Charlottesville Breaking News
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.
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...
Best street theater: The 17 Occupy Charlottesville protesters arrested December 1 for trespassing in Lee Park are found guilty in court January 27. Veronica Fitzhugh, who was charged with indecent exposure when she took off her clothes, shows up at General District Court wearing an orange jumpsuit, handcuffs, and black-face makeup to protest the high number of African Americans in prison. She's found not guilty of indecent exposure.
Best sign housing prices haven't recovered:
Charlottesville reports a 3.08 percent decline in residential
assessments and an 0.84 percent drop in existing commercial
Biggest blow to zoning: The Virginia Supreme Court rules January 13 that planning commissions don't have the authority to grant waivers in a case brought by Albemarle resident Kent Sinclair, who sued Cingular and the county over a waiver granted for a 103-foot cell tower adjacent to his property, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.
Biggest investment: RelayFoods.com gets a $3.1 million capital influx from Battery Ventures, an investment firm out of Massacusetts. Bryan McKenzie has the story in the Progress.
Biggest UVA critic: The Price is Right host Bob Barker writes UVA president Teresa Sullivan asking the university to stop using cats to train med students to insert breathing tubes in infants, Ted S...