Charlottesville Breaking News

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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Scooter strike: Injury as two-wheeler collides with car on Water Street

A quiet morning on the Downtown Mall was shattered Tuesday by the sound of a metal-on-metal crash that could be heard four blocks down Water Street, as a man driving a large grey scooter eastbound slammed into the passenger side door of a Toyota Rav4 crossing Water Street southbound on 4th Street (see location). The man was sent hurtling against the vehicle and then thrown backward by the impact, landing motionless on the curb behind his mangled scooter in the street.

Matt Rohdie, the owner of Carpe Donuts and a former EMT, ran across the street when he saw the accident to attend to the man, making sure he wasn't moved. Within seven minutes, police, EMTs, and the Fire Department were on the scene, quickly followed by a Newsplex TV camera man. Oddly enough, Rohdie said the man was asleep and snoring on the curb, knocked out cold by the impact. Still, the man was breathing and moving his legs. Later he awoke to find himself being loaded into an ambulance, his face terribly bruised and bloodied, but no severe-looking head wounds. He was taken to the University of Virginia Medical Center.

According to Charlottesville Police spokesperson Lt. Ronnie Roberts, the driver of the scooter was a 28-year old male, and the driver of the Rav4 was a 63-year old woman. As of Tuesday afternoon, Roberts said the man was still having a CT scan at the Medical Center, and would be held for several days due to possible head i...

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Fresh Market: Upscale grocer wants Circuit City spot

Just two weeks after the artery-clogging opening of Cook-Out, word comes that another Greensboro-based food company plans to shake up Charlottesville.

Fresh Market, a fast-growing grocer that specializes in hard-to-find foods, plans to open in the dormant spot occupied for about a decade by Circuit City, which closed its store in the Albemarle Square Shopping Center on the eve of the bankruptcy, which eventually dissolved the electronics discounter.

While a Charlottesville location is not listed at the company's online list of 13 impending stores, the news came from a presentation to a local board with the power to review external building changes in certain high-profile areas. On Monday, April 2, the Fresh Market presentation was made to the Albemarle County Architectural Review Board, according to a person present.

If Fresh Market follows through with its plans for Central Virginia, which also include a store on Parham Road in Richmond (with another one planned for the Fan district), the move will mark a return of groceries to Albemarle Square which has, as of late, struggled with an unusually high percentage of open storefronts. Home to both the Northside Library and a large outpost of ACAC, the Atlantic Coast Athleti...

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Savory spheres: Interior work begins at One Meatball Place

Interior build-out may begin next week for One Meatball Place, the sphere-centric dining venue first revealed in the Hook back in January. And although the Place appears closer to completion, this new West Main Street ball-zone certainly won't open by its original April opening target.

"We're part of a larger project than just us, so we've sort of been delayed by the overall project," explains owner Richard Zakin, noting that shared bathrooms and a shared patio will be part of the mix at the Main Street Market Annex.

Zakin says that the dining room design comes from Alloy Workshop, the same firm that designed the acclaimed Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar, which opened last fall. Kitchen equipment has been purchased, he says, and the installation of the hood has begun at the building formerly housing C&R Auto across from the Blue Moon Diner.

"We're making progress– little by little," says Zakin, who now predicts a June opening.

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