Nicole Sutliff, Director of Public Relations at West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. was in town for the RSVP Grand Opening party and offered to take us through the store before the event started later in the evening. We got to leisurely walk about the store and Nicole answered any questions we had about the product or the store itself. While we strolled along I thought about how nice it is to have a West Elm in our little town. The closest store we had was in Richmond and it closed a while ago. When that store was open, it was a regular stop for us when we visited Marleigh while she was attending VCU. It was always nice to browse around, actually sit on furniture or touch textiles; actually seeing something in front of you is totally different than a photo in a catalog. When we were shopping for a bed frame we could spend time sitting on different models to see which one was right for us. Again, the benefits of having this stuff in front of you.
While we were touring the store, new employees were applying finishing touches and construction for the grand opening. It was fun watching them get last minute instruction on how the night was going to work. West Elm Virginia Beach is also featuring local artists in the store. It was cool seeing our friend, Cassie Rangel of Twittering Bird and others who showed up to support her. Check out her prints, we've bought a few for the house and as gifts to others. The caterers showed up and got champagne and finger food ready, positioning themselves for easy access. When the doors opened there was a line waiting to get in, eventually the place was packed with curious, excited people.
I wanted to mention some of the other local artists that were featured during the opening:
They plan on bringing more local talent to feature in the store and tonight (April 30, 2015) they'll be launching their West Elm Local initiative which is kind of a pop-up shop in the store featuring local art and products. Should be fun and I heard Handsome Biscuit is catering it! Check it out!
I was putting together events on i-heart-food.com's new event calendar and saw the bottles and taps were going to be flowing this weekend. It's been a while since I posted a map to the local booze trail. Here's what's going on and make sure to check out my calendar for more details on the events:
1 May - Beer Tasting at Grape & Gourmet
- Weekly selection of new arrivals and favorites to try in the store.
1 May - ABSOLUT Artini at MOCA (Sold Out)
- 1920s themed Artini event at Virginia MOCA. Sadly it's sold out but there are rumors of getting tickets if you go to their page and poke around.
2 May - Wine Tasting at Farm Fresh (Great Neck)
- Farm Fresh always pours a couple of wines in the store if you're shopping. Good if the kids are getting on your nerves and you want to take the edge off.
2 May - Wine Tasting at Grape & Gourmet
- Weekly Friday night tasting with regulars. Good stuff!
2 May - Wine Tasting at Yiannis Wine Shop
- Yiannis always has something good on the table and if you're lucky maybe something special.
3 May - Big Brew Day at Homebrew USA
- Big Brew Day is a collection of beer enthusiasts who setup shop outside of Homebrew USA and show you how it's done at home. Last year there was a whole pig, hot dogs, hamburgers and much more. Free to the public. I don't think I need to mention there is going to be a lot of beer there right?
- Town Center will be cordoned off to keep merry makers in while they enjoy the area's finest craft brews. Food and entertainment will be there too.
- The 8th Annual Wine Classic returns to Town Point Park running both Saturday and Sunday. Lots of events and wine will be available.
3 May - Mariner's Museum Craft Beer Festival
- The Mariner's Museum will celebrate craft brews from the Southside and Peninsula in the museum. I haven't been to one yet, but they're supposed to be fun. The Hampton Roads Beard and Stache Society will be volunteering too.
Gordon Biersch Arts & Drafts - Craft Beer Event at the Sandler Center had a great turnout and the kegs were about dry by the time it was all over. Food was provided by Gordon Biersch and the fries they were serving were addicting.
The following breweries participated:
Looking forward to next year!