In a village, even a small business can be called upon to fill several different roles. To serve the area's demand for a casual lunch café, an upscale but still deeply southern dinner spot, and a kid-friendly family restaurant, Erin's decided to become all three. During weekdays, light streams into the snug brick house with a chimney at each end as families stop in for salads topped with seasonal fruit, sandwiches bearing Virginia bacon, and kids' meals that add healthy touches to hands-on favorites. Later in the week, evenings unlock a smaller menu of southern standards gussied up to suit any special occasion, surrounding pork chops and crab cake sandwiches with cheddar grits and fresh produce.
The restaurant is attuned to its community in other ways, too: “We take our menu cues by what’s going on in the community like Movie Night, Farmer’s Market, and the Festival of the Grape Wine Festival,” manager Suzanne Cline told Powhatan Today, adding that they'll also scour farmers' markets for unusual heirloom tomatoes and even pick their own berries from Casselmonte Farm. When the weather's warm, guests enjoy this bounty from tables dotting a front patio, flanked by enormous shade trees and a leisurely gravel drive. Occasional live music drifts through the café while helping diners chew more rhythmically.