A chunk of change


 The times, they are a-changin’. At least, in the restaurant world. Says the second quarter report from the Virginia Department of Taxation, food sales tax revenues are up in the city and down in the county as compared to the same time last year. In fact, the county pulled in $1,508,994 less this year. What accounts for this decrease? We asked La Cocina Del Sol and Brasserie Montiel owner Alejandro Montiel, whose Southwestern eatery has outposts in both Crozet and Charlottesville. 

Alejandro Montiel, who owns La Cocina Del Sol (pictured) and Brasserie Montiel, says the economy might be only partly to blame for the drop in the county’s food sales tax revenue.

The restaurateur says that, while factors like the economy and an increase in dining options make it difficult to give hard data on the reason for the county revenue decrease, he observes this: “It’s just not what it used to be.” Montiel says he’s seen a marked switch in the variety of diners: less family dinner outings and more Baby Boomers going out to eat. 

And it’s not over yet. Montiel says that, in the city, he sees more diners are staying in. “More people are out in Crozet than in Charlottesville,” he says, though this is of course anecdotal. Looking at the city’s $1,515,123 increase in revenue, could that mean fewer of you are simply eating more? Don’t look at Restaurantarama; it’s called “research.”

Movin’ and shakin’

By the time you read this, a new tenant will be in the former Outback Lodge space. The venue, called Deuces Lounge, will be used for musical acts and DJ dance parties, but we hear there’ll be food, too. Owner Jerome Cherry Sr. says the main menu item will be burgers.

Over on the Corner, you may have been hearing the loud “thwack!” of hammers on Elliewood Avenue. That’s Lex Gibson, making some serious headway in the renovation of former L7 spot The Pigeon Hole. She expects a mid-October opening for her venture, which will include a late-night breakfast menu.


Pasta lovers unite! To celebrate the start of the season, beginning September 20, Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar is offering a Monday night special: a two-course dinner (salad and pasta) for $18 per person. Choose from Bolognese, spaghetti and meatballs, Italian macaroni and cheese with prosciutto, shrimp scampi or baked Italian sausage pasta. Sounds like a deal we could fall for.