The newest venture from EAT Restaurant Partners is a modern-era revamp of the former 1960s Kelly’s Drive-In on the Boulevard.
Boulevard Burger & Brew, the newest restaurant from EAT Restaurant Partners, opens Thursday evening in Scott’s Addition. The new burger joint is housed in the former Kelly’s Drive-In, which opened in the 1960s and is believed to pre-date any other fast food chain’s entry into the Richmond market.
The building was restored to its former glory through extensive renovations, according to Chris Staples with EAT Restaurant Partners. “This is essentially how it felt in the 1960s, minus the high speed USB chargers at the bar and 65 inch TVs,” Staples joked.
Urban legend has it that Kelly’s was also the inspiration for the Honkerburger, the fast food joint featured in the 1990s cartoon series Doug, according to a feature on its creator Jim Jenkins by Style Weekly that ran last year.
Boulevard Burger & Brew serves up what you might expect from the name-burgers. But each is handcrafted and has a flavor theme-many a nod to the neighborhood and its history.
The Parker Field (a beef patty topped with chorizo sausage links, Virginia ham, a fried egg, chipotle mayo, and jalapeños), for example, pays tribute to the stadium that once stood where the Diamond is today. The Bow Tie (mozzarella, basil popcorn pesto, and balsamic reduction) tips its hat to the cinema chain’s Movieland multiplex across the street. The Fatty D (spicy Asian dry rub, cilantro, tomato, pickled ginger, nori, and wasabi Kim Kim aioli) is a nod to neighboring sister restaurant Fat Dragon a block away. See the full menu below.
“You have to offer something to Richmond diners that they can’t get anywhere else, so if you’re gonna do burgers, you’ve got to do the best burger you can,” Staples said. “We tried to create a very dynamic menu around the burgers and incorporate lots of flavors without making the burgers too ‘busy'”.
All beef the restaurant uses is 100% organic, non-GMO black angus beef sourced from a single farm. Boulevard also serves “adult” milkshakes made with a variety of spirits. The restaurant’s 24-tap beer selection features brews from every brewery in Scott’s Addition and will never overlap neighboring Fat Dragon’s selection, according to Staples.
The restaurant will offer dinner service only beginning at 4:00 PM until February, when it will open for lunch at 11:00 AM. Happy hour runs from 3:00 – 7:00 PM and features $2 off all drafts.
Boulevard Burger & Brew is located at 1300 North Boulevard.
Photos: Trevor Dickerson/RVANews