Loosen your belts, Charlottesville. We’re getting more food, food that we didn’t even know we needed. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s open—or will be open soon—at 5th Street Station.
Wegmans A chain that feels less like a grocery store and more like a marketplace, Wegmans boasts a host of specialty items: organic produce and meats, fresh bakery breads, sushi, a market café with a self-serve bar, made-to-order pizzas, sandwiches, a pub with bacon burgers and fish ’n’ chips, a cheese counter, a large wine and beer selection and more. Open now.
Timberwood Tap House The sister restaurant of Timberwood Grill located across from Hollymead Town Center on the north side of town, Timberwood Tap House has an approachable (and cleverly written) menu full of American classics like wings, calamari, burgers, salads, spare ribs, New York strip, s’mores baked Alaska and more, plus sizable beer and wine lists. The bar side of the restaurant is filled with TVs, but the dining side has nary a screen in sight if you’d rather have a side of conversation with your entrée, says owner Adam Gregory. Open now.
Panera Bread The time has come, Charlottesville. You no longer have to leave the comfort of your vehicle to get your broccoli-cheddar soup and asiago cheese bagel fix, because this Panera has a drive-thru. Wear your pajamas, if you like. We won’t judge. Open now.
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop This is the first Virginia franchise for the Texas-based, fast-casual, Baja-style taco chain that has built a cult following throughout the South. Franchise owner Pranav Shah plans to open the restaurant early in the morning so that third- shift workers can come in for happy hour margaritas after work. Opening in February.
Other food and drink spots slated to open at 5th Street are: Jersey Mike’s Subs, Red Mango frozen yogurt and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. There will be a Virginia ABC store there, too.
Rock Barn to close
According to an e-mail sent to its restaurant partners on November 1, “The Rock Barn will be wrapping up this chapter of its life at the end of the year.” As of last week, the field-to-fork butcher was in the middle of its final production run and will continue to sell its remaining inventory through December. “I have been lucky to work with so many talented people both at The Rock Barn as well as all of our restaurant partners,” says founder Ben Thompson. “I will always be grateful for the knowledge (the late) Richard (Bean) and Ara Avagyan imparted on myself and the team. Double H, under Ara’s guidance, is still doing a spectacular job and continues to be an inspiration for me as we plan the next steps,” Thompson says. As to what those next steps are, we’ll have to wait and see.
Mea culpa: Dabney oversights
In last week’s Small Bites column, we wrote about two Michelin-rated D.C. restaurants that boast local ties (The Inn at Little Washington and The Dabney). We regrettably neglected to mention that Ben Louquet, formerly of Zocalo and Tavola, and Brad Langdon, former bar manager at Public Fish & Oyster on West Main Street, are current members of the The Dabney bar staff.