FOOD- THE DISH- Brew hoo-hah: Coffee meets ice cream on JPA

After 10 years in the real estate business, Amy Bishop has found a new groove– serving up ice cream and brews for 'Hoos. By brews, of course, we mean the bean, not the barley. By 'Hoos, we mean... well, you know what we mean. And by groove, we mean Bishop's gig managing Hoo's Brew, the new coffee house/ice cream parlor next door to Dürty Nelly's on JPA, which opened on February 24. 

According to Bishop, she and her husband had always wanted to open a coffee shop in Fluvanna, while her in-laws had always wanted to open an ice cream shop. When the space beside her father-in-law Bobby Bishop's Wayside Barbershop (which has been there for 28 years!) opened up, the two ideas meshed.

"It's definitely a business run by the entire Bishop family," Amy says. "I just agreed to manage it so I could do something different for a while."

Indeed, instead of showing houses and soothing jittery buyers and sellers, Bishop finds herself shouting over the groaning whir of a blender, and mixing up Hoo's Brew's own Cavalier Chiller ( "Our version of Starbucks' frappuccino, only better," says Bishop. ) and something called 20 Below, which Bishop describes as a frozen hot chocolate. 

"But how can...?" asks Dish. Bishop has obviously heard the question before: "You'll just have to try it."

Hoo's Brew is now open from 8am to 9pm Monday through Saturday, but that may evolve, says Bishop. "We might stay open on Sundays in the summer, or maybe stay open a little later. We'll just have to see how it goes."


Map fun!

Now you can find restaurants and other attractions Where's Waldo? style (no, not that Waldo) with Charlottesville's new "illustrative interpretive" map. 

  Created by, in partnership with VAWelcome, a local tourism marketing company, the new map is now available free in hard copy and features an interactive online version. 

According to the City's Office of Economic Development, it's the first such map in Virginia, featuring a flowering Dogwood growing out of Charlottesville's 'h' with a Cardinal– Virginia's state bird– looking down on children's book illustrations of various local landmarks and businesses by Richmond artist Maria Rabinky. 

Online, you can zoom in and out on various destinations and click on the name for more information. Unfortunately, when we visited the map online, it listed Monticello, The Virginia Discovery Museum, and the Wilderness Battlefield as places to eat, and Baja Bean as a favorite local attraction. 

Clearly, the two categories got mixed up, so Dish fired off an e-mail to hoping... well, they might discover it. And as restaurants and businesses in Belmont will notice, they've been interpreted as nonexistent. 

"Belmont in particular was problematic due to the fact we wanted to show the road from Monticello to downtown clearly, and if we added some of the businesses in Belmont, it would have clouded that route," explains Roy Van Doom of VAWelcome. " We sure wished we could have shown more areas, but to give clarity and keep it readable, we agonized over every element." 

Apparently, Rabinky agonized as well.

"I really enjoyed creating the Charlottesville map," says the artist. "I wish I could show all the beauty of Charlottesville on one piece of paper...every charming old building, every exquisite detail could have been a work of art on its own. It was very hard to choose one to depict."


Smoke and mirrors

What started in the Virginia General Assembly as the bold Smoke Free Air Act, a bill that would have prohibited smoking in restaurants and other public spaces in Virginia, was finally transformed into the decidedly timid bill HB2422, which recently passed and is awaiting Governor Tim Kaine's signature. 

In fact, some might describe the bill sponsored by Roanoke Republican Delegate Morgan Griffith as a victory for smokers and restaurants that allow smoking.  Whereas the Smoke Free Air Act sought to send smokers outside permanently, this bill actually removes the requirement that restaurants have a non-smoking section, and instead requires that a sign saying "Warning: Smoking Permitted" be posted in plain view. 

"I view this more as a victory for business owners and a defeat for intrusive government," says chef Christian Trendel, who owns the Acme Smokehouse & Barbecue Company on Route 29. "I'm not a smoker, and my restaurant is smoke-free, so this does not affect me personally. But I feel that business owners and their customers can make their own decisions without the government's intervention." 

Republican Delegate Rob Bell, Dem Delegate David Toscano, and Democratic Senator Creigh Deeds all voted against the bill. In fact, Toscano is adamant about the bill's shortcomings.

"The bill did nothing to address second-hand smoke in restaurants," he says. "And it also did nothing to address smoking in other public buildings."

However, Deeds, who describes himself as a "free market kind of guy," sees it as a failure on all fronts. "It takes the law backwards," he says. "It's bad for business and bad for people who don't like second-hand smoke." Deeds says its " basically a scarlett letter on the front of your restaurant" and also doesn't address second hand smoke concerns.  

Of course, the bill has anti-smoking advocates fuming, and they're hoping Governor Kaine amends it to include tougher restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants, something the Governor has suggested he supports. 

In fact, Deeds thinks that may have been the point all along. "This bill is basically a stategic move to get it to the Governor," he says. "...who I think will amend it to come up with a pure restaurant smoking ban. I wasn't going to play that kind of game with that bill."

"It is extremely unlikely that the patron was involved in a "strategic move" to get a bill to the Governor so he could amend it," Toscano counters. "If the Governor amends it, it will be because he believes, like me, that the bill does not go far enough in addressing the problem of second hand smoke in restaurants." 

Amy Bishop (left), and the entire Bishop family, bring coffee and ice cream delights to JPA with their new place, Hoos Brews.