Bar owner makes his Shockoe investment a double

The owner of a Shockoe Bottom bar is hoping to pour some life into his faded block with a new restaurant.

Erik Brockdorff, who owns Tiki Bob’s, is planning to open a bar and grill called On the Rox across the street from his bar at 119 N. 18th St.

The two-floor restaurant is set to open next month and will serve dinner and brunch and host local bands on the weekends.

Brockdorff said he’s looking to change the general perception of Shockoe Bottom and get more residents to support local businesses.

“I still think it’s a great area,” he said. “People still want to live and work down here, and we should provide them with somewhere to go.”

He hired local chef Mike Pendergrast to oversee the menu, which includes burgers, steaks, panini and seafood.

“There’s not a place down here where you can get quality food with a neighborhood price,” he said.

Brockdorff said he also plans to have a few local beers and wines on the menu.

On the Rox will have flat-screens TVs and black-and-white photos of Shockoe Bottom along the walls with seating downstairs for about 88 people.

A back room with a stage can house an additional 100 people.

“We’ll have a country night with line dancing and have an instructor,” he said.

The restaurateur has owned the 13-year-old Tiki Bob’s for the past five years. He started searching for a second location a while ago. And after checking out the Fan, Carytown, and even the former Richbrau location, Brockdorff decided to stay on his home turf.

“The concept for this neighborhood is a perfect fit,” he said.

On the Rox is going in the former Element Lounge space, which closed in July after a six-year run. Brockdorff leased the 6,800-square-foot space at the end of August and is investing about $100,000.

The new restaurant is nestled along the same row as Mars Bar and the Fallout.

And with Mexican restaurant Margarita’s opening in the same block Nov. 4 and a new bar now opened in the former Alley Katz space, Brockdorff thinks there’s hope for 18th Street yet.

“It’s been up and down with the neighborhood, but business is still strong,” he said. “It’s making a turn.”

He plans to have a soft opening in a few weeks with a grand opening in mid-November.

And On the Rox isn’t Brockdorff’s last idea for bringing life back to the Bottom.

“Hopefully if this goes well we can expand to other locations and get Shockoe Bottom back to what it was,” he said.

The owner of a Shockoe Bottom bar is hoping to pour some life into his faded block with a new restaurant.

Erik Brockdorff, who owns Tiki Bob’s, is planning to open a bar and grill called On the Rox across the street from his bar at 119 N. 18th St.

The two-floor restaurant is set to open next month and will serve dinner and brunch and host local bands on the weekends.

Brockdorff said he’s looking to change the general perception of Shockoe Bottom and get more residents to support local businesses.

“I still think it’s a great area,” he said. “People still want to live and work down here, and we should provide them with somewhere to go.”

He hired local chef Mike Pendergrast to oversee the menu, which includes burgers, steaks, panini and seafood.

“There’s not a place down here where you can get quality food with a neighborhood price,” he said.

Brockdorff said he also plans to have a few local beers and wines on the menu.

On the Rox will have flat-screens TVs and black-and-white photos of Shockoe Bottom along the walls with seating downstairs for about 88 people.

A back room with a stage can house an additional 100 people.

“We’ll have a country night with line dancing and have an instructor,” he said.

The restaurateur has owned the 13-year-old Tiki Bob’s for the past five years. He started searching for a second location a while ago. And after checking out the Fan, Carytown, and even the former Richbrau location, Brockdorff decided to stay on his home turf.

“The concept for this neighborhood is a perfect fit,” he said.

On the Rox is going in the former Element Lounge space, which closed in July after a six-year run. Brockdorff leased the 6,800-square-foot space at the end of August and is investing about $100,000.

The new restaurant is nestled along the same row as Mars Bar and the Fallout.

And with Mexican restaurant Margarita’s opening in the same block Nov. 4 and a new bar now opened in the former Alley Katz space, Brockdorff thinks there’s hope for 18th Street yet.

“It’s been up and down with the neighborhood, but business is still strong,” he said. “It’s making a turn.”

He plans to have a soft opening in a few weeks with a grand opening in mid-November.

And On the Rox isn’t Brockdorff’s last idea for bringing life back to the Bottom.

“Hopefully if this goes well we can expand to other locations and get Shockoe Bottom back to what it was,” he said.

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Jason Wells
Jason Wells
10 years ago

I am glad to see that someone see’s the life in the City of Richmond and only wants to make it better. I hope the restaurant does well and I look forward to coming by and grabbing a bite to eat. I will always support the local community of Richmond VA

Jason Wells
Account Executive
ARC Reprographics Company
804.306.9283

Daniel Hambright
Daniel Hambright
10 years ago

Sounds great. Kickin’ Country Line Dancin’ group is based in the Richmond area and we are particuraly excited to see more folks country line dancing in the area. We wish ya’ll the best of luck in business and helping us keep Line Dancing alive in Richmond!

Daniel Hambright & Emily Franklin
Kickin’ Country Line Dancin’
http://www.facebook.com/kickincountrylinedancin

Mike
Mike
10 years ago

Soon as I get my concealed handgun permit I’ll revisit Shockoe Bottom and check it out!

Steve
Steve
10 years ago

Mike unless your going to Have a Nice Day Cafe you might need it but the rest of Shockoe Bottom is far from dangerous

DaveM
DaveM
10 years ago

“Shockoe Bottom is far from dangerous” ??? You obviously visit a different one than the rest of us. My friends and I have long abandoned going down there after dark because of all the trouble that has insinuated there over the years.

Steve
Steve
10 years ago

Dave it is the same one but you seem to have made your mind up on how dangerous you think it should be. I have lived around Shockoe Bottom for years. I can’t help if your afraid of past situations that are not happening now.

DaveM
DaveM
10 years ago

My apologies Steve, but when a friend of yours is mugged down there it changes your perception rather quickly and permanently.