Three of Richmond’s culinary golden boys have something new up their sleeves. Hardywood owers Eric McKay and Patrick Murtaugh have teamed up with chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage and Southbound with plans to open a restaurant inside the brewery’s West Creek location, which sits on 24 acres overlooking Tuckahoe Creek.
“The picnic mentality is something we keep going back to,” says Murtaugh. “We’re just trying to get people to reconnect with the outdoors, and make really high-quality food that people can enjoy without worrying about formal sit-down service.”
The menu isn’t finalized yet, but Sparatta says to expect sandwiches, soups, salads, chips — no-fuss food that transports easily to a picnic blanket and pairs well with the ample beer selection. While the concept is a bit of a departure from what we’ve come to expect at Sparatta’s restaurants, he’ll continue to honor his commitment to local, seasonal ingredients.
“It’s a whole new challenge,” Sparatta says. “I kind of like doing things out of my comfort zone. That’s usually when I have the most growth, and I’m ready for a new set of challenges.”
The fast-casual concept doesn’t have a name, and the guys say they’ll probably keep it that way.
“Our initial feeling was just that this is a new element to what we offer at Hardywood West Creek,” says Murtaugh. “I think at the end of the day we feel that our goal at our facility is to create the ultimate beer experience, and to complete that picture is to have really high quality food to enjoy with the beer.”
Construction on the space is scheduled for this fall, with plans for the restaurant to be up and running by early 2020.
Hardywood West Creek
820 Sanctuary Trail Drive