old Shell gas station, a trio of eateries is scheduled to open under the same roof by the end of the year, which, given how these things typically go, likely means the beginning of 2014.
One place, Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, a small New Jersey-based chain, appears to have taken the stylish gourmet burger joint trend and added a a little twist– wine pairings with your grilled patty from an extensive wine list.
That's right, may we recommend a Zinfandel with that Sam Burger (smoked bacon and thousand island dressing), or a Shiraz with that Kobe Burger ( wild mushrooms on a Japanese style beef cut, typically darker and bolder in taste), or maybe the signature Zinburger, which is served with onions braised in Zinfandel.
They've got a lot of gourmet sandwiches as well, like a turkey sloppy joe, and a bunch of veggie burger options, too. They also have a pretty impressive gourmet shake and float menu, like a "Crème Brûlée" with crushed caramel and a "Strawberry Cheesecake" with strawberry cream cheese and graham crackers. Bunch of great gourmet salads, too. Full bar as well, cocktails, big beer list, and what they call a "sleek, contemporary, upbeat and playful" atmosphere " featuring rich wood and earth tones." Looks like they also feature panoramic art work on the walls featuring the animal who gives it up for your wine-paired patty.
Next up, Zoe’s Kitchen, a decidedly larger chain than Zinburger with restaurants in about 15 states from Pennsylvania to Arizona, that serves up "Mediterranean-inspired" food inspired by its Greek founder's mother, Zoe Cassimus. Started in Birmingham, Alabama in the mid-1990s, the place is often referred to as "fast casual" with a focus on health conscious food. So, we're talking Greek salads, hummus and pita, soups, egg salad, tuna, chicken salad, and turkey sandwiches, all at a relatively low price. There are also a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. Decor is on the modern side.
Finally, another New Jersey and New York-based eatery called Cups, yet another one of those self-serve yogurt places a la Sweet Frog and Bloop that have been capitalizing on the fro-yo fever over the last few years. Indeed, counting Arch's, the home-grown frozen yogurt place with locations on Ivy Road, Emmet Street, and on the Corner (which recently went self-serve to keep up with the trend), as well as the soon-to-open Spoon and Berry at The Shops at Stonefield, there will be eight places in town to get the stuff, including Berry Berry on the Corner.
How might Cups be different? Hmm…perhaps some different flavors, like sea salt caramel pretzel fray, a new store color scheme and house music, and video endorsements from pre-teen girls.