Restaurant openings and closings in August 2015

It’s been a sleepy month for restaurants, with several taking anywhere from a week to the entire month off for a little R&R. We’re still eagerly awaiting White Horse Tavern, Talley’s Meat & Three, and a southside Pho So 1, but here’s who we said hello to in August.

Photo by Trevor Dickerson.


Though Thai Cabin closed their doors in July, 2nd Street neighbors have no time and no cause for tears. That’s because, according to Style Weekly, Thai Cabin owner and 2nd Street landlord Michael Ng filled the space left by his departure with new partner Jay Ko’s JKogi Soul Street Eats. Ko’s Korean take-out spot has been wildly popular, enjoyed good reviews, and was, more importantly, making money. The time was right, according to Michael Ng, to give Ko the bigger space and with it, sit-down dinner service.


A few days ago, Chef Philip Denny quietly let the world know his Shockoe restaurant was dipping a toe in the #RVAdine pool with lunch service until his ABC license was complete. That was last week, and today, Denny will take the diving board plunge into the cool deep end of dinner service.

According to Richmond Magazine, Castanea will fulfill Denny’s dreams with a 32-seat dining room and bar, a market, housemade gelato, and an ample patio for live music and events: “Untethered to umbrella terms and chestnut themes, Castanea actually stems from Denny’s travels, international inspiration and whatever he’s currently passionate about in the kitchen; a concept with such large wingspan that it could potentially become murky or overwhelming, but it’s less a concept and more Denny’s dream restaurant, tailored to his numerous strengths in the kitchen. It’s precisely what he wanted: an outlet all his own, with a menu based on his wide variety of cooking experience and interests.”


Two Fan-area restaurants are welcoming lunch traffic as of this week: Both the Savory Grain and Shoryuken Ramen will serve pared-down versions of their dinner menus to lunch crowds.

Another lunch spot is now back on the radar, though a few blocks away: Citizen reopened this week in their new location at 1203 E. Main Street with room for over 40 guests! This is great news for anyone who ever graced the former subterranean location and thought, “I’d like to come here for a lunch date, but damn if I’m going to sit outside and grow a sweat mustache in front of my boo.”


Earlier in the month, Nora Taste of Lebanon closed their doors for good after being open for just one year.

And in a surprise move, the owners of the Magpie announced this weekend that they too would be closing up shop, due to an inability to grow their business to meet demand and increase profit margins. According to the Richmond Times Dispatch, co-owner Tiffany Gellner Lane sites the restaurant’s small size and specialized menu as reasons for the close and says she and co-owner/chef/husband Owen Lane are grateful for the support from patrons over the last five years and the outpouring of sympathy from friends and family after the announcement.

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Stephanie Ganz

Stephanie Ganz thought there would be pizza.

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