Weekly Food Notes: Moonshine, Fern Bars + More

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Food News: Two other Family Meal restaurants, in addition to the one in Richmond, shut down in Baltimore and Hagerstown, Maryland, and its Ashburn location closed earlier this summer, the Times-Dispatch reports. That leaves the original Family Meal in Frederick, Maryland, standing all by its lonesome.

Laura Lee’s, the latest from Ipanema Cafe, Garnett's Café, the Roosevelt and WPA Bakery’s Kendra Feather is set to open in about 10 days at 3410 Semmes Ave., the former White Horse Tavern space. It’s an updated fern bar, Feather says, and named in honor of her mother.

The Richmond-area will soon see a new Ethiopian place, Gojo Ethiopian Restaurant, at the Lexington Commons Shopping Center, reports Richmond BizSense, in just a few weeks.

Belle Isle Moonshine is expanding, the Times-Dispatch reports, and the old Colonial Downs off-track betting parlor will be transformed into the latest entry into the grocery market, German-based discount store Lidl, just as soon as the Henrico County Planning Commission approves the plan.

Happenings: The PrideFest kickoff party will be held Sept. 1 on the Quirk Hotel rooftop. Center of the Universe Brewing Co., Ardent Craft Ales, OutRVA and Virginia Pride have collaborated on two new brews — Georgie Mixed Berry Pale Ale and Porgie Chocolate Pudding Porter — and you can get your first taste at 6 p.m. while you enjoy a little music and sample food provided by Quirk. The hotel will donate $1 from each beer sold that night to Virginia Pride and OutRVA. Barcode Restaurant & Bar, at 6 E. Grace St., will hold a party after the event.

You can try Garden Grove Brewing Co.’s newest release, Old Virginia Spruce Porter, an ale that takes its inspiration from a recipe from “The Virginia House-wife” by Mary Randolph for spruce beer and another by George Washington for a molasses, grain and hops-based porter on Saturday, Sept. 3, from noon-5 p.m. A portion of the proceeds on Saturday will go to Building a Better RPS, and the brewery will also donate $1 of each glass of the historical ale to the group throughout Labor Day weekend.

Four different wineries will get together at James River Cellars Winery for the Harvest Wine Festival, also on Saturday, Sept. 3, starting at noon. You can grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks, enjoy live music and attend a wine 101 seminar.

And don’t forget about Sunday, Sept. 4 — Ardent Craft Ales will host its first beer brunch at noon with J.M. Stock Provisions. Feast on ham biscuits and breakfast burritos stuffed with housemade ham, bacon and sausages — plus beer Bloodies made with Richmond’s own Texas Beach Bloody Mary Mix.

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