Mezzanine has been a Carytown fixture since 2008 (photo by Stephanie Breijo).
Sad news for Richmond restaurants: Carytown's Mezzanine is closing after seven years of upscale fine dining. Its last day will be Saturday, Sept. 26.
“Carytown is saturated with restaurants and we weren’t doing as well as we were in the first few years," says owner and chef Todd Johnson. "I let my staff know beforehand, if they want to stay on with the next restaurant, that spot will be lucky. It’s sad but in the last six months, I had to make some decisions. So I think I am going to do some catering and try to have a family.”
The restaurant's lease was up in January, and when Johnson was approached with an offer on the space, he decided to take it.
Nathan Hughes, principal broker at Sperity Real Estate, has a pending contract on the Mezzanine space and he says the new concept at 3433 W. Cary St. will be “more of a bar atmosphere with simple bar snacks.”
Johnson, who opened Mezzanine in August of 2008, doesn’t know what his next steps will be. He is going to take a much needed vacation. He’s just coming off a successful run at Lockn’, a popular three-day music festival in Arrington. He says would love to get more involved in the festival food scene, but the spaces are coveted and it is exceedingly tough to break in. (While at Lockn’, a diner on Sunday expressed how great his meal was. Later, Johnson learned that he was a member of The Offspring.)
“I had to make some business decisions, not emotional decisions. I have had a great run and am happy in my own skin," says the chef, adding that he is thinking of opening a high-end burger spot in Charlotte with a few friends, but won't be leaving the Richmond area.
“[Johnson] has been a fixture in the Richmond restaurant scene," Hughes says. "Great chef. Sad to lose Mezzanine. He really was one of the front-runners when it came to farm-to table movement in Richmond.”