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Hermitage Grill reopens

Popular Lakeside restaurant was closed for 13 months following fire
The popular Hermitage Grill in the Lakeside area reopens today after being closed for 13 months following a kitchen fire that damaged the restaurant's interior last year.

The April 17, 2010 fire started on the stove and ignited the overhead hood system. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes and the flames were put out quickly. Although no one was injured, the restaurant suffered damages from smoke and the hood system was ruined.

There was never any doubt that the owners of the eatery, John Meyers and Waller McCracken, would want to reopen their business. They had been planning to expand prior to the fire and even after the incident they were determined to get back up on their feet. After 13 years of business, renovation and expansion were not difficult decisions for them to make.

Nancy Smith, the new head chef, has been anticipating the reopening.

“We wanted to get right back into business as soon as possible,” Smith said. “With the permits and everything else, we did it piece by piece by piece. It was not a difficult decision to expand, renovate and rebuild after the fire.”

There were several additions to the restaurant.

“The entire kitchen area, the left side of the building, has been expanded. There’s a much larger cooking service, brand new equipment and a walk-in freezer,” said Smith. All of the inside walls were also redone because of the previous smoke damage.

“We were teeny-tiny before, but now we’re spread out quite a bit,” Smith said. “We are able to accommodate 49 people at the current time and after we’re back up and running we’re looking to expand onto a patio area which would pretty much double that.”

The menus also underwent a few changes for the reopening. A new variety of southern seafood cuisine including mussels, clams, and oysters will be offered on the evening menus. Despite the alterations, customers can still enjoy the popular crab cakes and North Carolina style barbeque that the restaurant had been famous for in the past.

The Hermitage Grill is located at 6010 Hermitage Road in Lakeside.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Do the Bunny Hop over to Meadow Farm on Saturday for an introduction to all the farm animals there! An introduction to “Global Sounds” – featuring Japanese, Indonesian, West African, Indian, and Brazilian music and dance performances – can be found at the University of Richmond. The University of Richmond will also host the annual Spider spring game, as well as the inaugural Spiders Easter Egg Hunt. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Restaurant watch

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

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

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