Today the local restaurant group HOUSEpitality Family opens the doors (starting at 3 PM) of Richmond’s latest dining option, the Island Shrimp Co. An option with a decidedly tropical twist.
Island Shrimp Co., located at Chesterfield Towne Center, is adjacent to the still under construction but oh-so-close Casa del Barco. Near the Red Robin and Barnes & Noble in case you’re wondering which side of the mall.
The first thing you’ll notice as you approach is the use of shipping containers in the construction. This is a nod to container ships as the great connectors of the world’s goods and cuisines, a reminder for guests on how the world is linked. Don’t worry, about feeling closed in because once you enter the restaurant you’re greeted with open spaces, bright colors, glass walls, as well as cozy nooks.
We mention the adjacency to Casa del Barco because the two are connected by the “Aloha Bridge” and all the necessary licensing hurdles have been jumped so you and your fruity tropical drink can walk over and mingle with your friend and their tequila concoction.
The bridge will come in handy when you’re on the top floor on the rooftop patio enjoying a drink made with actual fruit as opposed to a mix. No pre-made fruit drinks or mix all the drinks have fresh-squeezed juice. The rooftop patio will also be the spot for live music. Beginning September 19, Island Shrimp Co. will offer live music on the rooftop open-air patio. Kevin Davis and Ban Caribe will play on Thursdays from 6-9 p.m. and a DJ will play from 9:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We specialize in creating authentic and memorable experiences for our guests at all of our locations, and Island Shrimp Co. is no exception. This is an oasis in an everyday place and our guests will make memories that last a lifetime,” said Paige Healy, chief creative officer with HOUSEpitality Family. “We’ve traveled the world to get a true sense of the people and cultures that connect with this cuisine and we’ve created an environment that puts people at ease to have an amazing time with us.”
Another first for Richmond restaurants, HOUSEpitality Family considered the full dining experience and incorporated several Instagram-ready photo opportunities when developing the space.
“We know that a mark of a good time is a photo that captures the experience, so we created Instagram-worthy points throughout the restaurant to allow guests to snap photos and hold on to the memory forever,” said Healy.
The 7,500-square-foot restaurant will be open seven days a week. Hours will be:
- 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Monday – Thursday
- 11:30 a.m. – 1 a.m. on Friday
- 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. on Saturday
- 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Happy hour will take place Monday – Friday from 3 – 6:30 p.m at the bar.
Photos provided by Island Shrimp Co.
Stoney: City to “cautiously move” into Phase 1 of reopening plan on Friday, May 29th
On Thursday, Mayor Stoney announced that the City of Richmond will cautiously move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan. Masks will be required in all indoor spaces and restaurants will be asked to voluntarily connect patrons’ information for contact tracing purposes.
On Thursday, Mayor Stoney announced that the City of Richmond will cautiously move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan.
“When I look at the picture in totality, given the added tools at our disposal, the current trends in our local data and my faith in Richmonders to look out for one another, I believe that Richmond can cautiously move into Phase 1 on Friday, May 29,” said Mayor Stoney at Thursday’s press conference.
During the first delay that the City of Richmond requested, the Stoney administration and Richmond City Health District expanded testing efforts, implemented a contact tracing effort, ensured every COVID-19 positive Richmonder will be able to isolate safely and securely with supported isolation, and advocated for a statewide mask requirement.
The city initially requested a modified Phase 1 reopening that maintained restrictions on places of worship and personal care and grooming services, as mass gatherings and close personal contact for extended periods of time both significantly increase chance of community spread.
Because the governor denied the city’s modified plan for reopening, Richmond will move into Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, the state’s reopening plan, with strong recommendations reflecting the mayor’s proposed modifications. Local guidance and helpful links to state guidance are available here. The state has yet to provide guidance on what Phases 2 and 3 will include.
The mayor detailed a number of best practices for residents and business owners to ensure that the city moves into Phase 1 cautiously. The best practices emerged from conversations between the Stoney administration and members of the business community, faith leadership, and health professionals.
- All residents who are medically able to should wear a face-covering that covers the mouth and nose when in public spaces. The wearing of a face covering does not negate the need for 6-foot social distancing.
- Faith communities should continue to meet virtually if possible. If in-person meetings are absolutely necessary, the mayor strongly recommends faith groups meet outside while practicing strict social distancing and enforcing the face-covering requirement.
- Food and drink establishments that choose to offer outdoor service at half capacity are asked to request a name and contact information of patrons who dine in for contact tracing purposes. This practice is voluntary for both patrons and restaurants. However, collecting this small amount of information for each dine-in party will go far in assisting the Richmond City Health District in tracing and containing outbreaks. Guidance on this practice is available here.
The mayor made two requests of the state: to continue to assist the city in further expanding testing capacity and in providing adequate face-coverings and hand sanitizer throughout the capital city.
“Quite frankly, we’re going to need more support from the state for our residents and our businesses to reopen safely and sustainably,” the mayor noted in his appeal. “I make these recommendations and requests of the state because, as has been my mantra this entire pandemic. Reopening should be slow and steady.”
“When public health is on the line, blindly pushing forward is not an option. Decisions must be thoughtful, and they must be based in our collective knowledge of and love for our city.”
See more reopening guidance for local businesses here: www.rvastrong.org/reopeningguidance.
Underground Kitchen’s New Food Relief Nonprofit Surpasses 10K Meals Distributed
The food relief operation currently has nine chefs and two bakers working in church kitchens to produce homemade soup and bread, soon to include family-style pot pies, pastas, and casserole dishes to help sustain families for several days.
Great news from the folks at Underground Kitchen.
In less than two months, the UGK Community First Project – officially registered as 501(c)(3) nonprofit in early May – has provided more than 10,000 nourishing meals to people throughout metro Richmond, primarily to those who are food insecure or whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure during the COVID-19 crisis. The Community First Project was formed by Michael Sparks and Kate Houck, the CEO and COO respectively of Underground Kitchen, an acclaimed Richmond, Va.-based experiential, roving dinner series that’s now on hold until it is safe to resume operation.
The UGK Community First Project initially launched on March 16, 2020, right after Underground Kitchen paused its dinner series in response to the COVID-19 crisis. “We saw an immediate need in our community created by the crisis – both for healthy meals to be delivered to those in need, as well as for those in the food industry to have access to work in a safe environment to support their families,” says Houck.
The first 175 meals were delivered to individuals impacted by the crisis and front-line health workers in the community the week of March 23, 2020. By May 11, 2020 that number had increased to 2,000 meals for the week, distributed to food insecure communities, those who are home-bound or quarantined, front-line health workers, first responders, families and care-givers and others throughout Richmond.
UGK Community First has scaled up its response to help through the generous support of Episcopal Diocese of Virginia member churches in metro Richmond. The food relief operation currently has nine chefs and two bakers working in church kitchens to produce homemade soup and bread, soon to include family-style pot pies, pastas, and casserole dishes to help sustain families for several days.
“We are conscious of the continued impact of COVD-19 and are committed to doing what we can to address the need for meals in the community for the duration of its influence,” says Houck.
“However, we have also seen that, regardless of the agencies that already exist in the region, there continues to be a deep need for healthy, unprocessed, consistently delivered meals even in the best of times. Therefore, we see UGK Community First continuing long after this crisis passes, with a focus on distributing meals to families and children who live in a constant food insecure environment, as well as supplementing other programs who are doing the same,” she adds.
In addition to the Episcopal churches, over the past several weeks, Underground Kitchen has worked with a coalition of community partners, donors, and volunteers including: Better2gether RVA, CARITAS, GoochlandCares, La Casa de la Salud RVA, the Armstrong Renaissance community, Virginia Supportive Housing, and CultureWorks Richmond (through the COVID-19 Arts and Culture Relief Fund).
UGK Community First has also supplied meals to: St. Mary’s Hospital, Memorial Regional Medical Center, Richmond Community Hospital (all part of Bon Secours), McGuire VA Medical Center, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Richmond, Richmond Ambulance Authority, and The Doorways.
For more information about the UGK Community First Project food relief operation, please visit theundergroundkitchen.org.
1,500 From-scratch Biscuits Fueling the Frontlines
The “Give a Biscuit” project by Salt & Forge donated 1,500 biscuits day and night shifts to area hospitals, emergency rooms, ICUs, and COVID units.
Salt & Forge brought some joy — and biscuits — to area hospitals during Nurses’ Week (May 6-12). Pulling together resources and connections, Salt & Forge was able to secure funding to prepare and deliver over 1,500 biscuits.
The “Give a Biscuit” project was born out of necessity. How could the restaurant keep its staff employed while closures across the country put many on unemployment? How could the restaurant support their community and uplift those in the trenches, responsible for caring for Richmond’s vulnerable? This project was an answer for both.
The “Give a Biscuit” project was made possible by donations from SAVE RVA Restaurants, Richmond Academy of Medicine, FLAG RVA, and the generosity of Salt & Forge customers. Customers had the option to add a $5 “Give a Biscuit” to their orders, thus supplying one biscuit to a frontline healthcare worker.
With the funds, Salt & Forge was able to deliver fresh-made biscuits to both day and night shifts in all area hospitals, emergency rooms, ICUs, and COVID units including HCA, Bon Secours, VCU Health, and McGuire Veterans Hospital.
The “Give a Biscuit” project is still in operation. David Hahn, owner, says, “as long as there are healthcare workers putting themselves on the frontline every day, we are going to feed them.” They have already received commitments from other groups to help feed caregivers beyond Nurses Week.