Hey RICHMOND!!!Do you love supporting LOCAL businesses and organizations?That's what I love MOST about my job. I’ve been in the commercial real estate and brokerage world for over 15 years. I get to help local businesses and organizations find a place to call home right here in Richmond. In fact, here are my TOP 5 Favorite Projects:#1) Flooring RVA.We helped find them a new showroom with more space AND we were able to help find a tenant to replace their previous lease so they could make a clean break.#2) The Summit (Scott’s Addition area).Such a great, action packed area of town where we were able to help long time friends sell two different properties at the same time.#3) Nomad Deli & Catering Company.Anthony and his family are proof that the American Dream is alive. They started this family owned business as tenants, but eventually bought their building and have continued a successful (and delicious) restaurant!#4) LUX ChurchThis is a great community minded organization that brought life back into a building that was over 130 years old and an area landmark.#5) Liberty Public HouseWhen Alexa told us about her dream concept of a restaurant inside a renovated, historical building, we knew we had just the right property for her! In fact, she moved all the way back to Richmond from the west coast to fulfill her dream of being a restaurant owner.
Posted by Sperity Real Estate Ventures on Tuesday, June 30, 2020
If you just closed your restaurant and are looking to lease it again, it is important to be aware of potential problems that you may need to address first. Indeed, in real estate, knowledge is power. You may encounter problems, such as pests, lingering odors, and safety or health issues. These problems need to be addressed sooner rather than later before you can even think about leasing your restaurant space again.
Unfortunately, it is common to encounter pests after closing a restaurant. It’s important to address these problems because they can introduce dirt and disease to your property. When addressing this problem, be sure to clean thoroughly with disinfecting chemicals. Close all openings around wiring, vents, and drain pipes to ensure that bugs cannot return and bother the new renters. In addition to bugs and rats, other vermin might seek out food from the now-closed restaurant space. You can set up snap and sticky traps for rats and mice. If bugs and vermin continue to be a problem, calling an exterminator is a good course of action.
In addition to pests, it’s not out of the ordinary to encounter lingering odors after closing a restaurant. These odors can be unpleasant and unappealing for new renters, so they must be fixed before the property can be rented out again. Grease and burnt food are typical culprits of lingering odors. Vinegar, baking soda, and odor-removing cleaning agents are a few ways you can remove these odors. There are multiple odor elimination methods to choose from, so consider your circumstances and needs when selecting which method is right for you.
Damage, Safety, or Health Issues
There can be any number of circumstances which would cause a previous restaurant space to present safety or health issues or have internal damage. Before leasing the space again, it is essential to repair any structural damage to the property. It’s also essential to verify that all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors work, and that there are at least two forms of exit from the unit. Make sure to check for mold and lead-based paint hazards presented by old buildings.
Taking the time to check your property for pests, lingering odors, damage, safety, and health issues will allow you to eliminate unpleasant surprises. Taking care of these issues will help your leasing process to happen more smoothly, and ensure happy future tenants.
Need commercial real estate advice? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help!
From the IBBA’s website: “A Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) is an experienced business broker who is committed to the highest level of professional development the industry has to offer and has ethical values aligned with the IBBA standards of professionalism. A CBI has the ability to objectively guide clients through the intricacies of the entire marketing and negotiation process of a business sale, resulting in successful transactions and satisfied clients.
A CBI offers the most experienced professional representation available during the process of selling or buying a business. Along with having undergone a specialized initial program of detailed training, a CBI is required to earn continuing education credits to maintain the credential.
When you want to work with the best intermediary to buy or sell a business, look for the CBI designation.”
There are very few restaurants that have the distinction of having been successfully run for
16+ years 20 years [editor’s note: confirmed after posting that the start year was 1993!], and even more rare is the restaurant that has done so with only one set of owners. Avalon Restaurant & Bar at 2619 West Main Street, in the Fan District, has done so under the care of owner Peter Harahan since he first renovated and opened it so many years ago.
Even as a well-established restaurant, Avalon has recently gained recognition by bringing in Chef Jen Mindell to add her well-known flair to the kitchen. Chef Mindell was recently recognized by the Richmond restaurant community as a 2013 Elby Nominee for “Rising Culinary Star”.
Congratulations to the new owners, Walied Sanie and James Baldwin (pictured), who took the reins from Peter Harahan effective late yesterday afternoon. The new owners are keeping the staff in place and will do some remodeling after getting settled into ownership. I look forward to seeing how their vision of the restaurant develops and the changes you will make happen over the years to come.
This particular restaurant holds a special place in my heart because not only have I been close friends with a number of the staff here over the years, but also it is the place where I met my wife several years ago. It means a lot to me to have been involved in this deal, and I appreciate that it will remain to be Avalon under the new ownership.
**Richard Holden and Nathan Hughes, both with Bandazian & Holden, Inc., brokered the sale of the business and coordinated the new lease with the owner of the building.
Here at Bandazian & Holden, we are proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the 2nd Annual Richmond Magazine Elby Awards! This awards program is THE restaurant awards program for Richmond, Virginia and was a hit from the start, last year. This is a time when the stars of the Richmond restaurant scene (some of the ongoing conversation can be found under #rvadine in the Twitterverse) take time out to honor the best and brightest among them.
I have not been involved in the selection or judging processes, but I don’t envy such a difficult decision. We have a lot of great talent and passionate operators and chefs here in town, and I hope that these awards will continue to honor and encourage more talent to develop.
If you are in any way involved in the restaurant scene, I encourage you to buy tickets and attend. Come support your favorite spots!
The event is on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the doors open at 6pm. The awards are held at 6:30pm with a reception afterwards.
|Fine Dining Restaurant
||New Restaurant (Opened between Nov. 1 2011 and Oct. 31, 2012)
||Excellence in Service
||Rising Culinary Star
||Restaurateur of the Year
||Chef of the Year
|Culinary Student of the Year
Who are you hoping will win? Who isn’t mentioned on this list that you think deserved to be on there? I would love to hear what you think!
There has been a lot of attention given to the recent closings of restaurants in the Richmond area. There have been a lot lately, no doubt — here is a list of closings this year from Richmond.com that they are keeping up-to-date as things change. Some of these have been big surprises to the community at large, but it is important to keep in mind a few things.
Not all businesses close (or are for sale) because of poor sales. There are a variety of reasons:
- personal issues (divorce, wanting to spend more time with children, need to take care of an elderly parent, the owner has an illness)
- the business strategy has changed (the owners no longer want to be in a particular area of town, the owners only want to operate where they own the building)
- the owners are absentee and have other full-time jobs that are suffering because of the demands of owning a restaurant
- the business is on track to make a profit but the owners have run out of operating capital
- the owner is burned out, having spent the last XX number of years in the same location
- the owners realize that the best time to sell is when business is booming — cash out while things are good and maximize the sales price
- poor money management — sales might be great, but if you don’t manage your money well then you won’t stay open for long
- the landlord isn’t willing to renew the lease — maybe they have a better offer from another prospective tenant
- the owner isn’t changing, but they are changing the concept
There is also the counterbalancing effect of new restaurants opening up. Karri Peifer, Editor and Food Writer at Richmond.com, has been keeping track:
— Karri Peifer (@KarriPeifer) October 12, 2012
Almost one year ago, we posted a story about the transitioning of ownership of one Richmond restaurant legacy, Mulligan’s Sports Grille. The past month (Tuesday, October 9, 2012, to be exact) has unfortunately brought us the end to this story — covered here by CBS6 and here by Richmond.com. The restaurant’s official statement from their website is posted here (click the photo to enlarge) –>
Another restaurant that has gotten a lot of press coverage for its closing is Cafe Diem, at the corner of Patterson Ave and N Sheppard St in the Museum District — and right beside our office at 604 N Sheppard St. Since our company is involved in the ownership and management of their building, and most of the commercial property in the area, the media turned to us for some insight.
NBC12 coverage of Cafe Diem closing (with video and a guest appearance from yours truly)
I think the press has done an excellent job with the coverage on this closing. It is often a touchy subject, not only for the restaurant owner(s) but the landlord, the restaurant employees, the loyal patrons, the restaurant vendors, and even the surrounding businesses.
In short, there are lots of reasons why restaurants close. Sure, times are tough all around and lots of people are cutting back on spending, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. If anything, if you enjoy a particular restaurant, be sure to visit it plenty and enjoy it while it’s here. It is fun to always look for the next big thing, but don’t forget about the old favorites either. — By the way, there are LOTS of new restaurants coming soon. Keep an eye out here for announcements!
Over the past few years we’ve heard people talking about the importance of shopping local. These programs have been springing up across the country, urging consumers to join the “Buy Local” movement.
So, what difference does it make when communities shop at local businesses?
Well, the truth is when consumers buy from local stores instead of big box stores, more of their money stays in the community.
Although sometimes the costs may be slightly higher at locally owned businesses, there are many benefits, such as lower transportation costs, more eco-friendly communities and the opportunity to form growing relationships with local business owners.
Buying local also alerts the community about the gaps in the market, creating a stronger sense of entrepreneurship and pushing for new businesses to prosper in markets that hadn’t previously existed locally.
When spend your money in RVA it keeps our neighborhoods unique with prospering local businesses versus streets lined with big box retail chains.
Here in Richmond, there are a few organizations that are dedicated to encouraging consumers to buy local goods and services. The Greater Richmond Retail Merchants Association is well known for their Think. Shop. Buy. Local movement, a large scale movement that works to promote the economic benefits of buying local goods by working across Richmond and the surrounding counties.
Originally created as a project at VCU, ShopRVA is a smaller nonprofit made up of local businesses, organizations, and individuals who are joined together to promote the culture and individuality of RVA. ShopRVA was created in 2009 and works to make RVA more green, economically and environmentally. Their goal is to make Richmond businesses into a strong foundation for a thriving local economy.
“ShopRVA is new and filled with so much potential, people should listen to what they have to offer,” said Micah West, a student who worked with ShopRVA at VCU’s 2012 Social Media Institute. “They support the great things we have in the Richmond area and they want to express the creativity and personality of Richmond.”
These organizations work to remind us what makes Richmond such a unique city and they highlight why RVA is a wonderful place to live, eat, work and shop. With local restaurants on nearly every block, small markets throughout the Fan, and unique stores and boutiques in neighborhoods like Carytown and Libbie & Grove it is easy to shop RVA.
Have you noticed a decrease in the amount of people dining at your favorite restaurants lately?
Well, a recent expert analysis by the global investment banking firm, Jefferies & Co. shows national restaurant earnings trends have weakened during the second quarter. It may come as a surprise that quick service or fast food style restaurants are holding on strong against the falling market trends especially when compared to full service restaurants.
The instability in the economy plays the largest role in consumers dining choices. According to Jefferies’ analysts:
“Customers continue to struggle with economic/employment uncertainty, and affordability and value matter more than ever.” (per the NRN article).
The article also said that despite efforts made by casual dining restaurants such as discount and promotions, net traffic is dwindling.
Analysts even found a correlation between the rise in gas prices and the decrease in the amount of restaurant traffic.
“While gas prices spiked in March and have since come down, sales trends across the full-service restaurant industry have decelerated,” the Jefferies team noted in their report.
So the question remains why are fast food businesses doing better than full service restaurants? Is it just because of convenience and affordability?
Many fast food establishments have revamped their menus and created campaigns that showcase their efforts to become more affordable options to casual dining.
So, what are full service restaurants going to do to regain business?
In the NRN article analysts noted that consumers are looking for value, service, and atmosphere. With a good business plan and those qualities full service restaurants will recover.
As the national restaurant market has declined in the past few months, have you noticed a change in RVA? Would you prefer a fast food option to your favorite dining dive in the city?
Did you know that (according to the National Restaurant Association) for every $1 spent in any of Virginia’s restaurants, 97 cents of that dollar goes back to helping build revenue for the Virginia economy?
Well, this coming Sunday, June 3rd will prove to be a HUGE boost for Richmond restaurants as well as the Virginia economy with the 5th Annual Broad Appetit Festival, happening downtown in Richmond’s Arts District.
The highly anticipated festival, which runs from 11 AM – 6 PM, will stretch from the 100 to 300 blocks of West Broad Street and give Richmond natives, visitors, families, students and foodies alike a great sampling of the diverse, eclectic Richmond restaurant scene.
Food prices will range from $3.00-$5.00 a plate as well as offer a variety of combos and mixed plates.
This will be the first time in festival history that Broad Appetit will feature exclusive Virginia beers and its first ever People’s Choice Awards, where festival attendees can vote for their favorite dishes.
To give back to the Richmond community, Broad Appetit is donating a percentage of proceeds from the festival to the Central Virginia Food Bank and Meals on Wheels. Last year, a record crowd of over 30,000 gathered for last year’s festival, making Broad Appetit Richmond’s largest dining festival in Richmond’s history.
Broad Appetit plays host to live music and events for all ages. It is the place where food and art intersect.
So, while you’re gearing up a hefty appetite for Broad Appetit on Sunday, take a walk around Richmond and experience the flavor that this eclectic city has to offer.
Which restaurant are you looking forward to trying out most at the festival?
From a press release received this morning:
RICHMOND, VA (May 24, 2012) – BlackFinn American Saloon, located at 1001 Haxall Point, today announced its plans to sell the restaurant to a local ownership group. The restaurant will remain closed until a sale is completed and the new ownership group has finalized its rebranding of the current space.
BlackFinn has been the sole restaurant tenant of the mixed-use Riverside on the James development since it first opened its doors in 2006. The new tenant will benefit from the revitalization plans that are in place for the surrounding Canal Walk area.
“With the efforts to update and expand the current offerings in the area, we feel that this is a good time and opportunity for both seller and buyer,” said BlackFinn operating partner Ryan Golbitz. “It’s been six terrific years and we are grateful for the support and the business that our community has provided.”
Details of the new restaurant’s name and theme are expected to be announced closer to the reopening date, estimated around fall of 2012.
Anyone else know details? I’ll update if I hear anything.
Be sure to watch the local news outlets for more updates/information.
Just two decades ago, sports bars weren’t very common. This is a community story for locals and sports fans, about one of Richmond’s first sports bars, the changing city landscape around VCU and the retirement of one well-respected business owner.
One Richmond bar scores big and creates a legacy
While the city hosts numerous restaurants and acclaimed cuisine, we also have an often overlooked local sports bar–not a big chain–that’s worthy of a boisterous hurrah.
Mulligans Sport’s Grille first swung open its doors in 1990 to reveal about 20 televisions inside–none of them flat screens–all broadcasting sports games and commentary.
Think about that novelty. The playing field for sports bars used to be fairly empty of any competition.
Harken back to the early 90s, if you can. The daily routine was sans internet, cable television was not a household standard–and it certainly did not supply the multiple sports networks available now. There was an audible welcome from sports fans–to the extent that the dream of three men multiplied into six restaurants.
The first store was so successful that by its second year, the bouncers came to work before the waitstaff. They were needed to control the the crowds who would try to push inside when the waitresses arrived, as to stake early claim to the best seats in the house. The Wednesday concert series brought thousands to Innsbrook, and hundreds would just camp out at Mulligans, many taking in the concert from the comfort of the patio.
John Sweeney, along with the Hurley brothers, Mark and Matt, were experimental business owners. They tried off-the-wall things like “cook your own steak” night, where hot grills stood ready for the sports aficionado to meet tong to meet steak.
The investors ran with their game plan, opening a total of six locations. After the Innsbrook location came Mulligans in Mechanicsville, Sixth Street Market Place, Southside, the Fan and then Farmville.
A common complaint in the restaurant industry here in Richmond is about how outdated and difficult (and sometimes just plain nonsensical) the ABC regulations are, especially for start-ups. Well it might finally be time for that to change:
…the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board is for the first time in 20 years reviewing and updating all of its regulations in an effort to rewrite or eliminate any antiquated and burdensome restrictions. And they’ve asked the state’s merchants to help, giving them until Oct. 17 to propose changes.
You heard them, folks. If you have an ABC license, then they want to hear from you! Be a part of the updates in the ABC laws. If you’ve seen what can be done better, now is your chance to speak up.
Where to speak up? I’m not exactly sure. I checked the Virginia ABC website and didn’t see anything specific about the initiative, but calling them directly would be a good place to start. If you do know the reporting process, please leave a comment with the information.
(Thank you to Richmond BizSense for pointing out this article in their morning email. If you’re not receiving it already, then you might want to rectify that.)
There was a rumor floating around for the past few weeks that Amy Cabaniss, the owner of Julep’s in Shockoe Bottom, was purchasing the building where Davis & Main operated a long-standing restaurant for decades. There was good reason for the rumor, because it was true!
Amy closed on the deal to purchase the real estate and the equipment at 2501 West Main Street this past Friday afternoon. Richard Holden, Principal Broker at Bandazian & Holden, represented Amy in the purchase.
It has been on the market for some time. Fan of the Fan reported back in June that the restaurant had closed, and I know that it had been for sale for some time before that. We are proud that Bandazian & Holden was part of making this sale happen, and even more proud that such a fine restaurateur will be the one taking over.
The new restaurant will be Mint New Casual Cuisine. From all of the great ideas that I’ve heard from Amy and from the reactions I’ve heard so far from the neighbors, the Fan District will be very happy to have her there!
Congratulations on the purchase, Amy! I can’t wait to try out the new place!
While we have many talented restaurateurs and chefs in Richmond, but only a handful can claim such a long-lasting impression on Richmond’s restaurant landscape as Stavros “Steve” Dikos can.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch has a wonderful article that commemorates his restaurant legacy. Read it — you will recognize the restaurant names! Dikos was the father of Katrina Dikos Giavos, whose husband Johnny Giavos is mentioned so much in the local restaurant scene because of their string of highly successful restaurant ventures (3 Monkeys, Kitchen 64, Sidewalk Cafe, etc).
Mr. Dikos passed away over the weekend of heart problems at the age of 85. My thoughts go to his family, and all of the people whose lives he touched, as they work through this loss.
As you may have noticed, we have Cafe Gutenberg for sale (see the big “Cafe Gutenberg – FOR SALE” in the menu above, or just click here). It’s a little bit of a different situation than normal, since usually these matters are highly confidential and even to find out the name and address of one of our business listings you would have to go through a screening process and commit to a Non-Disclosure Agreement.
In this case, the owners had decided to be upfront with their staff and even agreed to do an interview with Style Weekly about their decision to sell. Unfortunately, the article published didn’t accurately portray how the owners of Cafe Gutenberg feel about Shockoe Bottom or what they said about their reasons for selling the business.
Jason Guard, aka @rvafoodie, has given Chef Jen Mindell a chance to tell her side of the story as to why she and her partner are selling the business and to provide some background on how the past few years have been in Shockoe Bottom. Check out her guest post on Jason’s blog, Caramelized Opinions.
Everyone wants to know what the future holds, and the good folks at Nation’s Restaurant News have given us a peek at the future of restaurant trends. It is interesting to see what’s brewing on the front lines of the restaurant industry, although I bet a lot of those “hot trends” will burn out before they get anywhere — and even more won’t make their way here to Richmond at all.
The one that they are most confident in is — pies. Not only sweet pies, but savory ones, too. From what the article says, the pie shop is the new cupcake shop. I guess it makes for a good headline (and no denying that pies are tasty!), but there are other predictions they make that I’ve already seen happening locally:
• The new mom and pop. Self-financed restaurants built on limited budgets are growing in number. “This is an economic decision,” he said. “There are a lot of people out there who still want to open up restaurants, and it’s a good opportunity to look at real estate in a down economy.” The restaurants are typically small and the owners are extremely involved. Some examples are eVe in Berkeley, Calif., and Sons & Daughters in San Francisco.
• One-ingredient restaurants. “Restaurateurs are taking one ingredient and building full restaurants around them,” Freeman said. Following on the several-year trend of gourmet burgers, the trend is extending to grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs and sliders. “We’re predicting perhaps a peanut butter restaurant next or a big biscuit restaurant,” he said.
What do you think the biggest trends for restaurants in Richmond will be for 2011? What are you hoping will be the new trends?
Last Tuesday was “An Evening at Morton’s”, where a select group of individuals involved in Richmond’s restaurant community were brought together to discuss Richmond’s food culture. You can see my write-up and some useful links here.
I wanted to be sure you were aware of a few more resources that are especially useful if you weren’t able to follow along that night:
- All of the participants answered some introductory questions before the panel, and the answers can be found here.
- The live blog and questions from participants online were recorded and can be read in their entirety here.
- Here is the NBC12 coverage of the event, and there is a video on that same page of the coverage. The part of the report focused on the Steak Chat starts about halfway through the video.
I would love to hear what you thought of the discussion, and any insights you may have to share that didn’t get covered that night. There was a lot to cover, and we could have gone on for hours — so there are definitely topics that didn’t get fully discussed.
I’ve followed the ongoing series “An Evening at Morton’s” since it started off the year with a discussion on the Young Professional Business Climate, so I know that this is an exciting group and they have spun off some great discussions already.
Rather than rehash what has been said previously, I encourage you to read what Richmond.com has to say about the format of the evening and how you can participate. (nudge: go here)
[Okay, I lied. I am going to rehash just a little bit.] The masterminds behind the evening pick a topic, get experts together around a table at Morton’s Steakhouse down in Shockoe Slip, have a moderator facilitate the discussion, live blog & live tweet it, take questions and interactions with folks following along at home, record it, and release follow up posts wrapping up what was learned from the evening.
Thus is born #steakchatrva, or the long version, An Evening at Morton’s.
The topic on the table this month is Richmond’s Food Culture, which is a topic that is very near to my heart (and wallet, considering that most of what I do as a Commercial Realtor and Business Broker has to do with restaurants). I had heard of the topic and suggested some folks and angles on the topic to make things interesting. It hadn’t occurred to me that I might be asked to be at the table, so I was honored and excited to get the call.
We have a great panel for tonight’s discussion (taken straight from Richmond.com’s article on the evening):
- Brandon Fox (@bpfox), Richmond Magazine Dining Columnist & RHome Managing Editor
- Andy Howell, Cafe Rustica owner and chef
- Nathan Hughes (@rvabusiness) Bandazian & Holden VP & Sales Manager
- Karri Peifer (@KarriPeifer), Richmond.com food writer & editor
- Randy O’Dell (@Bellytimber), co-owner Bellytimber & Mezzanine
- Heather Sullivan, NBC 12 co-anchor NBC12 News Today & “Restaurant Report“
- Deveron Timberlake, Style Weekly food and drink editor
- Michelle Williams, deLux, Europa, The Hard Shell, Water Grill, The Hill Cafe chef / owner
While there are lots of people that could be included in the discussion, as evidenced by the larger than normal panel this month, there is only but so much space at the table. It is always important to note that while we are representatives of the community, we are not the end-all to the topic and need the rest of the community to step up and participate. We don’t want to lose the other voices that are equally important in the discussion.
So here is how you can participate:
- Follow the conversation on Twitter by clicking here to see everything that is tagged with #steakchatrva, and use the hashtag #steakchat to appear in that stream to participate on Twitter.
- Go to Richmond.com here and scroll down for the input form anytime before the event tonight to set a reminder.
- Watch the live blogging here starting at 6:30pm tonight, October 19th, to see the discussion unfold.
What do you think we should be talking about? Have anything you would like to share? Feel free to leave a comment or two here, if the urge should strike you. Just keep in mind that I won’t be checking the blog once the discussion is underway, so chime in on the other channels listed above to have your voice heard after 6:30pm tonight!
Richmond Restaurant Week 2010 runs the last week in October, Monday the 25th through Sunday the 31st.
Here is a description of the event straight from the official Richmond Restaurant Week website:
Richmond Restaurant week is in its 9th year. Each year, 25+ local, independently-owned restaurants gather together to get behind a cause aligned with their interest: food. The restaurants each offer a 3-course menu for a set price, this year $25.10, and donate a portion, this year $2.10, of each meal purchased to benefit Meals on Wheels in conjunction with the Central Virginia Food Bank. We’ve seen great success in years past and have donated tens of thousands of dollars to feed the hungry in the Richmond area. Come out and try a new place or visit your favorite restaurant and support this great cause!
RVANews.com and Richmond.com are both posting menus as they come in, and it doesn’t look like you’ll go wrong with any of the participating restaurants. In fact, I haven’t been able to choose yet because everything looks so good. At least I still have a couple of weeks to decide — but reservations should be made as early as possible because the schedules fill up fast!
Where are you going for Restaurant Week this year? Returning to an old favorite? Or trying out somewhere new? Please leave a comment to help guide folks that are experiencing Richmond Restaurant Week for the first time!
Virginia Governor, Bob McDonnell, has been getting a lot of news coverage lately over his push to privatize ABC stores statewide: RTD from 9/3/10, NBC12 from 8/19/10, Hburgnews.com from 8/26/10, Style Weekly from 6/29/10.
This proposal still has a ways to go and many levels of bureaucracy to push through before it becomes reality, but McDonnell ‘s senior staff members have been studying the issue to make recommendations. Here are their official findings (the full version), which were released today. You can find the presentations that were made through this link. (although it doesn’t look like it will stay the top story but for so long)
I pulled out a number of points from the press release that I found to be the most intriguing:
- 1,000 retail licenses will be auctioned off to the highest bidders
- The licenses will be broken into three categories: 600 licenses for large establishments such as grocery stores; 150 for smaller establishments such as package stores and wine and beer shops; 250 for convenience stores/retail pharmacies
- No one company will be allowed more than 25% of licenses within each level
- 1,000 licenses will still give Virginia 1.8 outlets per 10,000 adults, far below the private state average of 3.8 per 10,000 adults
- Majority of new license holders will be existing stores; Virginians will primarily see new shelves in retail establishments, not new establishments.
- 332 licenses will be guaranteed for areas currently served by an existing ABC outlet
- The additional 668 licenses will be granted based on population density
- The wholesale side will also be privatized, allowing the Commonwealth to completely focus on law enforcement and regulation of distilled spirits
- There is no tax increase in the privatization proposal
- The Commonwealth will also make an additional $33 million on the sale of the ABC warehouse in Richmond and 19 state owned outlets
- The number of ABC enforcement agents will be increased by 25%
- The Commonwealth, through the ABC board, will maintain health, safety, law enforcement and marketing regulatory authority over private distilled spirit sales and distribution
Also, the point that has been making the most buzz lately is the idea of a 4% tax on the gross liquor receipts for restaurant operators. That seems to have been taken out of the recommendations (given the 9th bullet point listed above), unless it’s a matter of semantics and they’ve buried it by not calling it a tax. I didn’t have time to go through, but I’m sure there will be lots of other people combing through the details of this proposal word for word.
Another point that is of particular interest to me is the sale of the ABC main warehouse. I wonder who will be listing that? *ahem* Mr. Governor, I’d be happy to take a look at it for you!
There aren’t many restaurateurs that are so widely acclaimed and well-liked as Alain Lecomte. Richmond has lost a true talent and he will be missed. Over the years I have heard lots of high praise for both Alain and his restaurant, Chez Max. Having never met the man personally, I can’t add much that isn’t already covered in the article in this morning’s Richmond Times-Dispatch — “Restaurateur Alain Lecomte dies at 46” (so go read it, *nudge*)
It’s always interesting to hear what kind of impression Richmond leaves on someone visiting, and of course I especially enjoy it when that perspective reaffirms what I already love about the city.
Take a look at how a correspondent from Cleveland.com views the River City: “Richmond: Southern charm with an edge” (thanks to @verystickyrice & @sharischaefer for tweeting about the article, or I would have totally missed it)
I think he captured the feel of Richmond very well, and the piece was well thought through. Granted, it’s a certain piece of Richmond and there are plenty more aspects that weren’t covered, but hey…he was only visiting for short time! It’s hard to get the full view even while you’re living here.
Feel free to leave comments here on RVA Business, but it might be better to leave comments on their site to keep the discussion going.
Come on back anytime, Stephen!
Everyone can now rest easy, dancing will no longer be tolerated in the City of Richmond! (Well, when I say “everyone can now rest easy”, I really mean everyone except for those pesky dancers.) From what I hear, dancing brings about all sorts of immorality so I am relieved that we won’t have dirty dancers parading around making light of the city’s laws. (My research really is confined to movies from the first half of certain movies from the 80’s)
I’m actually a little confused because visitors or transplants to the city are always complaining about how there aren’t many dance clubs here anyways.
Style Weekly has plenty of information in this week’s edition here, including a Q&A follow up session with a representative from the Mayor’s office.
As a tribute to the new City ordinance, here’s a video of some scenes from the movie Footloose:
Actually, this ordinance is nothing new here in the Richmond metro area. Chesterfield and Henrico have been issuing permits (or NOT issuing permits, depending on who you talk to) for a couple of years now.
Here are a few links about the stink from last year about Chesterfield and dance permits:
- Richmond BizSense article from 3/24/2009
- Midlothian Exchange article from 3/24/2009
- NBC12 article from 3/27/2009
(thanks to Richmond Good Life’s time-capsule archives for those links!)
Henrico has the same type of ordinance and dance club permits, but I recently had a tenant that had to apply for one and it wasn’t a huge ordeal.
If you’ve run against any of these dance ordinances or know of how it’s handled in other areas, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Leave a comment!
Richmond restaurants have been getting lots of love from the national cable TV shows lately — Bobby Flay has been through a couple of times (or he’s been through once and he’s coming back through again soon) and Eric Ripert was spotted scouting the Richmond restaurant scene just last week.
Recently, Man v. Food stopped into three great local restaurants for their legendary food challenges — Caliente, Black Sheep, and Buz & Ned’s. Rather than rehashing all of the details here, read this great recap of MvF’s visit to Richmond here on RVANews.com: “Man v. Food v. Richmond“
There was even a Nightline news crew covering MVF while they were here: click here for the video, which I can’t seem to embed. It’s a Hulu video, so there are about 30 seconds of commercials, then skip ahead to 7:51 in the video by sliding the bar at the bottom. Watch through about 15:52 and you’ll get to see the entire MVF report.
The reason I’m posting this now is because the Richmond episode will be airing soon, on Saturday, July 3rd at 10:30 E/P ! Set it up on your calendar, set your DVR because you won’t want to miss this!
[edit (6/26/10, 4:31pm): regardless of what the Travel Channel says, I’ve gotten multiple reports from people that their DVRs and other things have shown them that the actual premiere date is Wednesday, June 30th at 9:00pm E/P — given the incorrect info that I was relying on earlier, I feel that I should warn you that while the date has been confirmed by multiple people, I found the time through some further research on the Travel Channel site]
Every once in a while a potential restaurant buyer will ask me about how any past ABC violations may affect the ABC licensing of a new establishment. Here’s a fairly extreme case, but an important lesson to learn (from a RTD article last week, “Former Velvet strip club site can’t sell alcohol“):
Under state law, the ABC Board may refuse to allow a hearing on a license request if a license for that location has been refused or revoked within 12 months.
“It is enforcement’s position that without a significant period of time separating the Velvet reputation and clientele from that location, the reopening of a similar establishment will contribute to the reoccurrence of the same issues dealt with in the Velvet hearing,” said Francis J. Monahan, director of the law-enforcement bureau.
Oh…what’s the lesson you say? Don’t mess with the Virginia ABC board! You may not agree with them and it may suck sometimes, but you have no choice but to play by their rules if you want to remain in business.
(I wrote about Sam Moore’s ongoing ABC issues a couple of years ago, too: “Poor, poor, strip club owner…“)
Every time you turn around in Richmond, there is a new restaurant popping up…well, pretty much everywhere! This week is no exception.
I’m not going to pretend that I’ll keep you up with ALL of the openings and closing through this blog, but I’ll keep up my tradition of sharing news when I’ve come across it and when there is a particularly active week or two I’ll compile the info and point you to where I’ve seen the news.
Speaking of which:
1) The old Fuddruckers at the intersection of West Broad Street and North Parham Road has been sold to Buz Grossberg to expand his Buz & Ned’s Barbeque concept to a second location from its original home on Boulevard. That was announced a few weeks ago or so. The reason why I think it’s noteworthy today is because of Buz’s interview with Al Harris of RichmondBizSense that was posted this morning. Lots of great info on his plans for the building, and how the deal worked when his last attempt at a new store didn’t.
2) Secco Wine Bar opened this week in Carytown (Style Weekly article from last week), after at least a couple of months of public preparation (and who knows how long this was in the works before it was made public).
3) Dos Amigos Burrito opened a couple of weeks ago on MacArthur Avenue in Northside, to replace a short-lived ice cream shop (posting from North Richmond News). From what I’ve heard, it’s related to Northside Grille around the corner on Bellevue.
4) Empress is opening with a “Grand Soiree” this Wednesday, 4/28, at 2403 West Broad Street (former location of Enoteca Sogno, and Ma Musu’s West African Cuisine before that). Check out this article on RVANews for more details on the restaurant and the Grand Soiree.
AND, there are plenty more on the immediate horizon! I can think of at least 5 others new restaurants that are coming soon, but they are all at a stage that I can’t spill the beans. Believe me, that you’ll be excited when you hear (and I’ll let you know as soon as they let me!).
If there are any others that I’ve missed, please share. We have a great restaurant scene here in Richmond, and it’s only getting better as we celebrate it!
The short answer is: “hard work”!
Long hours and a passion for the business are all key to the success of a restaurant. I always tell prospective buyers that are new to the business that it is not just a career, it’s a lifestyle. If you can’t throw yourself entirely into the job, you might want to consider another job.
Take a look at this recent article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about a day in the life of a restaurant owner, “Hard work keeps fledgling pizzeria going in Henrico“.
No, really — there is no such thing as a bar in Virginia. As a very deliberate result of the Virginia ABC Board’s regulations on the food/alcohol ratio, there are only restaurants that happen to serve food.
A recent Food Fight article (which is the source of the previous quote) in Brick [EDITOR’S NOTE, 7/2/16: The Brick Weekly website is gone, so the links have been removed] gives a good overview of the impact this has on local business owners, and views from both sides. Mostly, it is a government regulation, and just like anything else with the Health Board or the ABC Board, as a restaurant owner it is better to just learn to live with the rules and jump through their hoops and just get back to making money.
God help anyone that can help change the system and these arbitrary limits, but it’s not worth trying to make waves until you are firmly established and can work from the inside.
I still don’t feel like I have a grasp on why this rule is in place, except for the typically cynical view that Richmond is behind the times and too much under the influence of the “Moral” Minority. The reasons that I have heard so far just ring hollow. (i.e., This law is not necessary for keeping bars from popping up on every corner. There are building codes and regulations on usage that can handle that.)
Something just feels wrong about my gut reaction against the regulation, so if someone can explain it, then please do. I’m all ears (or eyes, in the case of reading responses).