Short Order 

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Road Awakening

It takes a New Yorker to bring egg creams to Goochland, and Eddie Rohrbacher says there's no turning back now. He spent two months gutting the interior of Grandpa Eddie's former roadside barbecue joint (now flourishing in Henrico in much larger quarters) and installing a retro-style diner and soda bar.

He opened Fast Eddie's Jukebox Café late last month at 12859 Broad Street Road, and the place is already known among locals as a family hangout for root-beer floats, milk shakes and burgers (no alcohol is served). "There's a reason people move out here to Goochland -- it's so they don't have to be in Short Pump," Rohrbacher says. "This is filling a niche for families and neighbors. Customers can get hands-on service, and I'll even add customer requests to the menu." Meatloaf, pot pies, sandwiches and nightly specials hold the line at $10 or below; a kids' menu, popcorn machine, pies and sundaes carry the old-timey theme that much further.

With a lighting scheme that's visible across the highway, the café is a bright beacon of kitsch — "Viva Las Vegas" might be playing on the big-screen television; the animated Rohrbach works the front of the house, "shaking hands, kissing babies, answering the telephone," and giving the café its '50s American spirit. Open daily for lunch and dinner; breakfast service begins by late December. Call 784-4466 or visit www.fasteddiesjukeboxcafe.com.

Flatbread Fix

It was only a matter of time before the flatbread phenomenon found its way to Richmond. Enthusiasts here have raved about flatbread cafés in other parts of the world; now they must go only as far as Toad's Place for the first in-town version. Urban Flats Flatbread Co. is coming soon to the Canal Walk, upstairs from Highwater, adding competition to a venue that still needs attention from Richmond diners. One school of thought says as more businesses come to an area, the destination factor stimulates business for all. The other theory is that competition is already tough enough without zillions of new openings. Readers and restaurateurs, what do you think?

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