Forthcoming restaurant on the Canal Walk will focus on coffee and wine, pay homage to local history

Forthcoming restaurant on the Canal Walk will focus on coffee and wine, pay homage to local history

The new 50-seat restaurant will be located on the Canal level of the Vistas on the James building at 301 Virginia Street and focus on coffee and wine experiences in an inviting setting.

Rendering: Helen Reed Design

A forthcoming restaurant on Richmond’s Canal Walk will bring something new downtown while paying homage to the area’s past.

Bateau, a new restaurant paying homage to Virginia’s history, is currently under construction at 301 Virginia Street, it was announced today. The 50-seat restaurant will be located on the canal level of the Vistas On The James condo tower and will focus on unique coffee and wine “experiences,” as well as small plates.

Owners Harry Watkins and Arvat McClaine find the location historically meaningful. “Not only was America birthed on the James River 400 years ago with Jamestown as the first permanent English settlement, but we are also located within walking distance from the American Civil War Museum, the Richmond Slave Trail and the Richmond Reconciliation Statue,” Watkins said in a news release. “We want to provide a welcoming place to enjoy exceptional hospitality and a beautiful Canal view while celebrating our past and present,” added McClaine.

The couple aims to create coffee and wine experiences that draw on their world travels that are both entertaining and educational, the pair says. Weekly events will include jazz nights and other cultural experiences. Bateau shares the Turning Basin with Riverfront Canal Cruises, a popular tourist destination that runs Canal boat tours from April to November.

Bateau, meaning “boat” in French, refers to a specific design of a shallow, flat-bottomed wooden boat widely used to transport goods in colonial times. “Like the Headman statue located steps away on Brown’s Island, Bateau honors James River batteaumen who made critical contributions to Virginia commerce in the 18th and 19th centuries as expert navigators of the waterway,” added Watkins.

Helen Reed Design is handling the restaurant’s interior, while Scout Design has been hired for branding.

Bateau is shooting for a late fall opening.

Check out progress updates on the restaurant’s website here.