Charlottesville Breaking News

Heating up: Chang wows Richmond; plans new menu, movie

Peter Chang is likely the only chef in America whose migration from one restaurant to the next over the last several years has been depicted by a map graphic in the Washington Post, from his arrival at the Chinese Embassy in D.C. to the opening of his latest restaurant this February in that far-west Richmond exurb known as Short Pump.

During a recent visit to Peter Chang Café, which is tucked away behind a Walmart, we learned that Chang's wandering days may be over. Or at least limited to Charlottesville and Richmond.

"He's so happy now," says his business partner and translator Gen Lee. "He bought a car, is working on his English. This is where he wants to be."

Chang now divides his time pretty evenly between the two locations, and according to Lee, they have bee...

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App-reciation: Cardagin helps businesses say 'thanks'

To launch his 21st century phone app business Cardagin, Rob Masri says he learned everything he needed to know when he was a kid at his family's restaurant in southwest Virginia.

"My father always said to me, 'If the same 40 or 50 families didn't come here time and again, there's no way our restaurant would survive'," recalls Masri. "Customers would drive up, and he'd begin making their order before they even got inside."

Now 41, Masri had emigrated with his parents and three siblings from civil war-torn Lebanon in 1977 and settled in the tiny town of Pearisburg, outside of Blacksburg. He recalls that for particularly frequent patrons, his father sometimes refused payment for the entire meal.

"He'd smile and say, 'Your money's no good today,'" says Masri.

Three decades and a law degree later, those memories of such special treatment and customer loyalty helped Masri launch what's poised to be a global customer loyalty appreciation business based right here in Charlottesville.

The key to Cardagin's success, says Masri, is the rise of smart phones coupled with the popularity of "customer loyalty cards," which include grocery store swipe cards and the freebie-offering punch cards popular at sandwich shops.

Masri recalls the day in 2008 that he sat in the basement of his Charlottesville home sorting stacks of such cards he'd collected from coffee shops, restaurants, and other businesses as he tr...

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Renovation and location make for quick sale

3/8/12

Charlottesville

Opre Gleasons Development LLC to Cooper W. Stewart & Louisa T. Bradford, 200 Garrett Street, Unit 402, $439,000

Ferdinand D. Harris, Jr., Sarah F. Harris, Reva L. Nowell, Leona E. Brown to Harriet Burns, 514 11th Street NW, $140,000

Federal National Mortgage Association to Matthew James Baldwin, 1604 Monticello Avenue, Apartment F, $80,000

Albemarle 

Jonathan Carl Gatewood, Jr. to US Bank National Association, 576 Maxfield Road, $90,000 (foreclosure)

US Bank National Association to Michael Clayton Beasley, 5387 Murrays Lane, $116,900

Belvedere Station Land Trust to Geoffrey B. & Jennifer S. Springer, Trustees, Springer Family Trust, 870 Belvedere Boulvard, $307,460

3/9/12

Charlottesville

Jet LLC to Slobodan & Vesna Todorovic, 1800 Jefferson Park Avenue, Unit 23, $115,000

Amy T. & Barclay S. Bright to Edward Eric Lamb & Pamela Marie Norris, 842 Village Road, $550,000

Albemarle

The TSRM Group LLC to CSSP Investments LLC, 140 Hessian Hills Circle, Unit 1, $84,000

Shiflett Farm LLC to NVR, Inc., 5580 Summerdean Road, $85,000

John P. Deyoung to Brandon & Sarah C, Black, 5520 Jamestown Road, $160,000...

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Morning napalm: The other side of the wine industry

By Robert Butler

You've probably heard that iconic cinematic moment in Apocalypse Now from Robert Duvall's character, Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning," he says. "It smells like... victory.”

I am reminded of those lines during grape-growing season on my early-morning walks. You see, I live down the road from a vineyard, and from the very early spring through to the very late fall, an invisible barrier– the smell of pesticides– drifts across the roadway.

Needless to say, upon reaching the vineyard I do an about-face.

I’m always hoping I can continue in that direction since it is picturesque and adds variety to exercise, but it is only during the winter months that I may proceed and fill my lungs with healthful air.

That pesticide smell doesn’t make me think of victory. It makes me think instead of a needless assault upon the environment.

This conflict between the vintner and the natural world is expanding in the Commonwealth of Virginia. As more wineries open their doors and more vines are planted, more acres of soil become a repository for the abundance of chemicals necessary to achieve s...

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Survival story: How they defeated a rabid bear

Running into a rabid bear can pretty much ruin your morning, according to two men who survived to tell the tale of Virginia's first-ever reported rabid bear, an encounter that occurred in the neighborhood of the hiker-heavy Appalachian Trail and the family-friendly Skyline Drive.

It started out a pretty typical day for Bobby Bryant, the farm manager at Royal Orchard, the 2,800-acre estate on Afton Mountain that used to provide Albemarle Pippins to Queen Victoria and is owned by the Scott family of Scott Stadium and Scott & Stringfellow brokerage-firm fame.

Bryant, a 56-year-old Afton native who's worked on the estate since 1985, and 22-year-old co-worker Patrick Thompson headed out shortly after 7am on Tuesday, April 17 in a Gator, a popular utility vehicle from John Deere. They drove to the trout pond near Interstate 64– about two-and-a-half miles from the Scott Castle– to dump some rock on the dam.

They were heading back when there was movement up ahead to the right, and the younger man suddenly said, "Look at that bear."

Seeing bears at Royal Orchard is not unusual, accord...

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