Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, the moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived…. (insert drumroll here) The 17th Street Market is finally open for business! Not just for business, but for fun, for festivals, dining, and year-round enjoyment. The grand opening of the market was a momentous occasion for Shockoe Bottom-dwellers like me. The official opening on November 30th marked the end to 16 long months of construction; but the finished product sure is something special.
After spending what felt like forever wondering what the new market would look like, I must say, it’s much better than I had imagined. Perhaps it’s the magical twinkling lights or the brand new ice skating rink, but I don’t think there could’ve been a better time to debut the newest attraction in town.
Holiday Farm & Craft Market
I’m not one of those people who can get in the Christmas spirit as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are cleared from the table… I wish I was, but it takes me a little while to ease into it. But seeing those sparkly lights outside my window every time I look outside is a pretty fantastic way to get in a holly jolly mood!
The Enrichmond Foundation – the brilliant managers of the market– organize the charming festivals, lively activities, and exciting entertainment year-round. Most recent of which, was the Holiday Farm & Craft Market. Dozens of small business vendors lined the outskirts of the market, selling their wares, making connections, and interacting with one another. There was delicious food, beautiful fresh produce, all natural candles, body products, handmade clothes, and incredible artwork. If you missed it this year, I highly recommend making a note in your calendar for next December.
RVA On Ice!
Grab those skates and come on down! Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or an Olympic pro, ice skating is a merry way to spend time out in the winter weather with friends, loved ones, and holiday tunes. With special events like ‘2 for Tuesdays,’ (Tuesdays, 4pm-6pm BOGO admission) ‘College Night,’ (Wednesdays, 4pm-6pm, $2.00 off admission with valid college ID) and ‘Date Night,’ (Thursdays, 4pm-6pm , BOGO skate rental) why wouldn’t you grab a partner and go!? Oh, and if you’re not a fan of Christmas music, Mr. Grinch, you can go to ‘Rock the Rink,’ every Saturday from 8pm-10pm. So, give ol’ Saint Nick a rest for a night and let a little rock ’n’ roll soothe your soul. But don’t wait too long! The rink disappears January 21st.
More on the Market
Not only do we have a brand new marketspace, we also have a few new restaurants coming to compliment it! Rosie Connolly’s, Havana ’59, and Old City Bar are staples in my I-don’t-feel-like-cooking cookbook, but I am pretty excited to have some brand new walkable eateries to frequent. In the old River City Diner space, projected to open in January 2019, is Richmond restauranteur Chris Tsui’s latest place, Hot Chick. And I’ve got two words for you: Fried. Chicken. The chef leading the kitchen alongside Tsui will be none other than the genius behind the food at Pizza & Beer of Richmond (also owned by Tsui), Mike Lindsey. My mouth is watering in anticipation already!!
As if it couldn’t get any better… There’ll be pizza too. Wood-fired pizza, to be exact. The closing of The Halligan Bar and Grill made way for co-owner of Belmont Pizzeria, located in the Museum District, to branch out with a new, more rustic concept – a completely separate entity from Belmont Pizzeria, but I’m sure just as delicious. (A huge shout out to One South Commercial for putting that deal together!!)
My Two Cents
Out with the old and in with the new; Shockoe Bottom is quite possibly going to be the new Scott’s Addition. On a smaller scale, of course. There is so much room for investment, especially with the grand opening of the new Market; the new pedestrian plaza space allows for restaurants encircling the market to have some outdoor patio dining to be set up just in time for spring 2019. Which I’m sure will coax other restaurants into the new hotspot. Not to mention the GRTC Pulse stop right in front of the 17th Street market, the Capitol One 1717 Innovation Center a street over, and the transformation of the Main Street Station’s train shed into a grand event/retail space, there is immense promise for our little neighborhood to become bigger and better than ever. I’m so looking forward to seeing what happens!
Best wishes for a solid, happy home that can stand up to Santa coming down the chimney and reindeer pawing at the roof. Happy Holidays from the reRVA Team!