Care for a drink with that drama? Altria Theatre's getting a whole lot tastier with 1927 Cafe & Bakery, opening next month. (Photo courtesy: Wilson Butler Architects)
[2/4/16 Update: 1927 Café & Bakery softly opened this week, with its grand opening still set for tomorrow, Feb. 5. The café is currently running an opening special: Stop in today or tomorrow and get a free cup of coffee or tea.]
Those who love having an excuse to eat popcorn for dinner may not love this news, but the rest of us will: Altria Theater is about to open 1927 Café & Bakery in its lobby. Director of Food and Beverage Mark Worsley and the Altria board made some strong decisions regarding its café concept, including building a full-service coffee and espresso bar, providing creative grab and go breakfasts and lunches for the VCU area, bolstering showtime snack options with more hearty fare, and abstaining from corporate franchises in the process. As of the grand opening on Friday, Feb. 5, 1927’s locus in the lobby will be ready for everything from the early-bird professor’s coffee order to the hungry cacophony of 3,800 "Wicked" attendees.
Helmed by executive chef Carlos Silva, formerly of Tarrant's West, Max's on Broad and Bistro 27, the breakfast and lunch menus will feature sandwiches on fresh-baked bread, plus burritos and wraps made with as many locally sourced, organic ingredients as possible. Giant muffins, oatmeal bowls, fresh fruit smoothies and ingredients such as chorizo and goat cheese will be up for grabs in the morning as well, to be joined by house-made soups and inventive salads at lunchtime. A special showtime menu will add bruschetta pizzas for those who can’t make time for dinner between work and a 7 p.m. performance.
On the coffee side, Charlottesville’s Greenberry’s Coffee Co. won out over many other Virginia-based roasters in a blind taste test. Worsley’s panel looked for a neutral but flavorful coffee without high acid content, and Greenberry’s racked up an impressive 90 percent of the judges’ votes. This will be Greenberry’s first Richmond footprint; it’s the 15th spot on their list of mostly Virginia locales.
1927 Café & Bakery, named after the year in which the building was erected, is on track to employ 15 to 20 people to make its ambitious service goals work smoothly. “We want to give people what they want," says Silva. "We’ll have a suggestion box and take requests into consideration so we can develop the menu into a list of favorites for our clientele; we’re very excited to be on VCU campus.” Local jams, jellies and honeys will also be available for purchase on site, and students can snap it all up with RamBucks.
Head over as of Feb. 5 to sample Silva’s menu for yourself; the café, located at 6 N. Laurel St. inside Altria Theater’s lobby, will be open seven days a week, with weekday hours of 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekend hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. On the occasion of evening performances, 1927 Café & Bakery will extend its hours to serve show crowds.