GRILLE OF MY DREAMS: I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Mark Merrix this week. Mark is the owner of the recently opened Legends Grille in Willow Lawn. The restaurant has such a polished look, I assumed it was part of a chain. I was wrong. It’s locally owned and operatred by Mark Merrix, who lives up the road just a piece in Ruther Glen. The Richmond location is Mark’s second Legends Grille. His first has been a big hit in Fredericksburg for about seven years. “We are not a traditional sports bar,” Mark says, “but rather a sports-themed restaurant…very family friendly.” Mark says his goal is to offer a place where you can feel comfortable bringing the kids after a little league game. He says many of the restaurant’s guests will come in and spend three hours watching a game, or whatever they may want to see on one of the 20 TVs. “Some will come in and watch the Dancing With the Stars finale,” he says. And with speaker boxes at each table, you can listen to the game (or program) as well as watch it.
Is he bothered by guests who might stay for several hours? “Absolutely not,” Mark says.
There’s even a private space, called The Dugout,” for parties of up to 20 people. Of course, if you remember the old American Tap Room, in the same spot, you’ll remember the cool indoor/outdoor bar with garage doors that open to the great outdoors. Even though this is a place you can bring the family, the full-service bar is available for a responsible sip or two of an adult beverage.
TO YOUR HEALTH: After years of planning and thinking and planning and renovating and planning…Brandon Pearson has finally seen his dream of Aloi, a New American restaurant with an emphasis on healthy, yet tasty, dishes, become a reality. Aloi opened to the public this past Tuesday. It really is a beautiful place.
YES, WE ARE READY FOR SOME WATERMELONS: The folks in Carytown have been doing a good job in building up our excitement for this Sunday’s 35th annual Watermelon Festival -presented by Publix. This is one of the city’s biggies and will feature music, food, fun and watermelons. The Shriners will be selling bowls of watermelon (donated by Publix) for a buck each, with the proceeds going to the Shriners Hospitals for children. The fun kicks off at 10 a.m.
THERE’S SOMETHING FISHY ABOUT THIS CHARITY EVENT: But it’s all good. To continue giving back to the local community through its Monday Charity initiative, Sedona Taphouse has added a new menu option – wood-grilled salmon with lemon butter, herb butter or pineapple mango salsa with the choice of one side for $10. $1 from each salmon sold will support a featured local charity at each location. Their 8 oz. Black Angus flat iron steak is also offered every Monday for $6, with $1 from each one sold also supporting a local charity. These offers are good at both area locations – Westchester Commons and at 5312 Wyndham Forest Drive in Glen Allen.
ENDING ON A MUSICAL NOTE: Here’s this weekend’s musical rundown.
Thursday, August 9
- John Small and Mark Merritt – together at Rare Olde Times – 7:30 p.m.
Friday, August 10
- Craine Brothers Band – Rock, country – all your danceable favorites at JJ’s Grille – 8 p.m.
- Steve Basssett and Cornell James – One of our favorites will be in Powhatan at the County Seat.
Saturday, August 11
- The Embalmers – Enjoy a little monster surf at Castleburg Brewery and Taproom – 7 p.m.
- Heavy Shtetl – Eat, drink and dance the hora – and enjoy Klezmer music at Café Zata – 7 p.m.
- Kari Smith – It’s worth a drive to Powhatan to catch Kari Smith at Flat Rock Sports Bar & Grill – 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 12
- Pat O’Brien – virtually a Richmond living legend performs at Rare Olde Times – 7 p.m.
PUT YOUR 2 CENTS IN: You got some restaurant news or a great dining experience? Share it with us. Send it to TasteBudz@RichmondNavigator.com.