Shop, dine and sightsee along Bedford and Rivermont Avenues
One of the nation’s earliest planned communities dating back to 1891, Rivermont was built along the meandering curves of the James River and Blackwater Creek. Today, the historic neighborhood, and Rivermont Avenue is more popular than ever with shops, restaurants and thoughtful developments, all a stone’s throw away from Riverside Park and Randolph College.
2204 BEDFORD AVENUE
The mid-century former Dr. Pepper Bottling plant at 2204 Bedford Avenue is Lynchburg’s newest shopping and dining destination. Within the 19,000-square-foot building, visitors find a fine-dining restaurant, bakery and shops in a chic, industrial setting.
Featured in Garden & Gun, Scratch Pasta offers high-end food provisions, kitchen products and handcrafted pasta made in Lynchburg. Flour District specializes in European-style artisanal pastries, cakes and macarons, not to mention a full coffee and espresso bar. Enroll in a wine tasting or painting workshop, or book a private cooking class, perfect for a girls’ night out or creative date night.
At Truss, Chef Wray Warner raises the bar with gourmet Southern specialties offered for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch. Start with a fresh cocktail and a small plate for the table before tucking into a meal of seafood, pasta or pork belly with all the accoutrements.
Rivermont Refillery promotes sustainability by reducing plastic waste and offering bulk refills of home and personal care products. “Our location could not be more perfect because our neighborhood is diverse in age, race and socio-economic levels,” says Jill Fees, owner of Rivermont Refillery. “Our customers care about their environmental impact, and it’s wonderful talking to them about what they are doing to impact our community and beyond.”
Oliver Russell, avid fisherman and founder of Marsh Roots Seafood, brings in fresh and sustainable seafood twice a week from the Virginia and North Carolina coast. The shop got its start at the Lynchburg Community Market and recently opened its own storefront. “Bedford Avenue is a really cool spot with a lot of potential and so many businesses popping up,” says manager Eric Clark. “We absolutely love it here.”
Since opening in 2018, Golf Park Coffee has become the go-to for college students and young professionals. Set up your laptop in the cool, industrial space while sipping a great cup of coffee, roasted in Virginia.
Magnolia Foods offers a wide selection of beer and wine, as well as a gourmet deli. Stop in for a Friday wine tasting or check the calendar for a wine pairing dinner.
Saturdays are especially festive at The Dahlia, where brunch is served from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Order the chicken and waffles; then enjoy a complimentary mimosa or Bloody Mary on the patio as you take in the neighborhood vibe.
A favorite local watering hole and burger joint, The Cavalier Store is filled with old license plates, college pendants and loads of nostalgia. This dive bar is a staple to Rivermont Avenue.
Another Lynchburg mainstay, Rivermont Pizza is always a crowd pleaser with build-your-own pizzas with dozens of toppings. Linger longer on one of their popular trivia nights or stay for the live music.
Satisfy your sweet tooth next door at Rookie’s, featuring handcrafted ice cream and freshly baked cookies. For the best of both, order a gourmet ice cream sandwich or a flight of four mini scoops with four cookie bites.
WHAT TO SEE
Riverside Park is one of the most beloved spots in Lynchburg. Completed in 1932 and recently refurbished, the historic overlook affords wonderful views of the James River and beyond. With 49 acres of rolling hills and open spaces, Riverside Park is also home to playgrounds, walking trails and a historic train exhibit. It’s located just off of Rivermont Avenue.
Nearby, Hollins Mill Park provides access to the Blackwater Creek Trail. Meandering along Blackwater Creek, the 3-mile paved trail was built along an abandoned railway bed, becoming a destination for joggers, walkers and cyclists.
Nestled between Riverside Park and Rivermont Avenue, Randolph College is worth a visit. The small liberal arts college is nationally ranked as a top 10 green college for its dedication to the environment. With free admission, The Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College features works by notable artists like John James Audubon, Mary Cassatt, Alexander Calder, William Merritt Chase and Salvador Dalí.
“The Rivermont area has grown tremendously in the past few years and has become a vibrant, energetic, yet safe area,” says Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations at Randolph College. “The variety of restaurants and shops means there is something for everyone, from pizza at Rivermont Pizza to deli items at Magnolia, and we are looking forward to the continued development nearby.”
By Laura Lee