Cheers and Tears

I remember the days of my early 20s when going out for any particular beverage at any particular place (after what I thought then was a long day of work) was considered “happy hour.” In reality, it was just drinks. Locations were chosen based on proximity, convenience and familiarity, not prices or perks, although my friends and I would have been well served at that time to do our pocketbooks a favor. We did choose one place based on free cupcakes so that was smart, but generally “happy hour” was a loosely defined term we threw around to mean “grabbing drinks.”

In this issue, we take happy hour much more seriously. The list on page 50, curated and researched by Jennifer Casseday-Blair, is nearly scientific. Whether it’s free food, a dog-friendly menu or wine pairings, we found the top shelf of the top shelf. In fact, we took this list so seriously, one establishment was thrown off the list just days before going to press after a less-than-perfect experience. So, take a picture of these trusty 10 and keep it in your iPhone for the next time you and coworkers are salivating over the idea of a mid-week thirst quencher.

The second feature in this issue embraces another personal favorite of mine, interiors. Writer Jocelyn Tatum found the perfect Monticello remodel. She spoke to the homeowners, design firm and builder to bring you every detail of the process in the feature, Color Story on page 62. Jocelyn gives us a glimpse inside the mind of Beckley Design Studio and reveals a team of two that knows how to transform a house into a home that truly tells a story.

Finally, I usually only call out features in this letter, but I must acknowledge the Goodwill story on page 76. I’ve read it more times than I can count, and it has brought more tears to my eyes than I can count. If you’re an animal lover, this story, by writer Gail Bennison, is a must-read. It will restore your faith in humanity, it will probably make you adopt a dog and it will definitely make you cry.

Good luck,
Kendall Louis
Executive Editor