Business not as usual
In recent weeks, many local restaurants that decided to take a pandemic pause have started to phase back into action, including well-loved spots like Al Carbon, Bizou, Brazos Tacos, Little Star, Luce, Tavola, and Tilman’s. These restaurants are reaching customers through online ordering with delivery, curbside pickup, or no-contact handoff of food and drinks. Some, like Citizen Burger Bar and Red Pump Kitchen, are also making use of available outdoor space to bring guests back on site, at a distance. The returns are a glimmer of hope for many after months of closure announcements—both temporary and permanent—due to coronavirus. Check out C-VILLE’s online restaurant guide or establishments’ websites for more info.
Speaking of Tilman’s, reopening the wine and gourmet food spot on the Downtown Mall isn’t the only thing that owners Derek Mansfield and Courtenay Tyler have been working on. The pair is opening a new restaurant, Tonic, in the space formerly occupied by Tin Whistle Irish Pub (which closed at the end of last year after a landlord dispute). Tonic promises build-your-own snack boards and small plates with items like pickled shrimp and marinated mushrooms, and a focus on healthy local fare. Keep an eye out for a summer opening.
Drink with a purpose: Dubbel 151
Spirit Lab Distilling and Champion Brewing partnered on a collaboration to support Charlottesville-area restaurant workers who were laid off due to the pandemic, and the results are good enough to drink. Released in May and produced from over 8,000 cans of beer, Dubbel 151 is made of Champion Brewing’s Brasserie Saison Dubbel and Saison beers distilled to 75.5 percent alcohol or 151 proof. Bottles can be purchased on the Spirit Lab Distilling website with curbside pickup and shipping throughout Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Snowing in Space Coffee Co. released a new whole-bean coffee blend, Frontline Fuel, aimed at caffeinating Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital health care workers. For every bag of Frontline Fuel purchased at snowinginspace.com, the company will donate a bag to the hospital. The medium-roast blend is made of certified Fair Trade organic beans and is available for one-time and subscription purchases, as well as wholesale for retailers and offices.
Blenheim Vineyards recently released a limited-edition red wine blend called On The Line, with proceeds going to Frontline Foods Charlottesville and World Central Kitchen, organizations that are providing meals to people in need. The label, which can also be seen on other merchandise including stickers and posters, is designed by vineyard owner Dave Matthews. And there’s more to come—a white blend is set to release later this summer.