After months of delays, Uptown Market will finally open.
Update #1 — July 9th, 9:30 AM
After several months of unexpected delays, Uptown Market opened yesterday, July 8th.
“It feels great,” said Jake Crocker, a partner in the Richmond-based FWS Group. “It’s really been a great team effort.”
The owners had intended to open back in February.
The City Health Department delayed the opening by requiring Uptown Market to install a grease rack, despite owners’ objections that it was unnecessary, as their food will produce little-to-no grease. Crocker also said that a rear storage area had to be redone when Health inspectors said the space qualified as a food preparation area. “It was unexpected,” said Crocker about these and other “hurdles” that FWS were forced through by the City. But Crocker said that he and his partners are excited to finally open.
Crocker describes the new restaurant as a New York-style Italian deli with a convenience store component, serving craft beer, wine, sodas, and other items. Crocker said that this combination will make the business thrive: “There’s not that hybrid” in Richmond. “We feel we’re going to be successful.” Crocker said that FWS “already has interest from other parties” to open similar stores.
The Uptown Market will be open every day from 7:00 AM to 3:00 AM. Morning customers can expect five blends of local, Rostov’s coffee, an espresso machine, and bagels. Lunch and dinner customers will have many deli-style sandwiches and subs from which to choose. Most will be $5 – $7.
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Original — January 25th, 10:40 AM
Jake Crocker owns two businesses at the intersection of Main Street and Stafford Avenue. By this time next month, it should be three.
Along with his FWS Group partners, Crocker owns F.W. Sullivan’s Bar and Grille and Lady N’awlins Cajun Cafe. In October 2011, the restaurateur had hoped to open a late night deli at 2400 W. Main Street. Three months later, the doors to Uptown Market and Deli remain closed.
“It’s an old building,” said Crocker, who’s disappointed that the deli has taken longer than anticipated to open. However, he sounded confident in the work that’s been done to create what he envisions to be an “upscale experience,” which includes the installation of new floors and significant roof repair.
Not only has unexpected repair and refurbishment set back the deli’s opening, but the expansion of F.W. Sullivan’s into Fredericksburg last fall, something that Crocker said took a “ton of resources,” stymied progress. It appears that the repair work has now hit a stride. “We’ve made a ton of progress in the last couple of weeks,” says an upbeat Crocker.
Uptown Market and Deli will feature a deli counter that will offer “quality meat” for sandwiches and subs that will sell for, Crocker estimates, between $5 – $7. The business will also carry craft beer, local wine, and “basic convenience store items.” At midnight, when ABC laws require stores to cease alcohol sales, the deli will sell food through a window facing the street, a feature that, Crocker said, will evoke classic deli shops. During the warmer months, Uptown Market and Deli hopes to add to it’s planned produce section and offer a locally-sourced produce cart on the store’s sidewalk.
Initially conceived as a 24-hour deli, Crocker said the new business will be open most of the day: “Very early. Very late.” He predicts the deli will open between 6am-7am and will serve the early-morning crowd with a “high end espresso machine.” However, it’s during the later hours that Crocker predicts the deli will be most popular.
He plans to keep the space open until 3am-4am, “That’s when the neighborhood’s most active.” Crocker said that there is “a lot of demand for late night food” and “not just people from the bars.” Although he admits that some residents in the area have expressed reservations about a late night business opening in an already busy part of the Fan, Crocker said that the Richmond Police are on board. “They like the idea,” he said, going on to talk about how the Police have told him they anticipate the late night deli will deter crime. “We’re excited,” said Crocker.
Uptown Market and Deli is tentatively scheduled to open sometime in February.