Food News: Continental Divide opens, West End ice cream comes to Church Hill, and Sweet 95 burns

As we roll into a leisurely Fourth of July Weekend, there’s plenty going on in the restaurant world. A Church Hill chocolatier serves up West End ice cream, Charlottesville’s Continental Divide opens, and Chef Malcolm Mitchel resurfaces with his Mint Gastropub Concept in Petersburg.

After closing his restaurant at Main and Davis in the Fan and almost opening a new location on the Canal Walk (a plan that was later scrapped), Chef Malcolm Mitchell is bringing his Mint Gastropub concept to Petersburg. Renovations are currently underway at the new spot at 16 W. Old Street in the city’s Old Towne district. The former Food Network star says he also has plans to open another restaurant in Richmond at some point, but wouldn’t elaborate beyond that.

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Popular ice cream spot Sweet 95 is closed for the foreseeable future following a fire Monday afternoon. The damage, caused by what is tentatively being called an electrical issue, caused officials to condemn the building. Despite the extensive repairs needed, owner Johnny Giavos hopes to reopen in a few weeks, according to Richmond Magazine.

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Continental Divide, a fixture on Main Street in Charlottesville for more than 20 years, opened a Richmond location in the former Mint Gastropub at 2501 W. Main Street on Tuesday. The restaurant, self-described as offering “southwestern comfort food in a lively environment,” serves up tacos, burritos, fajitas, and a wide selection of agave-based tequilas.

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Hardywood is teaming up with Whole Foods Market for the first ever Urbanite Market this Sunday. It’s a chance to get your groceries for the week ahead from local vendors while enjoying great craft beer and food trucks. The weekly event will also offer cooking demonstrations and workshops from 12:00 – 3:00 PM. No advance signup is required.

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Another former Bill’s Barbecue location has been demolished, this one at 5805 W. Broad Street near Libbie Avenue. A new Sonic Drive In will take its place according to Henrico County Planning Commission documents. Construction is currently underway, and their signature limeades and slushes should be flowing by the fall.

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Goochland’s Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery is paying homage to one of the city’s great outdoor treasures with their latest brew. The Pony Pasture Pilsner, described as a classic Bohemian Pilsner with a touch of Cara Malt, is a limited edition release and will go on sale this Saturday. Just 2,000 bottles are being brewed, so head out to Goochland soon if you want to get a taste.

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Local Church Hill chocolatier Chocolates by Kelly is joining forces with West End favorite Gelati Celesti’s ice cream. The shop, located at 600 N. 29th Street, is now serving some of the shop’s most popular flavors, such as Almond Amaretto, Mint Chip, Chocolate Decadence, Vanilla, Blanchard’s Coffee Dark as Dark, and Oreo.

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Inspired by his recent participation in a restaurant takeover at Graffiato in Washington, D.C., Saison owner Jay Bayer is bringing the concept home. This past Monday, Bayer invited Comfort bar manager Derek Salerno and chef de cuisine Travis Milton to the restaurant to serve up small plates and cocktails. The series will continue with other local restaurants on the last Friday of each month, with a portion going to a different local charity each time. has all the details.

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Assuming Hurricane Arthur (that unpatriotic rage of fury churning in the Atlantic) doesn’t ruin ALL the fun for the Fourth of July, Hardywood is hosting Brewdependence Day tomorrow afternoon starting at 1:00 PM. The brewery will be serving up their special SB 604, an American-style special bitter served in commemorative handled mason jar, and People’s Blues of Richmond will play patrons into fireworks at The Diamond, which can be viewed easily from Hardywood’s parking lot.

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Though it’s still a couple weeks out, it’s worth mentioning that Capital Ale House is hosting the National Beer Expo July 15th-20th, and the time to get your tickets is now. The week-long celebration will bring more than 150 craft brewers from sea to shining sea to the Greater Richmond Convention Center, as well as other locations around town. For tickets and more information, visit the event website.

Photo by: Shelby Taylor

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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