New Baja Bean patio, Carytown gets a new restaurant, and the Elby’s honor RVA’s best

Not satisfied with two restaurants in Carytown, Hamooda Shami is opening a third, we check out the new outdoor digs of a popular Fan restaurant, and the best of RVA’s dining scene get dressed up for this weekend’s big award show.

The RVANews office is conveniently located right above Baja Bean (we’re big patio fans, people). Over the past few weeks, we have seen and heard (hellooo jackhammers!) every detail of the new patio now under construction. Hold onto your hats, because it’s looking good! As you can see in the above picture, 90% of the bricks have been laid and the framework for the 13-foot pergola that includes a retractable awning has been set. Builders hope to complete the project by St. Patrick’s Day.

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Speaking of patio space, according to, two new Richmond restaurants will be getting outdoor space for dining and live entertainment. On Monday afternoon, the City planning commission approved special permits for both Crossroads Coffee and Tea on Forest Hill Avenue and Dots Back Inn in Northside. We may still be in the winter months, but patio drinks are in our future.

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According to Style Weekly, Hamooda Shami is moving into the former Blow Toad space in Carytown. Shami currently operates both New York Deli and Don’t Look Back, both on the same 2900 block of W. Cary Street. The newest addition to Shami’s restaurant family will be named Portrait House. New decor and menu items are currently in the works to fit the theme of a casual dining and drinking space. He’s aiming for a late-March opening.

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This Sunday, Richmond Magazine will hosts their second annual Elby Awards, which honor excellence in Richmond’s restaurant community. Winners will be chosen from ten categories, among them:

  • Fine Dining Restaurant
  • Upscale Casual
  • Neighborhood Restaurant
  • Culinary Student of the Year
  • New Restaurant
  • Cocktail Program
  • Restauranter of the Year
  • Excellence in Service
  • Rising Culinary Star
  • Restauranter of the Year

The event is hosted at the VMFA. Doors open at 6:00 PM, awards begin at 6:30 PM, and reception starts at 7:30PM. Tickets are $65 per person, and cocktail attire is required.

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