Defending Toad's, Highwater 

Your reviewer, Brandon Fox, decided to decimate Highwater for its "bar food" and lack of accessible parking ("Behind the Music," Food & Drink, Jan. 23). First, I don't know of many restaurants in this city that have great parking unless they are in the West End, chain restaurants or both. The fact that some of your reviewers are becoming used to the convenience of dining in any one of those locales is no reason for them to dedicate the first three paragraphs of their review to the parking situation. If the reviewer had looked, she would have seen the $3 parking garage on Virginia Street across from Siné.

To subtly refer to all venue food as being execrable doesn't seem appropriate. It may be bar food, but that doesn't mean a rat scurried across the food while being prepared and left waste behind. I find it very discouraging that your publication has decided to rip on one of the few establishments trying to bring life to the utter failure that the Canal Walk has been thus far. Not to mention, Toad's Place is trying to bring music back to a town that hasn't had a decent music scene for the past 15 years.

The pain in the butt scenario that Fox points out, the requirement of having to serve food with alcohol, weighs heavily on new establishments. Your review is doing nothing but spreading a negative image of Toad's Place when all it's tried to do is revive the lackluster imitation of the San Antonio canal and bring entertainment back to Richmond.

Stephen Bury

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