Name that center

Fill ’er up. And while you’re at it, fill me up to!

That’s what folks’ll say, come April 1, when a combination gas station, convenience store, and deli opens on Pantops mountain, according to Stu Rifkin, consultant for the project.

The Market at Pantops will be an Exxon gas station in the tradition of the Bellair Market and The Market at Town & Country (at the corner of Emmet Street and Hydraulic Road).

Like its equally upscale siblings, the Pantops market will offer more than your basic gas station fare of burgers and fries. A salad bar, creative sandwiches, and an array of soups will be offered, and when the temp heats up, the Market will keep you cool with gelato, made fresh each day. 

This news gets our engines revving; how ‘bout yours? 

Obviously, though, all the construction on Pantops can’t be attributed solely to the new gas station. In fact, the bulk of the project is a brand new— and much needed for that part of town— Giant grocery store.

We spoke with Giant spokesman Jamie Miller last week, and he told us we can start squeezing melons as early as July. Now that’s some fresh news!

In addition to an expansive produce section, Miller promises a floral department, deli (with seating), salad bar, and self-serve coffee bar.

We’re thrilled to be getting it, but we’re heartbroken over those lost views from 250. And speaking of those lost views, the new shopping center has no name as yet, but a contest sponsored by Rivanna Realty invites community members to come up with a name. Though we’ve decided to refrain from entering (despite the $100 Giant gift certificate prize), we do have an idea (which any of you should feel free to use): “Block-a-view Plaza.” Now that’s got a ring to it!

Contest entries must be turned in by February 25 (that’s Monday), and are available at Staples Barber Shop in the Barracks Road Shopping Center, The Riverside restaurant on Little High Street, Shadwell Store at the intersection of routes 20 and 250 and Rivanna Realty on Berkmar Drive. Happy suggesting!


Not famine!

Hungry? Got some extra dinero burning a hole? If you answered yes to both questions, you have all you need to take a trip over to the former MacGregor Imported Auto building on Main Street, which now houses Albemarle Baking Company, Ciboulette, a gourmet deli in the style of Dean & DeLuca, and now Feast!, a European cheese and provision shop owned by Kate Collier, a UVA grad who spent the last couple of years working for Cheeseworks, a cheese distributor in San Francisco.

Of particular note at Feast! is the ornate steel-based “tree” table, constructed by Collier’s brother, Alexander, a sculpture major at the College of William and Mary. The table serves as a centerpiece for the small space and is covered with huge jugs of Tuscan and Spanish olive oil and grapeseed oil, as well as gourmet wine vinegars from the Sparrow Lane winery in Napa. Patrons can purchase any of these in smaller bottles, or in bulk.

Cheese, however, is Feast!’s specialty, and manager Suzannah Kerr says the store will carry an assortment from Spain, Italy, and America, as well as a few from England and Holland. A cold storage room just outside the front doors will also be used as a cheese aging space.

To round it all out (and you out, as well), Feast! will offer wine, fresh produce, an antipasto bar featuring nine types of olives, roasted nuts, dried fruits, a grilled nine-cheese sandwich and a cold sandwich of the day which can be eaten in the yet-to-be-completed “marketplace” space which all the stores will share. Got all that? Feast! certainly does.