by Brandon Fox
Oh, the shiny sparkling lure of a big city's glamor. It's proving irresistible to Richmond restaurateurs.
East Grace Street’s Rappahannock is the latest restaurant with owners planning another version out of town. Ryan and Travis Croxton, who also own Rappahannock Oyster Co., will open Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Los Angeles, California.
“We get solicitations all the time for different places,” says Travis Croxton. “But after [plans to open in] Charleston and then the Wharf in D.C., we were done.”
But the setting on offer changed the Croxtons’ minds.
“We like going into old places and like being a part of restoring downtowns,” he says.
The future spot will be in the old Los Angeles terminal market. Produce from all over California used to arrive there to be loaded onto trucks that would head out across the country. It’s now under development by Row DTLA to house restaurants, galleries, offices and retail shops. Think of an upscale — very upscale — Union Square Market in Washington, and you get the drift.
A branch of Tartine Bakery is moving in as well, and there are rumors — not yet confirmed — that David Baran, of Chicago’s Alinea and Next, will open his own, much-anticipated fine-dining restaurant there.
“We toured the spot,” says Croxton, “It’s 2,000 square feet and it has a little mezzanine. The whole thing is historic and fits what we do.”The L.A. branch will make 14 restaurants for the Rappahannock Oyster Co. group.
“We figured,” he says, ‘Why the hell not?’”