Snap o' the Day: Stairway to... somewhere?

Someday, this view of the Southwest Mountains, shot February 15, will encompass more than just a Target store, the Sakura/Vinny's patio area, and a stairway to nowhere. As the high ground of developer Wendell Wood's Hollymead Town Center, this site could be an eight-story office building.


The wall ties into planned future development. But it was built now so they wouldn't have to tear down a temporary retaining wall later and install the stairway. But of course this was explained to me by my 13-year-old niece who knows it all. Her explanation sounds pretty accurate though.

sounds like you got a clever crew there Rambo!

Not really. She has insider information! :)

Has Wendell Wood ever developed anything that wasn't gawd-awful ugly? My, what stunning use of asphalt!

Joni Mitchell comes to mind-- and perhaps Dante's "Paradise Lost"

Reality Check, news flash! Ugly pavement works. Compare your net worth to that of Wendell Wood. :)

Don't be hating on a rich successful man!

Do you guys read and say 'we should write about that!'? This article came out 8 days ago - cvillain had an article about it the day it was in the Post.

For the record, has had 'undercover dining at area restaurants' for over a year now with 40,000 readers per month. These are people from the community writing about old places, new restaurants, and ones that haven't even opened yet. Peruse the 'Food' section. isn't printed on paper, but the website is amazing. Why compete? Embrace it and work together to cover the 'food scene' in town.


Thanks for your comments, but I'm afraid you're mistaken. We posted about the Post article on the day of:

If you notice the time stamp it was posted at 10:50am. Not sure when cvillian posted, but you might want to check.

Of course, you're free to think cvillain is a great source of information, but how do you know if everything you've been reading isn't written by the same person? How do you know the restaurant reviewer doesn't work for the restaurant? Or works for another restaurant and has an axe to grind? How do we know you don't work for cvillain? You see, gossip sites with anonymous posters and commentors are great fun and all, but trusting them a legitimate news the saying goes, buyer beware.

As far as I know, no one 'works' for Cvillain. It's a free site that is moderated. I know personally know a large number of people who write reviews and comment on the site. Actually, you probably know more people who post there than you think. I don't think the scenario of a reviewer with an axe to grind is an accurate one. There will always be negative reviews, but if you look at the mass of comments on a particular place it gives a pretty accurate overall picture of the restaurant rather than just one reviewers perspective. How do we know that a restaurant that gets a glowing review in the Hook doesn't pay $1000 a month for advertising?


I'm more inclined to listen to what 1000 regular people say about a restaraunt versus what just one "intrepid gourmand" thinks after just one visit.

If the restaurant knows who he is, of course he's gonna get better service and food than everyone else.

I'll admit that I'll probably read and make fun of his opinions, anyway.

Good luck.

FYI cbob, people do work for cvillian:

"I don't work for Cvillain"....If you'd read the review you'd see that our reviewer visits the restaurant twice, provides no advance notice to the restaurant, and speaks to the chef after the two visits. 1000 regular people? Hmmm.....isn't it more like the same five people? :)

Dave, Thank you for your retort.

Your reviewer may show up announced, but I would think that the restaurant owners or managers know who he is, especially since he's speaking to the chefs, removing his anonymity from any future visits. And since most of the establishments are owned by a handful of people, you know they all know who he is.

So, instead of making fun of your reviewer, I think I'll start making fun of you. Although, I like challenges, so maybe not.

Actually, I probably won't even bother, as I wouldn't want you to make the mistake of thinking you had a higher readership than the competition by which you are clearly threatened.


We have at least 200 people who have written articles and way too many commenters to count. Also, to clarify, we don't employ anyone at Spicy Bear Media at this time. Good luck with the restaurant reviews! Thanks, Kyle

I can't speak for Cvillain outside of the fact that I like the site and am a contributor. I'm just pointing out that your food blog is a good idea for your site - but rather than have an adversarial relationship with Cvillain, why not try to partner up with them somehow. RSS feed Cvillain reviews with their help? RSS Hook reviews into Cvillain? Getting defensive about it is kind of ridiculous. CLAW was organized by Cvillains and you covered it and liked it :)

Seems to me both kinds of "reviews" have something to offer. A place like Cvillian (sounds like Yelp to a point) where anyone can offer up an opinion is a good thing. So, in my mind, is a newspaper standing behind a reviewer even if that reviewer is known to the restaurants on some level. If he's really off on his descriptions of the food he'll lose any credibility quickly. If he's always raving about service but it becomes clear that its owing to the restaurant having recognized him, again he loses credibility. (Also, in my experience, restaurants can't really dial up that "extra special service level" because if they can't provide good to excellent service regularly they can't do it on a moment's notice either.)

I'm looking forward to exploring Charlottesville restaurants again (I'm moving back after a couple of years in San Francisco) and I'm thrilled that there are reviews of any kind to help.

Food fight!