Word on the Street

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By Abigail Jurk

This new year is taking off. It seems like just yesterday we were Christmas shopping, and now February is passing by in the blink of an eye. If you’re feeling too busy to keep up with your social life, here are a few ideas of places to check out for a good time:

WHAT’S NEW: If you need to add a little sweetness to your life, the Sugar Shack is for you. Last month, this Richmond favorite opened a new location at 804 N. Henry St. Featuring handmade donuts with creative frosting flavors (maple-bacon, vanilla Heath bar, and strawberry cheesecake — just to name a few), this place can satisfy any sweet tooth.

The flavors change daily, so you never know what new tasty treat you might find. The donuts are reasonably priced (from $1.55 to $3.05), so it’s easy to try a few different flavors, and while you’re there you can also enjoy a cup of coffee from Zeke’s, a local D.C. roaster.

The environment is calm and casual: chalkboards adorn the walls for younger guests (or artistic older ones); popular music plays in the background and the staff is friendly and upbeat. The Sugar Shack is a perfect idea for a laid-back time out with a friend, or just somewhere to relax with a good book.

WHAT’S THE DEAL: Laporta’s Restaurant and Jazz Lounge has been a quiet neighborhood gem for 28 years. But now, the secret is out. Located at 1600 Duke St., Laporta’s has everything you could want for a night out, including great deals.

The restaurant specializes in American cuisine with an Italian influence. On Monday and Tuesday nights, Laporta’s offers a special: two entrees from a special menu and a bottle of wine for $28.99. The entree options include pastas, fresh fish, roasted half-chicken and more. If you’re someone who likes wine, you can upgrade to almost any bottle on the extensive wine list for half price when participating in the special.

If you can’t make it out on a Monday or Tuesday night, but still want to stay on a budget, visit Laporta’s for happy hour. Served in their lounge area from 3 to 7 p.m. are discounted cocktails, beer and wine, as well as a half-price food menu called “The Classics Menu.”

This menu features a more laid back style of cuisine, such as chicken wings, burgers and individual flatbread pizzas. Although the food is more casual than the style Laporta’s is known for, it loses none of the tastiness that its guests have come to love.

While you’re enjoying dinner at Laporta’s you’ll also be enjoying live music. The restaurant features live jazz music in their dining room every evening: everything from solo pianists to ensembles. Many of the acts include vocalists, although a few are instrumental only. There is no cover charge; simply enjoy the music while you dine.

With everything Laporta’s Restaurant and Jazz Lounge has to offer, it’s one of the best deals around.

To request a place, event or special be featured in Word on the Street, contact Abigail Jurk at [email protected]

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