The Giavos family, who own popular Richmond restaurants including Kitchen 64, Sidewalk Café, Stella’s and The Continental, are getting into the grocery business.

Yep, you read that right — Johnny and Katrina Giavos are opening Stella’s Grocery at 1007 Lafayette St., across the street from Stella’s (1012 Lafayette St.).

Katrina Giavos said they’d been looking at spaces to get her mom, Stella Dikos, out of the restaurant’s smallish kitchen and into more space.

With Stella’s Grocery, the Giavos family will be returning the 1007 Lafayette space to its former glory as a grocery, which it was in the 1940s and ’50s as Lafayette Foodland.

The space has been everything from a restaurant to a catering shop.

Stella’s Grocery will have a coffee bar and possibly a juice bar and will sell some market items, plus wine and beer, produce and — down the road — fish and meat.

Best of all, Stella’s Grocery will sell many of Stella’s restaurant’s popular appetizers, such as hummus and spanakopita.

Katrina Giavos said they’re looking to cater to the neighborhood and its needs.

“The trend is moving toward neighborhood markets,” she said.

Construction is now underway at the space, which is expected to open in early 2015.

Recent closings

There has been a rash of restaurant closings in past few weeks. Here they are, in brief: In the Fan District, Pane e Vino Wine Bar & Trattoria in the former Julian’s Restaurant space at 2617 W. Broad St. is closed. Lalo’s Cocina Bar & Grill, a Mexican restaurant, is moving into the spot.

Martini Kitchen & Bubble Bar (1911 W. Main St.) closed last week. The restaurant staff was locked out by the Virginia Department of Taxation, according to a sign on the door. Empire at 727 W. Broad St., which was going to temporarily close for a menu revamp, decided to close permanently.

Downtown, Café Le Ville, at 9 N. Fourth St., and Milton Pizza, at 110 N. Fifth St., are closed.

In western Henrico County, Rocoto Chicken (8904 W. Broad St.) in the Gold’s Gym Plaza closed. Dixie Donuts closed its second location at 10260 W. Broad St. to focus on its Carytown store. And Short Pump’s Mimi’s Cafe (11275 W. Broad St.) closed over the weekend, as did most of the restaurant chain’s Virginia restaurants.

Now some good news, Zagat, the international restaurant review publication, named Church Hill one of the “10 Hot Food Neighborhoods Around the U.S.”

Restaurants mentioned in the piece include The Roosevelt, Dutch & Company, Proper Pie Co., Sub Rosa, Alamo BBQ and WPA Bakery.

Dining events

If you want to stuff your face Sunday, head to GRAZE on Grace, an inaugural dining event featuring small plates from 25 Richmond restaurants, such as The Savory Grain, Mezzanine, Pasture, Comfort, Rappahannock, Amour Wine Bistro, Lehja and Pig and Pearl.

The event takes place in downtown Richmond on Grace Street from Fourth to Seventh streets from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Admission is free. Small plates are $3 each.

When she’s not covering restaurant news for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Karri Peifer is the editor of Richmond.com and the site’s senior food writer. Follow her on Twitter @KarriPeifer.

Got a scoop for her? Email kpeifer@richmond.com.

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