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Doors close at deLux

David Larter August 6, 2012 5

DeLux closed after five years. It will relaunch as a raw bar in the fall. (Photo by David Larter)


Richmond Restaurant Group is hitting the reset button on a restaurant it launched five years ago.

A sign posted in the window last week announced that deLux, at Strawberry and Main streets, was no more.

“We were deliberating for a while over what was best for deLux,” Michelle Williams, a partner in the restaurant company, said in an email to BizSense. “But the actual decision was made pretty quickly. It wasn’t easy because we are affecting our employees’ lives. But we found ourselves in a spot where we could place a great number of them in our other restaurants, which was important to us.

“So no time was going to be good, but it felt like this was the best time.”

The restaurant will reopen with a raw bar but, beyond that, the restaurateurs are still working out details on what will go in the space. The new restaurant will open in the fall, according to a statement posted on deLux’s wall.

Williams said shutting down deLux “wasn’t a need so much as a choice. deLux wasn’t performing to our expectations but we feel good about the location.”

She said deLux employees would be placed in other Richmond Restaurant Group concepts: the Hardshell, the Water Grill, the Hill Café and Europa. Employees for whom deLux was a second job will have the opportunity to get their jobs back when the new concept opens in the fall.

Williams said it was unclear how much the company would be spending on the overhaul.

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  1. Michael August 6, 2012 at 7:41 am - Reply

    A raw bar sound good, but only if its focused on an adult crowd. DeLux was a bad restaurant model for the neighborhood and should have been in NY or some other major city.

  2. andrew Pegalis August 6, 2012 at 9:14 am - Reply

    I personally loved deLux, especially the decor designed by Johannas. I hope they don’t have to redo all the design work.

  3. Mike August 6, 2012 at 11:29 am - Reply

    Raw bar- will it compete with Water Grill?
    CAN it compete with Lady Nawlins?

  4. Nick August 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t agree more with Michael. Unless you have a continuous critical mass of a certain demographica/age group/ income bracket you can’t be that place with design or food.

    I think more than anything this is a sign that the market is over saturated for their target audience and that someone is going to have to close their doors and try a different approach. Mike is right will it compete, there are a ton of bars in that area.

  5. Brett August 10, 2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    You people are nuts. Michael you are definitely out of touch. It was cutting edge when it opened and people loved it. DeLux was always crowded and did great business. They had no problem competing. For years they were the hottest thing on Main Street. Most people go to bed before they would even get cranked up. They are smarter than the rest by remodeling before things get stale. They are reinventing themselves, only to prove they can do even better. Trying to compare it to Lady Nawlins is a joke. That place is a dump. Water Grill is amazing, but it is not the same demographic. It caters to an older crowd. You’ll see. This is one of the smartest restaurant groups in town. They know exactly what they are doing.

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