Overheard on the restaurant scene: This week’s food and drink news

Christian's Pizza, which has four locations in the Charlottesville area, is venturing down I-64 to open a branch in Richmond. Photo: Jason Lappa Christian’s Pizza, which has four locations in the Charlottesville area, is venturing down I-64 to open a branch in Richmond. Photo: Jason Lappa

Been wondering what’s going on with all that construction in the Barracks Road Shopping Center? As of Thursday, January 17, Zoës Kitchen, located at 973 Emmet St. N, Suite D, is officially open for business. Offering a Mediterranean-inspired menu created by founder Zoë Cassimus, Zoës has locations in more than a dozen states nationwide, and Charlottesville’s spot is the sixth to open in Virginia. The menu features classics like a hummus plate, Greek salad, and chicken kabobs, plus grilled sandwiches like the grüben, with turkey, Swiss cheese, slaw, and spicy mustard on rye bread. The restaurant is open 11am-9pm daily. For more information check out www.zoeskitchen.com.

It’s back! The annual Bake ‘n Bike Valentine Scone Sale has returned. For the 10th year in a row, Charlottesville Community Bikes is whipping up fresh batches of heart-shaped chocolate-chip scones to deliver around town for Valentine’s Day. For each order there’s a requested $20 donation, and all proceeds will go to Community Bikes and Books Behind Bars, a program that donates books to prisons. All scones will be made fresh on the morning of February 14, and will be delivered between 9am and 5pm by a “festive costumed bicyclist (think a wacky version of Cupid on a bike).” For more details and to place your order, visit www.cvillecommunitybikes.com

Everyone’s favorite pizza spot is about to take on the Commonwealth’s capital. Christian Tamm, owner of Christian’s Pizza—which has been hailed in Best of C-VILLE as the best place to grab a slice every year since 2010—plans to venture down I-64 and open a new location in Richmond. Tamm is partnering with Rapture owner Andrew Vaughn, who owned the Christian’s on the Corner before selling it in 2008. The new branch, which will be the first location outside the Charlottesville area, will be at 7003-A Three Chopt Rd. inside the Village Shopping Center, and is expected to open its doors for business in March. Christian’s specializes in pizza by the slice, but also sells whole pies, with toppings ranging from the classic pepperoni to feta and artichoke.

Starting January 29, you’ll be able to check Facebook, Twitter, and restaurants’ websites for happy hour details. According to a press release from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, following a comprehensive regulatory review that began in 2011, the McDonnell administration recently proposed regulation changes that will allow restaurants and bars to advertise happy hour and the time span of their drink specials in any media. In the past, Virginia restaurants could only advertise happy hour inside the establishment or on a 17×22″ sign attached to the outside of the building. And that’s not the only revision that’s been made. All restaurants with on- and off-premises licenses can now sell growlers (closed containers) of wine, beer, or cider. And starting February 26, restaurants can legally steep fruits, herbs, vegetables, or other ingredients into distilled spirits, a process called infusion that’s been illegal in Virginia due to a regulation that prohibits restaurants from diluting or tampering with the contents of a container of alcoholic beverage.

We’re always keeping our eyes and ears out for the latest news on Charlottesville’s food and drink scene, so pick up a paper and check c-ville.com/living each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at bites@c-ville.com.