Was it really only a year ago that Timbercreek Market in the old Coca-Cola building on Preston Avenue was revamped, split into a retail farm store on one end and Back 40, the farm-to-fork restaurant manned by chef Tucker Yoder, on the other? Both spots have closed, and there’s no word yet on what’s next for owners and sustainable farmers Zach and Sara Miller or Yoder.
“Back 40 was a project that I felt deeply committed to and I am sorry to see it go,” Yoder says, adding, “I can’t wait to get back behind the stoves and make great food with great local products.”
In the meantime, Yoder, a lifelong cyclist, is gearing up for a big bike ride: He’ll bike 300 miles over three days in September for the 2018 Chefs Cycle: No Kid Hungry ride.
“I was approached by [acclaimed Napa Valley chef] Philip Tessier about forming a team to tackle the 300-mile Charlottesville ride,” says Yoder. “Knowing a bit about the organization and their goals, I felt like it was a no-brainer for me to want to help out this organization in any way I could, so the first logical step was to sign up for the ride. We hope to organize a dinner or two in the coming months.”
Rise and shine
The Pie Chest’s Rachel Pennington will spend the upcoming weekend at Flavored Nation in Columbus, Ohio. The annual event is an expo-style festival in which attendees purchase tickets to sample iconic dishes from all 50 U.S. states.
Pennington’s scrumptious ham biscuit—which has a loyal following at The Whiskey Jar—was selected to represent Virginia at this year’s expo.
“I was honored! I put a lot of work into perfecting my biscuit after the Jar hired me in 2012,” says Pennington. “Much of it comes down to the flour we use—we purchase it locally milled in Ashland [from Patrick Henry at Byrd Mill]. I think it’s a perfect complement to a slice of Kite’s ham.”
More Mochiko, please
Plans are underway for Riki Tanabe’s popular Mochiko Hawaiian food stall at City Market to have a more permanent home at The Yard at 5th Street Station. Tanabe, a native Hawaiian who worked as a pastry chef at Albemarle Baking Company for 17 years before returning to his gustatory roots, says the time was right for the business expansion.
“I’ve been seeing the popularity of the food I grew up with taking over the West Coast and parts of the Northeast, and I realized there was nothing here, so I thought maybe there was interest,” says Tanabe.
Customer demand for a storefront nudged Tanabe along, and he plans to design the primarily takeout shop like an authentic Hawaiian deli. He eventually plans to include popular Hawaiian deserts as well, such as malasada (Portuguese fried donuts), lilikoi (passionflower) cream pie, and coconut chocolate cream pie.
Tanabe expects the restaurant to be open by wintertime, and will serve lunches and dinners. He says the plate lunch—a classic Hawaiian meal that harkens back to the 1970s, when food trucks delivered to construction sites—consisting of a serving dish with meat, rice, vegetable, and a side of Hawaiian macaroni salad, will be the mainstay of the restaurant.
A welcome return
The Villa Diner has hung up its shingle at a new spot, having moved when UVA took over the property where the restaurant previously stood. The popular breakfast and lunch spot re-opened mid-June in the busy Emmet Street North corridor, in the former Royal Indian restaurant location at 1250 Emmet St. N.
“We love our new location,” says Ken Beachley, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Jennifer. “It’s been very convenient for our regular customers and we’ve seen a lot of new faces.”
A tart farewell
With the Monticello Dairy Building facing redevelopment this fall, Three Notch’d Brewing Company ended its five-year run on Grady Avenue on July 29. After the brewery moved most of its operations to IX Art Park last year, the space became Three Notch’d Sour House, which focused on funkier beers that aren’t always easy to brew alongside other types of beer.
But lovers of sour beer, have no fear: Three Notch’d brewmaster Dave Warwick promises that his most popular sours will still be available at the IX location.