FOOD- THE DISH- What about Reid's? The Downtown grocery rumor

What will occupy the old A&N store space? The secret is safe with developer Gabe Silverman.

Speculation and rumor have been rife about a grocery story coming to the Downtown Mall. In fact, the Daily Progress claimed in an October story that a grocery store would be opening in the old A & N store space on the corner of East Main and Fifth Streets.  

Since the DP couldn't get confirmation from the building's owner, Gabe Silverman, or from city staff or the architecture firm in charge of the renovations, the only evidence in the story was the report of recent Board of Architectural Review approval of some small renovations to the building. Nevertheless, new rumors have surfaced that the unconfirmed grocery store project has fallen through and that plans to open a Starbucks or an Irish Pub are in the works. Of course, the answer here lies with Silverman, but he isn't talking, as several calls to his office went unanswered.

Sources tell Dish there never was a grocery store plan. After all, what grocer would operate in just 2,400 square feet space without drive-up parking?

Has everyone forgotten about Reid's Super-Save Market? Surely this Preston Avenue grocer is a viable option for ambulatory Downtowners. In addition, City Council endorsed the possible expansion of Reid's (as well as C'ville Market) in its 2025 Vision Statement on economic sustainability.

In fact, Reid's manager Kim Miller says store owners have applied for a special use permit to expand the stock areas and coolers in the back of the building because their business is growing so much. She also wishes they had room to expand.

"Business has been great, but we just can't carry everything we'd like to," says Miller. "We have to be choosey because we don't have much room. We'd love to have more retail space."

City, Reid's... tawk amoung yaselves.

Eat to your health, girl!

Women's Health Virginia, a private non-profit organization that promotes the health and well-being of women and girls in Virginia, is holding its 7th annual Take Thyme for Women's Health dinner/fundraiser on December 5 at Alumni Hall.

The lineup is a veritable who's who of local food and wine wizards. The evening will feature a four-course meal, with courses prepared by the likes of Dean Maupin of The Clifton Inn, Laura Walke of Duner's, Christian Kelly of Maya, and Fred Bossardt of Simply Delicious Catering. In addition, each course will be paired with wines from Cardinal Point, DelFosse, King Family, and White Hall Vineyards.    

"The dinner is a great way to have fun and raise the funds to make our plans for new programs become realities," says organizer Miriam Bender.

Indeed, Bender says that proceeds from the dinner will support a survey of teens to understand their health concerns and a conference on the impact of risk-taking behavior among young women.  

The reception begins at 6:30pm with dinner at 7pm. Tickets at $90 per person can be purchased by mail, with a check payable to Women's Health Virginia, at 1924 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 203, 22903, with a credit card online at, or by calling VWH at 434-220-4500. But hurry! Space is limited. 

Going once, going twice...

According to our man in Scottsville, the Dew Drop Inn went on the auction block the week before Thanksgiving, but garnered only one bid! It appears that Stephan Hawranke, owner of 330 Valley Street and the as-yet-to-open Horseshoebend Tavern, has purchased it and plans to reopen it as a roadhouse. Our man also says the original neon Dew Drop Inn sign was sold on eBay to the Walton's Mountain Museum.

A Scottsville fixture for more than 60 years, and a regularly mentioned locale on the 1970s television show The Waltons (Jason had his first job playing piano at the Dew Drop), the taproom went up for sale in 2003, and after being closed for several months, reopened under the same name. Unfortunately, it closed again this past August and then went into foreclosure.  

As Scottsville fans know, a problematic and long-delayed streetscape project has made it tough for businesses to survive on the main drag. 

So, will the Dew Drop still be called the Dew Drop? Calls to Hawranke were unanswered by press time, but we'll keep trying. In the meantime, pray that Scottsville finishes its road work!

Chef notes

Apparently, 'ole Dish put its foot in its mouth– sorry, it was watering!– when it listed some new offerings from new Blue Light chef, Jeff Achterhoff. In fact, we also managed to insult previous chef Reed Anderson, who noticed our faux pas all the way from his new digs in Italy.    

It turns out we mistakenly attributed Anderson's creations, such as grilled big-eye tuna with fingerling potatoes, to Achterhoff, when we should have served up Achterhoffesque apps like shrimp Thai tacos with sirachi BBQ sauce and sesame blue cheese slaw, and entrees like Chinese style whole red snapper with black rice, wok char vegetables, and sizzling sesame-soy vinaigrette.

Oooh, sounds spicy!