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Richmond Region Tourism Foundation distributes $25,000 to local sports organizations 

Sports tournaments are important to the region’s economy: In 2021, sports tourism represented almost 80 percent of all event bookings through Richmond Region Tourism and produced an estimated $68 million in economic impact across the region.

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As sports tourism in the region continues to grow, the Richmond Region Tourism Foundation is granting $25,000 to 14 local organizations to help expand events and attendance.

The funding, provided through the philanthropic arm of Richmond Region Tourism and raised through the recent RVA Sports Awards and a partnership with the Richmond Association of Realtors, aims to increase the number of potential visitors through new teams, participants or spectators engaging in the events.

The sports tourism grants were distributed to the following organizations:

  • Collegiate Running Association
  • Diversity Rollers
  • Futsal RVA
  • Live Red Foundation/East Coast Triathlon
  • Metropolitan Junior Baseball League
  • Richmond Hawks Lacrosse
  • Richmond Kickers
  • Richmond Racquetball
  • Savage Ultimate/XII Brands
  • Special Olympics
  • Sportable
  • VA Capital Trail Foundation
  • Virginia Boat Club
  • Virginia Pickleball

“Sports tournaments and events help bring thousands of athletes and spectators to our region every year, directly supporting our local economy,” said Dan Schmitt, Richmond Region Tourism Foundation Board Chair. “We’re proud to invest in these events to help them grow and reach even more potential participants. These grants offer an exciting opportunity for our partners to introduce new visitors to our region.”

The sports tourism grant program supports the Foundation’s mission to advance the impact and benefit of tourism in the region by supporting and investing in local education, diversity and inclusion and sports tourism programs.

“The grant allowed us to significantly increase our marketing efforts while also expanding the participant and spectator experience at the 2021 East Coast Triathlon Festival,” said Michael Harlow, executive director of the Live Red Foundation, a 2021 and 2022 grant recipient.

Sports tournaments are important to the region’s economy: In 2021, sports tourism represented almost 80 percent of all event bookings through Richmond Region Tourism and produced an estimated $68 million in economic impact across the region.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.

Business

Library of Virginia partners with Can Can Brasserie to open downtown cafe

“We are thrilled to help bring one of the city’s best-loved restaurants to downtown Richmond,” said Scott Dodson, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation.

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A partnership between the Library of Virginia and a popular, longtime Carytown restaurant will bring a convenient breakfast and lunch option to the heart of downtown. Can Can Brasserie, a Parisian-style bistro and bakery, will open the Can Can Café in the Library’s lobby on Monday, September 19th, 2022.

“We are thrilled to help bring one of the city’s best-loved restaurants to downtown Richmond,” said Scott Dodson, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation. “Paul and John Kincaid and their team at Can Can are excellent partners. We cannot wait for our patrons and the downtown community to enjoy their amazing food in the Library as we head into our 200th anniversary year.”

Can Can Café will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast will include fresh-baked pastries and lunch will feature soup, salad and sandwiches, as well as to-go pastries, desserts and other items. Can Can’s signature coffee service will be available throughout the day.

“Since we began the difficult road of opening post-Covid, people have been asking us about our previous morning coffee service,” said Paul Kincaid, co-owner. “Countless people missed a beautiful location, quick coffee and pastries, and a chance to get out of the office and have a quick meeting. Opening Can Can Café in the Library of Virginia, we’re happy to be able to offer all of those things!”

Co-owner John Kincaid added, “With its spacious and beautiful interior, we’re excited to serve morning coffee, along with an assortment of sandwiches and salads for lunch, in a convenient location for so many folks in the downtown area.”

Limited free parking for Can Can Café is available on Level B1 of the Library’s parking garage accessed via entrances on 8th and 9th Streets.

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Arts & Entertainment

Richmond broadcast legends team up to launch new internet radio station “The Breeze”

Bill Bevins, Bud Myers, Adam Stubbs, and Ilyse Jennings will launch the new soft album rock station October 1st.

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Some of Richmond’s best-known radio personalities are coming back to the airwaves – only this time, digitally. Veteran radio host Bill Bevins, who has been heard across Richmond’s radio dial and on TV for a combined five decades, most notably on Lite 98 and WTVR-TV (CBS6) has teamed up with self-described consumer electronics guru and former WTVR-TV reporter Bud Myers to launch internet radio station The Breeze.

The two lifelong friends envision the new station, which will play five decades of soft album rock by national artists and also spotlight Richmond musicians, as a “breath of fresh air” among the landscape of corporate-owned radio in Richmond and across the country that has seen the consolidation of both music playlists and local personalities over the years.

The Breeze, Bevins hopes, will be a reprisal of Richmond radio’s glory days, but with a modern spin.

“We remember when disc jockeys had the freedom to select and talk in depth about the various songs they played,” said Bevins. “That is not the case today. Corporate radio limits the music selection, the programming, and the role of the show’s host, which in our opinion, limits the enjoyment of the listener.”

“So many of the great songwriters have been creating excellent music over the past 50 years, but other than their 1970s hits, you never hear them on today’s radio,” Myers added. “Streaming The Breeze catches you up with their music, which has matured and deals with the things that life has brought to all of us. From album cuts of singer/songwriters to the blues, soft jazz or 60s soul, this is what The Breeze offers our listeners and in full CD quality.”

Bevins pointed out that there also has been little opportunity to hear Richmond musicians on the radio. “Local artists rarely get airtime, but The Breeze will now bring their music to the public every day,” he said.

Once the station officially launches October 1st, Bevins will helm the morning slot. Myers will host a deep cuts show “The Listening Room” in mid-days, and Adam Stubbs, who worked with Bevins at B103.7 and Lite 98 over the years, will helm the afternoon shift, which is familiar territory to him. “It’s a dream to work with people who care equally about the community, great music, and want to give ultimate flexibility for the broadcasters,” said Stubbs.

Ilyse Jennings, who has been heard on former station XL102 since the 1980s, will round out the team and host evenings.

The full lineup is as follows, per station owners:

  • The Morning Show with Bill Bevins 7am- 11am, featuring the best top 40 songs with RVA’s favorite morning personality;
  • The Listening Room with Bud Myers 11am-3pm, showcasing 50 years of soft album rock by America’s and RVA’s favorite artists;
  • Adam in the Afternoon 3pm-7pm, with fan favorite Adam Stubbs coming back to afternoon drive time playing the best of soft album rock with a touch of his island flair;
  • Richmond After Dark 7pm-11pm, hosted by Ilyse Jennings presenting the Great American Songbook of beloved standards performed by today’s artists
  • Evening Soul 11pm-1am with Rhonda, playing the best of the Quiet Storm 80’s soul and smooth jazz from Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, Smokey Robinson and the greatest soul ballads ever

There will also be a daily “Richmond Minute” serving up tidbits of Richmond’s past from WTVR’s historian, Don Talley. Other special programs are in the making and will be announced soon.

“We’ve put our hearts into this, and I hope you can hear that coming through your speakers,” Bevins added. “Every song is handpicked and programmed to give you a lift throughout your day.”

“It’s a different vibe that is a bit nostalgic, but for the right reasons,” Myers said. “It’s not an oldies station, but I hope we open your ears a bit with great music regardless of genres. We are not going to be categorized, which pretty much summarizes both Bill and me.”

The Breeze officially launches Saturday, October 1st and can be streamed online at vabreeze.com or on Alexa.

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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Business

Lady N’awlins Cajun Cafe in the Fan to close doors next month after 12-year run

Inflation, food costs, and staffing issues were cited among reasons for the closure.

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Longtime Fan restaurant Lady N’awlins Cajun Café is closing its doors at the end of the month after a 12-year run. Owner Jake Crocker shared the news on his personal Facebook page Friday afternoon, announcing the Cajun restaurant would shutter September 4th and citing inflation and staffing issues among the reasons for the closure.

The basement bar was a staple of the upper Fan since 2012 for many over the years, your humble author included.

The full post follows from Crocker:

Well folks, for those that don’t already know or haven’t picked up on all the hints that staff have been dropping, we’re planning on wrapping up operations at Lady N’awlins in the next few weeks. We are open for limited hours now based on staff availability. Our final day will be Sunday, September 4th.

With the escalating cost of doing business across the board and the dramatic drop-off in people dining out here and everywhere this summer, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to keep pushing. We’ve held this place down for almost twelve years and are extremely proud of our run. People doubted a Cajun restaurant would work in Richmond, but it did and lasted vastly longer than most predicted and profoundly touched many lives along the way.

It’s been a rocky road, particularly the past two and a half years having to close not once, but twice during the pandemic. We battled through and a year ago were overrun with business, but couldn’t find enough staff to handle it. We persisted and honestly thought we were in the best place we’ve ever been just a few months ago, but this summer everything changed. We’re not the first to make this decision as a result and certainly won’t be the last.

Life is short and after some agonizing soul searching with my amazing wife Chantel Crocker we decided it was time to close this chapter of our lives so we can start the next one. This is not a decision we took lightly as this is where we met and a place we’ve both put our hearts and souls into. She actually fell in love with the restaurant before she even met me, and for that alone, I’ll always be grateful for Lady N’awlins.

As for what’s next for the space, who knows? Conversations are being had and the door is open for other discussions. But as for us, we’re locking the doors for the last time on September 4th and we expect a parade of people we love to keep coming in as they have been this whole week with word leaking out. If and when someone else unlocks those doors again, we’ll be excited to be its first and frequent customers. As for what is next for us, that’s a mystery. I’m putting my marketing consulting company Crocker Strategy back on the front burner and I’m still part-time working on behalf of the Virginia National Guard. The restaurant was my primary income so I’m certainly open to options, but my thirteen years as a restauranteur will be coming to an end and I’m grateful for the experience. The same can be said with Chantel, who’s been on this corner with me for the past eight years making this thing go.

I’d like to thank all the relationships I’ve made during my time at this crazy corner of Main Street. I’m grateful to the staff, regulars, partners, vendors, family, friends, neighbors and even those that just popped in only once to check us out. I always hoped we’d create a place that was meaningful and more than just a business. We did that not just once but with F.W. Sullivan’s, twice! “The Lady” however always seemed to resonate a bit deeper.

I am extremely grateful for enough memories to fill a million lifetimes and I’m very excited to turn the page and write the next chapter. Thank you from the bottom of our purple hearts for the years of love you all have shown toward Lady N’awlins!

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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