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Lady N’awlins Cajun Cafe in the Fan to close doors next month after 12-year run

Inflation, food costs, and staffing issues were cited among reasons for the closure.

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Longtime Fan restaurant Lady N’awlins Cajun Café is closing its doors at the end of the month after a 12-year run. Owner Jake Crocker shared the news on his personal Facebook page Friday afternoon, announcing the Cajun restaurant would shutter September 4th and citing inflation and staffing issues among the reasons for the closure.

The basement bar was a staple of the upper Fan since 2012 for many over the years, your humble author included.

The full post follows from Crocker:

Well folks, for those that don’t already know or haven’t picked up on all the hints that staff have been dropping, we’re planning on wrapping up operations at Lady N’awlins in the next few weeks. We are open for limited hours now based on staff availability. Our final day will be Sunday, September 4th.

With the escalating cost of doing business across the board and the dramatic drop-off in people dining out here and everywhere this summer, it simply doesn’t make economic sense to keep pushing. We’ve held this place down for almost twelve years and are extremely proud of our run. People doubted a Cajun restaurant would work in Richmond, but it did and lasted vastly longer than most predicted and profoundly touched many lives along the way.

It’s been a rocky road, particularly the past two and a half years having to close not once, but twice during the pandemic. We battled through and a year ago were overrun with business, but couldn’t find enough staff to handle it. We persisted and honestly thought we were in the best place we’ve ever been just a few months ago, but this summer everything changed. We’re not the first to make this decision as a result and certainly won’t be the last.

Life is short and after some agonizing soul searching with my amazing wife Chantel Crocker we decided it was time to close this chapter of our lives so we can start the next one. This is not a decision we took lightly as this is where we met and a place we’ve both put our hearts and souls into. She actually fell in love with the restaurant before she even met me, and for that alone, I’ll always be grateful for Lady N’awlins.

As for what’s next for the space, who knows? Conversations are being had and the door is open for other discussions. But as for us, we’re locking the doors for the last time on September 4th and we expect a parade of people we love to keep coming in as they have been this whole week with word leaking out. If and when someone else unlocks those doors again, we’ll be excited to be its first and frequent customers. As for what is next for us, that’s a mystery. I’m putting my marketing consulting company Crocker Strategy back on the front burner and I’m still part-time working on behalf of the Virginia National Guard. The restaurant was my primary income so I’m certainly open to options, but my thirteen years as a restauranteur will be coming to an end and I’m grateful for the experience. The same can be said with Chantel, who’s been on this corner with me for the past eight years making this thing go.

I’d like to thank all the relationships I’ve made during my time at this crazy corner of Main Street. I’m grateful to the staff, regulars, partners, vendors, family, friends, neighbors and even those that just popped in only once to check us out. I always hoped we’d create a place that was meaningful and more than just a business. We did that not just once but with F.W. Sullivan’s, twice! “The Lady” however always seemed to resonate a bit deeper.

I am extremely grateful for enough memories to fill a million lifetimes and I’m very excited to turn the page and write the next chapter. Thank you from the bottom of our purple hearts for the years of love you all have shown toward Lady N’awlins!

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.

Business

Blue Bee Cider property bought, changes on the way according to city documents

The buildings that comprise the site in Scott’s Addition were built from cobblestones that once lined Richmond’s streets.

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From Richmond BizSense:

Changes are in the works at a Scott’s Addition cidery, and they may include bringing a different kind of booze to the site.

Blue Bee Cider owner Courtney Mailey confirmed this week that her cidery’s property at 1320 Summit Ave. is under contract to be sold and that negotiations are underway for a sale of the business.

Mailey listed the 0.35-acre property that houses Blue Bee over the summer for $3.2 million and has continued to run the cidery onsite.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Business

Short Pump Town Center seeks open container ABC license

Soon you might be able to sip and shop at the Far West End mall.

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From Richmond BizSense:

Short Pump Town Center wants to allow people to walk around the mall with alcoholic beverages open and in hand.

The Henrico County mall recently filed a request with the Virginia ABC for one of the alcohol control agency’s commercial lifestyle center licenses, which would allow Short Pump’s visitors to consume alcoholic beverages in the mall’s common areas. The mall hopes to offer the perk no later than spring 2023.

“In short, it is similar to an ‘open container’ license and will allow visitors over the age of 21 to take their purchased alcoholic beverages (bought at one of our tenant restaurants) out with them while they shop,” said a spokeswoman for Brookfield Properties, the New York firm that co-owns the mall.

The company offers similar open-container programs at other properties in its portfolio.

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Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Business

Library of Virginia partners with Can Can Brasserie to open downtown cafe

“We are thrilled to help bring one of the city’s best-loved restaurants to downtown Richmond,” said Scott Dodson, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation.

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A partnership between the Library of Virginia and a popular, longtime Carytown restaurant will bring a convenient breakfast and lunch option to the heart of downtown. Can Can Brasserie, a Parisian-style bistro and bakery, will open the Can Can Café in the Library’s lobby on Monday, September 19th, 2022.

“We are thrilled to help bring one of the city’s best-loved restaurants to downtown Richmond,” said Scott Dodson, executive director of the Library of Virginia Foundation. “Paul and John Kincaid and their team at Can Can are excellent partners. We cannot wait for our patrons and the downtown community to enjoy their amazing food in the Library as we head into our 200th anniversary year.”

Can Can Café will be open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with indoor and outdoor seating. Breakfast will include fresh-baked pastries and lunch will feature soup, salad and sandwiches, as well as to-go pastries, desserts and other items. Can Can’s signature coffee service will be available throughout the day.

“Since we began the difficult road of opening post-Covid, people have been asking us about our previous morning coffee service,” said Paul Kincaid, co-owner. “Countless people missed a beautiful location, quick coffee and pastries, and a chance to get out of the office and have a quick meeting. Opening Can Can Café in the Library of Virginia, we’re happy to be able to offer all of those things!”

Co-owner John Kincaid added, “With its spacious and beautiful interior, we’re excited to serve morning coffee, along with an assortment of sandwiches and salads for lunch, in a convenient location for so many folks in the downtown area.”

Limited free parking for Can Can Café is available on Level B1 of the Library’s parking garage accessed via entrances on 8th and 9th Streets.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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