By Walter Hickey
Although New Town is often written off by most students as a bit out of the way, the summer changes to the Williamsburg Transit bus lines have made it easier to travel there. New Town has much to offer, including a movie theater, dozens of designer clothing stores and what feels like more banks than Wall Street. You can get anything there from cosmetic surgery to an enlistment in the Navy. Here are some personal favorite restaurants and shops that are great for the college kid on the go.
Buffalo Wild Wings: This chain restaurant has dozens of wing sauces, some delicious, inexpensive entrees and a stocked bar. With its NFL Sunday Ticket, you’ll be able to watch your game, no matter what team you favor — and with a large helping of delicious wings. They even have outdoor seating with televisions for the time when, in a few weeks, you’re not likely to get heat stroke from the Virginia sun.
Buon Amici: One half is pizzeria, and the other half is a sit-down dining room. If you’re looking for a great slice in Williamsburg, Buon Amici is the place to start. It’s even better when the parents come to town and you want to eat something that doesn’t taste like plastic for first time in a while. They have exceptional authentic Italian cuisine, made by the folks who know it best — expatriate New Yorkers. Definitely worth the visit, but get a reservation for Family Weekend because they’ll be packed.
Center Street Grill: Here is another place you’ll want to take your family to on Family Weekend. Center Street fuses traditional tastes with innovative and unexpected flavors and combinations. In lieu of the typical bread provided before dinner, Center Street provides bruschetta on homemade wontons. Don’t skip out on appetizers either; the Philly rolls are mini cheese steaks in wontons, and the calamari is both fresh and to die for.
The Green Leafe Cafe: The New Town version of Richmond Road’s Green Leafe cafe. With Mug Night, numerous corn hole tournaments, and the same specials and quality of the very popular Richmond Road Leafe, this restaurant has the familiarity and resemblance of the Leafe, but also a convenient location with tons of outdoor seating. Try any of the large assortment of delicious burgers, but especially the Gorgonzola BBQ.
Harbour Coffee: Best coffee in Williamsburg. Great hot and cold lattes, interesting flavor combinations that completely work, fresh baked food, and some of the best paninis and wraps around. Locally owned, the store does all of the roasting and grinding in house, and the coffee quality really speaks to that. Harbour Coffee sells its freshly ground coffee as well, so take some home. A little difficult to find, but well worth the walk. Try The Hornet, a combination of the honey-flavored Aunt Bee’s Latte with a shot of refreshing espresso and hazelnut flavoring.
The Short Stop Market: A great deli that used to be right next to Aroma’s. They have awesome sandwiches made with Boar’s Head deli meat, and a pretty comprehensive bar. With loads of specials catering to the college crowd, or can excuse the distance from campus for an evening.
Authentic Guitars: The local go-to shop for guitar purchases, lessons and repairs. The selection is great — and so are the prices. It’s the perfect place to finally invest in that ukulele you’ve been yearning for, or the guitar with which you’ll certainly make a fortune busking in Colonial Williamsburg.
Barnes and Noble Booksellers: While the Barnes and Noble on Duke of Glouchester Street will probably more than satisfy your textbook needs, I like the one in New Town for its cafe, its distance from the bustle of the College, and its productive working atmosphere. It’s a great place to run to during midterms to escape the crowds of Earl Gregg Swem Library.
Conte’s Bike Shop: A bike shop for cycling enthusiasts if ever there was one. They do fast, meticulous bike repairs, and anyone who wants a bike of a higher quality than those from the William and Mary Police Department’s bike auction is sure to find something they’ll love here. Factor in the helpful staff and the variety of bikes, and Conte’s is the place for TWAMPs looking to get a more out of their daily commute.
The Comic Cubicle: New Town’s Williamsburg’s locally owned comic book store. With a vast selection of comics, graphic novels, anime and manga, The Comic Cubicle, owned by Mark Welch ’88, is a local independent shop with an incredible selection and great personality.
Computer Concepts of Williamsburg: When my computer battery inevitably died — like many, many other laptops at the College — Information Technology couldn’t fix it because the battery wasn’t under warranty. For a price significantly cheaper than expected, Computer Concepts had the correct battery. Computer Concepts can also help anyone interested in building their own computer. If your warranty is out and you have a dud sitting on your desk, give these guys a call.
New Town can be reached via the red line and Williamsburg Trolley, which runs on a half-hour loop.