11/18/2010 * The Hook [ full story ]
Crozet, the small village to the west, has ambitions.
Two decades ago it was known mostly for Mint Springs Valley Park and Crozet Pizza, the quirky, family-owned restaurant that was recently selected as one of the top 51 pizza parlors in the country by USA Today. Since then, however, the village with a population around 3,000 has grown in stature, welcoming the ambitious Crozet Master Plan in 2001, Starr Hill Brewery, Old Trail Village, the production of the Hollywood film Evan Almighty (which included the construction of an “ark” and visits from giraffes and elephants), various other popular eateries like Cocina del Sol, Jarman’s Gap, and the Mudhouse; the Crozet Music Festival, the Blue Ridge Shopping Center anchored by a Harris Teeter, an ACAC, and the brand-spankin’ new $10 million Crozet library soon to be built.
Charlottesville’s reputation as an attractive location over the same period, no doubt, has led to an interest in Crozet, which still remains relatively undeveloped, a new frontier that might harken back to Charlottesville’s earlier days, when UVA students weren’t even sure where the Downtown Mall was, and before we started making those number-one-places-to-live lists.