Charlottesville Breaking News

Pho-nomenon: Vietnamese soup comes to West Main

Pho, the hearty Vietnamese noodle soup filled with big chunks of beef or chicken and served with a side of bean sprouts, mint leaves, and basil that you add yourself, is hard to find in Charlottesville. Celebrity chef Peter Chang had a visiting chef prepare it once, Ten launched a "pop-up" pho restaurant, and Saigon Café has perhaps the best offerings, but we've yet to see a local place fully dedicated to the stuff– until now.

In mid-May, Zinc owner Vu Nguyen should be ready– he hopes– to open Moto Pho Co. in the newly renovated former auto service garage at 505 & 509 West Main Street, which is across the street just a tad to the west of Zinc. Formerly home to C&R Auto Service, the building was...

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Flame retardant: SRO trumps most mansions in smoke safety

With more than 150 solar and hot water heating panels on the roof and a high-tech security system featuring live video feeds of all public spaces, the formerly homeless and low-income residents of The Crossings, the new SRO, or "single room occupancy," will experience plenty of impressive residential gadgets. But the most significant technology at the 60-unit complex at the corner of Fourth Street and Preston Avenue will give those living there one priceless advantage over even most mansion dwellers: they're less likely to experience a fatal fire at home, thanks to a multi-faceted fire-suppression system and the use of smoke-savvy photoelectric smoke detectors.

"We use them because they eliminate nuisance alarms," says Skip Hannan of Mechums River Security Concepts, the company that installed the fire protection system at the $6.6-million-dollar development.

Avoiding false alarms is only one benefit of photoelectrics. As longtime readers of the Hook know, there are two types of smoke detectors, and they're not created equal. Ionization detectors, the kind found in the vast majority of American homes, use a small amount of radioactive material to detect the large particles released by live flames. They're prone to false alarms, leading residents to disab...

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Closing chapter: VQR's Genoways resigns, Waldo celebrates

After serving for nine years as the editor of Virginia Quarterly Review, Ted Genoways has stepped down to "concentrate on his own writing," according to a midnight UVA press release. Recently appointed deputy editor Donovan Webster will serve as interim editor until a national search for a new editor is launched in July.

"Ted has been an outstanding editor," said Thomas Skalak, UVA vice president for research, who took over operation of the magazine following an internal investigation in 2010. "Under his direction, VQR built a devoted following and an unparalleled record of recognition."

"I look back on my nine years as editor with pride, but I also hope that the new staff will not feel in any way encumbered by that legacy," said Genoways. "VQR is theirs to steward and re-imagine now, and I hope they will be able to build on and exceed past successes."

Judging from the UVA press release, Genoways single-handedly transformed VQR from an obscure college literary magazine to one that could compete with the likes of National Geographic and the New Yorker.

"Under Ted Genoways, Virginia Quarterly Review has become one of the most widely-admired...

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Saved for denims: Once threatened, store space revived in steel

Threatened with demolition by various developers including current owner Keith Woodard (who once proposed a nine-story tower featuring an unusual automobile elevator), the row of buildings facing the Jefferson Theater on the Downtown Mall has received new life in recent days– particularly with the March 17 opening of the jean theory: store.

"I've heard people say it looks like it belongs in Georgetown or that it looks French," says denim store owner Laura Van Camp. "If you stand out front, you can hear people oohing and ahhing."

Steel sculptor John Rubino credits plans produced by Gregory Brezinski of the Yorktown-based ARCI firm for providing a historically sympathetic design that includes white marble at the base and Rubino's steel above.

Brezinski, born and raised in Charlottesville before moving away to Tidewater, has returned for several high-profile hometown projects, including the office space renovation of the former C&O depot on East Water Street as well as the design of Monticell...

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What do you think of doing a mud race?

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