A friend and I headed to Sprout last weekend to see a friend’s band (Calvero) play. When we arrived, the band was not yet ready, so we walked down the street to check out Bellytimber Tavern. Everyone and their brother has been so far it seems, and I was glad for the chance.
One of things I love about living in the city is being able to walk places. A friend and I headed to Sprout last weekend to see a friend’s band (Calvero) play. When we arrived, the band wasn’t yet ready, so we walked down the street to check out Bellytimber Tavern. Everyone and their brother has been so far it seems, and I was glad for the chance.
The smell of wood blasts you as you walk in the front door. Your eyes back it up, because everywhere you look, there’s natural wood. The bar is quite long and all blond wood, as are the tables, chairs and floor. I didn’t care for the peeling paint look they used on the walls, though all those new windows are lovely and certainly brighten up the room. With brick behind the bar, your eyes tire of the monotone. I wish they’d used a little more color.
The place was pretty empty at around 7:30pm when we arrived on a Saturday, but by the time we left a little before 9, was filling with people and had a good crowd buzz. We sat at the end of the L-shaped bar, where bartender Bill graciously let us sample white wines by the glass.
Neither my friend nor I were very hungry, but we couldn’t resist the allure of the wood-fired pizza. We decided on the Basil and Capers, and for $8, splitting it was a steal. The 10” pizza was perfectly balanced: flavorful crispy/chewy thin crust, just the right amounts of cheese and sauce, and the hit of saltiness from the capers. Bill pointed out the changes on the already small menu. I hope they add more offerings soon because I never like a menu that modest. Both drink and food prices are very reasonable. My Legend Golden Ale was $4 and my companion’s wine was only $6.
As the place picks up business, I’m concerned for the bathrooms. There’s only one individual room for each sex. For a space that large with what will surely be a hefty bar crowd, that’s not enough.
Their website claims brunch is coming soon (I do love brunch) and they offer free Wi-Fi and a 10% discount with valid VCU ID.
1501 West Main Street
Monday through Sunday, 11am to 2am
(Photos by Terra Gatti)