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The Blue & Gray Press | May 22, 2018

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New face moves into familiar space

By JULIA HOLMES

The property at 409 William St. has been a revolving door for new restaurants the past few years, but on Jan. 17 the American eatery Longstreet’s opened for business, and manager Dave Hanlon doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

Owner Michael Beaton and Hanlon signed a five-year lease on the building, which despite additional incentives from the city of Fredericksburg, could be seen as a large risk, considering the short operating times of both University Café and Las Palmas Café, which occupied the space previously.

“I have a five year lease with a five year extension.  So there’s no downside.  [Longstreet’s] could be here as long as ten years,” said Hanlon.

According to Hanlon, they have worked hard to set Longstreet’s apart from the previous tenants.

“We put a lot more money into the build out and the interior of the building to give it character and personality and to break up the room a bit,” he said.

The interior is sleek and welcoming with coordinating red, black and gray décor and furniture, illustrating the new restaurant owners’ attempts to stand out among the more casual establishments located downtown that also cater to students.

“[The menu] was written very strongly in line with the students,” said Hanlon, referencing the wide variety of appetizers, flatbread pizzas, salads and sandwiches Longstreet’s offers. “We placed our menu at a price point that we thought would be comfortable for students.”

Appetizers, which make up most of the menu, cost between $5.99 to $9.99 and most of the sandwiches and burgers fall in the $6 to $10 price range. There are also desserts, soups and children’s options on the menu.

The restaurant has a full-service bar with daily drink specials and happy hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Hanlon said they made the decision to feature primarily appetizers on the menu so students could snack throughout the day, between classes and into the evening. Longstreet’s is open until 1 a.m. each night and switches to a late night menu after 10 p.m., which consists of appetizers and flatbread pizza selections.

Everything on the menu is made from scratch, with an emphasis on using organic and local ingredients whenever possible, according to Hanlon. The restaurant’s meat, for instance, is purchased right next door at the Old Towne Butcher.

Additionally, the restaurant offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan-friendly selections.

“75 percent of the menu could be vegan [upon request],” said Hanlon.

Longstreet’s is more than a restaurant and bar, though, as there are also a variety of entertainment options for patrons to enjoy while they eat, drink and socialize.  The restaurant has six televisions, six arcade games, including Pacman and Crazy Taxi, and four pool tables.

This interesting new restaurant certainly merits a visit, whether for hanging out and drinking with friends or enjoying a delicious meal. With any luck, UMW can help make sure Longstreet’s is able to extend its lease far past the five-year mark.

Comments

  1. Stephen

    I don’t know the procedures at the Bullet, but I can tell this article has been edited by the staff so much, that it has lost its voice. I know for a fact that Julia would not write that Longstreet’s merits a visit for “drinking with friends.” She doesn’t drink, meaning it wasn’t her hand which produced the final version of this article. It’s more like she did the research and then the editor of the article picked whatever she/he wanted to say. This leads me to question the role of many of these “staff writers.” Are they actually the writers or just the researchers? If so, why give them credit for something they only partially helped with? What’s the point? It’s not like they can be proud of it in the end when all of their voice has been erased. Anyways, I don’t understand how the editor can make a claim, that the restaurant “merits a visit,” when she/he didn’t even go her/himself.

  2. Beek

    …just because the author herself doesn’t drink doesn’t mean she wouldn’t recommend that to others.

    It’s a pretty common occurrence for articles to be edited by that sections editor. Whoa, maybe that’s why they call them editors. It’s a very collaborative effort. Take a journalism class or five. You could learn some neat and obvious things.

  3. Stephen

    Well, I’m 100% positive Julia wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. I understand that the editor is going to change some things, but an alteration such as that changes what people view as the writer’s personality and beliefs. If a writer is opposed to something and then the editor adds a little phrase, suggesting to do that same thing, there’s something wrong with the process. The editor shouldn’t have the authority to alter the writer’s perceived views on something, especially if the writer doesn’t even get a chance to have any input on the final product.

  4. Jason R

    @stephen

    I think you have a pretty big misunderstanding of how journalism works. The writer’s personality and beliefs are not the point of this article– the point is to convey information to the people who read the newspaper. Are you really gonna try to argue that college students wouldn’t be interested in hanging out and drinking with their friends at a restaurant? If the writer had been a vegetarian, would you be arguing that the article shouldn’t have mentioned that the restaurant serves hamburgers? Nowhere does this article endorse drinking. It just informs readers that a new restaurant is a cheap place to get a drink with friends.

    You would have a legitimate gripe with the editorial stuff, if this had appeared in the viewpoints section, where a writer’s belief is the point.

  5. Stephen

    I totally agree; I don’t know how working for a newspaper works or even just a school paper. However, I don’t think you understand where I’m coming from. Stating that there is a bar is vastly different than saying the restaurant is worth visiting to go drinking with friends. She’s a vegetarian too and it would be the same in this case, had her wording on this been changed too. She informs us that the restaurant buys from the butcher next door, but doesn’t suggest us to visit for that reason. I just think there is a difference in how things how said because it’s a matter of objective vs subjective statements. I feel as if the editor took a subjective role on the statements of drinking at the restaurant. I know this is college, and yeah people are going to drink, but that doesn’t mean Julia has to promote it in her article. Do you see what I’m getting at?

  6. lolz

    @Stephen: Have you met Ben Bower? I think you guys could be friends.

  7. Beek

    So, it’s not that Julia thought this place was a terrible place to drink, but that she thinks it’s not good to drink at all?

    As a reader, I honestly didn’t take that sentence as some sort of endorsement for drinking alcohol. Which, I’m terrible unsure why anybody would be against other people drinking just because they themselves don’t do it. I can see your point, but I honestly didn’t get the vibe that Julia was trying to get me to drink by reading this. Just that the place serves them and is a good place to go drink if you wanted to. That’s just how I read it.

    If you think the editor took too many liberties about the editing, maybe she should talk to them and ask for a copy of it sent back to her before they can run the piece. Usually they can’t because they don’t get articles one or two days beforehand. Like the Hurley thing, that came in the day before the issue went out. So getting everything right can be tricky.