The Vault closes, a new pub opens in the Fan, a Mini-Greek Festival kicks off, and more food news

We received breaking news this morning that a local downtown nightclub will be closing for renovations, owner of Millie’s Diner and Lulu’s opens another restaurant, and we check in with the Executive Chef at Byram’s to see what new specials are cooking.

Richmond Bizsense dropped some interesting restaurant news in our inboxes this morning. Amy David is reporting that Bank/Vault Restaurant downtown is closed for renovations. Owner Mo Roman will be closing Vault for good, which was the night club located below the restaurant, in an effort to attract more business professionals and move away from the club scene. Bank will see an upgraded dining area, a new sitting area, a new wooden bar and an expanded cocktail menu. All of these renovations will take place in the next 10 to 14 days in an effort to re-open by the end of the month.

According to Style Weekly, Paul Keevil who we all know and love for bringing us Millie’s Diner as well as LuLu’s is now bringing us a THIRD restaurant: Tio Pablo which loosely translates to Uncle Paul. The third musketeer in his family of restaurants will be a Mexican-style cafe that will offer roasted meats and peppers, house-made tortillas and salsas, fresh juices and tequilas on a changing menu with no American food in sight. It will be located right around the corner from LuLu’s, in the former Boom Boom Burgers location.

Drive up from Tio Pablo and into the Fan and you will hit another new restaurant. According to Richmond Bizsense, Kyle Sinclair just opened Local Eatery and Pub on West Main Street right next to Roxy Cafe. Sinclair is very familiar with the Richmond restaurant scene having been involved with St. Somewhere, Liquid Assets (now Wonderland), Radius, and Catch 22. The Northern Ireland native has been looking to open an Irish pub and his dream will be completed by December 1st  when the pending ABC license is cleared and the pints ‘o Guinness and other Irish delights start flowing. Jason Thrasher, formerly with Tarrant’s Cafe, will serve has head chef dishing out a menu of Irish comfort food with an American twist.

How much does Richmond love the Greek Festival!? SO MUCH! Well hold on to your hats because this weekend there is a little slice of that Greek Festival heaven for you with a Mini Greek Festival! According to the Near West End News, The Mini Greek Festival will happen Thursday (as in right now) through Saturday at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral. You can grab Greek goodies, stock up on frozen entrees for later, peruse the mini bazaar for maybe some holiday presents, and even check out those impressive Hellenic dancers from 11am – 8pm each day. If you are too busy to spend some time at the festival there will be a drive through/take out. Multiple visits through the takeout line are totally acceptable.

Back in September, we told you about Byram’s being under new ownership. Executive Chef Danny Klubowicz now has some weekly specials lined up and who doesn’t love a great dining deal?! Monday through Friday specials include the following:

  • Monday Pasta Night: Choice of Lasagna, Chicken Alfredo or Spaghetti Bolognese $11
  • Tuesday: Calabash Seafood: Choose two; oysters, shrimp, scallops or clams, served with coleslaw and cornbread $16
  • Wednesday: Cheap Date Night: Dinner for two including a bottle of wine $40 couple
  • Thursday: Prime Rib with baked potato and vegetable $15
  • Friday: Half-price wine night–all bottles of wine are half-price.
  • Daily Happy Hour Specials from 4pm-7pm

photo by Gamma Man

  • error

    Report an error

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Steve on said:

    But how can Tio Pablo ever hope to be successful with all those……”Urban Types” who inhabit the bottom. Didn’t anyone learn from the BOOM bust?!?!

  2. What people have conveniently forgotten is that the Bottom has always been a volatile place. The, uh, “urban types” that you mention are only carrying on the tradition of white suburban frat boys that have since moved to the higher ground of Main Street. This really is nothing new. People have been murdered, robbed and raped for decades on that flood plane. I wish Keevil luck with his newest venture as his heart (and more importantly his wallet) is in the right place, but the Bottom is the worst place to open a business in the city.

    Always has and sadly, probably always will…

  3. Scott Burger on said:

    I don’t know, Bopst, that’s a pretty fatalistic attitude.

    Of course crime and flooding are concerns, but they are not insurmountable, and they shuold not distract from an overall purpose.

    I will say that the Bottom needs to re-examine what its strengths are. In my opinion, if the Bottom can embrace and leverage its role as a transportation hub then it could really flourish.

    I am still hoping some day it will be easy, economic, and convenient to walk or ride my bike down to the Bottom and catch a bus or train to anywhere in the world.

  4. Seen the Mayor’s latest plan? Hysterical…

    All I know is that for the last 20 plus years the city has been trying to spruce up the Bottom and nothing has changed. That’s not being fatalistic; that’s cold hard reality.

    Again, there are good people down there trying to make things better, but, as history has proven time and frustrating time again, all those efforts ultimately are for not.

  5. Scott Burger on said:

    I am also considering the history of the Bottom.

    For better and worse, in some ways it has returned to being the ‘adult entertainment district’ that it was back in the 1800’s. Harry Kollatz has done a great job of recounting that history.

    I will also say that in some ways the Bottom inherited much of what was left of the Grace Street music scene from the 80’s and 90’s (its great to see you create an exception in the Fan with Balliciox). Its always been sad the way that the City government and powers-that-be have worked against the music scene and instead promoted its own white elephants like Center Stage.

    Hopefully with renewed purpose, the Bottom can become more stable. Agreed that its still risky without better planning and leadership.

    Anyway, I will shut up now.

  6. Jeff E. on said:

    Since I have been here, the Bottom has always seemed to be on the brink of renaissance or the brink of failure. Now is no different except the clubs causing problems pale in comparison to the overall changes the area has seen in the last decade. The number of residential units and new businesses that have been built there is pretty amazing. The City unfortunately always seems to be planning to do something in the Bottom but as with most projects, their delivery is half-hearted and incomplete. If you can answer the why’s of that fact, you’re worth more than all of the studies that have ever been done on Shockoe Bottom. The City and many of its workers seem to lack a sense of pride and purpose. I would love to see the work that has been done brick by brick by the small business private sector complemented by coherent and strong governmental policy but so far this has not happened. For now I’d encourage citizens, instead of despairing (Bopst), take a part no matter how small in raising the bar of expectations.

  7. BOPST on said:

    Acknowledgement of reality is not despairing.

  8. Jeff E. on said:

    Acknowledging what is happening now is reality… pretending to know that something will always will bad is despairing.

  9. Good luck.

  10. If you can answer the why’s of that fact, you’re worth more than all of the studies

    @Jeff E

    Well, that’s a pretty low bar to set, but I have an answer to your challenge.

    Richmond has been saddled with poor leadership going on 7 years. First Doug Wilder tried to burn the place down. Now Dwight Jones is putting us all to sleep.

    Secondly, our new city charter has created a divided gov’t with the same conflicts as our federal govt.

    And last this region has no sense of itself. The Dillon Rule divides us politically and economically. Currently a dollar for Richmond is a dollar less for the counties and vise versa. Barring reform at the State level we will always be competing with one another.

    One more. By Congressional fiat Richmond was legally barred from growing. Now city limits are nearly as fixed as the Berlin Wall.

    That would be 4 strikes if this was baseball, an analogy that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

    Largely though, I agree with you. Despair is useless. I didn’t vote for Obama, but I believe in hope.

  11. Scott Burger on said:

    Forget about government for a second (because if i wanted to, I could list my own litany of complaints).

    What do citizens want Shockoe Bottom to be?

    If its just another historic area with restaurants, I would say that is a pretty weak vision.

  12. Jeff E. on said:

    I don’t think we can spend too much time bemoaning the Dillon Rule (thanks for the name btw). I doubt that is something that will change in the future. I agree about the poor leadership but there’s still a why to be answered.. why do we keep electing them? Maybe the citizenry, and I include myself in this statement, simply isn’t engaged or demanding enough yet. There are things going on downtown that wouldn’t be tolerated for a second in other cities.

  13. why do we keep electing them?

    They tell us sweet lies and we believe them.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).

Or report an error instead