2013 Best & Worst: Staff Picks

Forever Fan

Assistant Editor Anne Dreyfuss at Y & H Mercantile Photo by James
Best-selling novelist Tom Robbins described the Fan to me as “an island of eccentricity and rebellion in a city that is generally pretty conservative.” Richmond has come a long way since Robbins resided here in the ’60s, but I take pride in his memories of the neighborhood I call home.

Mule Barn Craft Studio
2516 Mule Barn Alley, 314-566-8814

In February, two graduates of VCU’s School of the Arts moved into the small building where Lamplighter used to roast their coffee. Sean Donlon and Frankie Toan had their first open house in April. “I don’t know the square footage,” Donlon says of the studio. “But I’d say it’s big enough to hide three tigers, one small elephant and two kangaroos.” 

708 N. Meadow St., 385-0521

The flower and specialty gift division of Richmond-based wedding planning company Everything But Your Groom opened a brick-and-mortar shop on April 22. Fleur carries skin-care products, linens and more.

Bigs BBQ
933 W. Grace St., 454-1553

You won’t find farm animal décor adorning the walls of Bigs BBQ on the VCU campus. “We wanted a cleaner look,” co-owner Rob Weaver says of the Chesterfield-based restaurant’s second location that opened in July.

Inchoate Company
106-B Vine St., inchoateco.com

There might not be an ocean in Richmond, but the six friends who co-own the men’s apparel company, Inchoate, make-do by oyster harvesting on the Rappahannock River, sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and paddle boarding on the James.

Y&H Mercantile
119-A Robinson St., 658-0094

YaaTaah and Hansi Armentrout’s vintage-inspired men and women’s clothing store has everything a California-dreaming Richmond fashionista could desire. — Anne Dreyfuss
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