Big news in the Charlottesville chocolate world that, like chocolate itself can be, is bittersweet. But, as Big Head Todd and the Monsters would say, it’s definitely “more sweet than bitter.”
The bitter part? Gearharts Fine Chocolates, a fixture at Main Street Market for more than a decade, is moving. Construction is underway on a new space in Vinegar Hill shopping center (next to Staples), where the world-class, and hugely acclaimed, chocolatier plans to move soon. “It is a decision we did not take lightly,” said owner Tim Gearhart, “but in the end we decided it would be best to keep the production and retail together.”
The sweet part? The move will allow Gearharts to expand its offerings significantly. For example? “The best and most decadent chocolate cake,” said Gearhart, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and former pastry chef of Hamiltons’ at First & Main. The new Gearharts will have a cafe with chocolate pastries, desserts, and an open display kitchen where guests can sit and watch chocolate being made while sipping a cup of coffee or, better yet, a glass of wine. There will even be a private room for classes and events like bridal showers and other parties. “We are not trying to reinvent, just expand the footprint a little,” said Gearhart.
Stay tuned on Facebook for details as they emerge. For now, expect an opening late this year or early 2016. And, don’t worry, you can still get your Maya, Criolla, and other favorite chocolates in the meantime at their original location in the Main Street Market.