Charlottesville Breaking News

Everybody's place: Citizen Burger Bar set for Memorial Day opening

Restaurateur Andy McClure says he's been trying to open a place on the Downtown Mall for several years. And he came close a few times, once at The Gleason, and another time closer downtown where Jean Theory is right now. Now finally, as the Dish recently reported, he's secured the space formerly occupied by Siips Wine & Champagne Bar, which, after four years, bowed out in February. Now the historic store space, formerly occupied by such businesses as C.H. Williams, Hamilton's of Bermuda, and April's Corner, will become Citizen Burger Bar.

McClure, who owns The Virginian, West Main Restaurant, the Biltmore, and Three, says he's shooting for a Memorial Day weekend opening, but he's got his work cut out for him. Siips was a dark and cavernous space, so McClure and his architect, Mike Stoneking, have basically gutted the place for a reinvention of the space.

"There are a lot of found treasures here,"...

6 comments | read more

FunStuff: Charlottesville events May 3 and beyond


First stop for First Fridays
With its artist studios and monthly receptions, McGuffey Art Center is the headquarters for the local art scene, the place you're going to find some art that you like. Photographers Margo Hamilton and Ron Evans take the main gallery with their archival ink-printed photos (like Hamilton's Swan shown here). Scott Supraner's ceramic reliefs and Blake Hurt's "Lines on Faces" ink-on-canvas, paper, acrylic, and glass works line the lower hall. Upstairs, Jefferson School African-American Cultural Center's Andrea Douglas curated "From Backyard Clotheslines to Museum Walls," with the work of Frank Walker and the late Gerry Mitchell.
May 4, McGuffey Art Center, 5:30-7:30pm, free



Skip Castro at FA5
How far people will drive to see a show tells you a lot about a band, and we'v...

2 comments | read more

Big lessons: Candid Doughty offers sa-sa-something

The man who sings about his reticence in "Na Na Nothing" turns out to have plenty to say– or at least write about. If fans haven't always been privy to intimate stories from Mike Doughty, they've had their chance since the January release of his tell-everything memoir, The Book of Drugs, which examines not only his adventurous lifestyle and experience with addiction, but also the gut-wrenching days of his time in Soul Coughing, the quirky and experimental band noted for Doughty's poetic lyrics.

“People have always felt really close to me because I'm an over-sharer,” Doughty says in a telephone interview in advance of his upcoming solo performance in Charlottesville. “I was on AOL messageboards when I was 23 putting out my first album.”

Now 41, Doughty finds himself in the middle of a tour that emphasizes that openness, mixing readings from the book with songs from his solo career and time for Q&A from the audience.

Doughty says many fans think that "Q&A is code for 'I will tell you gnarly things about Soul Coughing.'" He says he won't speak about his old band, but he will take on strange hypotheticals like the one from a fan who asked if he'd "rather play Twister with Dick Cheney or punch a kitten in the face."

Such questions can be heard on his new live album The Question Jar Show, and much of the book looks at the problems in the band, a revelation w...

1 comment | read more

Century of Snow's: Family business hits the big 100

Where's Willard Scott when you need him? Three generations of Snows gathered Thursday at the Snow's Garden Center headquarters on Avon Street to celebrate the 100th birthday of the family business.

"It's amazing to see something that started 100 years ago not only being here but thriving," says a proud Duane Snow at the April 26 event.

He says he passed the landscape business on to his son, Corbin, and to family friend Scott Price back in 2003. It was Duane Snow's grandfather, Leroy H. Snow, who started the operation back in 1912 in Belmont, off Monticello Road near what's now Mas restaurant before relocating to Avon Street in 1978. A century later, Duane Snow says, it's hard to throw a, well, stone in Charlottesville without hitting greenery that Snow's planted.

"We've done whole subdivisions," he says, in addition to planting the trees on the Downtown Mall and performing landscaping work on UVA Grounds. Currently, Snow's employs 50 or 60 people on a full or nearly full-time basis, which means they can do plenty of planting in the next 100 years.

"It's going very strong," says Snow.

1 comment | read more

Air apparent: 'History Guys' prep for weekly launch

Seven years after the idea for a radio show featuring "The American History Guys" was first floated in Charlottesville, the "Guys"– a dream team of two UVA history profs and a well-known college president– can boast that their program has beaten the odds in tough economic times, with six stations signed up to carry what is about to become an every-week broadcast.

"It feels really wonderful," says executive producer Andrew Wyndham, who conceived the show back in 2004. He says that Backstory with the American History Guys goes weekly May 11.

For those who haven't heard of the show– which launched as a monthly program on just a single station in 2009 before spreading to 130 public radio stations across the country– the concept is simple, even if the topics are complex.

Sometimes the subjects are "ripped from the headlines" Law & Order-style, including an upcoming episode on American homeownership– history of subprime mortgages, anyone? Another upcomer is "childbirth in the U.S.A.," particularly timely given recent "war against women" headlines. Special guests and callers with questions add spice.

"There are public radio stations all over the country that try to launch shows, and they...

6 comments | read more
Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse