B1Bob and his cronies seem to be giving way to newcomers with new tastes -- so much for your prediction that 'upscale markets' would not last in Soboville! New to the scene, a Parisian knock-off (books et cafe) tagged Southern Plenty with 1st editions, artwork, incredible pastries all at prices galactically less than Richmond or Lynchburg (not to say DC or NYC!) Deals galore...Vintner's has been replaced by Cafe Peroni, its owners straight over from Italia, and ready to spoon out the pasta with poetry (poetry slams encouraged).
Blend in Bistro 1888, now a veteran on Main Street (apologies to the Dukes of Hazzard, Bob!), and you have places to go and people to see!
Three Women and No Truck rivals the 2nd hand ' find mines' in Greenwich Village at a fraction (incredible prices!!!) of the cost--beautiful, gently used antiques and shabby chic--and the Parsons-Bruce Gallery continues to transform big-city visitors into second home owners off Main Street.
The Prizery(Manhattan-league theater created out of an old tobacco warehouse) is hosting everything from Shakespeare from Aquilo Theater in NYC to the Vienna Boys Club...google and buy tickets, and the Convergence Art Guild, just up the road in Halifax, is the scene of old movie nights, rollicking Halloween fests, and all kinds of other excuses for a good time.
Check into the incredible Berry Hill Plantation Resort, an historic southern mansion on several hundred acres, with rooms under $150 (sometimes even less), take a nap on your immaculate four-poster bed, relax at the spa (massages, nails, hair) and have a bite on the outdoor patio of the tavern, and you're set...
Pour me a glass of that chardonney, partner, (if not at Bistro, then at the fabulous Molasses Grill just over the tracks in Halifax, across from the Courthouse) and then mosey on down to TruValue and leave me to my own devices!! Tip: most of the action happens Weds-Saturdays, except for Molasses, open for dinner Sunday. By the way, Molasses has a Thursday night special with big reductions from 5-7PM--meet me there! It's a stranger-friendly and very posh bar, and after a few minutes, (if you so desire), a place where everybody knows your name...
What to buy: Everything!
What to pay: Less than anywhere else!
Those who know me know I have enough stuff for six lifetimes. I didn't really need anything that day either. What attracted me to this shop was the glass block design at the entrance. This used to be the ABC Store (for those outside of Virginia, that's the only type of place you could legally buy booze). I went in here to look for postcards for Christian, but that's the one thing they didn't have. It is a very colourful store on the inside with some unusual architecture on the outside.
en español, em português
After our tour through the Halifax County Museum, Lee and I stopped here before going back to Virgilina. Many museum gift shops are so small you have to leave them to change your mind. This gift shop was fairly big. The clerk did not know my mama, but she did go to school with Aunt Natalie. I bought a postcard for my friend Christian who collects them.
en español, em português
Hupps Mill Plaza is a shopping centre on Wilborn Avenue (Rt. 501) just north of downtown. There are approximately 15 stores. It is anchored by Advance Auto Parts and Farmer's Foods on one end, Belk in the middle, CVS and Goody's Department Store on the other. As with many shopping centres, this too has changed tenants over the years. Tultex and the Hallmark Shop have closed while Glen More Menswear stays open in spite of the big department stores right there and nearby.
What to buy: Groceries, auto parts, clothing, cards and gifts, medicines, toiletries, etc.
Lee and I are, by no means, wine conoisseurs, but he popped in here for a simple soft drink during the Southern Heritage Harvest Festival. Of course, there is all manner of wines, cheeses, and unusual blends of coffee that Grandma and Grandpa wouldn't have even imagined. What rubbed Lee and me the wrong way about this place was the cashier took his sweet time getting to us so we could pay for his root beer and leave. Granted, he wasn't buying brie and Chardonnay, but he was still a customer. Unless the people of South Boston have changed radically over the years, I don't think they will be very patient with the lack of service we got. I am sceptical that upmarket places like this and Bistro 1888 will last in a place like South Boston because brie, Chardonnay, and fancy food don't match local tastes and South Boston is far enough from the interstate that you don't see many out of town visitors.
What to buy: If you want to be served fast, you better buy wine, cheese, or coffee.
What to pay: I suspect prices are greater than warranted.
All kinds of small, family-owned specialty shops and services are still downtown despite Wal-Mart and Lowe's popping up just north of town. Even if shopping isn't your thing, you can admire the architecture of the old buildings which line Main Street.
True Value Hardware may be a national chain of hardware stores, but, contrary to big warehouse stores like Lowe's and Home Depot, True Value still has somewhat of a hometown flavour.
What to buy: All manner of tools and garden equipment can be found here.