A Northern Virginia bar and grill is making its way to Richmond’s Near West End.
American Tap Room, a small chain of pubs that lists more than 50 beers on its menu, should be up and running in the Shops at Willow Lawn by spring.
The deal has been in the works for about a year, said Shawn O’Quinn, vice president for business development at Thompson Hospitality. The Herndon-based food service company manages American Tap Room and several other restaurants in the northern part of the state.
“I think Richmond will be a good market for us,” O’Quinn said. “We’re a Virginia-based company, and this seemed like a logical step.”
The restaurant serves American cuisine, but O’Quinn said the menus vary from location to location, especially in beer selection. Each of the four other American Tap Rooms features a different menu of craft, seasonal and local brews.
“There’s going to be a few personal elements in Richmond,” O’Quinn said. “We’re working out the specifics.”
Construction on the 6,500-square-foot restaurant space is in the early stages, and Thompson Hospitality hasn’t selected a contractor. O’Quinn said the expansion would be internally financed.
He said the Willow Lawn location could be the first of several American Tap Room restaurants in Richmond.
“We’re going to see how the first one does, and we’ll go from there,” O’Quinn said.
Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns the shopping center, approached the restaurant about leasing space in the recently renovated outdoor mall.
Deirdre Johnson, a senior director at Federal Realty, said the restaurant should resonate with the business lunch crowd, families and people looking for a new happy hour spot.
“We decided approximately a year ago that having a sit down restaurant would be the ideal addition to the newly renovated courtyard area,” Johnson said in an email. “We approached American Tap Room and they also thought it was a great fit.”