I'll be honest, my last visit to a museum involved 45 minutes perusing the art and two hours dining. Come to find out, Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Art has an exceptional restaurant. And having a place to sit and mull over the work I'd just seen with my family made the museum-going experience all the better.
Perhaps, on a much smaller scale, the same will be true at the Gibbes now that The Daily has soft opened. Essentially a baby Daily, the new space takes over the short-lived Gibbes Cafe.
The space sits adjacent to the renovated museum's gift shop but in contrast to the Gibbes' sterile whitewash, The Daily stands out with a turquoise paint job. Artist Becca Barnet, along with her Sisal Creative co-designer Kaleigh Hastings, were enlisted to decorate the space and she's done so in her typical clever fashion. From a glance, what appears to be a dramatic oil painting of some aristocratic dead guy is actually a snipped image that Barnet has transformed fringe leather jacket style.
Another oil painting is inverted with the head of the woman cut out and hanging upside down out of the frame, while another is a painting of a child with his eyes painted to match the wall color. It's a refreshing bit of playfulness in the staid entryway of the 113 year old museum.
But you don't have to be visiting the museum to stop in. The cafe is open to the public, just take a hard left upon entering.
As for the menu, it's what you'd expect from owner Michael Shemtov's team — avocado toast (duh), yogurt parfait, chia bowl, green salad, and a roast beef sandwich. A shortened version of Butcher & Bee's mezze is also available including whipped feta, hummus, pickles, and beets.
Barnet cut the painting into fringes
Coffee service is also similar to the original Daily along with a pour over bar featuring Black Tap Coffee. Shemtov says The Daily at the Gibbes is working on adding a real bar as well so that diners can have a glass of wine with their lunch.
The Daily at the Gibbes will be open during the Museum's hours. For now that means 10 a.m.-3 p.m. this week and closed Sunday and Monday. Beginning April 2, The Daily at the Gibbes' hours will be 8 a.m.-3 p.m. except Wednesdays when it will be open till 8 p.m. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sundays.
The menu will expand once the cafe is officially open