Upstairs, Downstairs,
All Around Charlottesville's “Corner”

By Patricia B. Mitchell, 1991.


Littlejohn's on the Corner (2005 photo).

A bevy of appealing shops and restaurants line a walkable area of Charlottesville, Virginia, known as the Corner. This section of University Street and Elliewood, near the University of Virginia, appeals to the tastes (and pocketbooks) of students, tourists, and locals.

Especially abundant here are worthwhile, not-overly-expensive lunch places. Armand's Chicago Style Pizza, for example, offers a satisfactory “all-you-can-eat” pizza and salad bar from noon until 2 p. m. for $4.49. The College Inn sells an excellent, filling, full-of-meat gyro for $3.45. (A satisfying dinner of lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, etc., can also be had.) The dependable Subway chain offers its selection of submarines under the jolly yellow sign. For a more diverse sandwich menu one can choose the upstairs dining area of Macado's or the downstairs facility of Littlejohn's.

The Macher family, a mother and two sons, own the Macado (pronounced like “MacAdoo”) chain of about a dozen gourmet and wine shop-deli businesses dotting college towns in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina, which offer hand-dipped ice cream, stylish cakes and chocolates, coffee beans, Virginia wines, and other such "souvenir" or specialty foods.

Upstairs at the Charlottesville Macado's diners can sit in booths, some of which utilize handsome old bed headboards as the booth backs. The cutely named sandwiches such as the Turkey Trot (my favorite: white turkey breast and melted Muenster, dressed, on French bread) and the Diamond Jim (rare roast beef and melted Finlandia Swiss) are top-notch and average $4.50. The tuna salad is unusually good. Dozens of other fancy sandwiches are available, and lasagna, salads, etc. Our waiter, Mark Louderback, suggested brownie pie for dessert, but we were just too sated to enjoy this “death-by-chocolate” delight.

Down the street at 1427 University Avenue the doors of Littlejohn's are always open. At breakfast, mammoth hot blueberry muffins tempt the palate, along with bagels, bran muffins, and nut-studded muffins. One goes through a fast-moving line to order. Friendly owner John Crafaik makes one feel right at home. What really inspires confidence in Littlejohn's continued success is that upon our return hours later the owner/host is still overseeing the operation and still smiling.

John suggested some of his most popular sandwiches, one being a number called “5-E-Z Pieces” (ham, turkey, bacon, Muenster cheese, on pumpernickel). The Italian Stallion sub, Wild Turkey, and Littlejohn Special are also commendable; and the traditional Reuben, steak and cheese, and various subs are perennial favorites. Most of the sandwiches cost under $4.00. Salads, soups, cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, and ice cream or yogurt comes are also available.

How comforting to know that hunger can be kept at bay with Littlejohn's open 24 hours a day!