New Restaurants in July: Nettie’s Naturally, Backyard Grill, District 5, Main St. Coffee, Tazza Kitchen, and Mott Gallery

From raw, vegan desserts to cooked carnivorous burgers. Plus, a farewell to those who closed up shop.


Late June, oops! • 1110 E. Main Street

When Sugar Shack coffee left its Main Street location this past January, the downtown crowd were all, rightly, beside themselves. But, working pros, dry your tears: Main Street Coffee seized the opportunity left by Sugar Shack and opened quietly in mid-June (so quietly that we missed it!). Follow MSC on Facebook for daily deals on cold drinks and, I assume later this year, hot drinks.


July 19th • 100 W. Clay Street

If you’ve become addicted to the culinary marvel that is Nettie’s Naturally’s horchata cheesecake, get ready for some important news: Lynette Potgieter has opened Nettie’s Naturally at 100 W. Clay Street in Jackson Ward. In addition to the life-altering cheesecake, you’ll find Lynette’s entire line of desserts, all of which are gluten-free and made without the addition of cane sugar. But don’t let all those scary words fool you; Nettie’s desserts are good enough for those of us who are comfortable with all the flours, fats, and sugars that life can throw at us. They’re just that good.


July 17th • 443 N. Ridge Road

A former Arby’s franchise baron (he owned five of them, which qualifies as a baron in my book) opened his first independent restaurant last month in Henrico. The family-friendly menu at Backyard Grill, located at 443 N. Ridge Road offers the usual backyardly favorites like hot dogs and owner John Harper’s signature Angus burgers, which, Harper claims, stay juicy even when cooked to well-done temps.


July 24th • 1911 W. Main Street

If you like the kind of happy hour that’s four hours long and the kind of tap list that nears 50 craft beers, consider District 5 your newest watering hole. Hani Atallah, owner of Southern Railway Taphouse and Off the Hookah, and partner Roland West’s new venture is open seven days a week until 2:00 AM and will begin serving brunch this very Sunday. Worried about aliens? That is actually District 9. District 5 is the voting district of that area in the Fan!


July 14th • 1244 Alverser Plaza

Southside’s food scene just got a little more California thanks to the addition of a Tazza Kitchen in Alverser Plaza. This is the fifth location in the growing Tazza Kitchen empire, which stretches from Virginia to South Carolina. Take a peek at this review of Tazza’s Short Pump location, and then head across the river to see if the same is true on Southside.


July 31st • 3027 W. Cary Street

Our buzzer-beater of the month award goes to Mott Gallery, who opened their doors on July 31st. Aaron Mott’s Mott Gallery will feature contemporary art, Blanchard’s coffee, and baked goods from Kabbie’s Kake Studio in Williamsburg in their art deco Carytown location. Mott has a degree in Studio Art from the State University of New York at Buffalo and prior experience managing and consulting for art galleries.


A fond farewell to Short Pump’s Bella Restaurant. Moo Burgers also officially closed last month after months of being “closed for renovations.” (We heardly moo ye!) And, we said goodbye to Thai Corner on 2nd Street, but, because every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end, we’ll soon welcome a sit-down dinner incarnation of the popular take-out spot Jkogi Seoul Street Eats in the same location.

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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