It's hard not to notice the new design aesthetic transforming parts of Carytown. Newcomers are turning vintage into modern — most notably at furniture boutique Ruth & Ollie, in a lively redo of the Leo Burke store, and at two restaurants with similar mass-market goals.
At the Mellow Mushroom, in the former Plan 9 Records space at 3012 W. Cary St., there's room for a crowd, with a big menu, splashy lighting fixtures and wall art that pays tribute to the building's roots.
A block east, it's all eye-catching California woodsiness at the Daily Kitchen & Bar. Richmond Restaurant Group spent a bundle practically bulldozing the former Glass & Powder board shop to make a big-scale bar and cafe with walls of windows, a sleek interior and a sidewalk patio for 40.
With all-day service, the Daily's food choices are extensive, and vegetarian and gluten-free options are noted. The dinner menu has salads (quinoa, beet, kale, grapefruit and avocado, most at $7.95), pizzas, burgers, a short rib sandwich, barbecued tofu, tacos and meat and seafood entrees in the $10-24 range. A dozen side dishes include Brussels sprouts, beans and greens, quinoa johnnycake, all $4.95. Seasonal specials will be harvest-driven, says co-owner Michelle Williams. "It's a healthy neighborhood cafe with mostly organic, natural ingredients, and we're hoping to open this week." The Daily Kitchen & Bar, 2934 W. Cary St. 342-8990. thedailykitchenandbar.com.
Bastille bashes: Francophiles and connoisseurs have two options to celebrate Bastille Day at Amour Wine Bistro in Carytown. A five-course, themed dinner with wine pairings is July 13, $59 per person; the following day an indoor picnic with owner Paul Heitz's festive touches that will cost $29 each. Details at amourwinebistro.com. 3129 W. Cary St. 353-4020.
Decommissioned: The weathered, gray building may have gone unnoticed by younger diners, but a 43-year seafood stalwart in Henrico County will serve its last supper July 12. Skilligalee, drenched inside and out with fishing artifacts at 5416 Glenside Drive, will be torn down. An auction of its decorative elements is underway. In recent years, it's mostly seen early birds who come in for fried shrimp, oysters and know-your-name service. Owner Richard Stephenson says retirement is overdue and welcome — a familiar refrain among longtime restaurateurs.
Summer sip and slide: New food and drink specials at Pie, 214 N. Lombardy St., include grilled jalapeño skewers, hand-rolled mozzarella sticks, daily dollar burgers from 5-7 p.m., half-price pizza on Tuesdays, raffle tickets, a DJ and $1 beer all night Wednesdays. Other promotions include cheap tacos and nachos Thursdays, $5 appetizers Fridays, comedy Saturdays, and $2 rail drinks Sundays. 257-7940.
Good segue: In an effort to keep drunken drivers off the road, a local nonprofit has one answer. Providearide.org offers breathalyzer tests for a donation, and works with bars and restaurants to offer free cab rides home for intoxicated patrons. In 2011, this area racked up 3,400 driving under the influence convictions, 33 fatalities and more than a thousand accidents, many with injuries. See the website for details of this volunteer effort, or check out the Provide a Ride booth at Hardywood Park Brewing Co. during some of its busier events.
23rd & Main Kitchen and Taproom: Bigger dining room, bar and menu at rebranded Sette in Shockoe Bottom; craft beer, burgers and pizza, salads, outdoor dining with fire pit. Lunch, dinner and bar hours daily. 7 N. 23rd St. 788-7077.
The Grand Palace: Colorful spot for spice-focused Indian, Pakistani and Asian fusion foods with vegetarian options. Burgers, lamb chops, biryani, tandoor pizza and desserts. Full bar, hookah, patio. Lunch, dinner and bar hours daily, late-night kitchen menu on weekends. Lunch buffet Thursday-Sunday. 4032-B Cox Road 762-4411. grandpalaceva.com.