In the eighties, there was a TV show about a fictional bar, Cheers, where everybody knows your name. It was the welcoming watering hole, a place of friendship and laughter. It had one major drawback, in my opinion, and that was that as a bar, there were limitations as to who could go there. In […]
In the eighties, there was a TV show about a fictional bar, Cheers, where everybody knows your name. It was the welcoming watering hole, a place of friendship and laughter. It had one major drawback, in my opinion, and that was that as a bar, there were limitations as to who could go there. In Short Pump, I have discovered a family friendly version of the popular tavern. In the modern, real-life version, coffee is the beverage of choice.
Situated in the Promenade Shops across from the Short Pump Town Center is an oasis of friendship and laughter that would make the Cheers regulars green with envy. Run by jovial Sam Jarrar and his lovely wife Alison, it is more than a café. There is a sense of magic as soon as you walk in. Sam has built many features into the day-to-day ambience that make being there an event.
The first thing you will notice is the artwork on the walls. Sam has gathered a talented group of artists whose work adorns the walls. The art is both accessible and accomplished. It is not uncommon on a visit to the Daily Grind to see one or more of the artists sitting with friends, sipping a drink. The coffee house has become a hang out for artists, writers, photographers as well as young professionals who take advantage of the pleasant atmosphere to get some work done.
Additionally, a feature that has been developed over the past several months is the loaner library, where you can find books of all types. You can sit down and read a best seller while you have your White Mocha. There have been a couple of literary readings in the shop including a fascinating one by the author, Linda Dini Jenkins, who described some of her travels as chronicled in her book: ‘Up at the Villa.’
Occasionally, Sam brings in musical entertainment, local groups and solo acts that are both varied and talented. The styles run the gamut from Christian music through folk and classic rock and even some groups that would appeal to the older teen and young twenties set. One such band, Conshafter, featured a performer who also spent a lot of time as a barista at the Daily Grind. You can find a wonderful mix of young and old at any of these offerings, usually held on Friday nights from 7pm to 9pm. The next such event is a wonderful group called the Hullabaloos. Playing a nice mix of rock from many decades, they are as fine a group of musicians as you can find in the Richmond scene.
The Daily Grind has a wide selection of sandwiches, soups and other delights to accompany the coffee and espresso based drinks. There are baked goods made onsite, and a wonderful gelati case. The prices are reasonable and the food is delicious. However, the best reason in the world to visit is the atmosphere. One of Sam’s great gifts is his ability to find young, attractive and friendly (not to mention competent) staff.
On Saturday mornings a group of regulars meet to catch up with each other and share a meal. It has become known as the breakfast club. Another regular fixture is a bible study group that meets on Monday evenings. This is a chance to reflect on the meaning of life and God’s place in it for each participant.
In the Cheers TV show, one of the regulars was always greeted by name as he entered the bar. When you enter the Daily Grind, you may not hear shouts of “Norm!!!”, but come back a few times and I think you will be surprised how quickly they learn your name.
The Daily Grind is a quiet, friendly refuge from, well, the daily grind.