From this week’s Style magazine (go to link to see a nice picture of new 821 Cafe’s (825 Cary) interior) : A slew of new chow is heading to town, but before that comes a flurry of fix-ups. Armed with paintbrushes, jackhammers and checkbooks, several risk-taking restaurateurs are reconfiguring the failures, hoping to override the flops. […]
A slew of new chow is heading to town, but before that comes a flurry of fix-ups. Armed with paintbrushes, jackhammers and checkbooks, several risk-taking restaurateurs are reconfiguring the failures, hoping to override the flops. They’re betting on Richmond’s active eatership for staying power in a field that’s overflowing.
Here are some highlights:
821 Café: Some of us wondered whether this longtime Virginia Commonwealth University haunt would lose its funky personality when it moved to new digs on the same corner. Not to worry. It’s bigger, cleaner and more colorful, with a mural in honor of Jonny Z, glass-block accents, more daylight, a full bar, a still-small kitchen and the same motivated owners who’ve made the cafe a bohemian classic with great grub for years. Expect this one any day now at Cherry and Cary streets. 821caferva.com.
Bellytimber Tavern: Back in January we reported that this business hoped to open by Super Bowl weekend. Classic stuff for Richmond restaurants — delays, setbacks, disappointingly slow permitting — are yielding to signs of life around the completely redesigned corner building where the Border once held forth. Mezzanine partners Patrick Stamper, Randy O’Dell and Todd Johnson, along with Mike Marunde, are fond of the place because of their past associations behind the bar. Sandwiches, thin-crust pizzas, a raw bar and a real bar are the pitch. But when they claim it’s the Fan’s longest bar, the guys at Baja Bean nearby beg to differ. Either way, there’s enough on tap to satisfy an entire neighborhood’s thirst. bellytimbertavern.com.
Current: Newly opened along the Canal Walk, this cafe at the Hat Factory has a shot at working after two flawed precursors failed to gain traction. The waterside terrace is shady and serene, the interior has been reworked for warmth and casual appeal and the service is getting up to speed. Burgers feature prominently on the menu, with house-made black bean or turkey versions among the beef. Appetizers, salads and moderately priced entrees at dinner keep to a trim but relevant playlist for the venue, which has re-emerged as a musical hot spot. Look for an uncommon selection of bourbon at the bar. Apps, lunch and dinner served daily at 140 Virginia St. currentva.com.
Pescados China Street: Construction is nearly complete after a lengthy process for this Oregon Hill seafood cafe. Owner Todd Manley says he’s almost ready for the final permit stage and is testing menu ideas and hiring staff. More details when it’s closer to opening.
A neighbor also chimes in:
and dont forget the new SPROUT restaurant over at 1 north Morris street. They were gonna have their grand opening Friday the 14th with “localvore” cuisine- that is a menu based on locally grown foods. This is the brainchild of Jamie and Laura Lay who used to run Allstar Deli on Lombardy. Give them a shot! Great people! I am also looking forward to the opening of Stuzzi, an authentic neapolitan pizza place at Elwood and Belmont…