Once known as the Harlem of the South and Black Wall Street of America (thanks to banking pioneer Maggie Walker), Jackson Ward is home to some of the city’s most important history and culture. Second Street, or “The Deuce,” is the heart of the action. Here you’ll find black-owned businesses, renowned restaurants and the annual Second Street Festival. In terms of living spaces, Jackson Ward still has its original row houses along Marshall, Clay and Leigh Streets—all within walking distance to The Fan, Monroe Ward and downtown RVA.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Hippodrome—a gorgeous Art Deco theater that served as a safe venue for touring black performers during segregation. Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Richmond native Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and countless other legends all played on its stage. It’s still an event space today, with a speakeasy lounge that isn’t much of a speakeasy since everyone knows about it.
GWARbar, a fake-blood splattered bar and restaurant that’s the twisted brainchild of RVA’s famous gross-out metal band, GWAR. Order the Hail Seitan, Scumdogs or Grilled Pustulus and try not to think too hard about it.
CHECK IT OUT
See Jackson Ward through the eyes of different Richmonders as they show off their favorite spots.