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New Italian restaurant opens in Short Pump

Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown.

Breaking the chain


If you’ve driven through Short Pump in the past six months, there’s not a chance you’ve missed Chuy’s, the big and bold Tex-Mex restaurant in West Broad Village. From the outside, the brightly painted 8,000 square foot building gives a foretaste of what’s inside: eclectic decor, a fun menu, and from my experience, a lot of noise. The restaurant is a chain of 40 in the nation, but it’s the first of its kind in Virginia.

We were fortunate to arrive at 6 p.m. on a Wednesday, the perfect time for happy hour. From 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, there are drink specials, but what’s really special is the free nacho bar served out of a giant car hood.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

Groove spot

There are not many places I know where friends of rock, funk, and soul music can enjoy life music, dance, and have fun in a pleasant bar setting without fear of permanent ear damage.

So I was happily surprised to find all of these enticing ingredients of a great time out when I visited Bar Louie at Short Pump Town Center on a Saturday night. In the spacious bar/restaurant I found myself surrounded by the well-tuned sounds presented by The Groove Motive, a local band, and a cheerful crowd of funk lovers of all ages dancing the night away.

Three new restaurants coming to Willow Lawn

A Northern Virginia-based bar chain has tapped the Richmond market for its newest location.

American Tap Room, a restaurant and craft beer chain, plans to open its fifth location in Willow Lawn in October or early November. The restaurant will serve American fare, touts almost 60 beers on its menu and will have seating for 270.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

Keagan’s earns its good ‘pub’

When you enter Keagan’s Richmond, with its long bar and corner stage, it feels immediately like a typical Irish pub or tavern with its noise from merry patrons sitting along the well-equipped long bar eating a boxty or Shepherd’s pie and sipping their Guinness on tap or Irish Whiskey.

But that is about as far the Irish character goes. The music, whether from the “can,” a Virginia rock band, or the DJ in the evening, is not necessarily Irish. The same is true of the food menu, which offers (in addition to typically Irish specialties) typical American favorites, such as burgers, sandwiches, and chicken drums (the boneless variety) with spicy and not so spicy sauces and sides.

Restaurant watch

Find out how your favorite dining establishments fared during their most recent inspections by the Virginia Department of Health.

‘Asian Cajun’ restaurant entry arriving

Come September, Henrico County residents will be rolling up their sleeves and strapping on their bibs for a taste of New Orleans along with some flavors hailing from the Far East.

Crustacean Boil N’ Grill is slated to open at the end of next month in the Golds Gym Plaza shopping center on West Broad Street next to Comedy Sportz Improv Theatre.

The restaurant will serve boiled crawfish, Alaskan crab, shrimp, lobster and every other wonder of the sea, but owner Calvin Pan said this won’t be your regular seafood joint.

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