by Brandon Fox
Rapp Session, Ryan and Travis Croxton’s soon-to-open oyster bar next to Rappahannock on East Grace Street, isn’t even open yet and the cousins have already inked a deal to open another in Charleston, South Carolina, as first reported by Hanna Raskin in the Post and Courier.
The Rappahannock Oyster Co. owners take oysters down to Charleston, South Carolina every year for the Charleston Wine & Food Festival. In conjunction with Border Springs Farm’s Craig Rogers, their Lambs and Clams after party is one of the most sought-after invitations at the event.
Ryan and Travis have gotten to know the city well, so when a developer there approached them to put a restaurant in a 135-year-old former cigar factory, they didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Never mind that they were trying to open Rapp Session next door to their Richmond restaurant, Rappahannock. Both projects went forward.
“Everything we spent on Rapp Session -- the old brick, the steel, the flooring -- this building already has,” says Travis.
The two restaurants share similarities, but the Charleston project will be a much larger place. “There will be a market and a big raw bar. It’ll kind of be like the food [at Rappahannock Oyster Bar] at Union Market, but with a big wood-fired grill,” he says.
Although the Croxtons plan to serve some oysters and clams from Rappahannock River Co., they want to develop relationships with local fishermen, with an eye to bringing South Carolina coastal seafood up to their Virginia restaurants instead of the other way around. There may be another farm in the future for Rappahannock Oyster Co. in South Carolina, too.
“We don’t want to do the carpetbagger thing,” he says.
A spring opening for the as-yet-unamed Charleston restaurant is planned. Rapp Session is set to open in Richmond next Wednesday.