Zuppa's Fork in the Road
One of the city's recent rstaurant success stories is the soup and sandwich operation of Zuppa, now preparing to move into larger quarters across the street in Shockoe Bottom while continuing its growth in Carytown.
Chefs Adam Schumm and Bryn Purser are taking over the space formerly occupied by Jacqueomo's at 101 N. 18th St., basically quadrupling their table space and expanding the menu.
"We're both from fine-dining backgrounds," Purser says of the pair's experience at Bottega Bistro, Ruth's Chris Steak House and elsewhere, "and we're looking forward to doing some nice entrées and pastas, and having live music on weekends and a full bar."
Zuppa will be open daily, serving brunch on Sunday. Working with Schumm and Purser are sous-chef Nathan Hucks and manager Chris Skinner (his cereal cafe closed earlier this year), who will run the front of the house.
Most of the existing New Orleans-themed decor will move out as casual new tables and chairs are brought in; the boldly patterned casinolike carpet will stay for now. "People don't realize how much money it takes just to do a simple concept," Purser says, so other changes will be gradual.
In Carytown, Zuppa Too continues as part of Bev's Ice Cream shop, which is being renovated to add seating and more space for the long lines that tend to collect there.
Coming Attractions in 2007
Work continues at Kitchen 64, the Katrina and Johnny Giavos project in the former Zippy's on the Boulevard. Expect a winter opening and some relieved owners when it finally happens. Also on the slate: several upscale bistros coming to the River District's Turning Basin along with two gourmet delis; more coffee shops; a teahouse and a neighborhood cafe in the Uptown Main area; Carena's an offshoot of Jamaica House near Cloverleaf Mall; the renovated former Southern Culture; and other new eateries hoping to fill Richmond bellies in the new year. Watch this space for details.