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Jamaica House Set to Reopen in New Location Next Tuesday

Jamaica House Restaurant is a fast-casual restaurant near VCU’s Monroe Park Campus that has been serving traditional Jamaican cuisine to go in a fun atmosphere since 1994.

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A long-time restaurant serving authentic, scratch-made Jamaican cuisine in the VCU area for decades has moved down the block to a larger, more inviting space with more seating and an expanded menu. Jamaica House Restaurant, a staple of the Monroe Park Campus and Downtown Richmond since 1994, is reopening its doors Tuesday, September 8th.

The restaurant’s new 2,100-square-foot home at 416 W. Broad Street evokes the quaint charm and character of the original location, with major improvements including additional seating for up to 40 people, a larger takeout window, and a bar.

“Moving into this fantastic new space gave us a great opportunity to try some new things and expand our offerings a bit,” said Carana Ives, owner of Jamaica House. “Not only do we have more seating and an expanded kitchen, but we’re now able to add some customer favorites from Carena’s Jamaican Grille and try a few new traditional dishes as well. It was also a chance to create a long-overdue, comfortable dine-in experience that we really lacked in our former home.”

The interior of the space, designed by Richmond-based Campfire & Co., is bright, fun, and fresh with colorful textures and tones as well as island-inspired fixtures and upholstery, giving the restaurant a relaxed, approachable feel. “We were excited to help Carena and (son) Randolph create a new space and updated brand for Jamaica House that transports guests and celebrates Jamaican culture and the art of authentic, slow cooking,” said Lauren Stewart, Co-Founder, Campfire & Co.

Staples of Jamaica House, including the restaurant’s famous curry goat, jerk chicken, and oxtails, remain, alongside new menu additions inspired by Ives’ sister restaurant, Carena’s Jamaican Grille in South Richmond. New dishes include Appleton Rum-glazed baby back ribs, fresh salmon in a creamy coconut sauce, spicy jerk wings, and a chickpea and butternut squash bowl over fresh spinach and rice.

The general contractor on the project was Chris Pollack with UrbanCore Construction, and Sarah McInerney with Walter Parks Architects led the design. Boulevard Creative developed the restaurant’s new website, which will launch later this week.

Jamaica House is located at 416 W. Broad Street and is open every day from 11:00 AM until 9:00 PM. Online ordering and curbside takeout are available.

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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

Harry Potter Themed Frozen Custard Tonight

Head over to the Westover Hill United Methodist Church. The custard truck will be in the lot on the corner of Westover Hill Blvd and King William Road.

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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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Community

VCU Announces Kopacsi Returning to The Peppas

In Pep Band News this is a really big deal. Kopacsi previously led The Peppas from 1998-2016 and garnered national attention for the raucous band.

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VCU Athletics made the announcement a couple days ago.

Ryan Kopacsi will return as director of the VCU Pep Band, The Peppas, VCU Vice President and Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin announced Tuesday.

“Ryan and I share the same vision of making our gameday atmosphere the best in the country – college or pro. We have seen the pivotal role that The Peppas play in creating that atmosphere. After many discussions, we both knew the time was right for him to return to VCU and re-energize our talented students in The Peppas and our fans. I know our fans will welcome him home like we have in VCU Athletics,” McLaughlin said.

A native of Varina, Va., Kopacsi previously led The Peppas from 1998-2016, a period in which the boisterous ensemble earned a reputation as one of the best pep bands in the country with energetic performances to a perpetually sold-out Stuart C. Siegel Center, as well as to national audiences.

For those with short memories or unfamiliar the reason for leaving back in 2016 was money aka contract dispute.

CBS6 story from June 20th, 2016

Kopacsi said he came to the decision after failed contract negotiations with VCU Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin.

“Me and the AD have discussed contracts for weeks and cannot agree on vision, trajectory, and time frame. I’m disappointed to say the least in the decision of the administration to sacrifice all of what The Peppas bring to our players, our fans, our university, and our city.

There is no denying that the Peppas are a force to be reckoned with.

Behind the scenes from 2014 when Ryan Kopasci was with the band.

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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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Downtown

Library of Virginia bringing Dopesick author Beth Macy to Richmond for the Carole Weinstein Author Series

Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist, the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, and an executive producer and cowriter on Hulu’s Peabody Award–winning Dopesick series.

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The Library of Virginia continues its 2022 Carole Weinstein Author Series talks with New York Times best-selling author Beth Macy. Macy will discuss Raising Lazarus: Hope, Justice, and the Future of America’s Overdose Crisis, the much anticipated follow-up to her internationally acclaimed book and Amazon series Dopesick. Carole Weinstein Author Series talks are free and open to the public. Registration is required for in-person attendance. To register, click here.

The event takes place Tuesday, August 23rd from 6:00–7:30 p.m.at the Library of Virginia Lecture Hall. It will also be livestreamed.

Beth Macy is a Virginia-based journalist, the author of Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, and an executive producer and cowriter on Hulu’s Peabody Award–winning Dopesick series.

For more than 25 years, Macy has been reporting on stories from the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia—previously for the Roanoke Times and, more recently, in occasional essays for the New York Times. She has also written for magazines, radio, and online journals from locations ranging from a mobile home in Bassett, Virginia, to a crowded cholera ward in Limbe, Haiti.

Like the treatment innovators she profiles, Beth Macy meets the opioid crisis where it is—not where we think it should be or wish it was. Bearing witness with clear eyes, intrepid curiosity, and unfailing empathy, she brings us the crucial next installment in the story of the defining disaster of our era, one that touches every single one of us, whether directly or indirectly. A complex story of public health, big pharma, dark money, politics, race, and class that is by turns harrowing and heartening, infuriating and inspiring, Raising Lazarus is a must-read for all Americans.

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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