What’s the hold up? That’s what we ask ourselves each day that goes by and Fry’s Spring Station isn’t open. In January, co-owner Robert Sawrey told us we could expect the restaurant to open in late March. Unfortunately, he tells us now, it’s taken longer than expected. “We couldn’t get the power set up,” Sawrey says, “and that meant we couldn’t put wood floors down because you need AC to keep the temperature constant.”
Fry’s Spring Station co-owner Robert Sawrey and general manager, Caroline Oliveira, stand outside the restaurant that’s slated to open this week. Seriously.
The restaurant is no stranger to delays. Property owner Terry Hindermann went through a long negotiation with the city’s Board of Architectural Review for the 70-year-old site’s adaptive reuse. The property, which is listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register, underwent extensive renovations.
Now that there’s power, says Sawrey, the Station should be open this week. “The bar is in, the floors are down, the kitchen’s ready,” he says.
The restaurant will serve individual pizzas, pasta, entrees and salads, and Sawrey plans to offer a wine list with 30 or so Italian labels, a draft beer list and room enough for 100 customers. Plus, patio seating. Conceptually, it’s similar to two pizza restaurants that Sawrey and partner Steve Parry own in Lynchburg and Richmond. Like the Station, those are renovated historic properties. Says Sawrey, “you walk in, you see a restaurant now.”
At last week’s joint City Council and Planning Commission public hearing, there was an unexpected reversal in recommendations for zoning regulations. The city was considering requiring that future restaurants have on-site security after midnight. If they’d made the change, the very definition of “all-night restaurant” would have changed, too. But, said Neighborhood Development Services director Jim Tolbert, Charlottesville officials need to think through that ruling a bit longer, after some blowback from late-night restaurants, like Bel Rio.
That’s a Hamdinger
Downtown regulars, have you wondered where Patrick Critzer and his gourmet food cart have been? The Hamdingers owner has been working at the Field School in Crozet, where he’s in charge of the lunch program.
Once school lets out, he plans to return to his usual spot at Central Place.
The Revolutionary Soup news keeps coming: A few weeks ago, we told you the restaurant would begin serving breakfast on weekdays. Now, the soup spot will serve meals straight from its own garden. Owner Will Richey announces on his blog that he and his wife, Lisa, have purchased a house on five acres in Esmont, where he will grow food for Rev Soup. In addition to veggies, Richey plans to raise some animals there, too. “This is a new chapter for Rev Soup,” he writes. “[It] will become an integrated system that has been a goal of mine for quite some time.”