Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
Founded in 1925, Morris Miller Wines & Liquor continues to embrace the marvels of fermentation and distillation by stocking its shelves with an international selection of potent spirits. The wine selection is grouped by region, allowing patrons to more easily track down a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc or a spicy Chilean carménère. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the staff hosts complimentary wine tastings, which allow customers to try small samples before they buy bottles to enjoy at home, in restaurants, or on the neighborhood's new roller coaster. Shelves of craft beer, single-malt scotch, and Brazilian cachaca round out the store's ample selection.
Adega serves fresh café fare for lunch and dinner, including delicately swaddled wraps such as The Jerk ($7.49), made with jerk chicken, romaine, avocado, mango, red pepper, mango vinaigrette, and served in a tortilla made of chipotle and misanthropy. Feast with the family on a 14-inch margherita pizza ($11.99) or one of the other Mediterranean flatbreads, or prepare an absorbent nest for flightless wine flights by ordering one of the sandwiches such as The Duke Ellington, a swinging combo of roast beef, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, brie, and horseradish cream. The establishment also houses a variety of wines, which are sold by the glass ($4–$9) and bottle ($8.99–$60), but customers are welcome to buy a bottle at Adega during lunch or dinner and have it at the table with their meal. While feasting and sipping, absorb the café's warm and unpretentious décor, replete with ample windows for prime views of passing strongmen bench-pressing parked cars.
Armed with a Woodstone brick oven and an unwavering faith in freshness, chef Aaron M. Tootill presides over Fire & Sage’s menu of brick-oven flatbread pizzas, daily made cornbread, and a piping panoply of gourmet entrees. The signature shrimp and pancetta pizza ($14) sneaks to tables cloaked in gooey mozzarella, garlic, and a rich basil pesto, while the wild mushroom ($13) adorns itself with shiitakes, portobellos, and bright green 1-Ups. The short-rib sandwich ($14) ensconces caramelized onions and muenster cheese between its ciabatta bun and arrives escorted by a hearty chalice of three onion soup. Glittering lochs of mustard caper sauce encircle the towers of jumbo-lump crab cake ($31), whose gates open onto a dessert of barrel-aged bourbon pecan-ice-cream sundae artfully flecked with nougatine, pecan brownie, and drizzled glyphs of butterscotch ($8).
Evocative aromas ascend from swirling chalices at Veritas Wine Bar, a brick-walled lounge where sommeliers pair more than 70 wines by the glass with a menu of cheese and charcuterie plates. Grape-infused elixirs gush from a temperature-controlled tap system, ensuring uniform sips unmarred by sudden climate shifts or clumsy fire breathers. Reds and whites from Italy, South Africa, and New Zealand slosh into individual glasses or join forces to create flights. Globetrotting artisanal cheeses fall under four categories—blue, cow, goat, and sheep—and deliciously mingle with charcuterie selections. Sippers can scrawl an appetizing epilogue across the evening’s feast by noshing on chocolate morsels laced with slow-cooked caramel or pistachio butter, which silence petulant sweet teeth without preemptively donning a bedtime retainer.
Skilled mixologists serve up complex drinks at Wisdom, a dark yet charming cocktail parlor where heavy draperies and ornate lights hang along exposed brick walls. Their drink menu runs the gamut from wine and imported beer to a vast selection of authentic absinthe. Bartenders also mix up non-alcoholic "mocktails," with flavor profiles that are as interesting as their alcoholic counterparts. Events such as trivia night pit martinis against memories, and yappy hours let dogs lounge on the patio and play poker while owners sip libations. Wisdom also dishes up tasty tidbits such as chocolate beer waffles doused in maple syrup or bacon waffles covered in bourbon and caramel apples.