Bourbon in the Bottom
Get out the beads Bourbon Street is coming to Shockoe Bottom. Mardi Gras will be in full effect seven days a week once the owners of Jacqueomo's get their liquor license. A New Orleans-style restaurant at 101 N. 18th St., where Awful Arthur's used to be, is set to open in late summer and will feature spicy food, an eyepopping interior, and jazz and blues acts most nights of the week.
Owners David Malone, formerly of Salisbury Country Club, and Jimmy News, a chef at Patrick Henry Inn, are teaming up for this venture, which is in full construction mode now. The front of the circa-1778 building will be festooned with flags, flowering window boxes and the look of old New Orleans. Best of all, the owners say their menu will focus on moderately priced Cajun favorites.
Richmond's demand for sushi might be fickle (business at one Shockoe place has been down so much that layoffs were in order recently), but two new sushi spots are staking claim here.
Osaka in the River Road II Shopping Center, 5023 Huguenot Road, brings teriyaki and sushi to a strip sorely in need of a dining spot. Now there's a sleek 80-seat restaurant owned by Chris Tsui and Hai Truong that offers creatively prepared sushi, some with Spanish or French influences, as well as steaks, chops and shrimp from the grill. The original Osaka location in Short Pump continues to do strong business next door to Regal Cinemas.
Opening any day now in the Uptown district is Nara Japan Seafood and Sushi (where Café Mandolin used to be). Owner Yasutsugu Nishikawa says Richmond hasn't tasted the real thing in original Japanese sushi, and he's bringing his traditional-style sushi, sashimi and seafood dishes to town after years running a similar place in Newport News.
When Lady Gee ushers you into Little Ochi Hide-Out at 4 N. 18th St. in Shockoe Bottom, you know you're getting a warm Jamaican welcome with your platter of jerk or curry, and who else in town is serving cornmeal potato pudding?
The new Gypsy Café at the Matrix Room an unwieldy name for the former Cafine's at Fourth and Grace streets has some of the tiniest uniforms for its waitresses that one Style staffer has ever seen, even tinier than the ones at Hooters, and maybe not that flattering. The food and Latin tunes are good, but wow is it chilly in there! Sounds like Hef's fantasy. Deveron Timberlake
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