Tuffy Stone - the celebrated local chef and pitmaster, along with his wife Leslie Stone, and business partner Josh Loeb - have taken over Westover Station at 5047 Forest Hill Ave. and are planning to put their own spin on the neighborhood coffee shop.
Tuffy and Leslie Stone are possibly best known for A Sharper Palate, the catering company they launched on Lakeside in 1993, and Q Barbecue, the Richmond barbecue chain Tuffy Stone opened in 2008. Stone sold his ownership interest in Q last year and the couple partnered with Loeb, who's worked as executive chef and consulting chef at A Sharper Palate off and on for decades, among other places.
"We will be focusing on the quality of the food, coffee and other products sold there," Tuffy Stone wrote in a message. "We are very excited about this place and we hope to be a cherished spot in the neighborhood where you can come by for a great cup of coffee, breakfast, lunch and perhaps, eventually dinner."
Westover Station originally opened in 2013 as taZa Coffee 'n Creme before rebranding as Café Zata and finally Westover Station when original co-owner Ben Spencer assumed full ownership last year.
"We love what Ben Spencer has started and looking forward to being a part of the food and beverage community in our neighborhood. Leslie and I have lived in this neighborhood for over 20 years," Stone said.
The Westover will stay open during the transition, though may close for a day or two for painting, Stone said. For now, Stone and Loeb are focusing on the breakfast and lunch menu of sandwiches, burgers, egg dishes, pastries and bagels.
"We think that just working on breakfast, lunch, coffee and brunch will keep us busy. When, we feel like we have accomplished this, we will ponder on dinner," Stone said. "We just want to be a great neighborhood spot, that our patrons want to come back to with their friends."
The transition will be unfolding as The Hill Standard comes together across the street at 4910-4930 Forest Hill Ave. That development will include a location for The Veil Brewing Co., a Blanchard's Coffee, Boho Studios, Stella’s Grocery, Pepe’s Mexican Restaurant and Charm School Study Hall ice cream shop. Perhaps making the area a burgeoning food destination.
The Westover is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.