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chicka-Cicka Boom-Boom enchilada's at Chuy's. Photo courtesty Chuy's Restaurant
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The new mural in the Kids Zone at the ACAC in West Broad Village is by Happy the Artist. Photo by James Dickinson
Thanks to the opening of several new eateries, the Short Pump corridor may soon be known as another restaurant row.
One of the newest additions is Chuy's Restaurant , which opened in West Broad Village last month. The Austin-based chain chose the West Broad Village site as its first Virginia location. "West Broad Village is a thriving community, and we are fortunate to be a part of this area's growth," says Benjamin Scarborough, local owner and operator, who adds that Chuy's features made-from-scratch recipes, large portions, affordable prices and a fun, eclectic atmosphere. "You've never had Tex-Mex food like this."
The restaurant's menu was created using authentic family recipes from South Texas, New Mexico and Mexican border towns. Warm tortillas are hand-rolled throughout the day and sauces like the creamy jalapeno are made fresh every hour. Signature items include Big As Yo' Face burritos and Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom enchiladas. And, if you're looking for out-of-the-ordinary décor, this is the place — think metal palm trees, ceilings covered with hubcaps and an Elvis shrine.
The space next to Chuy's will be home to a new 65,000-square-foot Carrabba's Italian Grill . The restaurant is scheduled to open this fall and will feature outdoor seating. With the addition of Carrabba's, the lineup for the front outparcels at West Broad Village is now complete. "Those front pads are premium," says Harrison Hall, vice president of NAI Eagle, the commercial real estate firm that handles West Broad Village. "Our thought was to find some premiere fast-casual restaurants that don't compete with each other and provide a range of options for residents and shoppers in Short Pump."
West Broad Village isn't the only Short Pump location with new restaurants. Karaikudi Indian Cuisine opened at 201 Towne Center West Blvd. and Maya Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge at 4348 Pouncey Tract Road.
Karaikudi Indian Cuisine is a traditional Chettinad-style Indian restaurant. "That is one of the spiciest regions of India," says Jacob Christie, one of the restaurant's owners. The restaurant offers a lunch buffet and a sit-down menu for dinner. Two days a week there also is a vegetarian dinner buffet. Christie, who also owns a Karaikudi restaurant in Chantilly, is pleased with the new location. "We're doing well," he says. "We have a good crowd."
Owner and chef Maria Oseguera opened Maya Mexican Grill and Tequila Lounge last November. She operated the same type of restaurant in New York City in 2006 but sold it to move with her family to Henrico. "We always had the idea to open a restaurant here with traditional Mexican-style food," she says. "It's not fine dining, but it is more upscale."
Oseguera hails from South America and her husband is from Central America. She learned how to prepare traditional Mexican dishes from her husband's family. "It became a passion for me," she says, adding that all of the food at the restaurant is made from scratch. One of her signature items is mole poblano, which she prepares each day at home. "I use six different types of chilies," she says. "I'm the only one [who] makes it. I don't want anyone to make shortcuts. It's a long process." Her favorite menu item: the chipotle-rub skirt steak. "It's a nice tender steak," she says.
In other Far West End news, Saxon Shoes , one of the largest shoe stores in America, is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Many of the store's customers have shopped at the family-owned business for years. "We are serving the third and fourth generation in families," says president Gary Weiner.
The store moved to Short Pump in 2005 and opened its Fredericksburg office in 2009. Over the years, it has seen countless trends come and go. One trend Weiner has noticed recently is a resurgence of older, classic styles — yes, the platform shoe of the disco era is back. "So many things that have worked in the past are working again, like Clark Wallabees and Frye boots," Weiner says, adding that this summer is all about sandals. "We have high heels, low heels, florals and lots of color. The color trends this year will be important to men, women and kids."
Down the road at ACAC in West Broad Village , people are talking about the attractive mural in the Kids Zone painted by Happy the Artist. "We had a double height space. It was the perfect wall for a mural," says David Zimmerman of Legacy Management Group, the corporate office of ACAC. The fitness center had worked with Happy previously when he created a mural for the Midlothian location. "We wanted something that was really interesting at Short Pump," Zimmerman says, noting that the Short Pump mural has a metropolitan feel with scenes of the Virginia Capitol and other recognizable sites. "It was Happy's idea to pull in some of the downtown imagery. He also wanted to keep it monochromatic with only a few splashes of color." The splashes of pink, yellow and blue in a small flower garden at the bottom of the mural pay homage to the elementary school students killed in Newtown, Conn.
And, last but not least, if you live near Staples Mill and Hungary Springs roads, you may be wondering why the land across from Target is being cleared and leveled. That space will be the home of Kroger's new Staples Mill Marketplace . The megastore will be similar to the Kroger Marketplace at Stonebridge in Chesterfield. "We've had our eye on this part of town since we entered the Richmond market and are looking forward to breaking ground there soon," says Fenton Childers, head of Kroger real estate for Central Virginia. Construction is expected to begin this spring with a tentative opening in spring 2014.
The 123,000-square-foot store will have approximately 30,000 square feet of non-grocery space. it will include a Starbucks kiosk, toy department, home décor section and a nine-pump fuel center. And, it will house Fred Meyer Jewelers, the third-largest fine jewelry retailer in the nation. The store is new to the Richmond market.