It seems like just yesterday that Restaurantarama was gleefully rhyming our way into the new year, spouting verses about restaurants new and old. This week, however, is a different story. News of a few restaurant closings rolled in, along with one mysterious rumor we’re still investigating.
The fall of Rise
Andrew Vaughn (right, pictured with co-owner John Spagnolo in front of Rise PizzaWorks before it opened June 2009) says the recent menu change didn’t affect sales like they’d hoped. The restaurant closed December 31.
A few weeks ago, Restaurantarama reported that Rise PizzaWorks at Barracks Road had changed its concept from custom slices to premade. Owner Andrew Vaughn added new pies to the menu and sandwiches, too. “There’s definitely a different vibe when you come in,” he told us.
Last week, the vibe changed again—when the restaurant closed. There’s been plenty of speculation on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter that Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, which opened in Barracks Road last fall, stole his spotlight. Tweeted @CvilleFood, “It’s unfortunate that Barracks Road placed two similar pizzerias within a 1-minute walk of each other.”
Vaughn agrees: “We certainly didn’t welcome that,” he says, “though we were having problems before [Brixx] showed up.”
As for future plans, Vaughn says he’s still involved with Rapture, but is also looking forward to spending more time with his wife and kids.
Bad news for fans of the 12th Street Tap House. Bartender Adam Brock confirmed via Twitter last week that the West Main Street restaurant and bar is closed. The Tap House opened in January 2009 after owner Chuck Adcock made a host of renovations—on Coran Capshaw’s dime—to the former Northern Exposure space. Calls to Adcock were not returned by press time.
Out of Place
It wasn’t even six months ago that Arby’s owner Tom Slonaker cut ties with the company and re-opened his Forest Lakes restaurant as A Patriot’s Place, aiming to serve American nosh with a side of national pride.
Now, Restaurantarama hears the restaurant is closed. In fact, Slonaker is no longer involved with the space at all—the owners of the Arby’s on Emmet Street will soon take over. A sign posted in the Barracks-adjacent restaurant solicits applications for the 29N spot. Calls to Slonaker were not returned by press time.
The former Ventana space at 117 Fifth St. SE has been leased. The question is: To whom?
A few weeks ago, Restaurantarama heard a rumor that Fleurie (and Petit Pois) co-owner and chef Brian Helleberg was nosing around the space, but when we followed up, he denied any involvement in the project.
Savoir Vivre (a French phrase meaning “know how to live”) recently filed an application with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for a wine and beer license, under the name Tempo. The listed owner? Stewart M. Cunningham, who happens to share a last name with Helleberg’s business partner, Brice Cunningham.