Apr 5, 2024 - Culture

Révéler may be the coolest bar in Carytown, and it's definitely the weirdest

the outside of a building with golden skeletons and gold trim

Révéler is open nightly at 3108 W. Cary St. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

In the middle of Carytown, just a few doors down from Can Can and across the street from The Jasper, is Révéler.

  • Its windows advertise an art, food and drink, and live music something that seems to dare passersby to enter.

Why it matters: We dared. We entered.

The big picture: Révéler is everything the words on the windows promise and so much more.

  • The venue is open nightly for a rotating calendar of live entertainment, immersive experiences and cocktails and snacks.
a stage surrouned by little tables
The stage and main seating. Photo: Karri Peifer/ Axios

Flashback: Co-owners Josh Czarda and Christina Pearlman — the duo behind local escape rooms Escape Room RVA and Gnome & Raven — opened Révéler in 2022 with the goal of reimagining date night, event director Sarah-Pete Petersen tells Axios.

  • It was supposed to introduce Richmonders to experiences they'd never had before with hands-on, immersive activities (like painting and tattooing a dummy) set up in different themed rooms throughout the space, but the concept never really took off.

So last year Révéler partnered with Orbital Music Park to bring in live shows — but kept the themed rooms and escape room vibe from its origin.

  • "That's when the magic started to happen," Petersen says.
A worktable surrounded by funky lamps
Want to paint or draw? Just grab a seat. Or an easel. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

Zoom in: Now, Révéler offers something different every night, the kind of events you can't find anywhere else.

  • Live shows include blues, jazz, reggae, comedy, funk, soul, pop and more. The calendar changes weekly, but tickets are generally $10-$15.
  • The luxury couches and velvet club chairs from the spot's first iteration are now the show seating.
  • High Tea and Treachery — a 90-minute "escape-style" puzzle experience with tea and snacks — happens every Sunday at 3:30pm for $39 per person.
  • Other events include karaoke, writing and drawing workshops, burlesque, cabaret, late-night "witching hour" story telling, and dance parties.

Yes, but: Révéler's biggest secret is its simplest. A weekday happy hour when the doors are always open, house wine and beer, and a few specialty cocktails are just $5 from 5-7pm.

  • It's also when Révéler celebrates "creative hours," and guests can roam the space and try out the hands-on activities, like light art workshops, adding to the wishing tree and even jamming out on a piano.
A metalic  wishing tree the size of a real tree
The wishing tree will take your wishes every day of the week. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

The space, Petersen says, is whatever visitors need it to be, as long as they are mindful of Révéler's motto: "Be cool, listen and be brave."

  • So what do you say, Richmond? Are you ready to be brave?
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