Peter Chang heads downtown, Baja Bean needs new digs, and festivals galore

Amid the hullabaloo surrounding Baja Bean’s lease not being renewed, there are new restaurants popping up, old favorites offering new deals, and festivals happening that will make your tummy a very happy camper.

The rumors finally came true: Baja Bean will be leaving the corner of Main and Lombardy by October 2013. John Conrad, landlord of the Stonewall Jackson Building, informed Baja owner Ron Morse that the restaurant’s lease would not be renewed beyond 2013. The advanced notice was meant to give the restaurant time to find a new Richmond location. Baja Bean opened in 2000 and, according to Morse, had a record sales year in 2011. There has been no decision made on who will take over the space.

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Peter Chang! The name alone makes me hungry for incredible Sichuan cuisine. According to the Washington Post, those famed dishes may soon be available in downtown RVA. Chang and business partner Gen Lee are close to signing a lease at the Hilton Garden Inn (5th and Broad streets). The nearly 7,000 square-foot restaurant would offer an open kitchen so diners can see Chang in action. Chang currently owns Peter Chang Cafe, located at 11424 West Broad Street in Short Pump. The restaurant was recently nominated by Bon Appetit as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in America.

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There’s a faint chill in the air which means it’s Oktoberfest time! The annual fall tradition held at St. Benedict School is this weekend (rain or shine) at the corner of Hanover and Belmont in the Museum District. The festival is free and offers a multitude of German beverages (i.e. huge delicious beers) and cuisine (i.e. huge delicious pretzels) throughout the weekend. There’s also traditional music and games, like seeing who can hold two full pints of beer the longest (harder than you might expect). Official festival hours are:

  • Friday, September 21st • 4:00 PM to 11:00 PM
  • Saturday, September 22nd • 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Sunday, September 23rd • 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM

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The Armenian Festival starts today at the St. James Armenian Church, located at 834 Pepper Avenue. They’ve been serving up delicious Armenian bites for 54 years now, so if you haven’t checked it out, now’s the time. Take a look at the lunch and dinner menu. Official festival hours are:

  • Thursday, September 20th • 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Friday, September 21st • 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday, September 22nd • 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday, September 23rd • Noon – 7:00 PM

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We’ve told you the story of Proper Pie Company and shared the fantastic news that they had a brick and mortar location set up at 25th and Broad. Now they need your help to complete their Kickstarter goal of $15,000 by Tuesday, September 25th. Nikki and Neil are hoping to open their savory pie shop in a month, and need some help with turning the virtually empty space they purchased into a commercial kitchen to serve RVA savory meat and veggie pies. You can read up on the project and donate here. Do it! For the glory of pie!

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Tarrant’s, the long time Richmond dining staple, now has a food cart! Located at 10th and Cary streets, the cart serves chicken and waffles, fish tacos, veggie pie, tarragon chicken salad, and more. You can keep up with the food cart schedule on their Facebook page.

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Chez Foushee is now offering dinner deals two nights a week called 20/20 @Chez. The promotion includes:

Thursdays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
* 20% discount on cocktail/wine list
* 20% discount on entire dinner menu
* 50% discount on “rail” highballs and cocktails

Fridays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
* 20% discount on cocktail/wine list
* 20% discount on appetizers and salads
* 50% discount on “rail” highballs and cocktails

Definitely a deal worth taking advantage of!

photo by TreyDanger

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