Restaurant Depot opening on Brook Road
A food wholesaler that caters to independent restaurants and food service businesses will open this month in the former Kroger store in the Northpark shopping center at the intersection of Parham and Brook Roads at I-95.
New York-based Restaurant Depot is planning to open at the site Feb. 27.
The company operates cash-and-carry stores that are designed specifically for independently owned restaurants, catering companies and other food-oriented businesses and nonprofits, according to Ray Mallin, the branch manager of the company's Alexandria location.
Restaurant Depot is not open to the public. Businesses interested in shopping at the location must meet membership criteria, though memberships are free.
The Henrico location will be managed by Tom Fruchter and is expected to employ about 40 people, Mallin said. The company has filled most of its employee openings but is still interviewing candidates for the remaining spots, he said.
The company has nearly 100 stores in 27 states, including Virginia. This will be its third Virginia store but first in Central Virginia.
"Richmond is a thriving area, and we feel that it's going to do well for us," Mallin said. "There are a number of independently owned restaurants there."
Company officials already have visited most of the independently owned restaurants and catering services in the region, Mallin said, to make them aware of Restaurant Depot's arrival. In addition to selling food and beverages, the company also sells equipment and supplies.
"Service and value sets us apart," Mallin said.
The company's new home in Henrico has been vacant more than a year, since Kroger closed its location there Nov. 18, 2011.
The Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
Original Gravity gets the green light to move forward with relocation, expansion into larger space
A Lakeside home-brewing shop has felt the gravitational pull toward the booming craft beer scene.
Original Gravity, a shop that sells beer and wine kits for homebrewers, has just been given the green light to start work on a microbrewery.
Owner Tony Ammendolia is expanding his 1,000-square-foot shop in Lakeside Town Center to 5,000-square-foot digs a few doors down to add a brewery and expand his supplies.
Ammendolia opened the home-brew supply store in November 2011 and since then he said business has taken off.
“I think I outgrew this place in the first year,” Ammendolia said. “We’ve seen steady growth and I’ve been looking for a place to expand to move the shop to get more square footage.” > Read more.
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