Meet Smartmouth, homemade ice cream in Church Hill, and the Republic saga is over

Lots going on this week in Richmond’s food scene. New beers, new treats, restaurants closing, and restaurants for sale. Food news!

It looks like BizSense has the final word in the on-again, off-again saga of The Republic. For the past year, the restaurant has gone through a series of openings and closing stemming from back taxes, bankruptcy, and unpaid rent. Now, finally, The Republic is closed, and the landlord is looking for a new restaurant to take the space.

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Did you know that July 14th is Bastille Day? Do you know what Bastille Day celebrates? I can assure it’s something French concerning the republic (not the previously mention restaurant) or freedom or some such. Join Bistro Bobette on July 13th for their Bastille Day celebration that will include a prix fixe menu for $48, complimentary Champagne, and a contest for “best-dressed like the French.”

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Keep your eyes peeled for another Virginia-based brewery on tap at your local beer joint. Loveland Distributing just picked up Smartmouth Brewing out of Norfolk and should have it in bars this month. Smartmouth offers three flagship beers–Rule G (IPA, 6.6% ABV), Alter Ego (saison, 6.2% ABV), and Murphy’s Law (American amber, 5.7% ABV)–and several seasonal/limited brews including the ‘Inappropriate’ (Cream ale, 5.3% ABV). Their logo is also fantastic!

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Simply can’t get enough tacos? It’s a common problem–especially if you live far from the frequent gathering of the city’s food trucks. However, fans of Boka Takos who live in the West End can now put tac(k)os in their mouth any old time they please at the Boka Kantina-Restaurant. Opened in June, the Kantina is a place to prep food for the various Boka Trucks but also offers dining with about 20 seats.

Richmond BizSense has some more on owner Patrick Harris’s growing empire.

The Boka Kantina is located at 1412 Starling Drive and is open Monday – Friday, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. They’re looking to expand to dinner service eventually.

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If you work downtown, your happy hour options just increased by one (1). The Dining Room at the Berkeley Hotel now has a happy hour–one even offered on Saturdays! has the details: cheap booze and half of the bar menu.

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OK OK, don’t freak out, but WPA Bakery is now serving homemade ice cream! They not only have ice cream, but sorbet, soy ice cream, popsicles, and ice cream “sammies.” Also rumored is an “Ice Burger” which is an ice cream sandwich made with one of WPA’s doughnuts(!?). Debut flavors include: deer tracks, vanilla, cardamom, peach, and strawberry.

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Peacock’s Pantry, location of many a previous Fan restaurant, is up for sale– found the listing on Craigslist. Just in the last couple of years that spot (1731 W. Main Street) has been Cirrus, Plaza Mexico, Mainstream, and finally Peacock’s Pantry. A string of bad luck or…A CURSE!? YOU DECIDE! No seriously, best of luck to whatever moves into that place next.

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Ross Catrow

Founder and publisher of RVANews.

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