Attention, pig lovers! Long an isolated mainstay way out on East Market Street, Jinx’s Pit’s Top is set to make an entrance on the Downtown scene. You may have noticed that the Downtown Mall kiosk has been bursting with flowers in recent weeks, thanks to the entrepreneurship of Betty Jo Dominick. Any day now, Jinx Kern will be supplying her with boxed barbecue lunches schlepped over from his tiny original location.
The pork will be tucked amongst the blooms during the noon hour, and also at dinnertime on Fridays After 5. For $6, says Jinx, you’ll get a barbecue sandwich, along with coleslaw and some cucumber salad—“both of which we’re rather famous for,” he notes.
Jinx says this is the first toehold in a long-term plan for Downtown Jinxifica-tion. “I hope ultimately not just to be up there by proxy, but to have my own place on the Mall,” he says. We’ll lobby for seating when that day finally comes.
More restaurant names containing “X”
That would be the X Lounge, the existence of which is well-known to anyone who’s been near the Glass Building on Second Street lately—the signage is not subtle. X is a project of Kari Legault and Francois Bladt, along with Clifton Inn manager J.F. Legault (Kari’s husband), who is involved as a spokesman. The trio, all longtime restaurateurs, gave Restaurantarama an official tour and told us a little about their plans for the space.
X, it seems, will be a stylish spot serving an eclectic dinner menu (little dishes for sharing, plus full-size entrees) into the wee hours, along with an extensive drink list. We were unable to extract more specific menu plans, but we did learn from J.F. that “it’ll be a comfortable, urban experience.” In other words, you can sit on sofas and drink wines by the glass, or get a booth and order a feast, or mingle at the large central bar with other comfortable, urban people.
The lounge will have two levels, connected by an X-shaped staircase conceived of as the architectural focal point. Another nifty design element: two live crepe myrtle trees growing right through the floor. They’re starting to put out leaves, so hopefully they’ll be fully foliated in time for X’s opening—trackside terrace and all—in the second half of May.
Maverick lives up to its name
When we heard that Sam Maverick—The Restaurant had suddenly closed its doors, we knew there was a wild story bucking around out there that needed to be corralled. We called the restaurant: line disconnected. We drove up to the door: a “Closed—No Trespassing” sign was posted, with a phone number. We called the number. Great Eastern Management Company, a major Charlottesville developer, answered, but they wouldn’t spill even one bean about what was going on with Maverick, nor illuminate what their relationship with the restaurant actually is (or was). Still, we figure they must be bummed to lose one of the anchors in Seminole Square.
We did talk with an employee, Lindsay Cote, who said that, early on the morning of April 10, the restaurant’s general manager showed up at the restaurant because the alarm system had sounded. He was greeted, she says, by a posse of lawyers and police officers who announced that the restaurant was being shut down. “I’ve been told that it is officially closed, it’s permanent, and we won’t be reopening,” says Cote. “Every-body who works there was completely surprised.” She speculates that lease disagreements were behind the shutout, but we haven’t been able to confirm this.
Well, the place was called “Maverick,” after all. Could be old Sam is far away by now, sipping a mai tai on some tropical island with no phones at all. We’ll let you know if he sends a postcard.
Got some restaurant scoop? Send your tips to
email@example.com or call 817-2749, Ext. 48.