2016 Best of the DTM Winners!

Savvy DTM readers have spoken! Here are the results of the 2016 Best of the DTM Polls. Congrats to the winners!

DTM’s Best Coffee Shop

1st Place – Mudhouse
2nd Place – Java Java Cafe
3rd Place – Grit Coffee

DTM’s Best Retail Shop

1st Place – BOUTIQUE boutique
2nd Place – The Consignment House
3rd Place – O’suzannah & Bittersweet (tie)

DTM’s Best Music/Night Spot

1st Place – The Jefferson Theater
2nd Place – The Southern
3rd Place – Miller’s

DTM’s Best Restaurant

1st Place – Hamilton’s at First & Main
2nd Place – The Whiskey Jar
3rd Place – The C&O Restaurant

Park & Hide: DTM Parking Dispute Gets Personal

about-us-544x348What started out as a discussion to improve the parking situation on the DTM appears now to have turned into an episode of Game of Thrones, complete with threats of government seizure, and talk of bullying and personal vendettas. So, what the heck is going on?

“As a rule,” says Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signor, responding to questions about the on-going legal battle between the City and Water Street Parking Garage owner Mark Brown, “I don’t comment to the press on litigation.”

However, the high-powered Richmond attorney doing the actual litigation for the City doesn’t appear to follow the same rule.

“For months Mark Brown has been trying to bully the City into giving him control of the Water Street Parking Garage,” Tom Wolf with LeClairRyan told Cville Weekly. “He has even threatened to close down the garage, which he has no power or authority to do. Mr. Brown’s first lawsuit was meritless and this new one is a transparent attempt at further bullying. The City is not intimidated by Mr. Brown’s threats.”

Wolf went on to claim he’s representing the City at a discounted rate because he “loves litigating against bullies” like Mr. Brown.

In addition to Mayor Signer, The DTM asked other City Councilors, City Manager Maurice Jones, and City Attorney Craig Brown if they agreed with Mr. Wolf’s characterization of Mr. Brown and the situation. And why the city has seen fit to threaten the use of eminent domain to take over the Water Street Garage.

“The City of Charlottesville does not provide comment related to litigation,” responded Miriam Dickler, the City’s director of communications.

City Councilor Bob Fenwick does, though. “Tom Wolf has a right to say what he wants,” he says.

“Mark Brown may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the claim by the City’s attorney that Mark has been bullying the City of Charlottesville, or is even in a position to bully the City of Charlottesville, is silly and melodramatic,” says Dave Norris, the former Charlottesville City Mayor who now manages the Charlottesville Parking Center.

Indeed, considering that Brown’s company has 19 employees and an annual budget of $3 million, while the City has 940 employees and annual budget of $160 million, some might wonder who the real bully is here.

“The City’s heavy-handed threat to use eminent domain against Charlottesville Parking Center and spend many millions of dollars to seize CPC’s assets is an egregious abuse of governmental authority – and a monumental waste of taxpayer dollars, as it will not add a single space to the inventory of downtown parking,” says Norris. “Threatening eminent domain to resolve a pricing dispute with someone you don’t care for is not a rational or helpful strategy – but then, personal vendettas rarely are.”

Well, this ought to end well.

Meanwhile, as the lawyers on both sides cash in, and the City commissions studies and transfers $500,000 from the capital improvement program contingency account to create a new “Parking Division” branch of local government, parking downtown is still perceived as a pain in the ass to visitors and DTM businesses and employees alike.

The two sides will go at it in Charlottesville Circuit Court on June 27 at 3pm. See you there!

Related stories:

City lawyer: Condemnation of Water Street Garage has begun

City lawyer: Condemnation of Water Street Garage has begun

Escalation clause: City threatens eminent domain of Water Street Garage

Escalation clause: City threatens eminent domain of Water Street Garage

City, CPC circle around Water St. garage offers

Charlottesville, VA threatens eminent domain if parking garage doesn’t sell

City to seek full ownership of Water St. garage

Brookville Owners to Take Over Gibson’s Grocery

MenuJennifer and Harrison Keevil, owners of Brookville Restaurant on the DTM, will be taking over Gibson’s Grocery on Hinton Avenue and open in late July, under the name Keevil & Keevil Grocery and Kitchen.

What can you expect? Made-to-order subs, take-away sandwiches and salads, and a couple rotating monthly sandwich ideas dreamed up by the Keevil’s and their chef friends. They will also be serving up breakfast sandwiches and other breakfast fare, along with smoothies….and plan eventually to offer take-away dinner options.

Of course, there will be regular grocery items, wine, beer, etc….with an emphasis on products from Virginia.

“The customers of Gibson’s Grocery have come to love the quality of service form the Gibson Family for the last 30 years and Jennifer and I look to continue to uphold those standards for years to come,” says Harrison.

Props to Farmer Todd….someone REALLY making a difference on the south side of the DTM



Todd Niemeier, operations director for the Urban Agricultural Collective of Charlottesville. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly.

DP -Niemeier is operations director for the Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville. His job includes overseeing the community gardens at Friendship Court, Sixth Street and West Street.

During the past growing season, these well-tended plots yielded 17,000 pounds of fresh vegetables. And every tomato, potato, cucumber and leafy green was given away free to community members.

“We believe that working together to grow and share healthy food helps to cultivate healthy communities,” said Niemeier, who is affectionately called Farmer Todd. “The food is a vehicle for bringing people together across racial and social barriers. READ MORE

Photo Gallery: The DTM, 90s-Style

The DTM in the mid to late 1990s was a different place. You walked across Market Street, which was one-way, without even looking, you hung out at Spencer’s 206, and you knew almost everyone you ran into. Waldo Jaquith captures that time here with some great photos and captions.

Schmidt Returns for CD Release Party at The Southern

Danny Schmidt says his April 2 show at the Southern will be special for a couple reasons:

“I lived in Charlottesville (and central Virginia) for about ten years, and it’s where I first started sharing my music publicly. I’ve since moved back to Austin, but Cville still feels like my musical home . . . so the Southern show feels a bit like a homecoming.”

“This new record, Owls, isn’t going to be released to the wider public until May 19th. So this show at The Southern is a sneak peek, and the album’s world debut. It will be available at the show, but nowhere else for another six weeks.”

Find out what Danny has been up to here.


When:  Thursday, April 2nd at 8pm
Where: The Southern Cafe & Music Hall in Charlottesville, VA
Who: Danny Schmidt
What: CD Release Concert
How Much: $12 advanced/ $15 door
For more info: