One of Shockoe Bottom's best-looking bars, Tonic, has changed hands. Terrance Tarver, who also operates The Cherry Lounge near Regency Square, just bought the business at 14 N. 18th St., including the name and furnishings, and plans to open later this fall. The nightspot closed in late August, when owner Bill Chapman and partners decided business wasn't strong enough to justify continuing. Now, Chapman says, "everyone is happy with the deal and with the new owner. We like what they're doing at the Cherry Lounge, and we worked out a deal to sell the name and all of it." At the Cherry Lounge, theme nights and a dress code are part of the equation, and the place is a steady draw in what was once a much more pedestrian bar at the Ramada Inn.
Petersburg Gets Hip
A live-music room, a sushi bar and a two-level tavern and restaurant are open in Petersburg's Olde Town section. Wabi-Sabi chefs Joseph Kulivan and Yoon Hwan are serving Mediterranean-Asian cuisine on a wide-ranging menu that includes selections for children and appetites of all sizes. Owners Regan and Mark Sprenkle promise "only the best live jazz, bluegrass, songwriters, blues and eclectic mix" in their warm, restored space on the lower levels of the Nathaniel Friend house at 29 Bollingbrook St.
Upscale Market to Enter Our Market
It's described as a destination food store, a place where classical music is piped in and soft lighting shows off the occasional antique. Produce, meats and bakery items aren't packaged, but displayed Old World-style in marketlike stalls.
The Fresh Market, a privately held high-end grocery chain, is preparing for its Richmond debut. The Greensboro-based business is pushing an aggressive expansion campaign and already operates in Roanoke, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. Management hiring here has begun, and the store is targeted to open in early February.
Workers are refitting the former Saxon Shoe store at 1527 N. Parham Road with Italian tile floors and display cases to show off imported cheeses, seafood, candies, prepared meals and produce. And like Ukrop's, which is already quite familiar with this new competitor, Fresh Market employees will carry groceries to customers' cars.
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