This story ran as part of a VCU Student Media Center summer special publication, The Compass, which serves as a guidebook for new students.
Georgia Geen, Executive Editor
None of them are pristine, and some might be overpriced, but corner stores are an integral part of living in a city. Maybe it’s because of all the food deserts.
Richmond’s convenience stores don’t compare to the bodegas of New York, but they’re still great for odds and ends or the occasional late-night snack. Here’s a guide to some of the best locations closest to you, in no particular order.
Lombardy Market at 201 N. Lombardy St. is about a 10-minute walk from the Monroe Park Campus, but if you live nearby or find yourself walking through the Fan in need of a snack or a drink, it’s a good bet. Its deli items, including croissants, sandwiches and desserts, are reasonably priced. Other offerings include beer and wine, cereals, frozen meals, drinks and other basic groceries. The truly dedicated customer will pick up a Lombardy Market T-shirt, available at the store.
7-Eleven isn’t really a corner store because it’s a chain, OK, I know. But there are so many — five to be exact — within walking distance of the Monroe Park Campus that it’d be a shame not to mention them. While the VCU community is still reeling from the closure of the on-campus West Broad location last summer, the coffee, taquitos, hot dogs, Big Gulps and grocery items still bring affordable joy to many a student. If you’re an avid visitor, downloading the 7-Eleven rewards app and collecting points will get you the occasional free drink or taquito — if you can save your points, you might get something better. Just be prepared for long lines on Friday and Saturday nights, as most locations — especially those at 1003 W. Grace St. and 1101 W Main St. — are very popular for grabbing a six-pack before heading out.
Clay Mart is, and I couldn’t be more serious, a pillar of the VCU community. Look up the name on social media or ask an upperclassman, and you’ll learn why. The aesthetic of the original location at 801 W. Clay St. is iconic, though a new location recently popped up at 1308 W. Main St.
Honorable mention for excellent social media content goes to Broadway Market Place. Even if you never visit the store — which might be preferable given management’s strong, yet comedic, disdain for VCU and its students — give the Facebook page a like. The memes are great.