Neighborhoods of RVA: Bellevue

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Bellevue has developed a unique character of its own and has become a sought-after destination for those in search of a close-knit, walkable community. If you were to ask residents about the neighborhood, I’d wager that nine out of ten times, you’d hear responses like “it’s just a great neighborhood” or “everyone looks out for each other here.” It’s a place that has evolved over time, so let’s dive into its history.

In the late 1800s, Lewis Ginter, in partnership with John Pope, established several communities along the city’s streetcar routes. Ginter and Pope acquired two farms that would eventually become the Ginter Park and Bellevue neighborhoods. The area bounded by Bellevue Avenue, Hermitage Road, Westbrook Avenue, and Crestwood Avenue laid the foundation for the growth of Bellevue. Not long after the inception of this community, the iconic Bellevue arch was constructed, which remains one of Bellevue’s most recognizable landmarks to this day.

Tragically, John Pope passed away shortly after the completion of the arch. The property changed hands, eventually being sold. Lewis Ginter, too, passed away not long after Pope. Nevertheless, his heirs continued to realize his vision for Ginter Park. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that Bellevue truly began to flourish. By the early 1940s, the neighborhood was brimming with the architectural styles we now see, including Bungalows, Colonial Revivals, Foursquares, Spanish Colonial Revivals, and Tudor Revivals.

Bellevue, like many historic neighborhoods, has had its share of ups and downs over the past century. However, since the early 2000s, it has experienced a remarkable revitalization. The neighborhood found its stride when retail businesses began to thrive along MacArthur and Bellevue Avenues, previously underutilized shopping corridors. Back in 2004, apart from Dots Back Inn and the now-closed Shenanigans, these avenues were relatively quiet. Bob Koch saw the potential and opened Once Upon a Vine, a unique wine and beer store. Today, it’s safe to say he made a great call. MacArthur and Bellevue Avenues are now vibrant hubs with restaurants, shops, and retail services.

What truly sets Bellevue apart is its personality and character, which have shone brightly during challenging times like the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it’s supporting local businesses, aiding retail employees who’ve faced wage loss, checking in on those in need, or delivering groceries, residents have found innovative ways to support each other and make the best of a difficult situation. Of course, businesses have also had to adapt. Here’s a quick rundown of some Bellevue favorites:

Dot’s Back Inn– Now with MORE outdoor patio seating!

Demi’s Mediterranean Kitchen – Taking orders online for pickup.   

Early Bird Biscuit Company – Still cranking out the biscuits!

Enoteca Sogno – Authentic Italian food, great wines and atmosphere at 50% capacity OR pick it up and take it home. Bellissimo!

Mi Jalisco– Family Mexican food. Heads up: Margaritas help in times like these!

Morsels – Be prepared for your next craving.  Order online.

Stir Crazy – This is where Bellevue happens. For now, curbside pickup only. – Coffee. Tea. Food. Art.

Little House Green Grocery – Local, organic, natural and high quality food in small convenient (and green) package.  Open for business!

Nuttall’s Market – From a spot of sugar to a quart of oil, they seem to have at least one of just about everything you’d need in a pinch.

Nicola Flora – How convenient is it to have a neighborhood florist? Ask all the husbands in Bellevue and get back to me.

CVS Pharmacy – Prescriptions, snacks, greeting cards, and dicey last-minute gift options! A neighborhood classic!

Patrick Sullivan

Patrick Sullivan

Phone: +1 804.397.5078

Multiple-time Distinguished Achiever award winner, 2017 Richmond’s Finest Business Professional and a VIrginia Living Magazine Top 50 Realtor. Architecture lover, outdoor enthusiast and a true fan of all things RVA.

Click here to learn more about Patrick

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