The door, kitchen, and taps are open at Wild Wolf Brewing Company’s downtown location, hard by the railroad tracks on Second Street. The brewery and restaurant’s soft opening in the former Augustiner Hall and Garden space precedes an “official” debut on June 2.
But there’s a hitch: Due to federal regulatory snags, the Wolf can’t yet serve its own beer, a lingering mess caused by the government shutdown (remember that?). One manager said he’d been informed that the ban would be lifted on Independence Day. Oh, the irony. In the meantime, while shiny nano-brewing vats stand idle in the dining room, patrons will have to settle for frothy beverages by Deschutes, Champion, and Three Notch’d, among others.
Chef Chris Jack, formerly of Staunton’s Zynodoa Restaurant, says the Wolf’s Charlottesville menu—as opposed to the one at its flagship, in Nellysford—has been “upscaled” to fit in the mix of culinary offerings nearby on the Downtown Mall. “Out in Nellysford, we do a lot of wood-smoking, but we wanted to try something different here,” he says.
So, while you can still get a corn dog ($6) for your kid, you may also tuck into a Candy Bar Steak ($28), with creamy risotto, carrot and roasted beet purée, heirloom carrots, and orange crème fraiche. A good ol’ cheddar burger will set you back $13.50.
Patrons may sit at outdoor tables shaded by bright red umbrellas (the patio shakes a bit when trains roll by), or duck inside, where the interior is dark, sleek, and industrial, with corrugated steel walls, exposed ductwork and ceiling trusses, and lots of wood surfaces. Four big-screen TVs hang above the U-shaped bar, so this will be a haven for sports fans—and eventually, fans of Wild Wolf’s own beer.
The smallest restaurant in Charlottesville, The Flat Creperie, has re-opened. Soon after it was offered for sale in a March 22 tweet, Elise Stewart became the third owner since the popular spot first opened in 2005. The menu is suitably short at the charming ivy-covered brick box on Water Street, with four sweet and four savory offerings. We tried the Summer Veggies crepe, a thin doughy wrap stuffed with chopped red pepper, mushrooms, zucchini, olives, tomato, feta, and caramelized onions—a tasty, two-handed meal for $8.
Just in time for the heat wave, Greenberry’s Coffee Co. is offering a line of canned cold-brew coffees. Root 29 is open for business at the DoubleTree by Hilton Charlottesville, with small and large plates served in a glass-walled room with a long bar and a trippy fake fireplace. Early Mountain Vineyards will soon announce the arrival of a new chef to fill the role once held by Ryan Collins, now of Charlottesville’s Little Star. Patisserie Torres, the sublime pastry shop of Serge Torres, formerly of Fleurie, is shuttering after less than a year in business. The boutique Oakhurst Inn (owned by C-VILLE Weekly co-founder Bill Chapman) has revealed the imminent arrival of Oakhurst Hall, an annex with eight guest rooms and—most importantly—the Chateau Lobby Bar, where craft cocktails, light fare, and live music will be on the menu.