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Restaurant Reviewer Nails Sam Miller's

I've always thought that Don Baker was too soft in his restaurant reviews, until the last two. I thought that his March 30 review of Sam Miller's ("Deviled by Details," Food & Drink) was extremely accurate and exemplary of my recent trips there. Perhaps it shall serve as a wake-up call to them. Also, a brief comment on the April 20 Can Can review ("Scene Stealer," Food & Drink): I've found the food to be hardly authentic, and the staff is a bit, well, young and amateurish. (But really, you can count the good waitstaffs in Richmond on one hand: Patina, Pomegranate, Lemaire and maybe two others). However, these complaints aside, I found myself eating there over and over, mostly at the request of others. I have to say that it is really an attractive place. So attractive that it began to gnaw at me that I had seen it before. And I had. Go to Balthazarny.com and you can see Can Can, albeit in Manhattan.

Brian Grzybowski

Chesterfield Chamber Works Well With County

I thought that your April 20 article about the differences between the chambers in Richmond and Chesterfield ("Chambers Clash Over Chesterfield," Street Talk) was very good, and I was glad to participate in your story. After talking to Scott Bass about the story and my concerns about how you left out half of the real story (because of space limitations?) I thought I would make sure that you did truly understand how I feel. I think that I have a good understanding and a good feel for how Chesterfield's administrative folks and most of the Board of Supervisors feel after five plus years of working with the Chesterfield chamber.

The first few years were quite a challenge for all parties concerned. Roger did go in with the big stick and the ole boot trick, and definitely did upset the apple cart. I do believe that the way Roger handled himself and the chamber was necessary. Luckily for all of us (businesses and county officials) the board of directors of the Chesterfield chamber, as well as Roger, were able to help mend the differences within the county after Roger first started the chamber. A great thing happened along the way. Once we were able to show the county administration what the perception was among businesses in the county, they took steps to immediately work to help correct some of the things that made it difficult to do business in the county. I certainly applaud the county administrator, staff and the Board of Supervisors for working closely with the Chesterfield chamber and the many, many committees and more than 100 business volunteers who have donated their time to work on dozens of issues over the past four or five years to make sure that Chesterfield County is open for business.

Chesterfield County, businesses and our citizens are better off today than ever before because of the work that has been accomplished through the Chesterfield chamber and the great relationship that has been formed with the county.

There are many differences between the two chambers [the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce]. But there is one common thread: We all want our communities to be safe and to be a great place for all of us to raise our families and have the opportunity to work hard and do business, but we may not always agree on the best way to get us there.

Also, if you guys could circulate your papers out into lower Chesterfield it would help us.

Bob Schrum,
a proud Chesterfield Chamber Member and president of Flagstop, a car-washing outfit

The Pike Deserves Better

I wanted to thank you for the April 20 article about Jefferson Davis Highway, aka the Pike ("Five Miles on the Pike," Cover Story). I grew up and still live in Chester. I am sad to see the Moore's cottages go, because I think they are a piece of Chester history that we cannot get back once they are gone. I also think the style of the buildings is unique for the area. This intersection at Jeff Davis and Route 10 already has strip shopping centers on the other three corners, I don't see how adding a fourth will contribute, especially considering the vacant space that already exists here. I agree that this intersection is becoming Anyplace, USA. If the developer really wanted to create something unique, he would look at the cottages nestled in the grove of trees and see them as a benefit, especially with the rise of so called "life style" shopping centers and outdoor malls. It seems that one could selectively demolish some cottages and build onto the remaining ones to create a uniquely Chester experience. All one has to do is view the postcard collections of historians around to realize the history that goes along with these little motels along the Pike. We don't have to settle for the cheapest option, which we all know is to bulldoze everything and build a strip center with an enormous parking lot.

Thanks for writing about something that has been a concern to me since I discovered what the plans were for this parcel. I wish others felt the same way.

K. Williams
soon-to-be licensed architect

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