Pages - Menu

Monday, August 20, 2012


Photo: Arcadia

Let’s face it. Gossip just sounds better with a half priced glass of wine in your hand. Last week, I met a friend for drinks after work at Arcadia (1700 E Main St) with the hopes that juicy gossip would be dished.

Going to happy hour in Shockoe Bottom can be a challenge. The one way streets are tricky and parking usually sucks. Even still, I try to support Bottom businesses with my adult beverage purchases.

I did my loop around the 17th Street Farmer’s market and came upon one small parallel parking space. There was a guy leaning up against his Cadillac in the spot right in front and I thought to myself, “Shannon, this is your time to shine”. The reason being, I do not look like a good driver (which I am not), but I am an amazing parker. I pulled up next to the Caddy and with a one-handed back and forth of the wheel I was perfectly centered in the parking spot a cool 6 inches away from the curb. Parallel parking perfection.

As I got out of the car, Cadillac guy immediately acknowledged my awesomeness with a “Nice park job” as he looked over the rims of his sunglasses. “Thanks,” I casually replied, feeling oh so confident as I strode towards the restaurant. I took a few steps and immediately stumbled on those damn cobblestones, completely ruining my mysterious cool. I may not be able to walk in a straight line, but I can parallel park circles around most girls in stilettos.

You may have heard of Arcadia because it is the place where the Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln photograph was taken, but I am here to tell you that they also serve really good food.

Photo credit -

We ordered Devilled Eggs with Truffle Oil and Caviar, Braised Chicken Thighs with Ricotta Spaetzle, Beet Oil and Basil Gremolata AND Rock Shrimp Mac and Cheese with Aged Gouda Cream Sauce and Bread Crumbs, or as I like to call it, race food.

The friend that I met for gossip is in the middle of training for a marathon. I absolutely love hanging out with people who are race training, because they eat like fat kids. Some of my most fit friends are up for eating just about anything when marathon season hits and even though I only run if something is chasing me, I am happy to indulge right along side them.

As we went to town on some freaking delicious food, I told her of my impressive parking endeavors, she got me up to speed on some fantastic gossip and we finished all of the half priced Cabernet in the place. It seems to be a trend that where ever we go for happy hour we finish the last of the discount wine. I might have to start calling ahead to these places to make sure they stock up on happy hour red…and hold a parallel parking space for me.

Arcadia on Urbanspoon


  1. What boosts your confidence more than someone acknowledging your awesome parallel parking job? That's the best. On the other side of the spectrum, what's more fun than watching peoples' failed attempts at parallel parking? I used to work at Lemaire, and we would do that all the time... The bar has a whole wall of windows overlooking Franklin street, just perfect for people watching; and there were a LOT of horrible parallel parkers...

    1. I always want to rescue when I see bad parallel parkers. I once parked truck for a stranger who could not to save his life get into a huge spot.

  2. I raise my hand... as I am one of those bad parallel parkers. I had a whole group of guys sitting on their balcony in the Fan with drink in hand just laughing at my expense. I am horrible; even with the 10 year old outside telling me how close I was to the curb or the other cars. So I applaud your skills at parking.

  3. Trish, I had a lot of practice going to college in Philadelphia and working in DC. It is one of my few skills that I can actually brag about...

  4. Philadelphia is the place to learn parallel parking - I lived the last 15 years in Center City Philadelphia (before moving to Richmond). Parking here is a breeze compared to Philadelphia. Thanks for your review of Arcadia. I have been interested in trying the place out. Now, a few friends and I will (maybe tonight. If not, definitely soon).

    1. Totally agree! Parallel parking in Richmond compared to in Philly is night and day.