Henrico County VA
Henrico County entertainment

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

A West End tradition

Melito's has been around as long as I can remember; in fact it’s been around longer than I can remember; the business is more than 30 years old.

Since I was a little girl, my family has been making memories at Melito’s. It’s the place where my date took me for prom and where my family ate after church on Sundays.

There is something familiar and reliable about this old favorite situated at the corner of Three Chopt and Eastridge roads. It's not in the city and it's not in Short Pump, but it finds its home near Regency Mall and Westbury Pharmacy, a nice reprieve from both central locations.

The bar is always full and the line is usually out the door with families, couples and diners of every age waiting to get a classic, American meal in friendly wooden booths. Every time I step into the cozy hole-in-the-wall restaurant, it is packed from wall to wall.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

Firing up a winner

A Halligan fan for years, I regularly patronized the Shockoe Bottom location before the roomier Short Pump site opened. Call me cornball, but I am a sucker for the decor – dominated by a fire engine with beer taps extending from the sides – as well as the story behind it.

Owner Shawn Gregory, a retired Henrico firefighter, outfitted the Halligan West location with a 1967 fire truck that his own father rode in his early career at the Highland Springs station.

Among other firefighter memorabilia incorporated into the theme are buckets and firefighter helmets suspended from the ceiling to serve as lamps, and fire hoses wound into the railing of the patio. The walls are covered with tools, photos, badges, and memorabilia from fire companies around the country, and Gregory rents a small "VIP" party deck on top of the fire engine and donates proceeds to charity, including a burn foundation.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

Authentically Italian

Short Pump is known for its share of chain restaurants and strip malls, but diners looking for something more distinct can certainly find it without heading downtown or to nearby Charlottesville.

In fact, local husband-and-wife restaurateurs Valeria Bisenti and Doug Muir brought a taste of Charlottesville (and Italy) to Short Pump when they took a chance and opened Bella’s second location in the same shopping strip as Wal-Mart and Peter Chang China Cafe. (Bella’s original location is on Main Street in downtown Charlottesville.)

For a local Italian restaurant, Bella’s is as “Mom and Pop” as its gets. Valeria is Mom, and Doug is Pop. Since its opening about six months ago, diners have been eating rich comfort foods and drinking Italian wines.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

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