When is the last time you were in Oregon Hill? The newest kid on the block, L’Opossum, hopes you venture out soon and return often. David Shannon serves up a culinary whirlwind in this kitsch meets 70’s glam Oregon Hill spot. We love that he pays homage to his new hood with the Hollywood Bone Yard–tender lamb “laid out in comfort with peaches and slow cooked coleslaw.” Shannon’s entire menu is likewise sprinkled with tongue-in-cheek humor. How can you not chuckle over Schadenfreude being listed as an ingredient peppering a cider braised rabbit? Be sure to order the Eldorado Low Rider (lobster taco) and throw caution to the wind and grace it with the chef’s foie gras. While you’re at it, the Limoncello Crème Brulee is a big yes in our book. 626 China St.
Many Richmonders’ sole Oregon Hill experience is eating at the iconic Mamma Zu’s. Ed Vassio’s intimate Italian restaurant has long been Richmond’s first love. They’ve even grown a charming garden out back to supply an abundance of fresh basil, peppers and tomatoes to your plates. While the tables are simple, spare, and closely spaced, and the lighting dim, Mama Zu’s focus is and always has been entirely on the food. The best approach is to grab a bottle of Montepulciano and share a few short glasses with your friends while you wait with the huddled masses. The fish dishes are extraordinary and sell out quickly. The broccolini rocks, as does the eggplant parmesan. But if it is scrawled on that chalkboard, you pretty much can’t go wrong. Most importantly, bring cash; they don’t accept cards. 501 S. Pine St.
Play ball in the corner park, or take a walk through historical Hollywood Cemetery. We saw a couple making out there the other day which struck us as odd, but no judgements. Looking for some punk vinyl? Head to Vinyl Conflict Records, 324 S. Pine St.. Bobby will most likely be spinning some vinyl behind the counter. You’ll find Richmond’s largest selection of metal rock, hardcore, punk and indie. Once you’ve got your tunes in order, get that mop cut at Pine St. Barber Shop, 334 S. Pine St.. Let the fine folks at Pine St. set you straight in their authentic shop, complete with barber’s pole outside.
Residents love the close proximity to the James River. Not only does Oregon Hill have great access to the North Bank trail and Belle Island, it also has its own independent bike shop, Bunnyhop, to set you up for a great ride. Bunnyhop can handle any repair and can give you a legit estimate for free on the best route to getting you back in the saddle. They also sell new and used bikes, if you’re looking to trade up. 349 S. Laurel St.
From obscure labels to new grips for your mountain bike, this little neighborhood has more going on than you think. So whether you are curious to try out David Shannon’s new venture, L’Opossum, or you forgot just how good Mamma Zu’s is, Oregon Hill is waiting to show you what’s up.