Turning the tables: Supper at the Superette, Bashir’s Taverna closing

Bashir Khelafa says he will close his Downtown Mall restaurant in September. Image: Jackson Smith Bashir Khelafa says he will close his Downtown Mall restaurant in September. Image: Jackson Smith

When Brasserie Saison reopened for dinner service in late July, it did so with a new general manager: Stephen Kelly, who came to Charlottesville from the highly acclaimed New York City restaurant Eleven Madison Park (see the August 12 C-VILLE issue for more on Kelly).

Along with the reopening news, Champion Hospitality Group and partner Reid Dougherty, the original bar director at Brasserie, announced that takeaway market Superette Saison is set to open next door in the former Verdigris retail space. CHG principal and Brasserie owner Hunter Smith says, “The time is perfect for the Superette, which will allow customers to get a nice bottle of wine and a sandwich to go, while takeout is the order of the day, and beyond.”

Survival mode

Since mid-March, local restaurants have felt the staggering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the fallout continues to reverberate throughout our community.

The latest casualty is Mediterranean favorite Bashir’s Taverna, which will close its Downtown Mall doors in September, after being in operation since 1996.

In July, the owner’s of Littlejohn’s Delicatessen on the UVA Corner launched a GoFundMe, noting that the sandwich shop may not return without raising the necessary funds to keep weathering the storm.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to support local restaurants: dine outside, order takeout, or buy a gift card. It may be the thing that keeps them going.

In the spirits

Earlier this month, Lovingston-based Virginia Distillery Company released its fourth annual Charity Cask Virginia-Highland Whisky, with this year’s batch benefiting the Nelson County Community Fund, Inc. The coffee-finished whisky is a collab with cold brew coffee company Snowing in Space, and  fewer than 300 bottles were produced. The distillery is still closed to visitors, but the Charity Cask is available exclusively to Virginia residents for shipping or curbside pickup. For more details, go to vadistillery.com.

Greenberry’s Coffee Roastery is also getting into the hard-coffee-drink market. The local chain recently launched a new line of products, Nitro Cold Brew with Spirits. Six different canned varieties are available with flavor notes like honey vanilla, salted caramel, and coconut chocolate. Find ’em at Whole Foods or email roasters@greenberrys.com to place an order for pick up.

Pair up with Chef Antwon

While you’re socially distancing at home, why not learn a new skill? Local chef Antwon Brinson is offering a variety of cooking classes to suit your taste buds. Options range from group and private classes to a cooking and wine pairing with a guest sommelier. Recipes, grocery lists, and instructions are all part of the package. For more details and the current menu, visit culinaryconceptsab.com.

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