The Virginian Restaurant is lauded as “one of the south’s most famous eateries” in Coy Barefoot’s The Corner, a book documenting the history of UVA’s commercial district. While we certainly agree, this Charlottesville landmark has been through a lot to get where it is today. From transforming to a soda fountain during prohibition to temporarily “going under” during World War II, The Virginian has seen its share of good times and bad. Since opening its doors in 1923, The Virginian has had many owners with the McClure family taking over in 2001.
While small, the restaurant is packed with tradition; the walls are decorated with photographs documenting the history of Charlottesville and The Virginian. The wooden booths and pressed tin ceiling complement the restaurant’s historic feel. The Virginian is a bar and grill that takes its food to the next level by offering 12oz. ribeyes, signature crab cakes, and the famous mac ‘n cheese. The Virginian prides itself on offering an assortment of atmospheres each day – lunches are dominated by business people, UVA staff, and tourists looking for excellent service and delicious food; dinner lends itself more to families, students, and couples desiring intimacy, but with a lively atmosphere; and after 10pm The Virginian becomes one of Charlottesville’s most exciting and popular nighttime destinations.