Charlottesville Breaking News

Big scrap: Artists fight for their right to pick

If you've ever hauled junk to the Meade Avenue place long known as Coiner's Scrap Iron and Metal, there's a chance that your old gutter, gear, appliance, or tin slab never got melted down, that it actually became part of a custom lamp, a sculpture, a reinvented machine, or a piece of "found art" that might hang in a fancy gallery in Washington, D.C., or even in the home of a rock star.

For decades, local artists, artisans, and junkyard combers have been going to Coiner's on Saturday mornings, perusing the heaps of iron, steel, and tin scrap for anything that might be useful or attractive for their purposes.

But that came to a halt several weeks ago, temporarily at least, outraging some local scrap hunters.

Indeed, the family owned business that started at the turn of the century had become a kind of Saturday morning "breakfast club" for scrap hounds over the years, says one long-time patron.

"I remember going there with my Dad when I was about eight-years old," says Peter Farrell, a craftsman who has purchased metal scraps for works of art and high-end custom lighting projects. "I've bought thousands of dollars of metal from there over the years."

What's more, Farrell says he's met interesting people at the scrapyard, including a NASA scientist, a British guy who used to work in a Rolls Royce factory, and artists like Michael Fitts, a successful painter who uses scrap metal as a surface medium.

Farrell says that the scr...

7 comments | read more

FunStuff: Charlottesville events February 9 and beyond

Bob Marley tribute, mon
This is a twofer– a reggae dance party and a chance to check out the barely opened Black Market Moto Saloon at the corner of Meade Avenue and East Market Street, where we've spotted Tea Bazaar creator Matteus Frankovich jack-hammering away in front of his latest establishment. Dinner is served starting at 5pm– West Indian food to whet the appetite for Marley. The tribute is hosted by Scottie B., a.k.a. Mountainrasta, with WTJU's DJ Rizla, DJ 3rd Degree doing a dub session, and a special performance by Darrell Rose, Scottie B., and William Whitten's Afrikan Drum Fest & Dancers.
February 9, Black Market Moto Saloon, 9pm, $5



Found moments in photography
It's no secret that...

0 comments | read more

Final motions: Judge allows graphic photos in Huguely trial

In anticipation of the largest murder trial Charlottesville has seen, a final hearing was held on Friday, with attorneys for accused girlfriend-killer George Huguely unsuccessful in keeping what they called "prejudicial" photos of slain UVA student Yeardley Love from being admitted as evidence. They were, however, able to prevent news photographers from getting perp-walk photos of Huguely as he moves in and out of the courthouse, at least while the jury is being chosen.

29 comments | read more

Two Parrots: Lazy for BBQ joins Lazy for wings

When the Lazy Parrot Grill folks took over the former Brix Café space at the Pantops Shopping Center earlier this year, owner Kevin Kirby worried that some people might think the Lazy Parrot Grill, also in Pantops, had moved.

"We were just spreading our wings," he explains.

The Lazy Parrot Backyard BBQ now in the former Brix space may share the Lazy Parrot name– which Kirby has trademarked– but the two places are not, well, parroting each other.

"I've always wanted to do a second venture," says Kirby, who was born and raised in Charlottesville, "and when one came up so close, I couldn't resist."

While the Grill is known for wings– our friends at food blog Mas to Miller's deemed the Grill's wings one of the two best in Charlottesville– the Backyard BBQ is making a stab at offering the best, well, you know.

"It's a passion," says Kirby. "I will never cut down another BBQ joint because I now have the utmost respect for smokers. I have had many 3am wake up calls just to get the food on the smoker."

As Lazy-goers know, the Grill has 22 TVs to go with its wings, a thrivin...

31 comments | read more

Chow Bella: Rome-inspired restaurant to open in March

What does the man who created Charlottesville's Wild Wing Café do for an encore? He builds another restaurant on West Main Street– only this time it's not a television-laden sports bar, but instead an intimate Italian eatery. And it will honor his wife, a 37-year-old native of Rome, who is lending her own nickname to what will be called Bella's.

"The menu is very simple," says owner Douglas Muir. "We're going to have nine entrées and one special each day."

Key to the concept are family-sized portions and prices that are a "happy medium" between the $14.95 Wild Wing meals and Charlottesville's high-end restaurants where an alcohol-accompanied dinner for two can easily top $100. The target price-point at Bella's, he says, is $25 per person including wine; for lunch, it's about half that.

"You'll see two prices for each item," says Muir, noting that oversized plates are intended for three or four people while even the small plates may be too much for most appetites.

"You're always gonna walk out with food from Bella's," says Muir.

"Americans eat fast and they're done," says Muir, noting that it's not unusual for an Italian meal to start at 6pm and end at midnight.

"If you're having real good food," his wife Valeria Bisenti interjects, "it'll last to one or two."

Indeed, the couple plan to keep the doors open until 2am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays– with a 10pm closing t...

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