Business Briefs: March 2024

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Owner Steve Lovern will open Jax's Bar and Grill at Clover Lawn in March. Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

Jax’s Bar and Grill to Open in Clover Lawn

In early March, Steve Lovern will open Jax’s Bar and Grill in the space recently vacated by Jalisco’s. Lovern, who has a long history with restaurant ownership, most recently in Urbana, said the cafe is named after his Bernedoodle.

Lovern discovered Crozet while trying to find a middle point between two sets of grandchildren, one in Harrisonburg and one in Midlothian. He said he was staying at Misty Mountain Campground when he saw that Jalisco’s was moving out. “The next day I met the landlord, we shook hands, and that was it.” He characterized his menu as “savory southern cooking,” home-style food that you might find at a diner but with one important difference. “Nothing, not the vegetables, sauces, salad dressings nor meat will ever have been frozen or canned.”

He acknowledges there’s a weeks-long wait for an ABC license, but he’s sure the food alone will be worth the trip. He said he’s very serious about the quality of the food, and especially glad to offer Crozet a hand-made fresh hamburger. As far as the fries to go with that burger: “I’ve probably made 23,000 orders of French fries in the last few years, and every single one of them has been hand-cut,” he said.

Jax’s will be open every day but Sunday. It will offer breakfast on Friday and Saturday.

Baristas Gather for Fireworks Fundraiser

With steady hands and perfectly frothed milk, some of the area’s most talented baristas poured rosettes and hearts into espresso at the Mudhouse latte art throwdown last month. The event was a fund-raiser for Crozet fireworks. 

It takes a steady hand and perfectly frothed milk to build a latte heart. Photo: Malcolm Andrews.

The competitors exhibited intense focus and concentration in the midst of heady espresso fumes as they built their works of art and presented them to the panel of judges. All 20 of the competing artists poured beautiful designs from both whole milk and oat milk, but in the end only three could win. 

Judges Clif Santiago from Happ in Waynesboro, and Keyana Munter, Olivia Vanderwaal, both from Mudhouse, served as judges for the latte art throwdown. Photos: Malcolm Andrews.

Skyler Davis from the Mudhouse took first place in the blind judging; Sky Tyler from Happ Coffee Roasters in Waynesboro came in second; and Ash Carpenter, an independent barista, left with third place. The competition raised $200 for the fireworks. The Mudhouse continues to support the fireworks by donating $2 from the sale of every bag of its “Bottle Rocket” blend until the end of May.

Latte art is painted with steamed milk into espresso. Photos: Malcolm Andrews.

King Family Vineyards has asked for a Special Use Permit to hold the show at their place this summer. This year’s Independence Day parade and fireworks event are scheduled for Saturday, June 29. 

The link to the GoFundMe donation website is: gofundme.com/f/2024-crozet-independence- day-fireworks.

Nelson County Artwork On the Field at Super Bowl

When Post Malone sang an acoustic version of America the Beautiful before the Super Bowl last month, he was well adorned with eye-catching jewelry, and so was his guitar strap. The distinctive cabochons set into the leather were made by David Lipscomb, owner of the Virginia Rock Shop in the Rockfish Valley Community Center.

The cabochons in place on the strap used by Post Malone at the Superbowl.

Lipscomb was commissioned to make the unique insets, representing tears, from fossilized mastodon teeth. On the strap, the tears are streaming from eyes made from meteorites, to tie in with the theme of Malone’s “If y’all weren’t here, I’d be crying” tour. Traditionally, cabochons are smooth, highly-polished stones that are domed, but without facets. To achieve the degree of polish required, Lipscomb said he used six different wheels.  

Lipscomb said the now-famous strap has another Nelson County connection. Lawton Smith, who lives in Lovingston, fashioned the Super Bowl strap and five other straps for Malone with Thomas Brennan. The men are leather workers with Moore and Giles in Lynchburg. 

The Virginia Rock Shop is open every day but Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The tear is marked on the mastadon tooth before cutting and polishing. Submitted photo.

Paintings and Pots at Crozet Artisan Depot

Therisa Bennett of Stafford and Jessica Cullen of Richmond are the guest artists for March at the Crozet Artisan Depot, through March 31, with an opportunity to meet the artists on Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Cullen’s show is titled “Color Verses.” She’s a long-time creator of wheel-thrown contemporary ceramics who has been teaching ceramics since 2016. 

Jessica Cullen’s bowl is part of a collection featured at the Crozet Artisan Depot in March.

Her current focus is mainly on functional pieces that are simple, timeless and designed to maintain the sense of warmth that hand-created work allows. Her ceramics are food-safe and durable enough for the microwave and dishwasher.

Artist Therisa Bennett paints dreamy landscapes in oils. A selection of her work is at the Crozet Artisan Depot through March

Therisa Bennett’s show is titled “Grounding.” She’s a lifelong painter, primarily working in oil. Displaced from Alaska to Virginia since 2017, she said she longs for the lands of her ancestral home and finds solace in painting landscapes inspired by all the beauty and history of Virginia.

Biz Bits

Chiles Peach Orchard opens for the season Friday March 2, with signature donuts, ice cream and other Chiles specialties, including new products. On Saturday, March. 30, the orchard will sponsor its yearly “Hop into Spring” event, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a race, donuts, crafts and Easter eggs. Register at chilesfamilyorchards.com.

The U.Va Health Stoney Creek Pharmacy is open and welcomes all patients.  It’s located in the Valley Green Center next to Stoney Creek Family Medicine, and open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The pharmacy accepts prescriptions from both U.Va. and non-U.Va.. providers, and most insurance plans that include Medicare Part D. The pharmacy also provides most adult immunizations, scheduled by calling 434-297-4829.

Flannery Buchanan was chosen as one of the “Distinguished Dozen” in the yearly list sponsored by the Charlottesville Daily Progress. Buchanan owns Bluebird & Company with Chelsea Powers. The shop will host a preview event for the Virginia Festival of the Book featuring Audrey Ingram, author of The River Runs South, who will be in conversation with Rachel McRady, the author of Sun Seekers. Find dozens of other events scheduled for March at Bluebird’s bluebirdcrozet.com. 

A giant bunny greets visitors to Chiles Peach Orchard “Hop into Spring” event.

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