Chain reaction

Chain reaction

Yes, that’s Will Richey above, and we’ll get to him in a second, but first, news that Richmond-based regional chain Tara Thai is planning for a pre-Christmas opening at its newest location: the old Casella’s spot in the Barracks Road shopping center. We told you about this impending transformation back in March, and the brown paper has adorned the windows for quite a while now. Finally, an ABC permit has been posted and the Short Pump shop’s general manager, a gentlemen who goes by the name of Birdie, tells us that

From me to you: Revolutionary Soup owner
Will Richey personally delivers soup made at
his flagship restaurant to Whole Foods.

provided final construction at the old pizza shop goes as planned, the Pad Thai and other delectables will be available for your enjoyment sometime before Christmas—Hallelujah! This will be the 11th location of Tara Thai from owner Nick Srisawat. The other 10 are in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Birdie tells us that while the menu is similar at each locale, minor changes are made to adjust for the geography and the tastes of a particular clientele. Hmm. We are very curious to know the unique Thai palates of Charlottesville. More curry, less stir-fry? More tofu, less fish? We’ll have to wait a few weeks to find out.

Soup for you

Like Restaurantarama, you may find yourself craving something warm and simple and nutritious these days. How about stopping in for some of Revolutionary Soup’s Spicy Senegalese Peanut Tofu? Yes, that’s right. You now can hop into the Shoppers’ World shopping center for some of Rev Soup’s signature soup made with love at the flagship restaurant at 108 Second St. SW. All season, Rev Soup’s owner, Will Richey, has been supplying Whole Paycheck (née Foods) with one soup selection a week for one of the five soup wells the mega grocery store has available at its salad bar/prepared foods bar.

“They [the local Whole Foods] approached me about it. It’s a little bit more expensive for them than the corporate supplied-soups, but the local store was committed to making it work,” says Richey, who opened a second Revolutionary Soup location on the Corner earlier this year. 

So might we expect a third Revolutionary Soup to make a full insurrection of the chain-laden 29 corridor anytime soon? Well, it’s still quite early in the relationship with the grocery giant, but if the soup flies off the Whole Foods stand, you never know.

“I would love to be on 29,” says Richey.


A couple of places we’ve been telling you about are now open, in case you didn’t notice: from the owner of the C&ODave Simpson—and his partners—Gareth Weldon and Jim Baldi—it’s Bel Rio in Belmont; from the owners of Orzo Kitchen & Wine BarCharles Roumeliotes, Katherine Kroloff and Ken and Laura Wooten—it’s Calvino Café in the Main Street Market; and from the owners of a bunch of Topeka’s Steakhouses in Richmond and elsewhere in Virginia, it’s a Topeka’s Steakhouse on Pantops.

Now, we all know that one indication that a restaurant recently opened for dinner is heading towards success is when it finally opens up for lunch, so we are pleased to see that Boylan Heights, the burger joint on the Corner that serves local, grass-fed, organic beef, is now serving the mid-day meal.

"His legacy"

Finally, some sad news. As C-VILLE reported on our website, J. Michael Crafaik III, founder and owner of longtime Corner eatery Michael’s Bistro and Tap House, which he opened in 1994, died Saturday at UVA Medical Center. His stepmother, Kay Neeley, told C-VILLE last Friday that Crafaik “had struggled extensively with bipolar disorder,” and that “he was a wonderful person.” As to the question of whether the Bistro and its stellar food and classy beer list will continue, Neeley said yes, calling it “his legacy.”

Chain reaction

Chain reaction

Dear Ace: I recently got a ticket for running a red light on my bicycle and was told that if I didn’t pay it, I’d lose my driver’s license. But you don’t need a license to ride a bike, so that seems inherently unfair. Should I sue the City for unequal protection under the law, or what? —Cy Klist

Dear Cy: Oh, Ace sure does hate being hassled by The Man! And, ever the libertine, he certainly understands your deep-seated desire (or narrow-seated desire, as the case may be) to flout the laws of the land, and to pedal wherever your heart leads you. Yes, Cy, you and Ace are the last cowboys—the free men of the range who spit in the eye of authority and invite all others to eat our dust.
On the other hand, tickets are a pain in the ass (or at least in those few square inches covered by one’s wallet), so—to get the skinny, and hopefully give your glutes some relief—Ace decided to play it sly and phone the Department of Motor Vehicles’ hotline as a regular Joe, calling on behalf of a friend.
That plan lasted all of 33 minutes…the length of time Ace was on hold before he hung up in frustration. I mean, come on—even crack investigative journalists need time to grab lunch!
Thwarted in his sneaky undercover plan, Ace decided to put in a call to Bill Foy, a DMV spokesman. Foy pointed Ace to the Code of Virginia (specifically section 46.2, chapter 8), which governs the regulation of traffic. The law reads, “Every person riding a bicycle…shall have all of the rights and duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”
“If a court convicts someone…for a violation of any of the provisions of chapter 8 for riding a bike on a highway,” says Foy, “then that will be posted to his driving record. It carries the same consequences on that individual’s driving record as if he was driving a motor vehicle.”
That certainly doesn’t bode well for your claim, Cy. Ace would urge you to hold off on that lawsuit for now. Sometimes, as you no doubt learned when you got that flat tire miles from nowhere, life is unfair.
But don’t feel too down. The same provision of the law that keeps you from running red lights willy-nilly also holds riders on horseback and people on Segways to the same standard. And if that’s not comfort enough, you can always take heart in the fact that you, unlike them, can wear Spandex pants with impunity. Let them try getting away with that!