The Corner

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The Corner primarily refers to the Corner district, a neighborhood and planning area adjacent to UVA. The Corner may also refer to WCNR, a radio station branded as such.


UVA Students walking on the Corner commercial district.

The Corner or The University Corner is seven city blocks neighboring the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, stretching from Chancellor Street to 12 ½ st NW. The commercial district runs along University Avenue and is bounded by The Graduate Hotel in the east and Bank of America in the west. The modern day Corner features shops including bookstores, gift shops, restaurants, banks, and some residences, which are mostly located north of the Corner. Restaurants on the corner include Marco and Luca Dumpling Store, Christian’s, Bodo’s, Mellow Mushroom, The White Spot, The Virginian, Take it Away Sandwich, Kuma Sushi Noodles and Bar, and many others. [1]


The name “the Corner” comes from the corner that was formed between the original shops/bookstores, the main entrance to Grounds, and the road to downtown Charlottesville.The first official building on the Corner was built in 1856 called Temperance Hall; it can no longer be seen on the corner, but throughout the 19th century offered room for the Student Temperance Movement, University Bookstore, and the original UVA Post Office. This may come as a surprise to some, but the corner in the 1850’s was founded by the UVA Student temperance society to keep students close to the University instead of going to downtown Charlottesville to buy alcohol.

Image of the UVA Corner taken in 1987.

14th Street Bridge

In the summer of 1901 laborers worked to dig out both sides of the C&O Railroad tracks by the east end of the Corner and grade 14th street to meet the new, lower level of the intersection. The newly built trestle marked the original city limits of Charlottesville from the University and Albemarle County. The trestle can still be seen today at the 14th street and University Ave intersection with its surprisingly low 10-foot clearance. This bridge continues to change truck drivers’ routes as there have been multiple incidents of trucks getting stuck under this old bridge. [2]

Important Addresses

1519 University Ave

Raising Cane’s, a growing chicken fast food restaurant, announced the opening of a new store on the corner at 1519 University. Cane’s took the place of Sheetz which closed its doors in June of 2021. Sheetz has since moved locations to Airport Rd in Hollymead (north of Charlottesville) in 2022. The announcement of the opening of Cane’s on March 27, 2023 [3] came to the delight of students at UVA and community members in Charlottesville, as the Raising Cane’s on Emmet Street has been known to block traffic on Emmet with its long lines. The Cane’s restaurant was under construction the whole spring and summer and officially opened on September 19, 2023, complete with a pep squad, CavMan and a ribbon cutting ceremony.[4]

1515 University Ave

Sharing a wall with Cane’s on the east side, it’s a popular student hang-out spot and study space, taking the name of its address, it’s called 1515. The new student study spot had its grand opening on March 16, 2017. The building dates back to 1896 as it was built as a boarding house because of rising concerns of the increasing student population at UVA. In the 1930’s the floor with access to University Avenue was split down the middle. One side became the famous Cavalier Diner, very popular among students for its soda fountain. The other side became Jamieson’s Bookstore. Jamieson’s Bookstore quickly became a competitor of the much larger Anderson Brothers’ Bookstore. [5]

1415 University Ave

Directly adjacent to the Anderson Brothers’ Bookstore building is the Chancellor’s Drug Store Building. Built in 1914, as the “New Corner” was first developing, Sam Chancellor’s Drug Store building made its mark in the student population and surrounding community. Sam Chancellor was responsible for adopting the new brand of Coca-Cola and bringing it to the University. Today, the Chancellor building still stands and is home to new businesses such as the UVA police department substation, Chancellor Apartments, and newly opened Carytown Tobacco. [5]

View of Chancellor's building(front) and Anderson Brothers' building(back) c.2019.

1417 University Ave

1417 University is the site of the Anderson Brothers’ Bookstore, which was founded in 1876 and was the largest bookstore in Charlottesville until UVA’s official bookstore opened in Central Grounds. Originally a two-story building, 1417 University Ave was renovated in the post World War 1 era, and continues to be a place where students can get all the essentials as it has been turned into a CVS pharmacy today. In the early 1900’s the back room of the Anderson Brothers’ bookstore was converted into the gym for the UVA Boxing team who were always a fan favorite at Mem Gym before the team was disbanded in 1955.

1427 University Ave

On the other side of the famed Anderson Brothers’ Bookstore, lies another Corner special. Littlejohn’s is making a return to the corner after previously occupying 1427 University Ave from its opening in 1976 until 2020. Closing because of pandemic pressures in 2020, the location was taken over by Sammy’s on the Corner, a Philadelphia-themed cheesesteak shop, until they also closed their doors in the summer of 2022. Littlejohn’s now has announced their return to 1427 on January 17, 2024. Stefan Friedman, Bill Smyth, and Dain North are now all part time owners, eager to bring back their favorite subs and sandwiches to the corner. [6]

Disappearance of Locally Owned Businesses

The opening of Carytown Tobacco in late 2022.

A combination of the pandemic and increasingly high property leases in Charlottesville, have shook a lot of long-standing businesses from the Corner. As of February 2024, Cohn’s, Juice Laundry, Sheetz, and The College Inn have all closed their doors in the last four years. Most recently, Cohn's, a long-standing corner convenience store, is now just a memory after they were bought out by 7Day Jr in March, 2023. [7] Juice Laundry also suffered a similar fate as they closed in the summer of 2022 and were immediately replaced by Carytown Tobacco, a Richmond based nicotine product company. [8] The constant turnover on the Corner has caused a lot of construction in recent years and the replacement of many locally owned businesses by larger chain restaurants like Chipotle and Raising Cane’s.

  1. Web. The Corner: Shopping in Charlottesville, News Article, retrieved February 19, 2024.
  2. Web. Then and Now, Coy Barefoot, News Article, retrieved February 19,2024.
  3. Web. Raising Cane's Coming to Corner this August, News Article, March 27, 2023, retrieved February 19, 2024.
  4. Web. New Raising Cane's opens on the Corner, Cecilia Mould, News Article, September 21, 2023, retrieved February 19, 2024.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Web. The Corner through the Years, Ryann Sheehy, News Article, July 30, 2019, retrieved February 19, 2024.
  6. Web. Littlejohn's Sandwiches coming back to the Corner, Emily Hemphill, News Article, January 17, 2024, retrieved February 19, 2024.
  7. Web. The Corner continues to undergo retail changes as new chains take the place of historic businesses, Elizabeth Rambo, News Article, March 14, 2023, retrieved February 19, 2024.
  8. Web. Corner Juice Laundry loacation to be replaced with Vape and Tobacco Shop, Ashley Mosby, News Article, August 13, 2022, retrieved February 27, 2024.