Though actually part of Henrico County, the Lakeside area is located in what most Richmonders refer to as Northside. The neighborhood is roughly bordered by Bryan Park to the South, Hermitage Road to the North, Galaxie Road to the West and Lakeside Avenue to the East. Given its central location with easy access to the interstates, Bryan Park, and a variety of retailers, buyer interest has steadily grown in recent years.
The name “Lakeside” actually refers to the lake at Jefferson Lakeside Country Club on the northern end of the area, not the lakes at Bryan Park, like many believe. However, Bryan Park is an important part of the community, encompassing 262 acres that were originally donated to the City of Richmond in 1909 in memory of respected Richmond businessman, Joseph Bryan. The City took advantage of the rolling hills, streams, and ponds to create an unique urban park and over the years the park has evolved to include a well-known azalea garden, jogging and mountain biking trails, soccer fields, tennis courts, a playground, a frisbee golf course, and lots of picnicking spots.
From an architectural standpoint, Lakeside could be described as a smattering of styles and periods. You’ll find a few varieties of bungalows, cape cods and colonials built in the 1930s, an assortment of brick and transitional styles built in the 1950s, and a few other more recent structures. Many of the commercial buildings along Lakeside Avenue were built in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Interestingly, there are even a couple of old service stations built in the Art Deco style.
Speaking of retail… many business owners along Lakeside Avenue have been investing in additions, renovations, and improvements in recent years, generating growth that has really started to pay off for both business and homeowners showing renewed interest in the area. The Lakeside Farmer’s Market is an example of a relatively recent addition that not only serves Lakeside residents but also draws residents from other parts of the City. Many new restaurants and retailers have set up shop in long overlooked spaces along the main thoroughfare. In fact, with several consignment shops within just a few blocks of each other, some have begun to call it “consignment row”.
So, what should you check out next time you’re in the area? It seems like there are new options popping up all the time, but here are a few to visit right now:
Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens – Most any time of year is a good time to go, but GardenFest of Lights during the holidays and water play for the kids in the summer are particularly popular events.
Bryan Park – Take a walk through the Azalea Gardens in the spring, play a little frisbee golf, explore the trails or just enjoy a little relaxation by the water.
Arianna’s Grill – Good. Pizza.
Lakeside Farmers Market – Support your local growers. Shop Saturday mornings and all day Wednesdays.
Original Gravity – Who can say no to a delicious, ice cold beer? Award winning craft beer brewer and supplier for those that DIY.
Virginia Barbeque – North Carolina style barbecue. Delish.