Quite a few eyebrows were raised when the Thomas Jefferson Foundation recently announced that starting this year it will rent out the grounds of Monticello for private events. Not the house itself, but places around the grounds, including the Jefferson Library, the new Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center and the Smith Woodland Pavilion. That drunken corporate holiday parties and possible wedding receptions might soil the sanctity of our UNESCO World Heritage Site has some traditionalists around town wondering about the impact of the regime change at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which owns and manages the plantation. Leslie Greene Bowman took over as President of the foundation in late 2008 from Daniel P. Jordan, who’d been the chief executive there since 1985. In a report last month, The Daily Progress said that Jordan declined to comment specifically on the new rental policy, but was quoted as saying, “A new administration is in place now. And I wish them well.”
Karen Laetare is diplomatic about her decision to discontinue operations at the Café at Monticello, leaving it at “it was a wonderful learning experience.”
Now, Karen Laetare, owner of Brix Terrace Café on Pantops, tells us equally as graciously that as of May she will not continue to operate the Café at Monticello, because, simply, “It’s a new administration.”
Laetare says the decision to part ways with Monticello was mutual and that her stint “was a wonderful learning experience.” She goes on to explain that the nature of her assignment simply changed in terms of the type of food she was asked to prepare and that she wants to continue in the Brix direction. Though the Café at Monticello was never a branded Brix café, Laetare strove to provide the same level of freshly made sandwiches, paninis, salads, soups and baked goods for which Brix is known.
When her contract with Monticello is up in May, Laetare’s full attention will return to high-quality, gourmet fare Brix-style, both at the restaurant on Pantops, which serves breakfast, lunch and a full-service dinner, and through her catering business. She’s already making some changes at Brix to reinvigorate her Mediterranean-inspired menu as well as to offer less expensive meals for the recession-weary. Many of her lunch items are now available through the dinner hours, and she’s planning to add full-size versions of her Mediterranean individual pizzas. She’s also added savory waffles, a Brix spin on fish tacos and free WiFi. Technically, you can camp out all day from coffee at dawn to dessert at dusk and fulfill all your work and nutrition needs.
We named Laetare as one of our 2007 C-VILLE 20 emerging players for her entrepreneurial success in launching Brix from a funky little corner store on Route 53 in 1999 to a booming catering business and freestanding flagship shop in the Pantops Shopping Center as of 2007. Laetare has since closed the Route 53 location. Right now, she says she’s focusing on continuing to build her Brix brand and make the Pantops location successful. Still, she says her “radar is always on” for additional opportunities or locations.
Comedian Jim Gaffigan claims that Mexican restaurants seem to take the same combination of ingredients and repackage them under different names. Tortillas, cheese, meat and vegetables, he says, combine to form nachos, tacos, burritos, chimichangas and more. At many so-called Mexican
“This is just a glorious space,” says the artist, his eyes drinking it all in. Many people would probably balk at that assessment. The place is roughed-in and decidedly unfinished—lots of raw wood with minimal concessions to human occupancy. There are lights and a number of electrical outlets
Wegmans hasn’t opened its hallowed doors yet, but at least one new business nearby is up and running. Located at 1585 Avon St. Extended, Wineworks Extended is the newest iteration of local custom contract winemaking operation Michael Shaps Wineworks. The warehouse was originally scouted out as
We’re all guilty of it—a cupcake for a snack…an entire Benny Deluca’s pizza for dinner. It happens. Charlottesville, however, has embraced the perfect antidote for indulging in all the tantalizing foods the city has to offer: plenty of juice options. Whether found in a bottle, such as the
Imsook “April” Lee and her husband, Doyoung Moon, moved from Korea to the United States in 2006. The daughter of a restaurant owner who loved to cook, Lee worked in a Washington, D.C., deli, where she gradually introduced Korean sauces and items such as kimchi onto the menu to see how American
I suppose there’s no good time for a cat to pee in your bed, but two in the morning is particularly objectionable. Wrested from sleep by the noxious mess saturating my sock, I resigned myself to a bleary-eyed bout of laundry and mattress cleaning. This wasn’t the first time, and I needed a
Family The Habitat Store’s 13th birthday Bring your family for live music, food trucks, special sales and kids activities on the front porch in celebration of 13 years of donors, customers and volunteers. Saturday 6/11. Free, 9am-5pm. The Habitat Store, 1221 Harris St. 293-6331. Nonprofit
They say in America that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Turns out that’s pretty universal. “Her love for food started with a love for her husband, because the restaurant owner was her husband,” says Caterina Martini, translating for seventh-generation Italian chef Roberta
Family The Trail at Monticello Community Celebration Join fellow trail-lovers for a morning of hiking, music and a dedication in memory of former trail manager Jason Stevens. Saturday, 6/4. Free, 9am-noon. Monticello, 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. 984-9800. Nonprofit Celebration of Strong
Being a pet owner is no easy feat; it’s a constant responsibility that rewards us in scratched furniture, ripped up rolls of toilet paper and unexpected visits to the vet. And, okay, constant companionship and entertainment. In this issue, we cover the good, the bad and the ugly of owning a
Richard Ridge and Kelley Tripp wanted to create a gathering place on the Downtown Mall, a restaurant and bar where folks can become regulars. Given that the doors have only officially been open since last week, it’s hard to say if everybody knows your name yet at the new space, but it’s
This town loves food and dogs, so it’s only natural that so many places in the area allow us to enjoy both at the same time. We haven’t compiled an exhaustive list by any means, but we’ve rounded up several of the restaurants, wineries and coffee shops that not only share your affection for
Yoga is humbling. No matter how often or how many different methods you practice, a class or a pose will always come around to remind you that you’re human and your body’s strength and limitations vary from day to day. Take, for example, last Wednesday’s 9:30am 90-minute hot flow class at The
I have heard it said more than once: Charlottesville is not a brunch town. What? With Blue Moon Diner, Bodo’s, Brookville, Beer Run, Bizou, Bluegrass Grill & Bakery and Brazos Tacos, I don’t even need to leave the B’s to name great brunch spots in town. On the other hand, I do understand
Just in time for warmer weather (God willing), there’s a new spot on the Downtown Mall for cold, refreshing beverages—not the boozy kind, but the fruity kind. Introducing The Juice Place, the brainchild of Market Street Market owners Steven and Raphael Strumlauf. The guys started overhauling
We all know about the “Things to Do Before You Graduate” list, but here’s something that might be even more difficult to tackle: Eat at every restaurant before you graduate. In honor of final exercises this weekend, we asked UVA students which local restaurants they will miss the most when they
Family Eastminster Dog Show In this family-friendly event, presented by the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA, canines compete in best costume, best rescue, agility and musical chairs categories. Wednesday, 5/18. Free, 6-8pm. Keswick Horse Show Grounds, 701 Club Dr., Keswick. 293-2666.
Pork belly donuts. Now that we have your attention, let’s talk about a new spot that’s about to open across from the UVA hospital next week. Introducing Heirloom, a farm-to-table restaurant and bar on the ninth floor of the Graduate Hotel Charlottesville, where the old Red Roof Inn used to be.
You are probably familiar with the powerful antioxidant punches of the almighty pomegranate. Loaded with phytonutrients, pomegranates lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and increase the speed of heart blockages. They are also packed with fiber, vitamins C and K, and folate. In the