Charlottesville Breaking News

X Lounge retools, Buck's Elbow Pub goes public

Four years ago, when the Hook asked whether Charlottesville might be "New Yorkifying," a $10 martini at the trendy X Lounge was a key trend indicator. Indeed, when the multi-leveled restaurant/bar outfitted in steel and glass opened in 2006, it immediately erupted as a hip addition to the urban scene. A review in Virginia Law Weekly declared that "NYC-cool has finally arrived in the 'ville." Like NYC, the place even banned smoking before the Virginia ban.

Recently, though, the X Lounge has announced that it would be open to the public for dinner only on Friday and Saturday nights, reserving its space the rest of the week for private parties. So what's up?

The Hook contacted X Lounge representative for the owners (Francois Bladt and Kari Legault ), J.F. Legault, who said a personal family emergency has temporarily taken the focus off the restaurant, and he downplays the schedule change.

"We will be closed until Friday this week for a main drain line maintenance," he says. "That's it."

However, the restaurant's voicemail gives callers only two non-group dining options: Friday and Saturday. And a reporter noticed the place closed on a Tuesday back in mid-March....

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Takin' the 5th: Peyton Williams wants cousin's job

Campaign workers are meeting in the living room of the house Peyton Williams' great aunt built off JPA in the the 1930s. A reporter and photographer appear. Cars need to be moved so a volunteer can get out of the driveway and make it to an event. In short, it's a bit chaotic.

And as a man who's retired from two different careers, Williams could certainly be taking it easy, rather than trying to take the 5th Congressional District away from the man who holds it now, his second cousin once removed, Robert Hurt.

It was the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, that motivated Williams enough to consider a run for Congress as a Democrat. As did the intransigence of the House of Representatives, he says, which has stalled any significant legislation on topics Americans say they care most about: jobs and the economy.

"Why are you not doing what we elected you to do?" Williams rhetorically asks Cousin Robert, a Republican. "They continue to just say no."

This is Williams' first run for political office, and Hurt is way ahead of him there after Congressional incumbency and several terms in the General Assembly. Williams has had a distinguished career in government nonetheless. A member of the Army's Special Forces, he worked at the Pentagon before retiring in 1999 as a lieutenant colonel, and his second career was serving as a systems engineer for Lockheed Ma...

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FunStuff: Charlottesville events April 12 and beyond

TJ's b-day

Happy birthday to youuuuuu. Happy birthday to youuuuuuuuuuuu! Happy Birthday, dear TJ... It's Thomas Jefferson's 269th birthday! Even if America's third president can't be here in person to celebrate, there's a par-tay at his house this day, and the featured speaker is Jessica Tuchman Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and recipient of the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Citizen Leadership. TJ sends his sincere regrets, we're sure...
April 13, Monticello, 10-11am, free



Ooohs, ahhhs, and yum!

Whether you prefer candy for your eyes or your mouth, you'll find something satisfying at the PVCC Annual Student Show and Seventh Annual Chocolate Chow Down...

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Lair on Locust: Views and light behind imposing wall

Address: 801 Locust Avenue, Charlottesville
Neighborhood: Locust Grove
Asking: $780,000   
Assessment: $745,300   
Year built: 1925   
Size: 4,056 fin. sq. ft, 60 unfin.
Land: .89 acres

Agent: Roger Voisinet, ReMax Realty Specialists, 434-974-1500
Curb Appeal: 5 out of 10

Living within the city limits can mean giving up a sculpted landscape for a postage-stamp yard and a too-close-for-comfort view of the neighbor. It’s rare that one can find a house with nearly an acre of park-like splendor and mountain views– less than a mile of the Downtown Mall. Located in the first city neighborhood to be designated a Historic Conservation District, this is one of many 19th century houses constructed near the former home of Martha Jefferson Hospital.

This charming, restored Craftsman is hidden behind a fortress of trees and a tall wood fence. A buyer may be put off by this lack of curb appeal, but just inside a stylish iron gate the fence becomes a backdrop for a landscaped perimeter and a sound barrier t...

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Get Nick: Can 'Hot Air' filmmakers raise $65K?

Derek Sieg and Jeremy Goldstein want Nick Nolte bad. So badly that they've launched a "Let's get Nick" campaign, with website and videos. They've taken to the streets– and the Downtown Mall– selling raffle tickets and t-shirts to raise money to get Nick. And to get Nick, they need $65,000.

The two filmmakers have written a script called Hot Air, and they think the '70s icon from Rich Man Poor Man (and, more recently, 48 Hours, The Prince the Tides, and Tropic Thunder) would be perfect in the lead role of aging lothario/personal injury lawyer/hard-partying restauranteur who's looking at jail time for questionable business practices and decides the only way out is to fake his own death.

"We would love to get him," says Sieg, a native son of Charlottesville who's back in town after living in L.A. and who wrote, directed, and, in 2006, filmed Swedish Auto here with Lukas Haas and January Jones (now of Mad Men fame).

So why must they raise $65,000?

"That's an important number," says Goldstein, who made the documentary Skid Row and has written a half-doze...

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Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse