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.

Seven reasons why you ought to check out the Jefferson School City Center

Jeff School-aMaybe it’s because it’s across McIntire Road, so not technically on the DTM, or because they haven’t been doing enough marketing, but it’s hard to believe there aren’t more people checking out the Jefferson School City Center. This is a real cool downtown asset!

1)  Free, easy access parking in its own two-level parking garage

2)  An African-American Heritage Center with exhibits in what used to be an African-American School located in an African-American neighborhood that was razed by urban renewal in the 1960s.

3) A full-service recreation center with a gym, state-of-the-art fitness center, teen center, all kinds of classes, pick-up basketball games, which is priced reasonably.

4)  A healing arts center with yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and massage.

5)  A community center for seniors and children

6)  A woman’s support group offering counseling, social support, and education

7)  A full-service café/restaurant whose profits go to a meals program for seniors. Also hosts art exhibits and free live music.


Hot bites: New Neapolitan pizza place opening

dish-pizza-shay-aLooks like some authentic Neapolitan Pizza is coming to (well, near the DTM) in the form of a place called Lampo, the brainchild of a couple of MAS and Tavola chefs, who’ll be taking over The Farm Cville space (they’re moving to a larger location) next to Spudnuts. This is good news for pizzaphiles, as the Neapolitan is the real thing, a 200-year old recipe using a special flour from Naples, called cabuto, and fired up in a wood-fired oven that reaches temperatures up to 800 degrees. It’s cooked fast and hot in only 60 to 90 seconds, and best eaten right on the spot. There’s even an Italian association that protects the professionalism of the pizza makers in Italy and around the world, making sure real Neapolitan Pizza is made according to tradition, called the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (AVPN). Look for it to be open sometime in the fall.

Richmond restaurateur buys El Puerto’s

Tasty tacos from Richmond coming to the DTM?

Tasty tacos from Richmond coming to the DTM?

Looks like El Puerto on the DTM got an offer they couldn’t refuse. According to the TimesDispatch, Richmond restaurateur Hamooda Shami, owner of New York Deli, Don’t Look Back and Portrait House restaurants in Carytown, just purchased El Puerto’s at 223 West Main Street, next to the Whiskey Jar and Brookville:

“Shami said he came across the restaurant while staying in Charlottesville recently and saw potential in the space. He introduced himself to El Puerto’s owner and within a week he’d struck up a deal to buy the restaurant.

Shami says he’s still working out the details on the name and concept, but he’s partnering with Don’t Look Back co-owner Nathaniel Gutierrez on the Charlottesville spot and it likely will be a version of the pair’s popular Carytown taco shop.”


According to the TD, the place is expected to open in October. Stay tuned for more details. For a look at the Don’t Look Back concept, click here.

Full Circle: Blue Mountain to take over South Street

blue mountainBack in the late 1990s, a young graduate of Hampden-Sydney College became my office-mate at a doomed Internet-start-up called Value America. It was his first real job out of college, and he hated it. We shared an office the size of a broom closet with no windows, and created and cranked out stupid ads for laptops and Weber grills that ran in USAToday and the The Wall Street Journal. We had greedy hopes that our stock options would be worth something one day. Alas, Value America went down in flames. One Christmas, though, young Taylor Smack received a home beer-brewing kit. The rest, of course, is local history. Now, Smack and his partners have purchased South Street Brewery on the DTM, where Smack actually worked for five years as he was hatching his beer-making plans. Below, you’ll find a release from Smack – who was always a fine writer, by the way – that’ll give you some details about his plans for the place. This, my friends, is a welcome development for the DTM. – David McNair

South street

A remembrance: Good-bye to long-time C & O owner Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson at the C&O Restaurant. Photo by Jen Fariello.

Dave Simpson at the C&O Restaurant. Photo by Jen Fariello.

Long-time C&O Restaurant owner, and good friend, Dave Simpson passed away suddenly this week. He will be missed. Here’s an interview I did with Dave a few years back. He was a wise and thoughtful man:

The C&O: a friendly port in a stormy world
November 30, 2010

For 30 years now, Dave Simpson has been holding down the fort at the C&O restaurant, which put Charlottesville on the fine dining map when original owners Sandy McAdams and Philip Stafford opened the place in 1976.

Back then you could count the number of fine-dining restaurants in town on two hands. Today, you need a calculator.

Remarkably, the cozy place in the funky building on Water Street is still setting the standard in Charlottesville cuisine. As for Simpson, he’s manged to maintain the restaurant’s good reputation for three decades now with a combination of hard work and some fine people skills. One of the few missteps he’s made was straying away from the C&O and partnering with wayward accountant Jim Baldi (who is still wanted on felony embezzlement charges) on the Bel Rio fiasco, a restaurant whose noise and financial problems made Simpson feel put in a “bad guy” role. He parted ways with Baldi and issued a public apology to the people in Belmont “who found this enterprise a nuisance while I was involved.”

Back where he belongs now, Simpson, who grew up in Charlottesville in the 1950s, the son of a City cop, recently took time out to reflect on the last 30 years.

“Growing up as a cop’s son then was a little like growing up on the Andy Griffith Show,” says Simpson. “My mom worked at Sperry, and my brother Mike and I graduated from Lane High school.”


Sandwich Lab: Lunch on the DTM just got a little more interesting


Something cooking on the DTM? This Sandwich Lab sticker was spotted on a telephone poll on the DTM.

In a secret laboratory deep beneath Hamilton’s at First & Main, it appears that Chef Curtis Shaver and his staff have been working on a cure for a condition that many of us 9-5 workers on the DTM have suffered from: Chronic Same Old Lunch Option Syndrome, or C-SOLOS. Symptoms may include not really wanting to eat at all, or just going along with what everyone else is doing, getting pizza or dumplings again, scarfing that left-over pizza or chicken wing in the break-room fridge, making some lame attempt to bring your own lunch, or just drinking coffee all day until you’re freaking starving around 6pm.

Welcome to the Sandwich Lab.

From what the DTM has be able to learn, Shaver and his crew are planning to roll-out a limited number of “killer” carry-out sandwiches for pick-up at Noon at Hamilton’s on Wednesday, April 9.

These will apparently be unique and interesting chef-created sandwiches, using local ingredients, that’ll cost you just $7. DTM sources say they could cause extreme euphoria and vivid dreaming. We’re assured there are no hallucinogenic ingredients being used.

“The whole idea of sandwich lab is for us in the kitchen to let out a more creative side that’s not center of the plate entree focused,” says Shaver. ” We want to come up with fun, unique sandwiches that you won’t get anywhere else.”

The first sandwich, says Shaver, will be a grilled hickory smoked Double H Farm pork belly with green tomato relish, collard green slaw, pimento cheese, sriracha mayo on an Albemarle Baking Company hoagie roll.

The DTM has also learned that this is going to become a regular thing, and that there are plans to eventually collaborate with other chefs and local food producers to explore new sandwich creations. Good news for C-SOLOS sufferers. Look for more about The Sandwich Lab on The DTM.

To reserve your Sandwich Lab sandwich, call Hamilton’s at 434-295-6649.  Remember, there are only 12 of these Sandwich Lab sandwiches available, so order yours now!