All the news that’s fit to eat
BoDillaz closes up shop in Jackson Ward – If you’re looking to get your quesadilla fix in Jackson Ward, you’re going to have to go a little further. BoDillaz closed up their shop on N. 2nd Street after three years in business. The VCU location on the Monroe Park Campus remains open, and isn’t that far away if you need your fix of cheesy, grilled goodness. More from Richmond BizSense here.
The Daily Kitchen & Bar now open in GreenGate – Richmond Restaurant Group’s new Short Pump outpost of The Daily Kitchen & Bar is now open in the GreenGate development in Short Pump. They’re just serving dinner this week, but will add breakfast and lunch hours, much like their sister restaurant in Carytown, in the coming weeks. Learn more about the new location and menu here.
Don’t Look Back looking to add second location – Another Carytown restaurant, Don’t Look Back, is also looking to expand. The taco joint, which is currently closed for the foreseeable future due to a fire, solicited feedback on where their next venture should be located. Owner Hamooda Shami said they were already considering it, but the fire just expedited that process. Add your voice to the conversation here.
Jackson Ward bakery closed after owner denied entry back into US – Denied a visa stamp for unknown reasons while visiting her sister in Switzerland, Nettie’s Naturally owner Lynette Potgieter, a South African native, has been forced to close her storefront. The Jackson Ward bakery was closed for her two week trip, but now that closure looks indefinite as she stays with family back home in the hopes of obtaining a green card and coming back to the United States. Learn more about the situation here.
JM Stock Provisions closing Fan location to focus on Meat Club, wholesaling – JM Stock Provisions, a popular local butcher and market on W. Main Street in the Fan, is closing up shop at the end of the month, owners announced in an email to customers this week. But don’t fret, you can still get in on the business’s “Meat Club,” a tiered subscription service that provides you or your family with various top cuts of meat for the week, and they plan to focus more on wholesaling. JM’s flagship location in Charlottesville will remain in business. Learn about the changes in more detail here.
Ashland’s Kregger’s Tab and Table opening location in The Fan – Burgers. Ribs. Tacos. Steaks. Sandwiches. You’ll find this and more when Kreggers Tap and Table, located in Ashland, opens a second location in The Fan on W. Cary Street between Mulberry and Robinson adjacent to Acacia Midtown. It’s part of a larger expansion plan for the company, which plans to open other locations across the state. The restaurant should open in December. The rest of the scoop can be found here.
Blanchard’s launching new “curated coffee experience” – Blanchard’s Coffee Co. is opening the doors of their Scott’s Addition roastery beginning this weekend with a new “curated coffee experience” in which, for just $10, you can be among the first to sample the latest brews (all you can drink) and enjoy breakfast from Nate’s Bagels (not unlimited–who are you, PAC-MAN?). Get all the details and purchase your tickets here.
Kabana taking menu to new heights with Chef Mike Ledesma – You probably know the name Mike Ledesma. He’s been involved with a multitude of restaurants around town including Max’s On Broad and Richmond Restaurant Group’s growing portfolio of establishments. He’s made many changes to rooftop bar Kabana Rooftop, taking the place from what owners call “hotel lounge” fare to a more approachable selection of classic dishes with an epicurean twist, infusing local ingredients and flavors. Get a taste of all the changes here.
Most of Sugar Shack’s donuts are now vegan – Almost all of local donut chain Sugar Shack’s delicious donuts have undergone a major change in ingredients, but it’s nothing nefarious, and you probably couldn’t even tell. The company has gone largely vegan, and most customers tell Style Weekly they can’t tell the difference. Read more about the changes here.
Travel Channel filming episode of “Food Paradise” at The Diamond this weekend – Crews from the Travel Channel will visit The Diamond this Friday to film an episode of “Food Paradise,” a show that features unusual and awesome food from around the country. The show has featured vignettes on ballpark food at Minor League stadiums this year, and will pay the Richmond Flying Squirrels a visit to show off all their wacky food creations, many of which were added to the lineup this year. Find out more here
This week’s restaurant reviews
Food News: Top-tier pho and ramen coming soon, the current state of #rvadine, a Taste of Richmond, and a rooftop juice bar
The week in food
It’s almost go-time for the new Pho 95 Hi Ky Mi Gia concept at Willow Lawn, and I’m excited because I love nothing more than a delicious bowl of hot pho this time of year, and this place is dangerously close to my day job. Eileen Mellon at Richmond Magazine says married couple and co-owners Christine and Steven Phan have quite a following on the pho circuit. Here’s a little more about them and when you can expect the restaurant to officially open.
Speaking of hot bowls of awesome, a popular DC ramen joint is heading to Richmond for one night only. Toki Underground will pop up at Carytown cocktail bar The Jasper on Sunday, March 1st at 5:00 PM. Tickets are $16 per person and you can be guaranteed they’ll sell out. Karri Peifer has the absolutely delicious-looking menu over on Richmond.com for your viewing pleasure.
Speaking of special events and the RTD, they’ll host their Taste of Richmond event at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa in Short Pump on May 3rd. This year’s featured restaurants include Mama J’s, Mantu, Dover Hall, the Salty Pig, Hobnob, La Vita E’Bella Ristorante Italiano, Fall Line Kitchen & Bar, Natalie’s Taste of Lebanon, Texas de Brazil, and more. An all-access pass to enjoy unlimited samples is $75, and there’s a discount code available here.
Over at Richmond Magazine, Piet Jones has an excellent snapshot of the current moment in Richmond’s dining scene evolution through interviews with industry veterans including An Bui, Kelli Lemon, Michelle Jones, and others who have been instrumental in the #rvadine scene’s meteoric rise.
There’s a new kind of rooftop bar coming to the Fan. No, this one won’t be overflowing with spirits a la Scott’s Addition, but rather, a rooftop juice bar. The Pit and the Peel is moving their VCU location a block from where they currently are, having recently purchased a building at 1210 W. Main Street. This seems like a really cool idea and – if they’re investing just south of a million on a full renovation, clearly the VCU location is doing quite well. More here.
The Big Kitchen, Tazza Kitchen’s gourmet to go, Brew Thru-style concept in Scott’s Addition closed months ago, so seeing that the closure just now made the news over at BizSense surprised me, but then again maybe I was the only one who went there almost weekly. Picking up dinner to go there was tasty, convenient, and dare I say fun – all the convenience of a fast-food drive-thru with far superior food and service by Tazza. That said, most times I picked up, my order was the lone bag sitting on the shelf of the glass door refrigerators in the covered bay. So I wasn’t totally surprised, albeit definitely disappointed, when they closed. All that said, looks like the owners are brewing up a new restaurant concept for the space. Mike Platania at Richmond BizSense has more.
- Croaker’s Spot (Style Weekly)
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Food News: A “last last call” for Comfort, 24 hours in “Hell” with Gordan Ramsay, and #rvadine regulars
The week in food
If you didn’t get a chance to get into Comfort before the restaurant officially closed for business, you’ll have one more chance this weekend. The restaurant will reopen Saturday night for a “last last call” party. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Stop in at 6:00 PM until everything’s gone – and that includes food, booze (even rare bourbons apparently), and some of the restaurant’s memorabilia. It’s your last chance to enjoy the iconic restaurant. Yes, really this time. More here.
What happens when Gordan Ramsay shows up at your restaurant dressed as an old church lady at your restaurant? You spend the next 24 hours in the kitchen filming a TV show, as one local restaurant owner found out. Shane Roberts-Thomas, the owner of Southern Kitchen in Jackson Ward, was recently featured on Ramsay’s TV show “24 Hours To Hell And Back” which airs on FOX. Ramsay typically disguises himself when he shows up at restaurants who have agreed to participate in the show. She was contacted in advance about the possibility of a TV show filming there, but she didn’t know which one she’d be on – or if it would happen. She spent the next day (yes, non-stop) filming. Karri Peifer with the RTD has a great interview with Roberts-Thomas in advance of the episode, which airs Friday night at 9:00 PM. Check it out here.
A new chicken wing joint is coming to the Fan. The Cocky Rooster, at 2523 W. Main Street across from 3 Monkeys, won’t just be another restaurant with wings, but rather one that focuses on them, with other offerings. The joint will supposedly be open until 3:00 AM on the weekends, competing with nearby Benny Ventano’s Pizza that caters to the late-night, post-bar (read: hammered) crowd. Richmond BizSense has all the details here.
HogsHead Café, a popular and delicious barbecue and comfort food joint in the West End (one that I discovered by accident about six months ago), is moving to a bigger location. They’ll take over the space formerly occupied by Havana ’59’s West End outpost before it closed. I always like to see locally-owned West End restaurants, which are increasingly fewer and farther between, succeeding amongst the bevy of chains. More here.
Over at Richmond Magazine, Genevelyn Steele has an intriguing interview with bar regulars (we’re talking folks that, in some cases, are at their favorite haunt almost every night) and what keeps bringing them back. We’re running the gamut here from L’Opossum to Home Team Grill. I found this one fascinating. Read it here.
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Food News: Fighting Fish and Canasta’s expands, grocery store love, and a new taqueria in the Fan
The week in food
As we settle into February, the Richmond restaurant scene is a bit dimmer without several mainstays among the ever-growing crowd that is the Richmond dining scene. Comfort and Aloi served their last meals since we last talked, and Acacia mid-town closes after service on Saturday evening. But 2020 promises new restaurants, concepts, and ways to push the #rvadine scene to the next level, no doubt.
For their part, Acacia is having a restaurant yard sale of sorts following their closure. Everything from wine and glassware to tables and chairs is up for grabs on Tuesday, February 11th from 3:00 until 6:00 PM. Check out how you can get your hands on a piece of the restaurant’s history here.
In the new restaurant realm, Richmond Restaurant Group’s latest venture, Barrio Taqueria & Tequila, is now open in the former Pearl Raw Bar space. I stopped by last Friday night and checked out their digs. The tacos, available on either flour or corn tortillas, are pretty tasty, especially the carne asada variety. The street corn (served shaved off the cob) and margaritas are both on point, too. This will be a cool hangout in the spring and summer months with the new garage doors installed around the building to allow in fresh air. Check out my photos here, and Karri Peifer has a writeup.
Jackson Ward hole-in-the-wall Fighting Fish is expanding its empire with a second location in Scott’s Addition, Richmond BizSense reports. The restaurant, which offers tasty sushi, sushi burritos, poke bowls, and more will take over the former Elsa Ethiopian restaurant on Arthur Ashe Boulevard near the 7-Eleven. More on the new location here.
Our intrepid southside reporter Richard Hayes has news of Canasta’s Chicken, a Peruvian chicken outlet with an existing location on S. Laburnum Avenue, opening in Stratford Hills. I’ve never been, but he likens the menu to Chicken Fiesta, but more Peruvian leaning than Tex-Mex. Check out his report here.
I’ve said it for years (and our website hits back it up) – Richmonders love their grocery stores. Whole Foods Market opened its new location in the Fan last week, and a crowd that stretched around the block welcomed the grocer with open arms. Style Weekly’s Phaedra Hise opines on something that hadn’t even occurred to me: they may be the first to be able to pick up where Ukrop’s left off in terms of offering a higher quality product and service – where other grocers have failed in the past decade (Martin’s, anyone?). The company even hired a thirty-year Ukrop’s alum to run the store. Read her story here.