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(Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
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The restaurant's main bar seats 15, and sports a number of TVs in addition to the three hanging above high-tops nearby. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
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Owner Andy McClue on his new restaurant's patio, which seats roughly 20. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
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CBB's dining room will seat 80 and offer a peek into the kitchen, so guests can watch as their burgers get made. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
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Local artist and musician Marie Landragin hand-paints CBB's hours on the brick exterior. (Photo by: Stephanie Breijo)
Have you missed Portrait House, with its expansive tap list and prime-location patio? Stop fretting. Citizen Burger Bar, or CBB, Carytown's new burger- and sports-focused restaurant, is opening tonight at 2907 W. Cary St. in the former Portrait House space.
Andy McClure, owner of The Virginian and Citizen Burger Bar, both in Charlottesville, is multi-tasking when he says he's hoping to open at 5 p.m., but admits it'll probably be closer to 6 p.m., or even 7. He has the flat-screen TV installers putting up nine “personal televisions” that sit directly in front of three long eight-top bar tables, plus six others ranging from 50 inches on down. Pendant lights and iron sconces are slowly going up on exposed brick, and attached to reclaimed antique oak that was salvaged from an armory outside of Richmond.
“The idea of [CBB] is to have every single piece of the restaurant interact with the others," he says. "We want you to be able to see everything from every point.” The openness of the kitchen allows you to see who is making your burger. In addition to beef burgers, McClure plans on offering a turkey burger called The Byrd, and will donate $1 to the The Byrd Theater from every Byrd burger ordered. He'll also offer an "extras" menu with Richmond-specific items.
Potter’s Craft Cider, a cidery located in Charlottesville, is loading in, casually reinforcing McClure and his team’s fervent commitment to local products. To start, McClure is bringing his food relationships from Charlottesville to Richmond, serving Charlottesville product at this location as he cultivates other purveyors closer to Carytown.
“Local is great, but local doesn’t by definition mean good," he says. "There are lots of places that have farms right next to them and they still aren’t serving what they could. Our goal is to find things, and then find the best of those local things. Not everything is perfect right down the street. We have been fortunate to be able to find farms and suppliers, and the people we do business with are the best in their industry. These are things we are beyond proud of. We don’t call our meat 'some of the best meat,' we call it the best meat."
CBB currently procures its meat from Timber Creek Farm outside of Charlottesville; its buns from Albemarle Baking Co., also in Charlottesville; and its cheese from Mountain View Farm in Fairfield. It will offer 24 taps with an emphasis on local beer, and provide more than 100 beers in total.
Outside, hand lettering is taking place to announce the hours: Sunday through Thursday, open until midnight, and Friday to Saturday until 2 a.m., with food served until 11 p.m. on weeknights, and until midnight on weekends. But even those are subject to change, McClure says. “It’s important we reflect what the neighborhood wants. If we have to stay open an additional hour for food, then we will.”
Citizen Burger Bar is located at 2907 W. Cary St. and opens tonight, Friday, April 22.