In its early years, Scott’s Addition was known primarily as a commercial and industrial district. Today, the area has drawn an impressive amount of investment from developers, creatives, restaurateurs, retailers, breweries, and urban dwellers who see it as much more than just its industrial roots.
The boundaries of Scott’s Addition are defined by Interstates 95 and 64 to the North, Broad Street to the South, the Boulevard to the East and Westwood Avenue to the West. The area’s namesake, General Winfield Scott, inherited it from his father-in-law, Colonel John Mayo, along with the rest of his 600 acre estate in 1818. His family held onto the land until the 1890’s when the first plans for the area proposed residential development. The growth of the railroad system soon altered those plans as large tracts of land and railroad tracks bordering the North and West sides of Scott’s Addition made it very attractive for industrial use. In the late 1920s, the City fully embraced the idea of industrial development and the build was on. Factories and plants soon began to fill in the area and railroad spurs were added to support them.
Today, times have changed dramatically. The City has grown significantly, the railroads don’t play as big a role as they once did, and there is renewed interest in living within urban areas. Boulevard has long been seen as a natural gateway to the City but has never really been treated as such… that’s all about to change.
Long ignored storefronts are being restored. Proposals for new construction are being pitched. Just behind Boulevard, inside Scott’s Addition proper, warehouses and factories have been converted for residential and public-facing commercial use. The boom in the microbrewery business alone has played a major role in transforming and bringing new found interest from consumers and residents in the area. In fact, there are now over 1000 residential units with more on the way.
Strolling through Scott’s Addition today, you’re likely to take notice of its industrial past – the buildings all mirror each other in their warehouse structure, with many sitting vacant still, ready to be repurposed by the next entrepreneur, brewmaster, or restauranteur. At first glance, you might not even notice just how many new businesses have filled in! But, as seemingly every new venture chooses Scott’s Addition as a home, this area is shaping up to be some of the most promising real estate in the City.
Here’s just a quick overview of what to do, eat, and drink in Scott’s Addition:
The Veil Brewing Company – If you ever pass through Scott’s Addition on a Thursday afternoon and wonder why there are people standing in long line winding through the parking lot and down the sidewalk, you’ve found the The Veil. Apparently the beer is good.
Vasen Brewery – Another popular spot to spend a Saturday afternoon tasting unique and funky beer selections.
Blue Bee Cidery – I’m not a cider man myself but I hear Blue Bee is among the best.
Ardent Craft Ales – Get social. Beergarden!
Lunch. | Supper! – This place has some fantastic southern food. It’s small so show up early.
Fat Dragon – A modern spin on the Chinese restaurant right on the Boulevard.
Tazza Kitchen – A contemporary restaurant with something to please everyone.
Brenner Pass – When you feel like stepping it up a notch for brunch or dinner, Brenner Pass is the place to do it. This place opened its doors pretty recently, but is already a Richmond favorite.
Boulevard Burger and Brew – Your classic, vintage style diner with some killer milkshakes.
Gelati Celesti – Gelato. And lots of it.
King of Pops – I’m sure you’ve seen their rainbow umbrellas all over town serving popsicles to hungry Richmonders on hot summer days, but they’ve got a brick and mortar shop as well! They even sell sandwiches during lunch hours.
The Circuit – Turns out combining the nostalgia of old arcade games with beer and food is great idea.
Hofgarden – Live music and pizza… on the rooftop!
Bow Tie Cinemas – A converted old steel factory, this is the only centrally located movie theater in the City.
River City Roll – A boutique bowling alley and bar is wrapping up construction now and plans to open this spring.