Amid a bevy of West End strip malls are a growing number of international markets and restaurants representing a wide variety of cultures.
In the Henrico County strip mall where the Chinese woman owns the Japanese steakhouse and sushi bar and the Turkish man runs a Greek place alongside his Costa Rican wife, the Afghans came and went in a blink of the eye. But their restaurant and market space didn’t stay vacant long.
“We’ve been here about a year,” says Mohammed Irfan Ali, who moved his Bawarchi Indian restaurant between the Japanese restaurant and the Filipino market.
“That is this place,” says Shui Lin, Chinese-born manager of the Chinese takeout place, which is next door to European deli where she likes to buy cake. “Asian, Latino, it’s all mixing up. It’s international.”
So is written a new story of the South. Or, as demographer William Frey calls it: the New Sunbelt. Richmond squarely sits in this belt alongside other Southern cities now seeing what he calls “a diversity explosion” in the country.
From TAN-A Supermarket to Zorba’s Greek and Italian Cuisine, there’s an eclectic mix of markets and restaurants stretching from the Near West End to Springfield Road with offerings you won’t find elsewhere. They’re worth a visit.