Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Quick Lunch

113 Hopewell Street

Hopewell, VA 23860
(804) 458-6526

How it was

How it is now

            As many of you probably know by now, I LOVE dumpy little hole-in-the -wall restaurants. There are not many places that fit this category as well as Hopewell’s Quick Lunch does. Quick Lunch has been in the paper a lot over the past couple of years with owner changes, tax problems and closings but I am happy to say that Quick Lunch is once again open for business no matter how little that business may now be.

            Walking into Quick Lunch, I quickly realized that while it looks the exact same way it did a year ago and probably 30 years ago it is a completely different place. While normally at noon the place would be crawling with people and be filled with talking, laughter and general gaiety today it was dead silent with only one other patron in the whole place. For those that don’t know, Hopewell’s Quick Lunch has been a Hopewell staple for years just as much as the plants and the general feeling of gloom and sorrow. It is a typical lunch place with a bit of extra dark and dankness thrown in to make sure you know you are in Hopewell. It consists of a long lunch counter with stools and a few tables and booths. On the walls hang pictures from Hopewell’s glory days, mostly clippings from newspapers about sports team victories. Behind the counter there is a shelf that holds a varied collection of College stickers and cups. I still need to remember to bring in some CNU stuff because we are missing from the shelf.

            Quick lunch only serves breakfast and lunch and closes by 2pm. The menu ranges from brains and eggs to the 2nd best hot dogs in Central Virginia, according to a newspaper poll taken a couple of years back. But since the best Hotdogs reside in over an hour away in Victoria, VA at Timmy’s Grocery the 2nd best hotdogs hit the spot just fine. As always I ordered a hotdog all the way with slaw. This is so popular it was even a question on Jeopardy ( I think it helped that one of its writers was from Hopewell). A hot dog all the way with slaw includes chili, mustard, onions and of course cole slaw, not exactly all the way in my mind but it is good.  Back in the day because of a very friendly waitress, you could get two all the way with slaws, fries and a drink for $2.00; I believe this is part of the reason for its financial problems. Today it costs that much for a single hotdog which is a little high for a hot dog but a very reasonable price to relive your childhood and keep a piece of Hopewell history alive, at least for the time being.

            Just like everything else except for the people behind the counter the hot dog was just as good as ever. Freshly cooked with sweet homemade chili, just enough mustard and onions to taste but not overwhelm and topped off with sweet slaw that brings it all together. But just like always the bun still gets extremely soggy, extremely fast so I had to quickly gobble it down before it got all over my suit.

            No matter who owns it, Quick Lunch will always be a Hopewell a tradition and one that people keep close to their hearts. Other restaurants will come and go, Quick Lunch with probably close down again in the future but rest assured that there will always be someone looking to reclaim a piece of their childhood to reopen it and keep it the exact same as its always been and always will be.

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