Style points: Vitae Spirits scores design award

Vitae Spirits’ tasting room has the precise, clean look of a laboratory, but its wood finishes and smart design make it comfortable, too. Photo: Andrea Hubbell Vitae Spirits’ tasting room has the precise, clean look of a laboratory, but its wood finishes and smart design make it comfortable, too. Photo: Andrea Hubbell

Vitae Spirits just added another accolade to its pile of awards, but this one is for its design, not for its excellent craft liquors. A converted schoolhouse, Vitae’s tasting room and production facility on Henry Street is half laboratory and half chic cocktail lounge. This combination earned Vitae’s design/build contractor, Charlottesville’s Alloy Workshop, the award for best commercial interior of 2019 from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Pitted against 350 other contestants, Alloy took the top spot in NARI’s southeast region. Vitae founder Ian Glomski praised Alloy for “creating a space with clean contemporary floating lines transfused with the welcoming organic warmth of wood and botanical art.”

On the grapevine

Local wine power couple Will and Priscilla Martin Curley have purchased The Wine Guild of Charlottesville, where they were both already on staff. In fact, Will had been running it since his recent departure from Brasserie Saison on the Downtown Mall, where he was the general manager and wine director. Priscilla, a certified sommelier, is the wine director at tavola in Belmont. Also located in Belmont, at 221 Carlton Rd., the guild is a small wine and craft beer shop that’s open to the public, but where members ($200 a year) enjoy a 20 percent discount and other perks.

Nice to meade you!

Skjald Meadworks, Charlottesville’s first and only meadery, celebrated its grand opening on March 30 with a birthday bash for meade-maker Jerome Snyder, who co-owns the business with his wife, Gwen Wells. After operating for five years in Altavista, south of Lynchburg, Skjald joins a downtown food-and-beverage boomlet, opening its doors (and tasting room) at 1114 E. Market St. Local meade heads are already familiar with Skjald’s honey-based brews, which retail at Market Street Wine, Beer Run, and Rebecca’s Natural Food, and are served at Firefly and Renewal.

In the mix

Rebecca Edwards of tavola’s cicchetti bar has advanced to the regional finals of the prestigious USBG World Class bartending competition, placing her among the top 50 mixologists in the nation, and one of 10 in the contest’s Southern region. That group faces off April 28 in Minneapolis, where “we will be competing in a series of challenges judged by technical skill, style, creativity, hospitality, and product knowledge,” Edwards says. The ultimate goal is to reach the 11th annual global finals, in September in Glasgow, Scotland, where a single winner will be crowned. Speaking of crowns, Charlottesville’s top bottle slinger will earn one at the Tom Tom Festival’s inaugural Bartender’s Ball, on Monday, April 8. For more information, go to

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