Sherma Francis founded Diva Fitness because she wanted women to have a holistic alternative to the gym. That explains why the boot-camp classes are held outdoors, but the workouts aren’t just an opportunity to admire the fresh air and blue skies. Francis is a certified fitness and spinning instructor, and her intense cardio and strength-training exercises are designed to whip bodies into shape fast. In addition to boot camps at public parks, she offers at-home personal-training sessions for exercisers who prefer to work out in private or are afraid of being distracted by cute baby deer.
Tamara Clark, owner of TC Artworks, completely renovates spaces without ever picking up a hammer. Her tool is a paintbrush, and her skill in wielding paint was evident to a national audience when ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition commissioned her to decorate a new home in 2006. She can add texture and depth to ceilings with a modern cluster of curlicues, melt away walls with a mural of the outdoors, or reinvent furniture by distressing it or adding stenciled shapes. The decorative artist reveals some of her tricks at Vino and Vintage art classes, where students enjoy their own drinks and snacks as she instructs them on chalk paint, metallics, and other techniques for revamping furniture or home decor.
Homestyle comfort foods on the Babe's of Carytown menu tackle cravings and complement plenty of brews and shots. But as satisfying as the meatloaf, taco specials, burgers, and omelets are, Babe's may be even better known for its entertainment and events. Weekly drag shows showcase female impersonators, and sometimes male impersonators, whose dramatic wigs and oversized glamour regularly dominate the stage. That same stage hoists laypeople to stardom, too, with Wednesday night karaoke, while concert nights feature bands like Tonic Jane. While drag, rock, spotlights, and comfort food draw audiences indoors, it's the sand-covered patio, replete with palm-roofed gazebos and a staff of aproned dolphins, that extends the fun beyond Babe's doors.
As the proprietor of Main Street Spa & Wellness Center, Janice Bonner maintains a passion for helping her clients not only look stunning and youthful, but feel fulfilled, self-confident, and healthy. Customized facials prevent acne breakouts and reduce fine lines, while body wraps and polishes slough away rough skin and prevent the growth of exoskeletons. Hot-stone and aromatherapy massages relieve stress, while colonic, reflexology, and castor oil treatment packages help all the body's interconnected systems work in harmony. After hours, Bonner devotes her time to ending domestic violence and human trafficking through her work with Anastasis International and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance.
Behind a quirkily colored bright-yellow brick façade, Bonvenu Restaurant & Bar charms visitors with brunch spreads of smoked gouda and ham omelets and sweet-potato waffles, and dinners of lamb roulade or bacon-topped mac 'n' cheese. The eatery projects its commitment to blending disparate cultural influences through its very name, which means "welcome" in Esperanto⎯a constructed universal tongue that draws from Latin, Ukranian, and the secret language that twins speak to each other. The interior adds a whimsical edge to Eisenhower-era diner decor, with two-toned crimson and cream walls dotted with modern art, and oblong globules cast warm light onto a bar top equipped with Belgian ales and flavored martinis. The recipes on the menu take taste buds on globetrotting voyages, with flavors as exotic as Filipino adobo sauce, or as familiar as local foraged mushrooms.
A gathering place for both children and parents, Cartwheels & Coffee sows the seeds of neighborhood camaraderie with its multi-purpose recreational facility. Inside, an enclosed play area entertains children aged six and under with interactive fun, and a separate section keeps babies captivated with age-appropriate toys. Meanwhile, parents can kick back alongside each other in the Wi-Fi-equipped cafe and sip on locally roasted cups of coffee or recharge with other items from the menu. Special events throughout the week provide a change of pace to normal activities, including singing sessions on Mondays and dance classes on Wednesdays.