FOOD- DISH-Opening acts: Blue Moon rising, X under fire

Yes, it's true..the Blue Moon Diner is rising. An inside source tells the Dish that the popular diner on West Main Street plans to re-open in the fall. Although the deal isn't final yet, the diner will open up under expanded management and try to re-capture the funky vibe that made it so popular. 

Indeed, when the Blue Moon announced it was closing last year, action picked up. According to our source, the diner did nearly five times its normal business in the last month it was open. Ever since then, a steady stream of people have continued to drop by the diner, which serves as the headquarters of Blue Moon Catering, asking if and when the business would re-open. Well, Blue Moon groupies, your diner dreams have been answered. Be sure to check in with the Dish for further Blue Moon updates! 

Fire scare at the Glass Building

On Monday morning, June 19, a small fire broke out in the new X restaurant space in the Glass Building on Second Street SE. 

According to Charlottesville Fire Marshal S. R. Walton, the fire was caused by a pile of linseed oil-soaked rags left on the floor over the weekend. The X space is currently under contruction.

"It was spontaneous combustion," Walton tells the Dish. "They were staining and finishing the wood in there and just left the rags in a pile. They heated up over the weekend and ignited. By the time we got inside, they were a pile of smoldering ashes." 

Fortunately, the Charlottesville Fire Department received a call from one of the offices in the building and were able to respond quickly. No one was injured, and the building was not damaged. 

Still, in a spooky bit of deja vu, Clifton Inn general manager J.F.Legault, an X partner and spokesperson, presided over another early morning fire. On November 14, 2003, Legualt was awakened by an early morning call from the fire department telling him the Clifton Inn was ablaze. Two women died in the conflagration, which was flowed by an ugly legal battle. It was an irony not lost on Legualt's fellow tenants in the Glass Building, who arrived Monday morning to find their offices and stores filled with smoke and the strong smell of burning oil.  

Shannon Iaculli, who owns the vintage clothing store Bittersweet, said she received a call Monday morning from Legault, who informed her of the fire. When she arrived, the smell of the smoke that filled her store was nearly unbearable, Iaculli says. When Dish arrived, the smoke was gone, but the smell of burning oil was still evident. According to Iaculli, the intense smoke and odor had already damaged her entire clothing stock, which will have to be either dry-cleaned or replaced. 

"It's already in the fabric," said a distraught Iaculli, "which really sucks."

Luckily for Blue Grass Grill & Bakery owner Jim Simcoe, the popular breakfast and lunch spot in the Glass Building is closed on Monday; otherwise, some breakfast-goers might have been in for a nasty treat. 

"Everything was wrapped up and in the coolers," Simcoe says. "So nothing was damaged by the smoke or odor." 

Still, Simcoe says he was more than a little alarmed when he showed up Monday morning and saw fire trucks surrounding the building. "We're just glad they're right around the corner," Simcoe said of the fire department.

Back in mid-April, X partner Francois Bladt, who'll run the restaurant with Legault's wife, told the Dish that the new restaurant/bar/lounge would be open the second week of May. So what does the future hold for the mysterious X?

Unfortunately, when Dish asked Legualt for comment at the scene, the burly restaurateur, munching on an apple while he surveyed the damage, was not in the mood to talk. 

Gesturing toward the Downtown Mall with his thumb, he said, "Yeah, you can go."

From rags to almost lost riches: On Monday, June 19, a pile of linseed oil-soaked rags ignited at the restaurant X site in the Glass Building.