Henrico County VA
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Henrico Opens New Tourism Center

Kicking off "a year of 16 months," Henrico County officials this morning officially opened the Henrico County Tourist Information Center, located at the Dabbs House Museum at the Eastern Government Center on Nine Mile Road.

The center, which is one of 61 certified visitors center statewide, will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The county intends to highlight its 2011 quadricentennial activities through the center and hopes to boost tourism as a result. Henrico is planning 11 featured events as part of its celebration, beginning with this year with the Oct. 16 Harvest Festival at Meadow Farm. {{more}}

"It's our anniversary, and it's our party, and we wanted to get excited," Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Pat O'Bannon said during today's ceremony. O'Bannon, who also serves as the chairwoman of the county's 2011 advisory committee, said she hopes the center will spur increased visitor traffic to Henrico.

"Tourism is our first stop on this journey," she said.

The center features multi-media information about the county's history, historical sites, cultural opportunities and local attractions. A new display highlights four centuries of Henrico history on a timeline. Tours of the facility, which also includes rooms redecorated as they would have looked during the Civil War, also are available.

The Dabbs House facility was built in 1820 and known as High Meadow. It later served as a Confederate hospital and as a military headquarters for General Robert E. Lee and then was purchased by the county in 1883 for use as an alms house for the poor.

The Henrico Division of Police occupied the building from 1941 to 2005, before the county renovated it and reopened it in November 2008 as a museum.

Community

Lions Club donates backpacks to elementary school

The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.

Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.

Glen Allen student to perform at Carnegie Hall

Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.

At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.

Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.

Gayton Baptist Church dedicates new outreach center


The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.

Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.

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Entertainment

The Boathouse to open at Short Pump Town Center

The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.

“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”

The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.

Getting a ‘mouf’-ful

Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.

Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?

Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.

Lakeside microbrewery beginning to take shape

Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space

A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.

Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.

Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.

Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.

“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.

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The Pocahontas Chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 1800 Lakeside Ave. Artist Emily Herr will describe… Full text

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