It’s been nearly six months since fire tore through The Tobacco Company, and it will be a few more months until the popular Shockoe Slip restaurant reopens for business.
“We are hard at work getting it back together,” Tobacco Company marketing representative David Campbell wrote in an email to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “The water damage is what has been the challenge.”
On July 8 around 10 a.m., a three-alarm fire caused by a grease buildup in the ductwork started in the kitchen area on the first floor of the restaurant and spread to three floors, according to fire officials.
The fire was marked under control two hours later, but not before significant damage was done to the restaurant and its basement-level club space. About 10 employees were working inside the building when the fire occurred, but there were no injuries; one person was treated for smoke inhalation.
Campbell said he’s hopeful that repairs will be completed in four months, but there’s not an official reopening date yet.
“New flooring have been laid in the Victorian Lounge and Club. Sub flooring has been laid in the second and third floors waiting carpet. A new Art Deco bar is planned for the Victorian Lounge,” Campbell said.
The Tobacco Company restaurant opened in a renovated 1860s tobacco warehouse in July 1977 at 1201 E. Cary St. The fired occurred one week shy of the restaurant’s 40th anniversary.
The Willow Lawn restaurant space most recently occupied by Hattie Mae’s will be home to a new restaurant in a few months when Legends Grille opens.
The restaurant Hattie Mae’s Southern Kitchen closed abruptly in August after five months in business. Before that, the space was American Tap Room for three years.
Legends Grille is a sports bar and American grill with a 6-year-old location in Fredericksburg. The restaurant specializes in approachable American fare — such as burgers, pastas and wraps — with most items prices around $10.
Chicken wings are, of course, its signature menu item. Legends even won a Fredericksburg award for its wings.
“We’ve been looking at the area for a couple of years,” said Neeti Bhalla, general manager of the Fredericksburg location.
Bhalla said the Richmond location will make good use of the 36 taps in the space and will have a lot more craft beer options than its Fredericksburg counterpart — with an emphasis on Richmond-area craft beers. The restaurant is also family-friendly.
Legends Grille is expected to open in mid-March.
Idle Hands Bread Co. has closed its Jackson Ward location to focus exclusively on its Fan District spot.
The bakery opened its Brook Road spot in 2016 and then last summer opened a second location at 407 N. Strawberry St.
“This was a decision that did not come lightly or easily but makes the most sense for our little bakery right now,” owner Jay Metzler wrote in a post on the bakery’s Facebook page.
The Jackson Ward location closed on New Year’s Day.