New West Main spot, music at Bluegrass, and wine festival season: This week’s food and drink news

Threepenny Cafe, in the old Zinc location on West Main, opened for business last week. Staff photo Threepenny Cafe, in the old Zinc location on West Main, opened for business last week. Staff photo

Threepenny Cafe makes its debut on West Main 

Chef Eric Nittolo said there’s nothing worse than flipping through a complex, multi-page menu when all he wants is something simple. Nobody needs “90 omelets on a brunch menu,” he said, which is why at Threepenny Cafe, the newly opened West Main restaurant in the former Zinc location, you’ll find a one-page menu featuring appetizers, pizzas, and entrees from around the world, each item completely different from the next.

Co-owner Merope Pavlides described the cuisine as “eclectic,” and said she expects the options to change regularly depending on local ingredients available. Menu selections range from calamari steak with fennel sausage to Kobe carne asada, and the list of thin-crust pizzas—baked in a newly installed pizza oven—are topped with everything from pork belly and cambozola to chicken curry and cauliflower.

Threepenny is open 5pm-midnight Tuesday-Friday, 11am-midnight Saturday, and 10-am-midnight Sunday.

Sunday best at Bluegrass

If you’re not quite ready for your weekend to be over by Sunday evening, head on over to Bluegrass Grill & Bakery for some tunes and grub. Starting this weekend, Bluegrass will be open 7-10pm on Sundays with live music and a limited menu of red bean chili and a cheese plate, plus beer, wine, coffee, and tea. Artists Lalah Simcoe and Raven Hunter will be regular performers, and Simcoe said she hopes to start opening up the stage to other local musicians.

Giant Food donates 200 hams to local food bank

As the weather warms up, donations to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank tend to drop off, but hunger doesn’t. Giant Food, a national grocery chain with a location on Pantops, donated 200 hams to the food bank last week, just in time for Easter dinner. The donation was one of five the company made across the Mid-Atlantic region in an effort to donate a total of 1,000 hams.

Montpelier prepares for annual wine festival 

Starting Saturday, May 3, James Madison’s Montpelier will host a two-day wine festival to showcase arts and crafts, specialty food vendors, live entertainment, and all-day wine tastings. Reduced-rate tickets are available at through Wednesday, May 1. Adult tickets are $15 in advance, $25 at the gate. Tickets for designated drivers and ages 12-20 are $5, and children under 12 get in free.

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 each week for the latest Small Bites. Have a scoop for Small Bites? E-mail us at