Weezie’s Kitchen, Richmond, Virginia
Sometimes, you don’t think much of a moment until it passes, when it later comes back to you, inducing a perplexed state. Such is the case with me and Weezie’s.
Weezie’s Kitchen is a cozy restaurant and bar on West Cary Street, in the illustrious Carytown, a popular neighborhood among Richmond locals who seem mostly to enjoy its shops, shops and more shops (think vintage stores with impossibly pricey and specific merchandise; one boutique carried only items catering to those interested in resembling a 1920s-era flapper.)
Carytown, to me, was both destination and frustration—a perfect place for an aimless afternoon stroll (it was New Years Eve, and our heads were still foggy from the night before), yet a repetitive row of expensive stores that left me weary. It was painfully frigid and windy outside, too, and although I wasn’t quite ready for a beer after the prior night’s festivities, I was losing interest—and I was thirsty.
To my relief, we ducked into Weezie’s for a brief respite from the blustery cold. I was not quite ready for a pint, but welcomed the chance to belly up to the bar with a copy of Virginia Craft Beer magazine and a seltzer with lime (sometimes, the ritual is as good as the real thing).
As I took the place in, I realized we’d come upon a unique spot, kind of homey and rustic, but still modern, with wide, yawning archways dividing the bar from the restaurant, and the front of the restaurant from the rear. The tables were full, the chatter was lively, and a warmth started to make its way through my chest, despite the occasional cold front bursting through the door behind us.
What happened next is the meaningless moment that keeps coming back to me. The group of us—we were a rowdy but respectful crew of six—sat the bar, right in front of the door, which continually swung open and closed as patrons entered and exited the restaurant. A friend of mine wondered aloud if the bartender got cold from the constant gusts of wind. “Nah,” he said, “I got my beanie.”
We sat expectantly, waiting for more. Was he kidding? A knitted cap was indeed perched on his head, but it barely covered a third of his skull; its cotton poly-blend edge sat further from his ears than us from the taps. But, nothing, except: “I’m used to it.”
You’re a weird place, Richmond, but I think I’m starting to like you.