Pioneering seems to come naturally to Noelle and Zachary Archibald. Along with partner Jen Rawlings, they built Lamplighter Roasting Co. in a fringe-of-the-Fan neighborhood three years ago and made it a distinctive destination that grew more quickly than they imagined. Now they've opened an espresso bar and roastery in Scott's Addition at 1719 Summit Ave., helping revitalize an industrial area on the cusp. Every marketer knows that people move in when a good, local coffee shop is nearby.
At the new offshoot, Lamplighter will establish the city's first street-level seating area with a sanctioned "parklet" in the spaces out front. This trend in Western states makes its way here to meet customer demand for outdoor seating in tight urban spaces; it augments the garage-style windows that will open to good weather at the new, simply designed former factory.
Lamplighter is among the first businesses in Richmond to use the Square point-of-sale register technology, which scans cards and sends email receipts and dispenses with a tip jar in favor of the online kind. Hardywood Park, Black Hand Coffee and a few others are on board with Square as well.
But what most sets Lamplighter apart, in addition to its precisely selected, micro-roasted coffee, is its creative menu in meat, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free configurations. Sandwiches such as the Al Sharpton (ham and cheese), a miso-tempeh combo with ginger slaw, assorted empanadas and salads, vegan doughnut holes and pastries are anything but run of the mill.
The roastery on Summit will close Mondays so that barista classes and other training can use the space. "This is a testing ground to perfect our brewing methods," Noelle Archibald says. "We're driven by our desire to learn more and do more," including sourcing their own beans and fine-tuning their skills while educating their customers. Cuppings, tastings and other events on Fridays at 4 p.m. will be open to the public. 116 S. Addison St., 1719 Summit Ave. Lamplightercoffee.com.
More beans: Meanwhile, across town, taZa Coffee n Crème, a business destined to be mispronounced and misspelled, has expanded. (It's TAHS-ah, meaning cup in Spanish. The Crème is actually La Michoacana ice cream bars.)
TaZa's airy new storefront fills a Westover Hills niche for lounging with two levels of seats and worktables, Wi-Fi and a small stage, a local grocery market, made-to-order fare and Blanchard's coffee for breakfast and lunch. Sandwiches are named for streets in the area: the King William has rotisserie chicken, provolone and Cajun remoulade for $6.94; the New Kent is vegetables and hummus for $5.95; build-your-own salads, bacon and egg bagels, Dixie Donuts, and other treats rotate with the hour and season. Chocolates by Kelly also has a counter of fresh candy.
The space at 5047 Forest Hill Ave. is a designated outpost for the Farm to Family bus – meaning it's a pickup spot for the bus's community supported agriculture program, and also a stop-in market for meats such as bison, lamb, sausage, and other hormone- and antibiotic-free items, fresh eggs, produce and pastas, and locally made mixes, salsas and sauces. The community-supported agriculture program begins April 11 and runs for 24 weeks. Learn more at www.thefarmbus.com. TaZa is open daily. 233-8646. Tazacnc.com.
Jorge's Cantina New watering hole with fajitas, avocado fries, Mexican entrees and bar food. Nightly, with lunch hours coming. 2526 Floyd Ave. 918-1857.
Le Crepes Downtown counter-service breakfast and lunch spot for sweet and savory crepes, salads, soup, pastries and coffee. Weekdays. 1110-B E. Main St. 225-0222.
Carena's Jamaican Grille Jerk chicken, angus burger, ribs, oxtails, island specialties in modern cafe with patio; Lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. daily. 7102 Midlothian Turnpike in the Spring Rock Green Shopping Center. 422-5375.
Pearl Raw Bar New establishment in the former DeLux, with seafood, sandwiches, sliders, salads, spirits; bar with booths and sunroom in back. Dinner daily, weekend brunch. 2229 W. Main St. 353-2424 pearlrva.com.
Wild Greens & Pig Sandwich shop features heritage pork barbecue, soups, chips, desserts in casual setting. Chef Alfredo Macias and owner Lisa Granger focus on local and organic ingredients. Weekdays 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 9033 Quioccasin Road. 750-1350.
Homemades by Suzanne Southern fare at the John Marshall Hotel, 101 N. Fifth St. downtown. Weekday luncheon is $9.85 and includes beverage; hours are 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. 775-2323.