What's New in the Historic Triangle
Opa! Kephi Greek Kitchen Joins Williamsburg’s Cuisine Scene
Williamsburg got a taste of authentic Greek cuisine when Kephi Greek Kitchen opened this spring. “Kephi” comes from the Greek word meaning “passion.” Passion is what you’ll get when you dine at the new restaurant, located on Richmond Road. The staff at Kephi selects the freshest products ranging from local produce to herbs and spices picked from the Taygetos mountain range in southern Greece. To learn more about Kephi Greek Kitchen, visit KephiGreekKitchen.com
Colonial Pie Company Rolls into Williamsburg
Also new to Richmond Road is Colonial Pie Company. The family owned and operated establishment has one goal: to make the best and freshest dessert pies. On the belief that “round food is good food,” Colonial Pie Co. serves up almost 20 flavors of fruit pies, as well as pot pies, over a dozen pizzas and more. Visit Colonial Pie Company at 1330 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg.
Take an 18th-Century Dance Class
As the sun sets in Colonial Williamsburg, the fun doesn’t stop. Visitors will now get a chance to take an 18th-century dance class while enjoying a fast-paced comedy show. “Nimble Toes & Dancing Woes” is Colonial Williamsburg’s newest evening program. A nervous groom needs to learn to dance the night before his wedding. Provide the couple moral support while learning some dance moves yourself. Read page 22 for more Colonial Williamsburg attractions and shows.
Horse Racing Returns to Virginia
Four years after closing its doors, Virginia’s only racetrack, Colonial Downs, prepares to reopen. In late April, Chicago-based Revolutionary Racing bought the New Kent racetrack with plans to reopen the site in 2019. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill to bring back betting at Colonial Downs, legalizing betting on historical horse races. For more information, visit ColonialDowns.com
Casino-Style Gambling is on the Way
On the heels of the Colonial Downs reopening, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe announced plans to develop Virginia’s first casino on 600 acres in New Kent, just 30 minutes north of Williamsburg. The plans for the $700 million resort-style development feature a casino, hotel, luxury spa and performance venue.
FUTURE OF WILLIAMSBURG
By Arielle Patterson
While Williamsburg is best known for its rich, preserved history, there is so much more to this burgeoning city. Williamsburg was selected one of the “Top 15 Cities in the United States” by Travel + Leisure for 2017. The city was praised for its cuisine, culture, shopping and sights. With new attractions and developments every year, there is more than enough to make visitors return and keep residents delighted.
Capitol Landing Road is a historic part of Williamsburg. For over 300 years, the roadway has directed travelers into the city. In the 18th century, the road was one of the entrances to Williamsburg from the port. Today, the city looks to update the corridor by making it a roadway through the new, modern Williamsburg.
This new tourism zone, that includes Capitol Landing Road, Penniman Road and the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center, will be known as “The District.” The District is focused on stimulating new, local businesses, and reinventing existing businesses with a focus on crafts, dining, entertainment, fine arts and hospitality.
Potential plans for this tourism zone include an artistic sidewalk, food truck court, test kitchen and brewery. These plans fall under the artisan industry. Overall, Williamsburg looks to take advantage of these new trends, attracting local artisans and craft producers.
Out with the Old, in with the New
Williamsburg also attracts visitors for both craft and retail shopping. With the redevelopment of the Williamsburg Shopping Center and the Monticello Shopping Center, the city will enhance its image as a one-of-a-kind shopping destination.
Private developer, Broad Street Realty, purchased the Monticello Shopping Center as well as the neighboring Williamsburg Shopping Center. In March, the Maryland-based company broke ground on Midtown Row. Midtown Row would feature new five-story mixed-use buildings for residential, retail and entertainment space.
With all of these exciting sights and attractions, the city is working on a plan to provide effective transportation for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s easy to stroll through Merchants Square and the Historic area, but what about the surrounding area? The city of Williamsburg is looking to become a more pedestrian and runner friendly community, as well as improve the bicycle friendly designation from the League of American Bicyclists.
In a partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the College of William & Mary, the city aims to construct a Monticello Avenue multi-use path. The goal is to have this path, featuring bike paths and sidewalks, eventually extend from the college campus to Midtown Row.
There are also plans to design bicycle and pedestrian connectivities along Capitol Landing Road, in the Northeast Triangle corridor. This would connect the tourism zone to close-by residential areas, downtown and the historic district.
Sports Williamsburg Initiative
It’s no secret that Williamsburg tops countless rankings of the best vacation spots in the country. The Historic Triangle offers an unmatched combination of history, attractions and activities that will amuse every type of vacationer—even sports lovers.
Recently, the Greater Williamsburg area played host to a number of sporting events and competitions. In 2017, the area hosted 69 different groups from across the country, generating between $9-11 million, including the National Softball Association, Capital Lacrosse and Virginia Legacy Soccer.
The City of Williamsburg, James City County and York County offer so many opportunities when it comes to hosting athletic events. With landscaped parks and fields, rivers and state-of-the-art complexes throughout the area, as well as the facilities and grounds on the campus of the College of William and Mary, there’s a home for several types of sporting events.
Sports Williamsburg, a regional initiative, is ready to assist with hosting even more athletic competitions, sports camps and more. In 2016, nearly $10.5 billion were spent in the sports tourism industry in the United States, according to the National Association of Sports Commissions. Williamsburg is one of the many cities tapping into the sports tourism industry.
Sports Williamsburg markets the area’s sport facility resources and assists in bringing sporting events to the Greater Williamsburg area, as part of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance.