Standby blues

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Charlottesvillians, if you think you can count on anything in this crazy world of ours, think again. Tiffany’s Seafood, which has operated in the same location on Ivy Road for three decades, served its last steamed shrimp—and then shut its doors—on August 20.
O.K., it’s not as dire as it sounds. Just like its also-fishy neighbor, sushi mainstay Tokyo Rose, Tiffany’s will suffer only a temporary closure—the difference being that Tokyo Rose cleaned itself up and reopened in its same old space, whereas Tiffany’s will have to move.
Why, Charlottesvillians? A familiar com-plaint in this ever-pricier town: The restaurant’s got a new landlord, who kindly requested “an arm and a leg” in rent, according to Beverly Baber. She’s owned the business for over 16 years, about half of its long life. And—though she couldn’t stomach the new rates—she’s got no intention of throwing in the tilapia. If negotiations go as planned, she says, she’ll reopen during the latter half of September in the former No Name Seafood spot in Seminole Square.
“It’s one of the old Charlottesville traditional places,” says Baber. That’s an understatement. Tiffany’s is the kind of place local adults might fondly remember visiting with their parents back in third grade. If ye have any respect for thine fishy forebears, Charlottesvillians, pray for a speedy reincarnation of this truly local piscine palace.
Make that nine
It wasn’t easy getting confirmation of the rumor we reported last week—namely, that marching-ever-onward developer Coran Capshaw had acquired Downtown wine bar Vavino. Michael Shaps, a partner in the business, is apparently off picking grapes in France, and his cell phone made this weird European-sounding beep when we called. A manager at Vavino said she’d call us back to talk about the sale and, when she didn’t, we paid a visit on foot only to find an ABC application on the window…for wine AND BEER. Meanwhile, rumors of everything from rock bands to hamburgers to Italian food continued to swirl wildly.
Given all this confusion, we were happy to get Michael Keaveny on the line. As Capshaw’s restaurant director, he always has the straight dope on the man’s expanding group of properties. And yes, he says: Capshaw has acquired Vavino. By our count, that’s nine local restaurants that now make up the Capshavian empire.
Don’t look for any big changes at the wine bar, says Keaveny—for now, the whole situation will be “pretty low-key.” The only major difference, as the ABC app suggests, is the impending addition of several artisanal brewskis to Vavino’s alcoholic offerings—which, by the way, won “Best Winelist” in this year’s Best Of C-VILLE poll. “Some of the customers do ask for [beer],” says Keaveny.
We love all you rugged individualists who walk into the place with the best winelist in town and complain because they don’t serve beer! And Capshaw loves you too.
Mucho mas Cubano
Cafe Cubano, in Downtown’s York Place, is usually packed. It doesn’t matter if it’s 3:30 on a Monday afternoon—the place has a beyond-loyal following. So it makes sense that owner Antonio Jorge is jumping on the opportunity to expand his cafe’s footprint. The recent relocation of the Toy Place opens a space next door to Cubano, and Jorge will take over half of it in order to offer more seating.
When renovations are complete in the second half of September, says Jorge, you’ll have 24 more seats for yourself and half a dozen more ports for your laptop. “I wish I was able to expand the kitchen,” he says. With a following this devoted, we can’t help but think that will happen someday.

Got some restaurant scoop? Send your tips to restaurantarama@c-ville.com or call 817-2749, Ext. 48.

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