Name that space, win a Benjamin!

Tavern & Grocery owner Ashley Sieg has rebooted the West Main Street restaurant with three new events spaces. Photo: Kristi Ellis Tavern & Grocery owner Ashley Sieg has rebooted the West Main Street restaurant with three new events spaces. Photo: Kristi Ellis

Tavern & Grocery is offering $100 toward a meal by chef Joe Wolfson and his team to the C-VILLE Weekly reader who suggests the best name for a newly refurbished room in the 1820 Federal-style brick building on West Main Street. Accessible through the restaurant as well as its own entrance marked by a lantern and a glass door, the room seats up to 40 people and is one of three renovated dining and event spaces at T&G. “We have been working tirelessly on them over the past six months,” owner Ashley Sieg says. “We’ve stripped them back to the original brick and horsehair plaster, redone the floors, and more.”

Another event space, The Marseilles Room, is named for the French city. It connects with the downstairs bar, Lost Saint, and seats up to 70 people. Upstairs, the Booker Room—so called because Booker T. Washington stayed in the historic building at the invitation of the owner, Charles Inge, a local teacher, grocer, and freed slave—accommodates 35 diners. It has a wood-burning fireplace, antique tables and chairs, and finishes including reclaimed barn siding.

Sieg wants the name of the third room to reflect the building’s rich past. Among the older structures in Charlottesville, it has served as a tavern, foundry, and grocery store specializing in fish, beef, and locally grown produce. “The grocery was opened by Mr. Inge in 1891 and was actually one of the first African American-owned businesses in town,” Sieg says. “Inge’s family continued to operate it as a grocery until 1979.” It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

For a chance at that $100 prize, email a proposed name to with “win100” in the subject line. The winner will be chosen on Oct. 15, and announced via Instagram @tavernandgrocery and @eatdrinkcville.

Maximum foodie

The mother of all food festivals is upon us. The 13th annual Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello brings together national and local culinary luminaries for a day of food education, demonstrations, garden tours, and more grub than you could shake a kebab stick at. A marquee event features Will Richey of Charlottesville’s Ten Course Hospitality and Chez Panisse’s Alice Waters, the doyen of contemporary farm-to-table cuisine. We’ve also got our eyes on a session about food justice, at which Richard Morris of the local Urban Agriculture Collective will lead a discussion with Karen Washington, recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award, and Jovan Sage, director of Slow Food USA and chair of the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange. You will not find a better informed convention of food experts anywhere else in the world. $15.95 adults, $10 kids 5-10; 10am-5pm, 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy.,


With an impressively equipped new test kitchen, The Happy Cook in the Barracks Road Shopping Center is rolling out an expanded series of cooking classes. Hone your knife skills, master cast-iron cookery, learn to make South Indian food, and more. Sessions run $25 to $55 and are limited to 10 to 20 participants. thehappycook.comCorner Juice—the health-conscious smoothie and sandwich shop—has added a second location at 200 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall, directly opposite its nutritional antithesis, Citizen Burger Bar. (Chew on that one for a minute.) cornerjuice.comGrit Coffee is about to give Pantops a caffeine jolt, moving toward completion of a sleek new space in the Riverside Village development on Stony Point Road. • Ivy-based Square One Organic Spirits, founded by UVA grad and Crozet resident Allison Evanow, has launched a line of vegan and gluten-free, low-sugar cocktail and mocktail mixers with tantalizing flavors like Lively Lemon, Luscious Lime, and Pink Daisy.  They’re available for $10-$12 per 750ml bottle at shops including The Spice Diva, Market St. Market, and Foods of All Nations, and served at bars in Brasserie Saison, Orzo, Monsoon Siam, and The Fitzroy. Hell, the mixers are even in UVA sports hospitality suites at football, basketball, and baseball games. • Mark your calendar, bivalve gluttons! The Early Mountain Oyster Festival is set for 12-6pm, October 20, at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison. Fifteen bucks will get you in to enjoy executive chef Tim Moore’s menu of crab cakes, fried oysters, clam chowder, and—mais oui!—Eastern Shore oysters on the half shell. The Currys will provide a rootsy soundtrack. Busy that day? Aw, shucks—more for us. earlymountain.comKing Family Vineyards has landed an accolade almost as prestigious as Best Winery in the 2019 Best of C-VILLE awards. USA Today has named the Crozet eonophile’s dream to its top 10 Best Winery Tours list, joining California establishments including Cline, Jordan, and Benziger. This is the big time, people! kingfamily • Firefly is celebrating its fifth year in business this weekend, September 21-22, with a $5 food-and-drink menu and much more. Saturday is the big blowout, with a plant sale outside by Edgewood Gardens, as well as music by Mojo Pie (2pm), Jay Seals and the Shara Tones (9pm), and DJ Rum Cove (10pm).

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