Atlantic Bedding and Furniture showrooms speckle the Southeast, each one a treasure-trove of fine furniture and top-brand mattresses. Attentive staffers bustle past collections of leather couches and arrangements of dark-wood dining sets, eager to assist customers in their quest to find a memory-foam mattress that best suits their sleeping habits or a rug that best covers up the dungeon trapdoor in their living room. If an item is out of stock, the attendants can have it shipped directly from the company's central warehouse—a cavernous storeroom packed with furniture from top vendors like Coaster, Sealy, and Lifestyle Solutions. Much of the furniture is available online, enabling customers to shop from the comfort of home.
The Virginian-Pilot's staff of dedicated journalists have dutifully provided news and information to the citizens of southeast Virginia and North Carolina for 149 years, even helping the paper earn a Pulitzer Prize. Subscribers can wake up to the invigorating aroma of fresh ink without needing to empty fountain pens into their coffeemakers. As they butter their toast and brace themselves for the daily grind, readers explore paper sections detailing local news, sports, restaurants, and entertainment. The coupon-filled Sunday Pilot includes in-depth stories relevant to Hampton Roads, and the Wednesday edition comes replete with recipes, food reviews, and grocery advertisements.
Michael Gomori has always been led by passion. As a young man and recent college graduate, he sidestepped a potential career in biology, a subject for which he'd lost his spark, and joined the Navy. He was eager to see the world, so he spent 27 years seeing, learning, and climbing the ranks.
When Michael reentered civilian life, he was determined to discover his next true passion—as it turned out, his passion was tucked under the crisp linens of fine dining. Joined by his wife, Diane, Michael developed a restaurant to embody his way of life, and the pair fittingly named it Passion the Restaurant.
Inside the romantic restaurant with white linens and crimson accents, couples and friends converse over new york strip steaks, Virginia crab cakes, and deboned chicken cooked under brick. Tapas dishes, such as duck sliders, spring rolls, and a cheese platter, play into the intimate environment under twinkling chandelier light.
Local artists’ works dapple the walls and are for sale, with a portion of proceeds donated to Our House Families, an organization that helps support families in need. Twice a month on the patio, patrons can partake in a cigar social, puffing away and reminiscing about the old days of candy cigarettes.
Named one of the 5 Best Places to Study Wine in the country by Food & Wine magazine, Washington Wine Academy has something for novices and experts alike. The school’s offerings include professional-certification classes, tours of local wineries, singles mixers, and wine-and-a-movie nights, all overseen by top wine writers and sommeliers. This blend of education and entertainment has proven successful: on average, the Academy educates more than 1,000 enthusiasts per month and hosts more than 300 wine and beer events each year.
Students and visitors gather in the academy’s brick and mortar wine school–the first of its kind in the DC area. A large hall provides the perfect setting for presentations or Model UN practice, and the nearby Crystal City Wine Shop stocks an extensive collection of beer and wines from around the world.
Josh knew the first treasure hunt he set up was a success when he saw the happy look in his three younger brothers' eyes as they uncovered the final treasure chest. Based on Josh's clues, the younger Schwabs had just gleefully trekked across Warrenton, Virginia, and into the Shenandoah Mountains in search of their goal. But the event was more than just a fun way to spend the day: it also gave them inspiration at a time when the future felt grim, as their mother was undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Although that has since become a fond memory of a good day, it's also warmly remembered by the family as the catalyst that led Josh to establish Ravenchase Adventures, where he now sets up just such engaging hunts for the public.
Now Ravenchase is an event company that offers pre-set and custom treasure hunts and adventure races. As the company has grown, Josh's team has even set up events for a variety of well-known clients, from DreamWorks Studios to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. But regardless of who participates, he and his dedicated staff ensure each two- to three-hour adventure is filled with brainteasers, mysterious clues, and baffling ciphers. Each solved clue leads the groups across town with treasure maps. Fun prizes await at their final destination. In an effort to give back to the community, the company also set up the nonprofit Ravenchase Foundation, which supports organizations that inspire and teach tolerance for history, logic, and the arts.
Recognized throughout the area for their automotive know-how, the ASE-certified technicians at Tune Up Plus have been caring for and correcting wayward vehicles for more than 20 years. Their skill powers a wealth of services, from basic tune-ups and full-service oil changes to axle repairs and headlight restoration; they can also keep roadsters legit with state inspections and state-bird-shaped stickers. If the promise of Wynn's car-care products isn't enough to attract passing vehicles, Tune Up's technicians lure them off the road with free air-conditioning, engine-light, and brake inspections.