Punch Drunk is meditating on so many Richmond topics this week, we’re bullet pointing like it’s 2 a.m. on 18th Street! Because honestly, making easy-to-eyeball lists is the American way due to an increasingly distracting world and the general dumbing-down of ... whoa, are those donuts for everyone?
The New Money:
• Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Two handsome rugged types start making craft beers in Richmond. Turns out they’re pretty tasty and smooth. The beers, that is — no word on how easy the actual dudes go down.
• Jackson Ward’s Mansion five26 and adjoining Speakeasy. Alley-entrance accessible by password only — password to be available via Twitter — completely ruining the concept of “secrecy” or “upscale clientele.”
The Slightly Less New, But Still Monied:
• The Fanhouse. Revamped Bobby Kruger-style — in other words, cocktail geek-a-fied. No complaints here. We love, love good booze — more so, we love that the Fanhouse is still serving good booze at what they’re calling a downstairs service well. Eat it, neighborhood bureaucracy.
• The Blue Goat. New menu, same incredible beverage list: More cute previously furry little animals on my plate — because nothing says decadent like a plate of batter-fried, julienne strips of Smithfield Farms pig ear covered by a sunny side duck egg getting washed down by a nice, reasonably priced riesling. May I recommend the Chateau Montelen? It also pairs nicely with the polenta-stuffed, semi-boneless bobwhite quail.
• Newly ballin’ Empire Theatre. Don’t worry about supporting the arts anymore — they got their money right.
• Revamped Robins Center. Because rich kids need nicer things.
Forthcoming Lack of Money in City Council Dream Land:
• The Shockoe Bottom train shed or “glass-bubble-enclosed beacon of creativity and history.” Goal: less decrepitude. Unintentional effect: more chain restaurant gentrification-itude — #RebuildTheSaladBar.
• New stadium for the Flying Squirrels. If we build it, Nutzy will stay. So Nutzy, thanks for everything and good luck to you. Please send us a postcard from whatever midsized city that will pony up the loot. It deserves you more. We just aren’t ready for anything serious — staying single for a while — gotta work on “us.”
The 2012 99 Percent Money:
• New City Council election cycle in 2012. Now here’s a chance to really change things. And it doesn’t involve camping out, smoking a ton of weed and not being heard by anyone of importance — or maybe it does — #OccupyTheBallotBox.
Swim With Flipper, Consume Free Cocktails!
A media junket, direct from Richmond to the Bahamas promoting a new low-cost carrier ($29 dollars a flight) was offered to me a few weeks ago. I went. It’s the Caribbean; it’s complimentary. There’s nothing about that I don’t love.
Thirty-six hours after departing, we touched back down here. My legs cramped (low-cost carriers don’t cater to nondwarfs), my sanity frazzled from the incessant blather and the “rah rah rah” of the 60-plus travel agents who were also “bought,” most of whom soaked up the freebies and syrupy Bahama mamas like a group of jackals tearing at a dead carcass.
The only saving grace was that a few other media types shared in my lack of zeal and my nearly complete avoidance of the activities that the Bahamas Board of Tourism had arranged for us. I’m looking at you, Richmond Magazine’s Chris Dovi.
And no, Bill Bevins was not knee-deep in high-end Bacardi and Bahamian hookers by the first afternoon. You people need to stop believing everything I say on Twitter. We instead spent the afternoon smoking Montecristos on the veranda whilst Bill gave me advice on my portfolio and taught me the finer points of tying a perfect Windsor knot. The rum and hookers came later.
Check out Visionairlines.com for the ridiculous low rates, because hey, cheap is still cheap.
Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback tweets @Jackgoesforth and can be heard weekday mornings from 6-9 on 103.7 The River. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.