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Beer Bulge

Capital Ale House, fresh off a national magazine citation as a beer-drinking destination, is expanding its downtown location into the building next door. A larger main level, scheduled to open by winter, will show off brick and beams, and a stage for live entertainment. A European-style beer garden in the back alley will be fenced and landscaped, with an opening planned for St. Patrick's Day 2007. Capital Ale has two locations: downtown at 623 E. Main St. and at Innsbrook, 4024-A Cox Road.



Bank Change

Look for some updates already at downtown's newest restaurant and nightspot, Bank. Lunch crowds teem in on weekdays, and evenings at the expansive bar are frequently crowded with locals and visitors. Now Bank's offering drag nights on Sundays, starting this week, from 8 p.m. to midnight. Serena Sparkles, a server at the restaurant, will be a featured performer, along with DJ Gabriel as emcee. Live music from the balcony on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays captures a late-night crowd, and executive chef Matt Turner is refining the menu to include seasonal cuisine with an American flair.



Jane's Addition

New hours at Miss Hathaway's Café, 6803 Forest Hill Ave., mean that owner Laurie Null can offer diners a light summer supper of soups, sandwiches, quiches, pastries and ice cream. A reader raves about the café's chilled cantaloupe and basil soup in particular and the fresh, colorful décor in general. The café is now open until 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 560-0013.



Queen Scene

Chez Foushee, always in demand for its high-profile catering services, is pulling out the stops for its final theme dinner, says owner Andrew Hardie. Then the restaurant switches gears to open one Friday night each month for the art-walk crowd.

"Queen Mary 2," set to begin at 7 p.m. July 22, will start with retro cocktails such as the sidecar and the Cubana, then move to a seated dinner of classic fare such as shrimp cocktail, tournedos Rossini and baked Alaska. Entertainment includes a Latin ballroom dance showcase. The fee is $55 per person; tax and tip are extra. Reservations are limited. 648-3225.



Winning Cookbook

"Masterpieces: A Celebration of Food and Art in Virginia," a cookbook published last year by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Council, has won two awards from Independent Publisher Online. The 152-page volume, which features art and recipes from around the commonwealth, won an honorable mention in the national cookbook category and a regional nonfiction award. S



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