Mekong wins, S@mple closes, and Balliceaux gets a new chef

It’s been a tumultuous week for food fans as two restaurants have announced closures, but a favorite restaurant has won national recognition. These things, plus two festivals and the State Fair!

On Sunday, September 23rd Adam Bell, owner of S@mple, announced he was closing his restaurant. The owner of the small plate, tech-savvy restaurant at 1 N. Morris street said in a phone interview with RVANews that “we weren’t seeing the volume needed to sustain.” Prior to S@mple, that building housed Sprout, a localvore restaurant with 90% of ingredients sourced by area farmers. Is the location cursed? You can read more about Bell’s reasons for closing here.

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In more closing news, Shackelford’s Restaurant and Raw Bar in the West End is closing after 19 years in business. Their last day will be October 29th.

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Mekong! Richmonders know it’s the best place for a Belgian brew, but now, thanks to, the whole US of A knows about our little strip mall gem. The public voted Mekong first in the “Great America Beer Bar” contest. Way to go, team! Way to go RVA!

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According to Richmond Magazine, Balliceaux has a new chef: Michael McLure. He’s trained in French cuisine, and has worked locally in Chez Max and Bistro Bobette. He’s currently working on a new fall menu, so keep your eyes peeled.

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Looking to spend the weekend outside? Here are a couple food festival opportunities:

Festival of India

  • Free
  • Greater Richmond Convention Center
  • Saturday, September 29th and Sunday, September 30th from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Italian Street Festival

  • Free
  • 17th Street Farmers Market
  • Saturday, September 29th 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Sunday, September 30th from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Also, The State Fair begins on Friday. Lots of fantastic local farmers are there to show off their prized garden possessions, and of course the fried Oreos if you want to go that route…

photo by Dean Christensen

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