Back in 1991, when called Eastern Standard, this was home to the first regular gig for Dave Matthews Band.
"It's been a long time dream of mine," says Will
Richey, while lying on his back with a wet paintbrush in
hand, "to do a Southern restaurant."
That dream may come true next month when the 35-year-old opens
The Whiskey Jar, a concept he and two partners are
putting into the space long occupied by Escafé,
moving to Water Street.
At 227 West Main, workers have already stripped the place to the
walls (with exposed brick in some places), installed a new floor,
and there are plans to rebuild the bar without any clutter
Richey is well known as the owner of Revolutionary
Soup and as founder of the Charlottesville Wine
Guild; but it's Red Row Farm, a
little organic plot he and his wife, Lisa, operate near Esmont that
will put much of the food on these tables.
Raising pigs, chickens, sheep– along with plenty of okra, kale,
and collard greens– the couple is engaging in what economists call
"vertical integration," but Richey says his new restaurant's aim is
"taking local to its next logical conclusion."
"It'll be southern food specific to the Piedmont region of
Virginia in our great-grandmothers' era," he says, "at prices
they'd recognize also."
Appropriately, at this storefront in the sh...