SANDSTON, Va. – Marvin Boyd, a 39-year-old Glen Allen resident, sits contently at the Applebee’s bar inside Richmond International Airport.
Boyd has been a regular at this establishment for nearly eight months. He reports that he only drinks the Raz-a-Rita, a staple on Applebee’s restaurant’s specialty cocktail menu.
“I’ve tried other Applebee’s mixed drinks but this one has the best raz.”
When asked what “raz” is, Boyd shrugs and looks up at an antique-looking horseshoe on the wall.
“I’ve tried other Applebee’s, too,” he continues, “I mean, this one is a little bit of a commute for me. But I like getting to chitchat with a lot of different people from all over. I get to welcome them to Richmond. You know, recommend some different spots around town while they’re visiting. You’ve got to go to Chili’s on Hull St. for their pizzadilla burgers. And TGI Friday’s in Short Pump does the best quadruple chocolate lava brownie fudge magma melt sundae, hands down. These are hidden gems tourists would miss out on otherwise.”
He stirs his Raz-a-Rita with his magenta cocktail umbrella and takes a sip, basking in the dimmed overhead lights and faux-vintage VCU basketball decor. With business passengers rushing by and flustered parents dragging their children along in the background, Boyd rests his chin on his fist and watches the generic sports game on the big screen TV over the bar.
After he finishes his drink, he pays his tab and gathers his belongings. As he leaves, he gives a quick wave to TSA and descends down the escalator to pick up his car from Park ‘N Go.