Around the brand new confines of 250 Sports Grill, grass-green countertops, ornamental football helmets, and dark wood accents recall a well-maintained football field, and 18 large flat-screen TVs––one for every 100 square feet of space—keep guests entertained. The bar may be a new kid on the block, still celebrating its grand opening, but its commitment to pairing classic pub eats with the thrill of athletic competition is decidedly tried and true. Some days, the eatery will even open as early as 6 a.m. to catch live international events such as the British Open, the World Cup, and the European yodeling showdown. Inside 250's kitchen, chefs serve up Florida Gator fried-alligator bites, full racks of sauce-slathered ribs, and hearty half-pound burgers with Angus beef and fresh bison. If they dare, diners also may attempt the 250 Burger Challenge, wherein they must down a 2.5-pound burger and a side of fries in less than 20 minutes.
The pub has long served as the epicenter of Ireland’s social life—a place where friendships are made and stories are shared over foamy pints of beer. Finn McCool's Irish Pub positions itself firmly within this tradition of communality, inviting guests to bond while eating fish ‘n’ chips or clinking glasses of Guinness at a hardwood bar that spans the length of the room.
The convivial atmosphere isn’t the only aspect of Finn McCool's that recalls the old country. Traditional Irish staples such as shepherd’s pie, corned beef, and bangers and mash fill the pub’s menu. Savory scents waft through the air as guests throw darts, play billiards, and soak in the sunshine on the outdoor patio. A lineup of flat-screen TVs hums with the sounds of the day’s sporting events, which guests can wager their pots of gold or leprechaun manservants on at the pub’s Colonial Downs betting hub. :m]]
The proprietors of Hurley’s Tavern are committed to offering locally-sourced beer and wine, and fresh food in a relaxing environment. Designed by cofounder Janice Rossano, Hurley's menu is evenly split between food for meat lovers and vegetarians, so both groups, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch notes, "can nosh together in stomach-pleasing harmony."
The carnivore menu includes steak and cheese fries, breakfast nachos, homemade meatballs, and half-pound servings of boneless wings tossed in a choice of more than 10 sauces and dry rubs; herbivore options include garlic hummus, fried mashed potatoes, house-made black bean and rice patty wraps, and pita pizzas topped with house-made broccoli macaroni and cheese. Hurley's also caters to gluten-free and vegan diners with entrees such as burgers made with bean and rice patties. A variety of local craft beers on tap and Virginia wines help wash down meals, which unfold inside a dining room where nary a seat "doesn't have a view of a TV," the Richmond Times-Dispatch happily reports. Patrons can also entertain themselves in their back room Colonial Downs off-track betting parlor.
In 2009, The New York Times named The Camel Richmond's "premier venue" for "up-and-coming Southern rock and bluegrass bands, acoustic singer-songwriters, and jazz and funk musicians." So far, nothing's changed: The Camel still hosts local and nationally touring acts such as Ben Kweller and James McCartney, who, unlike his father, has never toured with a band named after icky bugs. But even though it's lauded for providing live music seven nights a week, The Camel makes a space for all art, including occasional film screenings.
Like its entertainment lineup, The Camel's cuisine is an eclectic mix of American flavors. The culinary team, lead by executive chef Xavier Beverly, whips up gourmet vegan risottos, grills fresh seafood, and tops flatbreads with spinach, mushrooms, and hummus. But they also keep things casual with finger foods such as the popular sausage stars and housemade beef burgers crowned with horseradish mayo. Served until 2 a.m. nightly, each dish can be paired with local or craft beers, which fill the 28 taps lining The Camel's exposed brick wall.
The Camel is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, and brunch on Sunday.
Most Americans won’t get the chance to see Cuba, but they can experience the culture and flavor with Kenn-Tico Cuban Bar & Grill’s cuisine. In a dining room decorated with panoramic shots of Havana Harbor or out on the new patio with skylights, a fountain, and 8-foot windows, plates are filled with traditional grub such as a sandwich of sliced pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on grilled cuban bread. Other classics include salmon topped with mango sauce, ropa vieja—shredded beef served up with onions, garlic, and peppers—and yucca sliced and fried until it looks like french fries back from a Caribbean vacation. Accompanying these dishes are homemade fruit milk shakes, freshly squeezed lemonade and limeade, and soft drinks such as Ironbeer and Materva. Knowing that their clients don’t always have time to stop in for their favorite dish, Kenn-Tico's chefs load up a cart with wraps and beverages to offer quick lunches downtown during the workweek.
Built in 1909, the Popkin Building once stood among the warehouses of Furniture Row as a showroom. Though its floors no longer house retail furnishings, they're now filled with new set pieces—such as barstools. Popkin Tavern reflects its building's past by displaying the original furniture company's sign against one wall and surrounding it with vintage photographs of bonnet-clad women, mustachioed men, and horses learning to drive history's first cars. Under wood-paneled ceilings, elegantly curved billiard tables form islands between heavy hardwood tables and curved banquettes. At these tables, vegetarians and carnivores alike nibble on casual gastropub fare that blends British culinary classics with Latin American, Mediterranean, and Asian flavors. To wash down bites, bartenders pour a range of local, regional, and national craft brews, featuring more than 15 on tap at any given time.