Something impressive is going on in Richmond’s historic Scott’s Addition.
The once mostly industrial Scott’s Addition, located near downtown Richmond, is the home of a thriving and vibrant resurgence. The area had the familiar historical Richmond feel with its matured brick buildings but sprinkled with a modernistic edge. Neighbors familiar with the bustling new life may best know it for its many new breweries, distilleries, and restaurants, but that’s not all you will find. People are pouring into the area excited about the energy pulsing through streets. The variety and enthusiasm of Scott’s Addition are unique and worth a closer look around.
I decided to spend twenty-four hours looking behind the scenes of Richmond’s updated “Addition.” A Winter weekend is the perfect time to visit RVA (what locals passionately call Richmond, the capital of Virginia). It is also the ideal time to visit Scott’s Addition. Yes, many places I visited had outdoor seating that may be enticing in the other three seasons, but the warm vibe continues through the Winter months.
With all of these choices, I started my day with a cup of coffee and a map of the area.
Local Roasted Coffee: Lamplighter
What better way to start the day than a visit to Lamplighter for a pour-over, large open windows let in the light of the new day as I warm my palms and indulge in expertly roasted coffee. Who doesn’t love that rich, welcoming aroma? This bustling location houses the roasting facility, adding to the ambiance and vibe of the Scott’s Addition neighborhood.
If coffee beans and hops aren’t your prizes, Scott’s Addition offers the choice of going to a cidery or if you are feeling really frisky, perhaps a meadery or even a distillery. Virago Spirits also just opened its door with their much-anticipated spirit selection. All of these options are blocks away from each other, homed in this urban metropolis of thirst-quenching choices.
Virago Spirits is the DW&S Winter Edition cover story.
The artistry of the Apple: Blue Bee Cider
Housed in Richmond’s gorgeous historic stables, Blue Bee Cider, inspired by the native Blue Orchard Bee and Virginia’s own apples, brings the artistry of the apple to a new level. They offer creative options, seasonally. This Winter, the Foraging Series includes unique ciders blended with fruit, foraged from local fruit such as plums, paw-paws, and pears. Blue Bee will also craft a cider with fruit foraged from the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. Fruit from the garden’s 100-year-old mulberry tree is the cornerstone to a wild mulberry cider named Fanfare. Fanfare will be coming back to taste buds in early 2019. I immediately felt a nostalgic desire to try this cider. My kids grew up playing on the massive limbs of this mulberry tree.
“This year, we collected over 150 pounds of mulberries. Our plum project, two years in the making, is thanks largely to a tree in a front yard of a suburban Chesterfield home. And I’ve been down by the James River all by my lonesome picking pawpaws the past couple of weeks. Labors of love!” says Blue Bee’s Brian Ahnmark.
It brings local culture and the artistry of the apple together. Their tasting room is open every day of the week and tours are offered with a guided tasting where you can learn all about Virginia’s premier urban cidery.
Where should I eat lunch? Before arriving in Scott’s Addition, I polled my RVA friends and asked. Overwhelmingly, the response was Lunch. Supper! So, I checked my map and headed in that direction.
You can find more about Blue Bee Cider in our 2018 Cider Week Article
The Poll Winner: Lunch.Supper!
“It doesn’t’ matter when you get here, It’s always the best experience of the day”—The Lunch.Supper! Website
Walking into Lunch. Supper! feels a little bit like walking into a country cozy kitchen. It has a diner feel with black and white accents and farmhouse vibes. You can stay warm inside or eat outside on the porch around the fire pit. I started with a classic sweet tea and perused the menu. The selections lean towards southern comfort with a creative edge. Everything looks beautifully plated and delicious.
From Fried Chicken and Waffles to house-made buttermilk biscuits and The Farm Table Sampler, The Lunch.Supper! menu is a mecca for lovers of Southern comfort food. And the Supper! Sides did not disappoint. Offerings range from Southern Collards to Bacon-Parmesan Brussel Sprouts.
For those wanting a lighter option, the menu includes a range of salads, Supper! Brussel Slaw and Sauteed Vegetables.
After enjoying lunch, I had a few more Scott’s Addition highlights marked on my map.
VIsit a Meadery: Black Heath Meadery
You don’t often hear someone order mead when you are sitting down for dinner. The world’s oldest fermented beverage, made of fermented honey and water is often forgotten when talking about available spirits. My first experience with mead was a gifted bottle on my wedding day. The sweet richness was a welcome surprise and ever since then; I keep my eye out for honey mead. Luckily, we now have Black Heath Meadery which offers a wide variety of meads with a mixture of herbs, spices, and fruit to create a palate-pleasing taste as you have never had before.
Upon arrival, I had the opportunity to meet Bill Cavender, the owner of Black Heath Meadery. Bill was very excited about their Winter batch.
“One of our Winter treats is Joy! A metheglin, or spiced mead, Joy! is a traditional mead infused with the zest and juice of an orange, lemon, and lime, plus vanilla and nutmeg. All the tastes of the winter holidays rolled into a semi-sweet mead that is delightful mulled, or warmed.” he boasted proudly, “particularly on a chilly Fall or Winter evening sitting with your significant other in front of a warm fire.” –Bill Cavender, Owner of Black Heath Meadery
Tours are available upon reservation, and the tasting room is open every day except Monday. Make time to try some of history’s favorite drink.
Get Buskey: Buskey Cider
How do you #GetBuskey? I walked over to Buskey Cider to find out.
Housed in Richmond’s old train car loading building, Busky Cider gives the apple a new modern industrial makeover. The space is full of upcycled board games and repurposed materials giving it a fun and unique look.
The cidery offers lively combinations like “Jalapeno Lime,” “Saison Cider” and “Ride the Currant Cider” made with black currants. Their tasting room is open every day except Monday where you can have a pint or sample their small release batches.
Read more about Buskey in DW&S’ 2018 Cider Week Article
Looking for dinner, I decided to stop by The Circuit, a new Richmond favorite. Tacos, a beer, and a few arcade games sound pretty compelling. The atmosphere was a lively surprise…
Want a night out with something completely different? The Circuit is an incomparable experience hosting a 50 tap self-serve beer, cider, and wine wall and over 70 old school arcade games. Let the lights and sounds of the pinball machines and arcade cabinets surround you as you take in the throw-back atmosphere.
Tacos and sliders “your way” can be ordered from a kiosk and then picked up when it’s ready. Drinks are purchased and tracked by a card after check-in and games are played with tokens.
The whole affair is original and worth a visit but be prepared to share the night with the whole neighborhood! The Circuit
Where to stay in Scott’s Addition
Mixed into this urban area are a bounty of apartment buildings and lofts. Browse AirBnB, and you will find an array of lodging options. Friendly neighbors wave as I walk by some of these really amazing new buildings with their mix of wood, steel, and glass. When friends come to visit, I’ll definitely have to tell them to consider Scott’s Addition for their stay.