A Primer on The UVA Corner

The Corner in Charlottesville at night

What is The Corner?

The Corner is a center for social gatherings conveniently located near the University of Virginia’s Central Grounds. It’s been the center since The University was founded in 1819, and has long been fertile ground for leisure innovation. Whether stopping for a quick bite to eat between classes or looking for a night out in Charlottesville, The Corner is the perfect meeting spot. The people-watching is among the best in town. 

Since the creation of the University of Virginia, The Corner operated as the town’s primary commercial and residential district. Students designated this name after the corner formed by the entrance of U.Va.’s grounds and the main road. For the University’s first students, this shopping center conveniently featured grocers, barbers, tailors, shoemakers, and druggists. These shops supplied students with a variety of objects such as furniture, lamp oil, blank books, tobacco, boots, and hot baths. In 2001 local historian Coy Barefoot wrote an excellent history of The Corner, which you may find on Elliewood at Heartwood Books.

Since the early days, The Corner evolved to form five city blocks of bustling activity. Whether at night or during the day, visitors are sure to experience a lively atmosphere that resonates the feeling of our vibrant college town. While visiting this favorite spot for students and locals, guests can find a variety of shops including bookstores, gift shops, restaurants, and residences. The Virginian restaurant, the oldest eatery in Charlottesville, and Mincer’s Pipe Shop remain two very popular destinations. Looking for local eateries near the U.Va. grounds? Check out the Charlottesville Guide’s Restaurants Listings here.