The Collegian
Friday, August 12, 2022

Quirk Hotel offers new lodging option for Ring Dance weekend

<p>Quirk Hotel is located on West Broad Street in the heart of downtown Richmond.</p>

Quirk Hotel is located on West Broad Street in the heart of downtown Richmond.

Though Ring Dance has long been associated with the traditional Southern charm of The Jefferson Hotel, there’s a fresh coat of paint in town.

Quirk Hotel, which opened September 2015, was on the list of suggested lodging for families of junior women as they travel to Richmond for Ring Dance. As The Jefferson continues its second and final year of room renovations, Quirk, within walking distance of The Jefferson, was an alternative place to stay for families of students.

Quirk Hotel, owned by Katie and Ted Ukrop, was born out of Quirk Gallery, which opened 10 years ago. Getting more than just local buzz, the hotel (and gallery, by association) has been featured in Travel & Leisure and The Wall Street Journal. The emphasis on original, local art plus an in-house gallery is what really makes Quirk stand out, said gallery employee Lucy Gillis.

“Especially in Richmond, we were the first hotel to feature art as a major component of the hotel,” Gillis said. “We bought so much local art.”

The artwork is the true essence of the hotel. While the walls of the lobby are painted a stark white, pops of original pieces by local artists dot the walls. Echoing the lobby, each one of the 75 guest rooms has its own unique paintings as well. The building with its original arches, which was built as the J.B. Mosby Department Store in 1916, is still “really fresh,” Gillis said.

True to its name, Quirk is full of interesting, off-beat details. Every bed in the hotel is made of old wooden floor joists, salvaged from the original building. While each room is slightly different, there are only two paint colors used: Gray Owl, a muted gray, and Love & Happiness, a ballet pink, said guest services’ Tommy Legg. The quirkiness of the hotel is tied together by these recurring colors.

The hotel restaurant, Maple & Pine, is a hit with both tourists and locals. | Photo by Caroline Utz

For those wanting to continue the Ring Dance festivities late into the night, the bar is open until midnight, but the bartenders can be persuaded to stay open if there are enough guests, said Elizabeth Kuhlman, front desk manager. The restaurant, Maple & Pine, and subsequent bar is a hit with both tourists and locals.

“It’s always so lively with the restaurant,” Gillis said. “I can be working in the gallery and hear the crowd that’s formed by the bar and restaurant.”

Since its opening during the UCI Road World Championships, Quirk has seen a mix of corporate guests and tourists of all ages, Kuhlman said.

“In fact, many guests stay here for events at The Jefferson since it’s just blocks away,” Kuhlman said.

Though the hotel did not have a block of rooms reserved for Ring Dance attendees, it is completely booked the weekend of the big event. For families staying the weekend, Gillis recommends a walking food tour that begins in the hotel every Saturday morning. Right across the street stands Virginia Repertory Theatre, and there are also many hip, vintage stores in the area.

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The hotel's in-house gallery features artwork by many local artists. | Photo by Caroline Utz

Contact reporter Caroline Utz at caroline.utz@richmond.edu. 

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