Remodeling has extended the bar to seat 20 and opened up the wall that used to separate the bar from the dining area. Even on the gloomiest of days, there’s more light than ever made its way into the dark recesses of Avalon. Taps finally have been installed, all the drafts are from Virginia, and the beer list numbers more than 60.
The one screen over the kitchen entrance has given way to four big screens. Large chalkboards tout the late-night menu, the draft offerings and that you can watch football on Sundays with sound. Instead of bartenders choosing their favorite CDs and inevitable periods of silence when they got busy, like before, an upbeat, current indie mix blasts steadily, fighting with the hard surfaces to be heard. Pretty much all vestiges of Avalon have been exorcised.
The timing of Karen Newton’s generally positive review is a marker of how the media (and perhaps the restaurant scene) in Richmond are changing these days. Traditionally, restaurant reviewers give a new establishment 3 months to be open before coming to check ‘em out.
This timeline has been slipping in response to social media and increased interest. The Times-Dispatch’s restaurant critic Dana Craig wonders if this change is ok: