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Food & Drink

No Kid Hungry Virginia offers families access to free meals for kids this summer via text message

The summer months are already one of the hungriest times of year for many children. The need will be even greater this summer with more than 10% of Virginians facing unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Free meal programs for children will continue to be available across Virginia during the summer. No Kid Hungry Virginia encourages families to text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to find free summer food sites organized by school districts and community organizations.

Meal sites are offering a variety of distribution models to help safely connect students with meals and promote social distancing, including “Grab and Go” service and food delivery along bus routes while passing out multiple days’ worth of meals at one-time.

The summer months are already one of the hungriest times of year for many children. The need will be even greater this summer with more than 10% of Virginians facing unemployment because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent estimates show that as many as 1 in 4 children could experience food insecurity in the aftermath of this crisis.

“A big challenge is making sure families know how to find resources,” said Sarah Steely, No Kid Hungry Virginia Associate Director. “Please share the texting number with family and friends and on social networks, and check with your local school division for the most detailed information. We need to make everyone is aware of free meal resources in their communities.”

The Summer Meals program is funded by the USDA and operated by school districts and local organizations. Schools have been utilizing the Summer Meals program to operate emergency meal sites throughout the pandemic. Families can text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 and type in a zip code to find nearby summer meal sites, along with operating days and times. No application or registration is required at sites.

Summer hunger can have a long-term impact on a child’s health, ability to learn, and general well-being. No Kid Hungry Virginia is focused on providing funding and strategic assistance to schools and local organizations implementing summer meal programs to help them reach more kids during the pandemic.

Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work.

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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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