With its Greek dishes, including spanakopita (above) and a dip trio (below), Stella’s in Richmond placed No. 72 on a list of 100 places to eat in the United States this year from Yelp, the user-generated review website.

Richard M. “Dick” Nelms was described as a “real estate icon” and “the epitome of classic Virginia gentleman” by friends. Mr. Nelms, 82, died Monday after a brief illness. He left a huge imprint on Richmond-area real estate. He co-founded Bowers, Nelms & Fonville, which merged three decades later into Long & Foster. As Laura Lafayette, chief executive officer of the Richmond Association of Realtors said, “There was nobody in the 20th century who was more significant in real estate in Richmond than Dick Nelms. He built, along with his partners, the largest regional real estate firm that we’ve seen in central Virginia.” During his career, he also served as president of the association as well as the Virginia Association of Realtors. He was elected to the Virginia Real Estate Hall of Fame in 2008. He also was involved in the community, including serving as chairman of the American Heart Association’s Richmond operations and on the board of Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals. Our deepest sympathies to his family.


People who eat out regularly will probably tell you that Stella’s is one of their favorites Richmond restaurants. It’s so popular that scheduling reservations for the beloved Greek eatery usually needs to be done a couple of months in advance — maybe longer for special days like Valentine’s Day. For those who haven’t experienced Stella’s, rest assured — the food and the service are well worth the wait. And now, reserving a table at the venue might become even more challenging. On Tuesday, Yelp, the online business directory service and crowd-sourced review forum, released its anticipated Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. Stella’s was ranked No. 72 on the list. It was the only Richmond restaurant to earn a spot, and one of only four Virginia restaurants. We aren’t surprised — the recognition is well-deserved.

According to Yelp’s official blog, its list is “unlike any other ‘best of’ out there.” The variety of eateries that made the list include everything from highbrow, white tablecloth establishments to casual joints. Even a food truck made it on Yelp’s seventh annual list.

To determine the top dining spots in 2020, Yelp’s data science team used 2019 restaurant ratings and reviews from across the U.S., “with representation based on each place’s share of top-rated restaurants nationally, then curated the list with the expertise of our Community Managers around the country to finalize the rankings.” Stella’s is owned and operated by the Giavos family and has been in its current location at 1012 Lafayette Street since 2011. The restaurant is open daily for lunch or weekend brunch and for dinner every day except Sundays. But you better have a reservation.


The home renovation craze has reached a new extreme. DIY-minded parents, reports The Wall Street Journal, “are buying stock play kitchens for their toddlers and overhauling them with new paint, fixtures and materials to look more like the real thing.” One parent bought a play kitchen set for $90 at target.com, which was upgraded with a subway-tile backsplash, a countertop made to look like concrete and bright-red stove knobs. Cabinets were spray painted white, the fixtures matte black. Apparently gold knobs and handles are popular, as are marble-looking countertops. Play-kitchen makeovers have become a hot topic across the digital sphere. “She’ll never know the significance,” one parent said. “But when I look at it, it makes me smile every day.” So who’s the play kitchen really for?


Weather can quickly turn — with potentially fatal consequences. Just ask a California teenager who was visiting an ex-girlfriend in Utah earlier this week and decided to go for a hike. The weather was relatively mild. But that quickly changed, and what started out as a daylong trek turned into a 30-hour struggle for survival.

Nicolas Stacy-Alcantara, 17, of Fresno, took an Uber up a canyon east of Salt Lake City, according to The Associated Press. He brought six peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and 40 ounces of water with him, anticipating being back in time for dinner. But later that afternoon, it started snowing and the temperature dropped, forcing him to stop. His cellphone lost service. With his feet starting to freeze, he found a spot under a tree and built a small snow cave to avoid the wind. He set a timer on his phone to go off every 30 minutes so he wouldn’t fall asleep and potentially freeze to death. He tapped his hands against his chest to keep the blood flowing.

When daylight broke, he left his snow cave to look for help, his clothing wet and boots too frozen to tie. He eventually found other hikers, who had a satellite phone and called for help. The teen was flown out of the canyon by helicopter to University of Utah Hospital, where he has been treated for frostbite on his feet. While he said he’s still numb and in pain, he’s not expected to need any amputation.

“I’m very lucky,” he told the AP. “I shouldn’t even be alive right now.”

— Pamela Stallsmith and Robin Beres

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