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Food & Drink

Few Dope Queens at Ipanema Cafe

Few Dope Queens will be a special four-course prix fixe vegan dinner event by Shola Walker with drinks by Ariel Lawrence.

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Ipanema Cafe is hosting Shola Walker’s Few Dope Queens Dinner on Sunday, March 10, 2019.

Few Dope Queens will be a special four-course prix fixe vegan dinner event by Shola Walker with drinks by Ariel Lawrence.

Dinner is $25 per person (excludes tax and gratuity), with optional tea and alcohol pairings available.

Reservations/tickets and more info at ipanemaveg.com/queens

A Richmond native born to Reverands Horace and Janie Walker, Shola Walker has had food and cooking present in her life from her early childhood. Janie, affectionately known as “Ladybug”, is one of 19 children so Shola’s primary culinary education came from various family members trying to feed everyone for Sunday dinner, family reunions and/or church functions. After a career as a performing artist Shola returned to her roots in cooking as a professional (WPA Bakery, Julep’s New Southern Cuisine, Nota Bene). It was at WPA Bakery where she met and befriended Kendra Murden, who encouraged her to open her own business. Leaning on her strengths as a long time baker and with the help of her supportive family, Shola and her sisters Michelle Sanders and Shantell Malachi opened Mahogany Sweets bakery in November of 2017. Mahogany Sweets focuses on the “exceptional” – customers who have to make dietary exceptions such as gluten-free, vegan, diabetic, dairy-free while making baked goods so desirable no one will ever notice.

Ariel Lawrence is a bartender and educator who focuses on sustainable cocktail culture and has lectured on community engagement and culturally focused bar pedagogy. She currently works at Laura Lee’s, a restaurant and fern bar proudly located on Richmond’s Southside.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Community

Hook and Reel on Forest Hill Avenue Appears to be Open

The seafood chain has over 80 restaurants across the country.

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Their Facebook page doesn’t reflect it but the big sign on the building, the banners, and flags around the building tell us that Hook and Reel (7131 Forest Hill Ave) is now open. If their hours are the same as the Norfolk location they’ll be open Sun–Thu: 12PM–10PM and Fri–Sat: 12PM–11PM.

You can check out a menu here. Don’t forget this is a massive chain and there are some pretty awesome places to get seafood in town such as Croaker’s Spot.

Their “story”

Born in the South where a feast means getting messy with friends, the seafood boil has been bringing people together for ages. At Hook & Reel our signature boil forks over bold flavors with a genuine, down-home feel.

But eating seafood is only part of the fun. Everything tastes better elbow-to-elbow with friends, swapping stories over music, getting down and dirty and eating with your hands – all with a cold drink at the ready, ‘cause that spice ain’t no joke. We set out to share the saucy spirit of the boil with folks everywhere – testing our very own recipes, inspired by fiery Cajun home cooking. The Hook & Reel seafood boil dishes up the “reel” deal – the full backyard boil experience and flavor, with a twist.

It’s a party, so we always laugh loud, and eat big.

Ya comin?

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Food & Drink

Pedal the James with Paddle Club RVA

There’s a motor so if you pedalers get pooped you can still get home.

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Paddle Club RVA (seasuitecruises.com/paddle-club/richmond-va), the first and only pedal-powered, pontoon paddle boat in Richmond, Va. makes its on-the-water debut Memorial Weekend!

Paddle Club RVA, from Sea Suite Cruises, is the perfect way for friends, families, and colleagues to sip, cycle, and celebrate out on the James River – think of it as a mini-getaway on your own private floating bar. Guests start their 90-minute journey from the dock at Rocketts Landing (right beneath The Boathouse restaurant) and cruise toward the city, then back south past the marina into a quieter, flatwater stretch of river. Along the way, passengers enjoy the ambiance of nature, and stunning views of the river coastline and Richmond skyline. The Washingtonian (cheekily) dubbed the Washington, D.C. “sister” paddle boat version from Sea Suite as “bikes meet booze cruise.”

The maiden voyage of Paddle Club RVA is May 27, with bookings available throughout the summer. Visit Paddle Boat RVA’s Instagram for a cruise preview: instagram.com/paddleclubrva

The 20-passenger, 30-foot, trolley pub-inspired boat features ten cycle stations and is propelled by a 6-foot paddle wheel powered by passengers cycling in tandem. The boat has a lounge area so some passengers can lounge while their friends power the journey. Loungers and pedalers can switch places at any time! The boat also has a captain, a deckhand, and a motor that can take over if you’d rather do more sipping than cycling. All cruises are “bring your own food” and BYOB (beer, wine, champagne, seltzer, or canned cocktails – the only restriction is no hard liquor).

Sustainability is core to Paddle Club RVA’s mission. In addition to the eco-friendly pedal power, a solar panel atop the canopy powers the boat’s electrical system. At booking check-out, guests also have the option to make a round-up donation to the non-profit James River Association that goes toward keeping the river clean.

Paddle Club RVA co-founders and lifelong friends Jack Maher and Jack Walten were both born and raised in Arlington, Va. The business-side of their journey began in 2018 when the 20-something Jack and Jack launched Potomac Paddle Club, the first pontoon “cycleboat” in Washington, D.C. In 2021, they built on their success with the launch of Sea Suite Cruises, which now operates both paddle boat AND tiki boat cruises in Georgetown, National Harbor, Alexandria, Va., and now Richmond, Va., the latter backed by a group of investors with Richmond ties.

PADDLE CLUB RVA DETAILS

PICKUP + DROPOFF LOCATION:
On the dock at Rocketts Landing right beneath The Boathouse restaurant and Island Shrimp Company.

CRUISE DETAILS:
Group Size: 8 – 20 people
Duration: 90 minutes
Bathroom: The vessel comes equipped with a private bathroom on board.
Misc: Also comes equipped with Bluetooth-speakers, party lighting for night cruises, and built-in coolers + ice

PRICING*:
Monday-Thursday: $45/Person
Friday-Sunday: $55/Person
*Pricing may change for holiday weekends and special events.

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Business

The Dairy Bar in Scott’s Addition closes after 76 years; Tang & Biscuit to take over with new concept

After over 76 years in business, The Dairy Bar has closed its doors in Scott’s Addition, but new life is planned for the space.

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Photo: The Dairy Bar

After over 76 years in business, The Dairy Bar has closed its doors in Scott’s Addition, but new life is planned for the space. The restaurant, which opened in 1946 as The Curles Neck Place (when owned by Curles Neck Dairy) and was renamed The Dairy Bar in the 1980s, was a mainstay in the constantly-changing neighborhood. It ultimately succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, according to a post by owner Corey Martin, who purchased the business from longtime owners Bill and Tricia Webb in 2020:

To our valued patrons:

It is with heavy heart that the Dairy Bar has shut down. It has been somewhat of a Richmond Landmark since 1946. COVID placed a heavy hit on the Dairy Bar and once reopening was allowed the decline in sales along with increase in wages as well as food costs proved to be all but impossible to show a profit for a business with such tight margins. Once we were made aware that the former Landlord had sold the property we were pleased to find that the new buyers were literally business people from Scotts Addition neighborhood [sic]. They worked with us to allow an amicable and smooth transition. We so appreciate having the opportunity of meeting so many wonderful and colorful people both the patrons as well as our dedicated employees

The new owner Martin was speaking of is Stanley Shield Partnership, which bought the building and adjacent properties totaling 1.5 acres earlier this year for $7 million, according to Richmond BizSense. While there are currently no known plans to redevelop the property, the firm has developed nearby mixed-use projects including The Scout on Myers Street.

Neighboring shuffleboard bar Tang & Biscuit, which opened in 2018, announced today it will be taking over the space and plans to create a breakfast and lunch spot with a “funky diner feel” called Biscuits & Gravy.

No word yet on when renovations will take place or when the space will open.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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