Food News: Flyin’ pigs, froyo, coffee shop closures, and million dollar pastries

This week: Three Chesterfield restauranteurs fly into the former Empire space near VCU, two coffee shops pack it up, and a Short Pump woman’s pastries have earned her a cool $1 million as part of a nationwide baking contest. All this and more!

Three Southside entrepreneurs are flyin’ into the former Empire space near VCU. Stephen Rogge, Ian Anderson, and Kevin McGrath, owners of The Flyin’ Pig in Chesterfield, plan to open their second location around the start of the new year. The trio, who once said they’d start a restaurant “when pigs fly,” opened their barbecue, burger, and hotdog joint in the Waterford Shopping Center in 2012. They tell BizSense they see the location’s foot traffic near VCU as an advantage and are not concerned by the presence of nearby chains, whom many blamed for Empire’s recent closure.

— ∮∮∮ —

A Short Pump resident has won a whole lot of dough for her, well, dough! Beth Royals swept the 47th annual nationwide Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, earning her a cool $1 million. The winning recipe? Her ‘Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters.’ The delectable desserts are made by cutting Pillsbury pie crust cut into small squares and topping them with peanut butter, peanuts, toffee bits, and shortening, according to Royals, who was presented with a check on ABC show ‘The Chew’ yesterday. Want to make them yourself? Here’s a quick video showing the whole process.

— ∮∮∮ —

Gelati Celesti, an ice cream staple in Richmond for 30 years that got its start in the Gold’s Gym Plaza in the West End, opened another shop a bit farther west in The Corner at Short Pump this month. It’s the local company’s third location (the second opened in Bon Air). RVANews contributor Stephanie Ganz has an interesting look into this family-owned business, the company’s production facility (which cranks out an impressive 180 gallons of ice cream per day), and how owners Steve and Kim Rosser balance their business with family life, as the couple looks to expand outside of the Richmond market.

— ∮∮∮ —

A unique concept on E. Grace Street that combined roasting and records has thrown in the towel. Monument City Coffee & Records was one part coffee shop, one part record store, and seemed to have a somewhat small but devoted customer base. A sign on the door notes that the shop is “closed for the holidays, and permanently thereafter,” thanking customers for their patronage and their employees for their dedication. Monument had just opened this past April.

— ∮∮∮ —

An embattled Church Hill coffee shop has also bowed out. Captain Buzzy’s Beanery, which has been in a spat with a neighbor, has faced a lawsuit, and other less-than-pleasant things (such as owner Bob Buffington being hit by a flower pot-hurling neighbor), has been sold to a nonprofit. Church Hill Activities and Tutoring, the recent recipient of a $500,000 grant, will use the space for activities that “increase job training, marketable skills and employment opportunities for youth in North Church Hill,” according to a news release from the organization.

— ∮∮∮ —

Sugar Shack Donuts opened its first location in the West End this past week, in a former gas station near Regency Square Mall. The Parham Road location, owner Ian Kelley’s third, is part of a comprehensive regional growth strategy. Kelly has shops in the works in Charlottesville, Norfolk, Alexandria, and Baltimore. Additionally, a fourth Richmond location should open sometime next March in Midlothian. Kelly has also been operating a doughnut & espresso truck at the Parham Road location while renovations were made.

— ∮∮∮ —

Shoryuken Ramen, a startup project from SUPPER chef Will Richardson, kicked off a three month stint at LUNCH in Scott’s Addition Monday evening. Each week through the end of February, the popup will feature three different bowls of ramen–one meat option (this week’s was braised short ribs, and it was fantastic), a vegetarian offering, and a rotating special bowl. Each are $10. Get there early, or go late. LUNCH is tiny and the place stayed packed all evening both nights this week. Ramen is served from 6:00-11:00 PM Mondays and Tuesdays. Richardson is using the popup to perfect his recipes, after which he plans to host a Kickstarter campaign to fund a brick-and-mortar operation.

— ∮∮∮ —

A Carytown froyo spot that set up shop two doors down from competitor Sweet Frog has shut down again, and this time it looks like it’s for good. Yapple Yogurt opened its doors in 2012 before shuttering in November of 2013. The shop and its elaborate color-changing LED ceiling have gone dark for the last time, it seems. A sign on the door thanks patrons for their business and notes, “all good parties must come to an end.”

— ∮∮∮ —

Down the street from Yapple, a new Armenian restaurant has taken over the space formerly occupied by Mrs. Marshall’s Cookies. Coriander, a concept from Elizabet Bandazian, a member of the family behind commercial real estate firm Bandazian & Hughes. Coriander, which originally planned to open in the Museum District, will serve up traditional Armenian fare like kebobs, lahmajoon, and rice pilaf. The spot is open for lunch and early dinner service, closing at 7:00 PM; 4:00 PM on Sundays.

— ∮∮∮ —

Finally, the chef behind popular PBS series ‘A Chef’s Life’ is making an appearance at the recently-opened Southern Season. The Peabody Award-winning series follows chef Vivian Howard on her culinary adventures, but it’s not a reality show, per se. “The difference is that, with each episode, we’re actually trying to tell the story of an ingredient, and I’m the vehicle for that,” she told Style Weekly’s Brandon Fox. Howard will make a stop at Southern Season on Staples Mill Road December 11th from 3:00-6:00 PM, where she’ll do a couple food demos.

Photo: Big Spoon Agency

  • error

    Report an error

Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. dejavudu on said:

    Monument City Coffee & Records sounds marvelous! Too bad I’ve never heard of it before this moment. :(

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Or report an error instead