Erin O'Hare



The Sheepdog Cafe now takes up 2,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Graduate Charlottesville hotel. Courtesy of Graduate Charlottesville

Sheepdog Café offers breakfast, lunch and dinner

The café located on the ground floor of the Graduate Charlottesville hotel on West Main Street has a new name, a new look and a new menu. Formerly Sheepdog Coffee, the 2,000- square-foot indoor/outdoor space is now Sheepdog Café and can seat up to 66 people for breakfast, lunch and dinner service, plus a full […]

London’s Orlando Consort (Donald Greig, Robert Macdonald, Angus Smith, Matthew Venner and Mark Dobell) performs a live vocal score of medieval music to accompany the 1928 silent film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc on Thursday. Publicity photo

Orlando Consort gives voice to the visions of Joan of Arc

Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc caused quite a commotion when it was released in 1928. French nationalists were wary of a non-Catholic Danish director’s interpretation of a revered French icon; the Archbishop of Paris ordered Dreyer’s final version censored and cut. The film was banned in Britain for its unfavorable […]

Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar executive chef Reggie Calhoun and Miso Sweet Ramen + Donut Shop executive chef Frank Paris III will each cook four courses—the common ingredient being bacon—for Tin Whistle Irish Pub diners, who will vote for their favorite chef. Photo by CVille Photo & Video

Two chefs battle it out in the kitchen

Fans of bacon and friendly competition should head to the Tin Whistle Irish Pub at 609 E. Market St. on Monday night for a chef showdown. Commonwealth Restaurant & Skybar executive chef Reggie Calhoun and Miso Sweet Ramen + Donut Shop executive chef Frank Paris III will each cook four courses—the common ingredient being bacon—for […]

Jack Hamilton discusses his work with Tom Breihan on Friday before Robin Tomlin of Grits ’n’ Gravy DJs a funk, soul, R&B and rock ’n’ roll set at the Ante Room. Photo by Kristen Finn

Jack Hamilton parses the racial history of rock music

Pop music critic Jack Hamilton didn’t listen to much pop music growing up in the 1980s and ’90s. His parents had a few Beatles albums and one Supremes record, but they mostly played classical music and show tunes in their suburban Boston home. He can’t recall exactly when he heard The Jackson 5’s “I Want […]

Ride the Piedmont Place elevator all the way to the top for small plates, craft cocktails and wood-fired pizzas from the Smoked BBQ Co. team at The Rooftop. Rammelkamp Foto

Piedmont Place becomes area’s newest food destination

Crozet’s Piedmont Place has just about everything under its roof: multiple restaurants, an ice cream shop, a yoga studio, a bookstore and apartments. It also has a restaurant and bar on top of its roof. Located at 2025 Library Way in downtown Crozet, the building boasts spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from every […]

There are a number of small and do-it-yourself music labels here that do it all for the love of music. Staff photo

DIY labels are music to our ears

We talk a whole lot about people who make music in this town, and rightfully so—Charlottesville has a robust music scene. Less visible are the people who help musicians make a record of their craft and send it out into the world. There are a number of small and do-it-yourself music labels here that do […]

With just one three-seat table and 10 chairs at the bar, Atlas Coffee can accommodate more caffeine addicts when the weather’s nice—there are 31 additional spots on the patio out front. Photo by John Robinson

Small eateries are full of flavor

Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before: For a city its size, Charlottesville has a lot of restaurants. Like, a lot. In 2013, the Huffington Post ranked our city among the top 15 U.S. metro areas with the most eateries per capita, with 460 restaurants for 201,400 residents. With so many chow options at our fingertips, […]

Justin van der Linde (right), owner of Smoked BBQ Co. food cart and Smoked Kitchen and Tap in Crozet, says requests from customers to bring his barbecue back to the Downtown Mall solidified his decision to return. Photo by Rammelkamp Foto

Smoked food cart returns to downtown

Remember how sad you were in August, when the Smoked BBQ Co. food cart ran out of ’cue on its last day on the mall, and how you had to wait until December to eat it again, after a drive to Smoked Kitchen and Tap in Crozet? Well, you can forget all about that, because […]

WTJU’s “Jazz at 100” host Rus Perry got hooked in the ’70s when he started tracing the origins of jazz. Photo by Keith Alan Sprouse

WTJU celebrates 100 years of jazz recordings

When Rus Perry arrived at WTJU in 1972, he was really into rock ’n’ roll. But the more he hung out at the station, the more he expanded his musical horizons, playing the latest Bruce Springsteen or Elvis Costello cut next to Ornette Coleman or Blind Lemon Jefferson. “We learned from each other,” Perry recalls, […]

Mae Read’s exhibit of nudes drawn from photographs or life, “Drawings, Old and New,” is on display at the Downtown Mudhouse
through the month of March. Photo by Amy Jackson

First Fridays: March 3

First Fridays: March 3 In “Drawings, Old and New,” at the downtown Mudhouse through the month of March, Mae Read exhibits a series of nudes, mostly women, drawn either from life, or from photographs. When Read draws, she connects deeply to her subject and herself. “Spending that many hours staring at almost any person will create […]

Baggby’s Gourmet Sandwiches staff cranked out the most sandwiches in a Saturday in the shop’s 22-year history February 18. Tom McGovern

On the record: Baggby’s and Miso Sweet enjoy banner days

Temperatures topped 70 degrees on Saturday, February 18, and eager eaters descended on the Downtown Mall to enjoy a meal in the sun. And at least two downtown eateries—Miso Sweet and Baggby’s Gourmet Sandwiches—had record business days. Miso Sweet owner Frank Paris reports that his restaurant sold more than 450 donuts (all of which were […]

Sugar Shack to open West Main location

Sugar Shack to open West Main location

  The heavenly scent of handcrafted donuts, fritters and cinnamon rolls will soon waft up and down West Main Street: Charlottesville is getting a Sugar Shack Donuts, directly across the street from the Uncommon Building, this summer. Sugar Shack owner and self-proclaimed “donut nostalgia nerd” Ian Kelley opened his first shop in a small building […]

Western Albemarle High School graduate Ruth De Jong spent several months exploring the New England coast for her production design work on Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea. Courtesy subject

Ruth De Jong designs real life in Manchester by the Sea

While on a scouting excursion for Kenneth Lonergan’s film Manchester by the Sea, Ruth De Jong walked into a coastal Massachusetts shop selling GPS systems for boats. “I’ve been here for 45 years!” the shop owner exclaimed, showing De Jong his office. The room was packed from floor to ceiling with papers—stacks of receipts, notes, […]

English muffin pizzas started Ian Boden on his culinary path. He says he loves what he does and doesn’t “know how to do anything else.” Photo by Norm Shafer

The Shack’s chef named a James Beard semifinalist

The James Beard Foundation just released its list of 2017 Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists, and Staunton chef Ian Boden landed one of the coveted spots. He’s in the running for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic; winners will be announced May 1. Boden, who cooks new American cuisine inspired by rural Virginia at The Shack—named one of […]

Synth guru Travis Thatcher (right, with Dave Gibson) performs in Personal Bandana, and he also founded Frequencies, a live electronic music night at The Ante Room. His sets showcase the diversity and variety of sound that exists within the very broad genre (if you want to call it that) of electronic music. Photo by Chad VanPelt

Anything goes in the world of synth experimentation

The bleeps and bloops of modular synthesizers can be heard all over music these days, says Travis Thatcher, the technical director for the composition and computer technologies program in UVA’s music department. It’s audible in pop music, techno, house, trap, even indie rock and hip-hop, and that’s precisely what makes it interesting. Plus, he says, […]

Lowland Hum celebrates the release of the new album, Thin, at the Southern on Friday. Photo by Eric Kelley

Lowland Hum regains strength with no-frills record

While passing through southeastern Wyoming on tour, Lowland Hum’s Daniel and Lauren Goans borrowed a friend’s car to drive the short distance to Vedauwoo, a place known to the Arapaho as “Land of the Earthborn Spirit” in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest. The Goans drove past Vedauwoo’s hoodoos and outcrops of billion-year-old Sherman granite. They […]

Hardywood’s taproom at 1000 W. Main St. plans to use 100 percent renewable electricity through Dominion’s Green Power Program, and all of its furniture and fixtures are made from reclaimed wood. Photo by Kate Magee

Studio IX welcomes The Carpe Café; Hardywood opens taproom

For a while now, Matt Rohdie has wanted to grow his Carpe Donut business into something beyond his bakery and shop on Allied Lane and the truck that’s a regular fixture at Fridays After Five (and plenty of parties and weddings). So when Studio IX owner James Barton approached him with the possibility of joining […]

Arley Cakes’ heart is in the right place with these hazelnut oreos, available at Saturday’s Galentine’s Day pop-up show at Old Metropolitan Hall. Photo courtesy Arley Arrington

Valentine’s Day options abound

Whether you’re looking to toast to true love with a glass of wine, gaze into your lover’s eyes over a four-course meal or treat yourself to the best damn box of chocolates you’ll ever eat, there’s something yummy for you here in town, dear Valentine. Get your fill Start the sweet eating at the Galentine’s […]

The Bebedero will move its Veracruz, Mexico, food-focused restaurant to the Downtown Mall next month. Photo: Tom McGovern

The Bebedero is moving to the Downtown Mall

The Bebedero is on the move. The Mexican restaurant that’s occupied the space next to Paradox Pastry in the Glass Building on Second Street SE since last March is preparing to take over the restaurant spot most recently leased by Brookville, above The Whiskey Jar on the Downtown Mall. “It’s hard for us to leave, […]

Shawn Decker performs as Synthetic Division at the Southern on Friday to celebrate the release of his new record, The Love of Your Life. Photo by Tristan Williams

Synthetic Division honors the good fight

There was something rather poetic about Synthetic Division’s recent impromptu performance at Goth Night at The Pit at Cinema Taco on the Downtown Mall. Melancholy cabaret duo Please Don’t Tell was scheduled to perform that night, but vocalist Christina Fleming lost her voice. Shawn Decker—the musician behind Synthetic Division—stepped in with his keyboard, his synth […]

Kemi Layeni’s short film, American Beauty?, is part of the “Empowering Women of Color” exhibit on view this month at The Bridge PAI. Courtesy of the artist

First Fridays gallery listings: February 3

First Fridays: February 3 When Kemi Layeni was a child, she asked her mother to do her hair “like the fishies,” to fit her thick, kinky hair into a sleek ponytail. “I so desperately wanted to be anyone but me,” Layeni says, “whether that meant trading in my kinks for blonde hair, changing my name, Oluwakemi, […]

Lu-Mei Chang opened Cardamom, an all-vegetarian spot in York Place that serves contemporary Asian cuisine, to show Charlottesville diners that meat-free meals can still be tasty. Photo by Tom McGovern

Cardamom dishes up contemporary vegetarian Asian food

Lu-Mei Chang can’t stay away from the kitchen, and we’re all better off for it. Chang, who grew up in Taipei, Taiwan, started cooking when she came to Charlottesville 28 years ago. She worked at Eastern Standard, one of Charlottesville’s first Asian restaurants (located where The Whiskey Jar is now) for years before she opened […]

The modern Tex/Mex menu at Junction includes a variety of dishes such as the grilled shrimp and sweet potato empanadas, oven-roasted chile relleno and Texas cowgirl chili, and housemade cocktails and margaritas. Photo by Ron Paris

Junction brings modern Mexican to Belmont

When Melissa Close-Hart was in her mid 20s, she was studying to become a high school psychology teacher and worked in the kitchen at Birmingham, Alabama’s acclaimed Bottega Café to help pay for her tuition. One night, she says she perfectly plated a chicken scallopini—the positions of the components, the garnish, everything—and it hit her. […]

Keese will perform with Gritty City Records on Tuesday at The Ante Room. Photo by Amy Jackson

Local rapper Keese envisions unity through compassion

Keese is a quiet guy. While growing up in Charlottesville’s 10th and Page neighborhood, he didn’t say much. But he paid close attention to everyone around him—his friends and family, his neighbors, what was going on in his city schools. English was his favorite subject—he liked to read and he loved to write stories. When […]

At Bizou, Ryan Ferguson’s Bear Dog Farm oyster mushrooms add a fresh, local highlight to comfort dishes during the colder months. Photo by Tom McGovern

Seasonal rotation sparks creativity for local chefs

Why do summer and fall harvests get all the food love around here? Sure, there are peaches and berries and juicy tomatoes, and beers to pair with tacos to be eaten outside. But winter offers a pretty flavorful bounty that allows chefs to indulge in all that our farms have to offer: leafy greens, Brussels […]

The strong harmonies and indie-folk songwriting lean darkly on The Hill and Wood's new record, When You Go. Photo by Ellen Picker

The Hill and Wood looks inward on When You Go

“It’s hard to talk about these songs,” says Sam Bush over a mug of cooling tea at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. He’s unwrapped the CD copy of The Hill and Wood’s latest record, When You Go, and crinkles the clear plastic wrapping in his hands. “There’s a lot of pressure these days for bands to…fabricate […]

Aromas Cafe, which will be serving meals like this jumbo black tiger shrimp over white bean cassoulet at the $29 price point, is one of nine restaurants to join Restaurant Week for the first time this winter. Photo by Tom McGovern

Restaurant Week feeds into local community

As you scramble to make your Restaurant Week reservations, as you finally get to your table and lay a napkin over your lap and lift your fork to your lips, take a moment to reflect on how your dinner is more than a treat for your taste buds. It’s helping feed thousands of people right […]