Five Iced Coffees to Grab Before Summer Ends


Summer is winding down and before we know it visitors to the Richmond Region will be bundled up in cozy sweaters and oohing and ahhing at tacky lights. But, while the weather is still sweltering and the river still running fast with kayakers, rafters and swimmers, we thought we’d give you five iced coffees to grab before the leaves turn.


1. BLACK HAND COFFEE CO. - Despite the imposing name (Black Hand was a secret military society involved in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand which basically started WWI), this is a welcoming and friendly shop – that’s one of their baristas in the first image. Black Hand is tucked away in a quiet neighborhood on Patterson Ave. and they roast beans from Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Brazil in house each morning. Why not take your iced coffee for a stroll on the grounds of the nearby VMFA?


2. MONUMENT CITY COFFEE AND RECORDS - Monument City is a coffee shop and a record store because that’s how the Richmond Region rolls. This combination of vinyl and coffee is a perfect fit for the shop’s Grace Street outpost. They also happen to make a spectacular Iced Coffee. Their special twist is to make the ice cubes out of coffee the night before, ensuring that your coffee never waters down in the summer humidity.


3. Sefton Coffee Co. - Stepping into Sefton Coffee Co. at 24 N. 8th St. feels like stepping inside a delicious, minty cupcake. The shotgun space, with its high tin ceilings, tasteful appointments and counters handmade by owner Jennie Skinner, is a triumph in comfortable high design. It’s also got some pretty great coffee. Skinner makes all the flavoring, powders and syrups, on site. The shop features a rotating menu of hot and cold drinks (a malted iced coffee was on the menu recently.)

farmhouse3 4. Urban Farmhouse – With three locations in Church Hill, Shockoe Bottom and Midlothian, Urban Farmhouse is easy to pop into and grab an iced coffee no matter where your Richmond Region plans take you. Urban Farmhouse, in addition to serving fair trade iced coffee, stocks a full pantry of local goods from wine to craft beer and local sauces and cider.


5. ROSTOV’S COFFEE & TEA - Rostov’s has been in the coffee, and tea, business for over 35 years. The shop at 1618 West Main St. roasts over 1,500 pounds of coffee on site using a Jabez-Burns roaster from the 1930s. The iced coffee at Rostov’s is cold brewed overnight in a concentrated toddy. You can take a two-week supply with you for about five bucks!

Check out for even more caffeinated suggestions!









Five Sharkproof Aquatic Adventures in Richmond

Everybody loves Shark Week on TV. In person, not so much. Thankfully, the Richmond Region has aquatic adventures for the whole family, minus hammerheads and great whites and tiger sharks.

10430409_10152131589816875_8186850130604101105_n1. KINGS DOMINION WATERWORKS PARK – This 20-acre park will satisfy everyone in the family from the thrill seeker to the beach bum. Whether all 650,000 gallons of Big Wave Bay are your speed or you’d rather float along all day in the Lazy Rider, Waterworks will keep you wet and smiling. Admission to Waterworks is included in every single, affordable admission to Kings Dominion!




photo courtesy of joepyrek

2. TEXAS BEACH - Park in the lot on Texas Ave. or walk the Northbank Trail out from the city to this secluded, sandy beach along the James River. Adults, and kids, can cool off on the rocks, under the shade of a tree or swing into the river on a rope swing, all for free.



_IGP06273. RIVERSIDE OUTFITTERS - Want to go white water rafting, through the city, with the family? Riverside Outfitters has you covered. Want to go on a standup paddleboard trip? They’ve got it. Guided kayaking? Yep. Kayak rentals? You can probably tell where this is going. Riverside Outfitters is your one-stop shop for all manner of James River fun.



4. HADAD’S LAKE – On the surface, Hadad’s Lake looks like an idyllic midcentury amusement straight out of the resort from “Dirty Dancing.” Of course, that resort didn’t have a BLOB, rope swings or play host each year to the GWAR B-Q.



5. “GREAT WHITE SHARK” at the SCIENCE MUSEUM OF VIRGINIA - It’s Shark Week. You need sharks, we get it. Check out this film in the museum’s Dome on a giant screen until Aug. 15.

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Five Richmond Ideas for Fans From Fans

TrainingCamp01It’s the last weekend of the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp in the Richmond Region. We asked some fans what folks should do off the field before the team heads home.

We talked to Tillmon and Ashley first:TrainingCamp02

1. Carytown: “It has anything for anybody,” Tillmon said. Both praised Galaxy Diner for its array of vegetarian and gluten-free options. Tillmon said that One Eyed Jacques, at 3104 West Cary Street, was a required stop for gamers.




Mike, Kim, Moon and Kiersten were full of suggestions for kids, of all ages, coming into TrainingCamp03town for the last weekend of camp.

2. Kings Dominion: Moon said the rides and roller coasters at Kings Dominion were a favorite local attraction. Kim said the WaterWorks water park was a great way to beat the summer heat. Morgan Moses, a rookie at camp this year, recommended Kings Dominion in our last post!

3. Canal Walk/River Walk: Kim said the canal and river walks, running from Shockoe Bottom up to Belle Isle along the picturesque James River, were relaxing spots for a stroll no matter the time of day.

4. Bottoms Up Pizza: Everyone agreed that Bottoms Up Pizza, at 1700 Dock Street in Shockoe Bottom, was a favorite place to grab a slice.

5. Metro Richmond Zoo: The zoo made a big splash last year with the baby Cheetah Cam! Now Meerkat pups are taking center stage and everybody agreed they would have to get to the zoo soon to see them; and maybe to ride the Treetop Zoofari zip line.

As always, check out for even more fun ideas…and have fun at camp!

Morgan Moses’s Richmond

MosesRookie offensive tackle Morgan Moses, or Big Mo, loves the Richmond Region. He played Pop Warner football for the Hening Redskins in Chesterfield before moving on to Meadowbrook High School where he was a two-time all-state, all-region and all-district selection.

He stayed close to home for college, playing tackle for UVA down the road in Charlottesville. His childhood dream came true when he was picked up by Washington in the third round of the draft a few months before finishing his bachelor’s degree in anthropology.

He’s back in town for the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp and told VisitRichmond about some of his favorite spots in the region.

Kings Dominion Italian JobBig Mo (he’s 6’6”, weighs 318, with tattoos and a huge beard) said Kings Dominion is a must-visit for someone’s first trip to the region. With over 400 acres packed full of 60 rides, shows and attractions, we have to agree that Kings Dominion is a perfect stop for visitors if it’s their first time or 200th time in the region. Big Mo likes to take friends on the roller coasters he’s been riding since he was Lil Mo to hear them laugh and scream.

Moses said he told his teammates they had to check out Croaker’s Spot at 1020 Hull St. This Richmond institution, originally located in Jackson Ward, serves visitors and locals alike healthy portions of soul food and seafood to a soundtrack of R&B favorites.

Moses also recommends Carrabba’s for their shrimp alfredo.

Chesterfield Towne Center is Big Mo’s choice when it’s time to freshen up his wardrobe. This family-friendly destination has everything from men’s and women’s apparel to books and housewares under one roof.

photo courtesy of UVA Football

photo courtesy of UVA Football

You can catch up with Big Mo on Twitter and, of course, check out for even more thrills, food and shopping.

Say Goodnight Gracie

Scott Wichmann. Photo by Jay Paul.

Scott Wichmann. Photo by Jay Paul.

I’ve been going to the theater since I was in grade school. I probably wouldn’t be as infatuated with the stage if it hadn’t been for my Aunt Roberta who thought I needed a healthy dose of culture in my life even though I was only 6 or 7. She made sure I knew about opera, the symphony, ballet and the theater.

One of the first productions I ever saw on stage in Richmond was “Hello Dolly.” Dolly’s love of life turned into my love for the theater. And, what I’ve discovered over the years is that Richmond has a wealth of theatrical talent, everything from savvy set designers to accomplished actors. One of the most talented actors in town, in my humble opinion, is Scott Wichmann.

I have had the pleasure over the years to watch him grow into his acting skin, taking on all sorts of roles, from Shakespeare’s “Richard III” to a hilarious scam artist in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” One of my favorite Scott stories comes from his performance in the zany comedy “Scapino” when he darted into the audience and took a seat next to a man who had fallen asleep during the show. Scott worked that awkward moment into the dialogue and had everyone but the Sleeping Beauty in stitches. The man’s wife thought it was hilarious, the man not so much.

Scott Wichmann. Photo by Jay Paul.

Scott Wichmann. Photo by Jay Paul.

I’m very excited that Scott is now taking on the role of the legendary George Burns in Virginia Rep’s one-man show, “Say Goodnight Gracie,” at Hanover Tavern. The show is about the life of this beloved comedian and the love of his life, his wife, Gracie Allen. It runs through November 3.

In addition to being a fan of Scott, I am also a huge fan of Burns and Allen. Their television show aired from 1950 to 1958. Their fresh approach to humor endures through the ages. Theirs was one of the great love stories of all times and Scott tells me that the show at Hanover is really a love letter to Gracie, a celebration of her talent.

One thing that Burns and Allen were known for is their perfect timing and their illogical logic style of comedy. Getting that down and also zeroing in on the pitch and timber of George’s voice was a challenge for Scott in the beginning – everything has to be exact or it won’t be believable. In fact he says he panicked when it didn’t come as easily as he had hoped.

Knowing Scott, I’m sure he now has everything down and he and the production will be a big hit. I’m looking forward to seeing it all unfold on stage.

Joan Tupponce is a national award-winning freelancer who was born and raised in the Richmond area. You’ll often spot her out and about enjoying all the great cultural aspects of the area. Check out her websiteat

National Menswear Pop-Up, Northern Grade, Comes to Richmond

NG-COLLAGEMenswear Pop-Up, Northern Grade, will make its debut in Richmond this weekend, September 21st and 22nd. This mobile market features the very best American-manufactured goods and it’s a must-see for the entire family. This is one of three stops for the unique event, traveling next to Chicago and then Minneapolis. Produced by Katherine and Mac McMillan, the team behind the menswear brand Pierrepont Hicks, Northern Grade is a market by a brand for the brands. Katherine McMillan said, “American brands are growing at a fast pace, and Northern Grade’s goal is to help. In the current world of today’s fashion and technology, the male consumer wants to know more about what is behind the brands he covets. Northern Grade gives him a chance to shake that designer’s hand and talk.”

Each Northern Grade market features music, spirits and great local food. While it’s about bringing in new brands from other regions, Northern Grade is largely about supporting local brands. And Richmond has some amazing local menswear brands. Need Supply Co. will host the event and helped secure one of Richmond’s most unique locations: the Power Plant at Haxall Point, a hydroelectic plant that formerly provided power to downtown Richmond. Local menswear giant, Ledbury, will be participating as well. Elisabeth Edelman, VP of Branding at Ledbury said, “Northern Grade is the ideal opportunity for Ledbury to showcase our Commonwealth Collection. These pieces are not just made in the United States, they were created in partnership with Virginia artisans who share our value for designing with the highest quality materials. One of our partners, Marcus Wiley of Wiley Belts in Free Union, VA, will join us at our booth, making belts on-site and walking guests through the hand-crafted process behind the belts. We will also be selling our Monroe Cufflinks, which were made with silversmith Joe Rhames of Charlottesville.”

So here are the details you need to know about spending your weekend in style:


Saturday, September 21st – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Sunday, September 22nd – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Brands in Attendance:

  • Need Supply Co.
  • Pierrepont Hicks
  • Osmium
  • Almond Surfboards
  • Shockoe Denim
  • Mother Freedom
  • Moore & Giles
  • Cadet
  • BillyKirk
  • Odd Couple Shop
  • Ursa Major
  • Woolrich
  • Billy Reid
  • The Hill-Side
  • Cause + Effect
  • Archival Clothing
  • Appalatch Outdoor Apparel Company
  • Square Trade Goods Co.
  • R. Riveter
  • Ledbury
  • Stock Manufacturing Co.
  • Lumina Superior Dry Goods
  • Jack Donnelly
  • Clay + Bros
  • Shwood

Food & Drinks by:

  • Lamplighter Roasting Co.
  • Pizza Tonight
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery

Photobooth by Smile Booth

Featuring a commissioned mural by Duncan Robertson

Men’s Grooming by David Foster of Foster Cuts

A kid’s lounge sponsored by bbgb books.

Northern Grade Richmond is free to the public. Parking is available by the Pipeline Overlook or at the James Parking Deck at 1001 Haxall Point. For more information, please contact:

Courtney Skunda is a PR and Marketing Director in Richmond. She also works supporting local boutiques, designers and artists around the country with a company called The Nearby. You can keep up with her fashion musings on her blog, Cobblestone Couture, or on Twitter and Instagram.

Shopping in Carytown

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some great cities in my lifetime. Some trips have been for work, others for fun and vacation. A common theme with me is that I always scope out the shopping before I take any trip, planning out the exact spots to hit before I even arrive. You can call me an experienced shopper. So, when it comes to the Richmond shopping scene, I don’t like to brag – but I’m kind of an expert.

carytownPeople often ask me my favorite place to shop in Richmond. Without hesitation, I respond, “Carytown!” Why? It’s Richmond’s own equivalent of M Street in Georgetown, King Street in Charleston, or even a small SOHO in New York. What makes Carytown different? It’s 100% authentic and local, not to mention lively and eclectic. What’s wonderful about Carytown is that you can spend an entire day with your friends and family not only shopping but also looking at art, eating a great meal and enjoying a glass of wine – maybe even meeting some great street vendors along the way. Carytown is also pedestrian friendly, so you can leave your car at one end and walk all day.

So, did I mention the shopping? I mean let’s get serious here. It’s fantastic and incredibly diverse. Richmond has such a creative culture, so it doesn’t surprise me that we have stores that run the gamut. If you are visiting Richmond and have a few hours to spend in Carytown, here are my recommendations of where you should make a point to stop and take a look around. Tell them Courtney sent you and who knows, maybe you’ll get a discount!

1.)  Bangles and Beads: Created by a mother and daughter team in 1985, Bangles and Beads primarily carries jewelry with a small collection of beads. Now, with the addition of a third generation, the store has expanded into one of the largest collections of beads and jewelry supplies in the United States. It always has an amazing selection, so check it out!

pink2.)  Pink: Pink has been a women’s contemporary fashion mecca since 1987. Originally called The Pink Cadillac, it stocks women’s clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry and shoes.

3.) Roan: Led by second-generation merchant Hank Greenberg, Roan is a luxury boutique with a team of experienced stylists. Roan features established designers as well as emerging talents, offering an ever-changing selection of ready-to-wear fashion, jewelry, shoes and accessories that keep its clients on the leading edge of fashion. Each season, Hank chooses pieces from the best collections in New York, Milan, Paris and beyond.

4.) Clementine: Voted “Best Consignment Shop in Central Virginia,” Clementine offers a diverse collection of top brands, including an entire section of premium denim. You’ll find brands like Citizens, Vince, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Anthropologie, Tibi, Rebecca Taylor, Tory Burch, J. Crew, Joe’s, Milly, Elizabeth and James, and DVF. It also carries new accessories at affordable prices.

5.) Need Supply: Originally opened in 1996, Need Supply Co. sells a unique collection of vintage pieces for men and women. As a Richmond-based boutique, it incorporates the culture and style of the city into its selection. Over the past decade, it has evolved to offer a well-edited assortment of contemporary designers and independent labels from the U.S. and abroad.

6.) Ruth and Ollie: Ruth & Ollie is a home furnishings store owned and operated by husband and wife team Mike and Kat Liebschwager. They pride themselves on selling pieces that are unique, modern and fresh. You’ll find upholstered furniture, lighting, pillows, art and accessories. Be sure to ask them about the original Ruth and Ollie –  their grandmothers!

7.) Eurotrash: Anne Hughes founded Eurotrash out of her love of European fashion, culture and travel. She strives to bring what Europeans wear to the States – but at a better exchange rate. She seeks out little lines (and not-so-little lines!) to compile a broad collection of clothing at a range of styles and price points to suit every age, occasion, whim and budget.

8.) Thomas Hines Antiques: Thomas-Hines, Inc. was founded as an antique and interior design company in 1972. Over the years, the original shop has expanded to some 82,000 square feet of fine furniture, porcelain and accessories. Specializing in the sale of pieces from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the shop is one of the premier sources of antiques on the East Coast, as well as one of the largest sources in Virginia.

Courtney Skunda is a PR and Marketing Director in Richmond. She also works supporting local boutiques, designers and artists around the country with a company called The Nearby. You can keep up with her fashion musings on her blog, Cobblestone Couture, or on Twitter and Instagram.

An Invitation for the Royal Baby

Dear His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge,

Welcome to the world, George Alexander Louis! You probably don’t know this yet, but lots of people all over the world are thrilled that you’ve finally arrived—even those of us “across the pond”, as they say.

While we know you’ll be quite busy over the next several months eating, sleeping, and filling diapers (royal though they may be), it’s only a matter of time before your princely duties kick in. With that in mind, we’d like to take this opportunity to officially extend an invitation for you to make Richmond, Virginia the destination of your first trip abroad.

I know, I know, exotic places like Paris or Dubai or perhaps any one of those countries making up that whole Commonwealth over which you’ll one day reign seem like obvious choices, but hear me out. After all, our little part of the Commonwealth (we’re one too!) of Virginia has a long-standing tradition of English visitors*; in fact, your own Great-Grandmother spent some time here six years ago to commemorate the founding of Jamestown. What’s more, we’ve got plenty to keep you and those lovely parents of yours entertained while you’re here. Take a look, if you please, at the examples below. I think you’ll find that these activities and sights will both appeal to your “veddy British” sensibilities and give you the true Richmond experience.

Afternoon Tea at The JeffersonThe Jefferson Hotel
Enjoy a delightful selection of scones, pastries, and finger sandwiches under the stunning Tiffany glass ceiling in the Palm Court of one of Richmond’s most beloved landmarks. Sure, it’s named after the guy who penned the document that initiated our countries’ somewhat tense “break up” (yeah, let’s just call it that), but let’s let bygones be bygones, shall we? Besides the atmosphere at the Jefferson is as posh as you can get in this town.

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
I’m sure what you’ve got at Buckingham Palace is lovely, but we consider this spot one of our city’s treasures. With over 50 acres of cultivated landscape featuring more than 7,500 unique genera, species, and cultivar from around the world, the beauty and richness of Lewis Ginter is hard to beat any time of the year. Plus, does Great-Grandmother’s garden include a tree house and water play area? Doubtful.

World of Mirth
Open since 1993, World of Mirth has made it its business to stock items you can’t find in any old toy store. This should come in handy for your family members who are surely asking themselves, “What do you get a future king who has everything?” on a daily basis. Allow me to suggest a thumb wrestling ring? A set of fake mustaches? What about your very own horse head mask? All of these (and so, so, SO much more!) can be found at Richmond’s quirkiest and most beloved toy store, located in the heart of Carytown.

Farm Goats People Children Credit Julie BaileyChildren’s Farm and Virginia Wildlife Exhibit at Maymont
Royal or not, no kid-friendly visit to Richmond would be complete without a visit to Maymont to feed the baby goats, say hello to the donkey, and an attempt at spotting our ever-elusive pair of black bears. After a picnic on the lawn, be sure to head over to the Japanese and Italian Gardens, the site of many romantic Richmond weddings. Gross, I know, but your parents will like it.

Penny Lane Pub
Speaking of Mum and Dad, we’ve got just the spot for them to kick back once you’ve been tucked in for the night. Located just a few blocks from Capitol Square downtown, Penny Lane Pub offers the true English Pub experience—“A Touch of Liverpool in Richmond” as the proprietors put it. They can throw back a few pints, commune with local soccer (sorry, “football”) fans, and gnosh on traditional British faire like Cottage Pie, Fish ‘n’ Chips, and Bangers ‘n’ Mash—a picture perfect way for them to unwind after a fun and exciting visit to our beloved capital city before heading back to yours.

Thank you in advance for considering our invitation. We hope to see you soon!

(And just try to let us know ahead of time if you’re interested in that tea at The Jefferson because reservations tend to go quickly. They might make an exception for you, but I can’t promise anything.)

*OK, 400ish years might seem like nothing to the British, but it’s a pretty big deal for us kids over here in the States.

Valerie Catrow is the former editor of RVANews and a current contributor to their parenting column, Raising Richmond. A Richmonder through-and-through, she grew up in Midlothian, graduated from the University of Richmond, and currently lives on the city’s Northside with her husband, Ross, and their son, JR. You can see what she’s up to on a day-to-day basis via Twitter and Instagram.

10 Things I Learned at Redskins Training Camp

Redskins-2The Washington Redskins are in town, and fans are flocking to the new Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center to see them in action. I am one of those fans, and I had a fantastic experience on my recent visit. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Go on a Monday. I can’t speak for all of them, but on the Monday we went, we were part of a smallish crowd. Everything was easy. It didn’t hurt that the weather was pretty perfect too.
  2. Parking is just fine, at least on a Monday. We are lucky to have friends with a business in the area and free parking for us, but I think we could have found parking even closer in some of the designated lots.
  3. Get the 2013 Fan Guide. It shows you where to have a good meal, and it includes a complete schedule, player Twitter handles and bios, autograph tips and more. Available for $2 on-site.
  4. The staff and volunteers are a cheerful bunch. We encountered friendly greetings and smiles at every turn, and one volunteer gave us the very helpful tip to take our girls to the Kids’ Zone.
  5. If you have kids, go to the Kids’ Zone. There, your youngsters could be selected to walk off the field with the players after practice. Several of the fan favorites, including Alfred Morris, greeted the kids the day we visited.
  6. Redskins-1It’s not that hard to get an autograph. DeAngelo Hall, Pierre Garcon and Chip Reeves signed our football, and we only waited about five minutes for each (see #1 above). We hoped to get a signature from RGIII, but as it turns out, he came out to sign autographs soon after we left.
  7. Bring your camera. There are photo ops everywhere: giant banners with players’ photos lining the camp entrance, life-size cutouts (insert your face here) near the Kids’ Zone, the dome of the Science Museum of Virginia in the background, and of course, that emerald green field dotted with burgundy jerseys makes a perfect picture for any fan.
  8. Bring money for merchandise. Admission to camp is free (which is awesome), but it’s hard to resist all the very cool stuff in the merchandise tent–shirts, hats, key chains, earrings. They even sell white footballs, perfect for autographs.
  9. Great local restaurants are within walking distance. Fat Dragon Chinese Kitchen and Bar is offering extended happy hours during the season. Buz and Ned’s Real Barbecue serves mouthwatering ribs that won in a “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” episode. And the brand new En Su Boca is already getting great buzz. All are located on The Boulevard, just south of Leigh Street, located just a few short blocks from the camp.
  10. There’s nothing like seeing your favorite team in person. Even though I’ve been a Redskins fan for 20+ years, I’ve never been to a game. So, this was a real treat for me – seeing the action up-close with players just a few yards away.  I would bet that I’ve now been closer to my favorite football heroes than many who make the trek to Fed Ex Field.

Redskins-3Redskins training camp in Richmond continues through August 16, 2013 and will return each July and August (hopefully for a long, long time!). Throughout the rest of the year, the site will be a resource for the community with a men’s health center, a healthy kids initiative, an amphitheater and walking trails.

Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center
2401 W. Leigh Street
Richmond, VA 23220

Carla Murray is a Richmond Region native who enjoys outings in RVA with her husband and daughters, lunches with friends at new restaurants, and promoting Maymont via social media. Her obsessions include turtles, Cirque du Soleil, Costa Rica, books and wine.