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Perched on the south side of the James River, Old Town Manchester demonstrates how seamlessly industrialization can give way to gentrification without losing any of the district’s character. This neighborhood once served as the downtown area of the independent city of Manchester, just south of Richmond on the river’s opposite shore. Old Town Manchester blends modern amenities and artsy class into this formerly blue-collar district.

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59 Walk Score® Somewhat Walkable
0 Transit Score® Minimal Transit
0 Bike Score® Somewhat Bikeable

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Restaurants

You don’t have to go hungry as you stroll through the streets of Old Town Manchester. Seafood, soul food and central Virginia’s oldest microbrewery top the list of eateries designed to satisfy even the finickiest craving.

Croaker’s Spot manages to combine the first two categories flawlessly, dubbing itself “The Soul of Seafood.” Sample the best of the Old South with Shrimp and Grits, featuring shrimp sautéed with peppers, onions and mushrooms spiced up with a dash of Worcestershire, framing a mound of cheddar ranch grits and a chunk of cornbread. Sandwich lovers can muscle up to the Oyster or Kielbasa Po Boy, and vegetarians have nothing to fear here, with their own veggie Po Boy, veggie chili or veggie rice to choose from.

If you like a juicy steak with your seafood, head down to Old Original Bookbinder’s, located in historic Tobacco Row, where history and atmosphere compete with an impressive array of meats and seafood. From pan-seared rockfish served over a medley of pecan wild rice finished with a horseradish-crème fraîche emulsion, to the Ultimate Surf and Turf, featuring a grilled 12-ounce filet, broiled lobster tail and jumbo lump crab cake, your call for treasures of the sea is amply answered.

If pub fare and upmarket brews tickle your fancy, turn down 7th Street to Legend Brewing Company, where brewmasters have been supplying Richmond natives and visitors with true premium beers since 1994. Pick a winner with the Best of the Wurst platter, combining your choice of two types of sausage - bratwurst, andouille, or kielbasa - and two sides; favorites include jalapeño apple coleslaw and brown ale sauerkraut.

If the nightlife at Old Town Manchester’s restaurants doesn’t keep you entertained, the James River’s north shore provides numerous opportunities. Cross the river to Cha Cha’s Cantina, known for its Southwestern menu, margaritas and lively late-night scene. This local favorite has a reputation as a good place to party.

History

Originally the separate town of Manastoh and later Rocky Ridge, Manchester’s port served slave ships in the 18th century, and shipped coal and tobacco out across the state. This former independent city merged with Richmond in 1910.

History and culture form an important part of Old Town Manchester’s identity. The Richmond Railroad Museum, established at the Hull Street Station by the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, allows visitors to view railroad artifacts, a steam saddle locomotive, baggage car and caboose.

Bainbridge Art Center, ArtSpace contemporary art gallery, Original Paintings by Robert Joyner gallery and Gloria Clifford Tropical Island Art provide a variety of artistic expressions for the art lover. While Manchester hosts no festivals of its own, just across the river in downtown Richmond, jazz, folk and wine festivals occur along with other events throughout the year.

Transportation

Old Town Manchester presents as somewhat walkable and also has good access to the Greater Richmond Transit Company bus service with numerous transit stops. While downtown Richmond has a few taxi stands, hailing a cab does not present a viable option in Old Town Manchester, so it’s best to keep a cab company’s phone number handy if cabbing appeals to you. Uber operates there, too. Public parking doesn't come readily available as in downtown Richmond, but street parking does exist, and many businesses have their own parking lots. This area’s proximity to downtown means highways crisscross the neighborhood, providing easy access to anywhere you want to go. A bike path runs through part of a continuous park system along several miles of the river.

Cost

Cost of living attracts residents to this neighborhood with an 8 percent lower index than the Richmond average. Local bus fares maintain reasonable rates at $1.50 for adults and children five and older, half that rate for seniors, the disabled and Medicare card holders. Rent for a one-bedroom residence runs you around $845 a month. Gas prices compare favorably to national figures, running 6 percent less on average. Raising a glass at the local pub sets you back about $4 a pint.

Shopping

While Old Town Manchester doesn’t have a central shopping area or major high-end stores, there are still some specialty businesses to amuse the senses. Blue Bee Cider, located in the turn-of-the-20th-century Aragon Coffee Building on West 6th Street, produces seasonal artisanal ciders. Tour their facility for free, then drop in the cozy tasting room for $1 mouthfuls or $6 glasses of their current cider.

If coffee wins as your preferred libation, Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company, nestled in a cozy white brick building on the corner of 7th and Bainbridge Streets, should pique your interest. Visit the Roast Lab, share a cup of java with the team, and take some fragrant beans home with you.

Grocery shopping opportunities run the gamut in Old Town Manchester, from the small gourmet selection at Camden's Dogtown Market -- an adjunct to the made-from-scratch cuisine available at the Market’s restaurant -- to the lower-end neighborhood markets such as Max Market on Hull Street and Maury Food Market, holdovers from the neighborhood’s more industrial, blue-collar days. You can also head across the river to Farm Fresh for your other essentials.

There aren’t any farmers markets in Old Town Manchester, but many can be found close by. One of the most popular, South of the James Market on West 42nd Street, tantalizes the taste buds with locally grown veggies and fruits, cheeses and meats. The best item of all, however, according to many shoppers, remains Mrs. Yoder’s Donuts, worth standing in line for.

Parks

Floodwall Park provides Old Town Manchester residents with the chance to stay active and appreciate nature. Popular with hikers, runners, bird watchers and kayakers, this free park’s Floodwall Walk also stretches along the river, providing a popular fishing spot for anglers. The eastern end of the Floodwall Walk connects with the Richmond Slave Trail, a popular historical offering in this area. The park hosts no formal exercise classes, but runners and bikers can use the Floodwall to connect the Manchester Climbing Wall to the 14th Street Bridge above the river.

Dogs must be kept on leashes in all Richmond parks, except for dog parks. A nominal dog park does exist in Manchester. Side Lot Dog Park on Cowardin Avenue lives up to its name: an empty, fenced lot where patrons can bring Fido for a run. Expect no amenities and avoid disappointment.

Old Town’s parks do not host any events, but outdoor events such as music festivals can be found across the river in the Richmond downtown area, an easy drive or bus ride from this neighborhood.

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Old Town Manchester Apartments for Rent

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City View Lofts
411-611 Bainbridge St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 89
New
$999 - 1,499 1-2 Bed Available Now
804-729-8525
Plant 1 Apartments
403 Stockton St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 26
2 hrs
Call for Rent 1-3 Bed Available Soon
804-621-0458
The South Bank
307 Stockton St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 45
New
$995 - 1,548 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-215-3652
Terraces at Manchester
800 Semmes Ave, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 112
New
$1,050 - 3,605 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-615-8171
Hopper Lofts
700 Everett St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 26
1 wk
$899 - 1,299 1-2 Bed Available Now
804-277-2805
New Manchester Flats
715 E 4th St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 37
1 wk
$749 - 1,314 1-2 Bed Available Now
844-468-9443
Miller Lofts @ Plant Zero
500 Stockton St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 / 24
2 wks
Call for Rent 1-3 Bed Available Soon
866-954-9943
Lofts at Commerce
700 Stockton St, Richmond, VA 23224
2 hrs
$733 - 1,257 1-3 Bed Available Now
804-441-8731
Commons @ Plant Zero
7 E 2nd St, Richmond, VA 23224
1 wk
Call for Rent 1-2 Bed Available Soon
844-381-3580
City View Lofts
2 wks
Textile Lofts @ Plant Zero
601 Stockton St, Richmond, VA 23224
Call for Rent 1-2 Bed Available Soon
804-495-0328
500 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$865 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
500 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$1,015 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
Plant 1 Apartments
203 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$915 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
203 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$845 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
203 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$1,315 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
203 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$945 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
203 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$1,025 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 day
The South Bank
500 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$915 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 wk
500 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$865 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 wk
500 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$1,015 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 wk
203 Hull St
Richmond, VA 23224
$925 Condo for Rent Available Now
1 wk

Apartments for Rent in Old Town Manchester, Richmond, VA

Perched on the south side of the James River, Old Town Manchester demonstrates how seamlessly industrialization can give way to gentrification without losing any of the district’s character. This neighborhood once served as the downtown area of the independent city of Manchester, just south of Richmond on the river’s opposite shore. Old Town Manchester blends modern amenities and artsy class into this formerly blue-collar district.

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