Restaurant Opens in Gilpin Court 

click to enlarge Alicia and Lamont Hawkins have opened Inner City Blues Takeout, broadening options in Gilpin Court.

Scott Elmquist

Alicia and Lamont Hawkins have opened Inner City Blues Takeout, broadening options in Gilpin Court.

Until recently, convenience-store chicken and frozen pizza represented the extent of culinary offerings in Gilpin Court — just blocks north of Jackson Ward, but a world away from the minor renaissance the neighborhood is experiencing.

That changed this summer. On an otherwise abandoned block next to the city housing project stands Inner City Blues Takeout.

The husband-and-wife owners, Alicia and Lamont Hawkins, are the first entrepreneurs to take a chance on the neighborhood in more than a decade.

"A lot of people have stereotypes of being near a housing project," Alicia Hawkins says, "but I think you need to bring things to the urban community."

The menu is straight soul food and barbecue — pork, chicken, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, baked beans and string beans. That's by design, Lamont Hawkins says.

"I had a vision," he says. "Over here they've got to go either to Broad or somewhere on Chamberlayne to get something to eat. And they've got to go even further to get soul food — anything with some love in it."

It's the Varina couple's first restaurant. Lamont left a manufacturing job and Alicia left her position as a substance-abuse counselor. They say business has been good.

Likewise, residents say they appreciate the new dining option.

"Now a person doesn't have to walk all the way up town to get some food," Sandra Taylor says. "I'm quite sure once they start doing good they'll expand. Something needs to happen to this project."

Comments (25)

Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

  • Re: Behind the Photo: Manchester Construction

    • Hello Viewers, I need to broadcast to every single America, Herpes Simplex Virus 1-2 now…

    • on October 27, 2016
  • Re: Accused Pastor’s Father: Son “Has Fallen Short”

    • I was in his ministry home on Archer St. Hes an misogynistic cult leader. he…

    • on October 26, 2016
  • Re: McAuliffe Criticizes Wall Street Journal Story On PAC Donations to Senate Candidate

    • Activate the "spin cycle." The Clinton's best buddy need only remember two things; "I don't…

    • on October 26, 2016
  • More »
  • More by Ned Oliver

    • Auto Spying

      Virginia lawmakers are fighting against the use of license-plate scanners by police. But what about the people privately watching your whereabouts?
      • Apr 28, 2015
    • City Explores Tax on Richmond Airbnb Rentals

      • Apr 21, 2015
    • Flash Forward

      Richmond is getting a $54 million, high-speed bus line right down Broad Street. But do we need it? Here are the answers to seven questions you might be asking.
      • Apr 21, 2015
    • More »

    Copyright © 2016 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation