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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

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Journey to mediocrity

‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ fails to capitalize on tasty concept
The Hundred-Foot Journey is a curious little Romeo and Juliet of a film. A family, forced out of their native India, begins a trek across Europe.

The family’s sole mode of transportation sputters and dies in a sleepy little French town, but the town’s food culture is high, and that’s a perfect place for a family of restaurateurs to settle down. There’s only one problem – the family’s rustic “Maison Mumbai” is right across the street (a hundred feet away, if the title didn’t clue you in) from a prestigious French bistro with a Michelin star, run with an iron fist by the dreaded Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren, pictured).

It’s here that a particular Romeo and Juliet story begins to develop, with Hassan (Manish Dayal) on the Indian side and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) on the French side. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

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