1 of 2
Locally owned Tazza Kitchen opened in late August. Photo courtesy Tazza Kitchen
2 of 2
Shawn Oï¿½Keefe, general director, at Burger Bachï¿½s new location in West Broad Village. Photo by James Dickinson
Restaurateur Jeff Grant couldn't be happier with the crowds at Tazza Kitchen. The Mediterranean and Baja Peninsula-inspired restaurant at 3332 Pump Road opened Aug. 28. The concept was inspired by the travels of the owners — John Davenport and John Haggai are partners in the venture along with Grant. "We were struck by the Valley of Guadalupe in Baja," Grant says. "The area has a simplicity with food. That had a huge impact on us."
The restaurant features a small menu — only 25 items, and all are under $16 — with local and regionally sourced ingredients as well as fresh fish. "People think Baja is Mexican, but it's not: It's Mediterranean-style cuisine similar to southern Italy," Grant says. "We're working really hard to work with growers and farmers in Virginia."
Most of the items on the menu are cooked in the restaurant's custom-made wood-fired oven from Italy. "We do all the pizzas on the front side of the oven, and we do protein, vegetables and fish on the backside," Grant says.
The restaurant worked with design firms Streetsense and Visible Proof to create a Mediterranean ambience. Outdoor seating is illuminated by a string of white lights, while the interior features wood, greenery and metal. "They nailed our vision," Grant says.
He sees the restaurant as a great alternative to chain offerings in the area. "That's why we came," he says. "We want to give people a different experience."
West Broad Village will be home to another local restaurant, Burger Bach. Owner Michael Ripp opened the first Burger Bach in Carytown in February 2012. "We are not just a burger joint," says general manager Michelle Elliott. "We are a New Zealand-inspired gastropub offering quality products in a casual environment."
The restaurant offers wild-caught shrimp and a raw bar with Coromandel Bay oysters from New Zealand in addition to beef and lamb burgers. It uses certified New Zealand grass-fed beef and certified Halal lamb as well as free-range, hormone- and steroid-free chicken. Sauces and dressings are made in-house. "Everything we do is fresh," Elliott says. "We grind our meats fresh every day and hand-press them, too."
The owners were looking at the Short Pump area when a location opened between 3Sports and ACAC at West Broad Village. "We fell in love with the space," Elliott says of the fast-growing development. "We had to get it." She is pleased that the restaurant will be in an area that emphasizes a healthy lifestyle.
"People are making smart choices in their life, especially with the food they eat, and our food is good for you," she says. "What better way to enjoy a burger after a workout."
The West Broad Village location will offer patio seating and a larger space than in Carytown. "We want our guests to come in and feel like they are not in Richmond," Elliott says.
Next spring, West Broad Village will also add Texas-based Golfsmith , which will be located between REI and the Whole Foods community garden. The golfing retailer will offer an interactive driving-range experience. The company is the nation's largest retailer of golf equipment, apparel and accessories. The new store will be the company's first in the Richmond market and one of 10 opening nationwide in 2014.
"When we look at areas to open new Golfsmith stores, a number of factors are considered, including demographics, rounds of golf played and the economic outlook of the region," says Stephen Maulden, the company's director of real estate.
Short Pump Town Center is always adding new tenants, and one of its most recent is Oil & Vinegar. The culinary gift shop features products from around the world and offers 25 to 30 samplings of on-tap oils and vinegars. "We can fill the bottle of your choice," says Robin Gouckenour, who is a franchise owner of the store with her husband, Rick. "When you come back in with a clean, dry bottle, we will fill it for you. That's a good value, because you just pay for the oil or vinegar."
The Netherlands-based company has stores throughout Europe; the Short Pump location is the company's 14th in the United States. "[Almost] 98 percent of our products are from Europe," Robin says, adding that the store carries one California olive oil and grape-seed oils from Washington state.
The store offers a wide range of appetizers and starters — from olives to antipasto — as well as jams, honey, candy, sauces and dressings. You'll also find bottled oil and vinegars and a pasta section with pasta machines and flour.
Park enthusiasts will have two new offerings by 2014. Short Pump Park, which is next to Short Pump Elementary School, will expand the existing athletic field behind the school into a 40-acre community park with open play areas, trails and a dog park supported by additional car-parking spaces and restrooms. The park currently houses athletic fields, play equipment, picnic facilities and a restored 1902 two-room schoolhouse.
Goochland County recently added to its park facilities with the opening of Leakes Mill Park on Route 6. Located about three miles west of the courthouse, the 167-acre park is Goochland's first county-managed, adult-regulation-size soccer field that will be open to the public.