Empress closes, food trucks and the Kickers join forces, another craft brewery comes to town

A lot of interesting stuff (and a some changes) happening in the RVA food scene

Empress exterior

After a few weeks of a scheduled vacation, The Empress is officially closed. Owner Melissa Barlow stated in a press release that the business faced many hurdles including the debacle with Justin French when they first opened, a suffering economy, and a hard to please Richmond food scene. They will see through their current catering contracts before liquidating assets. Offers to purchase both the business and the property are being considered. Barlow will announce a farewell event in August for friends and family.

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According to Downtown Short Pump, Barrel Thief will be closing its Short Pump location on July 28th–don’t worry, the Patterson location will remain open. Owner Ross Mattis says the decision was made because he plans to move back to his hometown of Providence Rhode Island with his family, and the lease was up for renewal. All wine will be 20% off for the rest of the week, so go stock up RVA.

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Another craft brewery is set to open in Richmond. According to Richmond Bizsense Coleman Stump and Josh Bennett will launch Ajax Aleworks, a microbrewery that will make 15 to 20 brews set to rotate on a seasonal basis. The pair have 25 combined years of homebrewing experience and have talked about opening their own brewery since they joined forces two years ago. They are in talks to lease a space in Manchester about five blocks from Legend which will be equipped with a four barrel brewing system that will allow them to make eight kegs at a time. They plan to only sell draft beer with hopes of finding a home in some of Richmond’s favorite bars. They are working towards and end of the year opening.

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This Saturday you can enjoy a soccer game paired with your favorite food truck dinner. The Kickers take on the Charlotte Eagles this Saturday night at 7pm in their final push for the playoffs. Just $5 gets you into the game and gives you access to the following food trucks for your dining pleasure:

  • Habanero’s
  • Cupcakes & Tacos
  • Kona Ice
  • Dress and Press
  • La Milpa
  • Curbside
  • King of Pops
  • Boka Truck

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As if you needed another reason to love Secco, the folks over there have been making hilarious videos featuring main character “Gui Ferraro.” Please enjoy:

photo by Ashley Jenkins

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