Padow’s location set to close after 25 years

Padow's Hams and Deli at Willow Lawn

The Padow’s Hams and Deli at Willow Lawn. (Photo by Michael Schwartz)

After four months under bankruptcy protection, a local deli will close the doors today on its longstanding store in Willow Lawn.

Padow’s Hams & Deli is turning over the keys to its space at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive after falling behind on rent and being unable to reach a deal with its landlord. It had been in the location since 1988.

Padow’s president Sidney Padow said it wasn’t the company’s choice to vacate.

“I got tears in my eyes when I was writing that closing sign,” Padow said. “We’ve been there for 25 years, and we still had a lot of loyal customers who would come in for lunch every day.”

Its dispute with Federal Realty Trust, the owner of the Shops at Willow Lawn, led to Padow’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in November.

The chain owes Federal Realty $154,000 in back rent and has more than $1.42 million in total debt, according the bankruptcy filings.

Padow said the two sides couldn’t reach a new lease agreement after the business filed for bankruptcy last year. He told BizSense in November that rent for the Willow Lawn space was more than $9,000 per month, accounting for about 25 percent of the store’s monthly sales.

Sarah North, marketing manager for Federal Realty, said the organization is bound by policy not to discuss details of specific tenants.

Padow’s seven other locations, including a corporate-owned store at the corner of Gaskins and Broad, will remain open. The other six locations, which are franchises, also are still in business.

For now, the company has no plans to open a new restaurant to replace the one in Willow Lawn.

“The plan is to consolidate and save some expenses,” Padow said. “We’ve looked around for another location, but we couldn’t find anything.”

The company announced the closure online Thursday, and it was first reported by WTVR.

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Jeff Gorham
Jeff Gorham
7 years ago

Federal Realty isn’t wasting any time. They’re out at 7am this morning (3/29) yanking the exterior signs down.

Jeff Miller
Jeff Miller
7 years ago

Although not privy to what happened at Willow Lawn, I have known Sidney Padows for almost 10 years and know him to be one of the finest gentleman in all of Richmond. And his pastrami isn’t bad also.

Josh
Josh
7 years ago

I’ve been a customer of Padows since I was young and I went there with my grandfather. Ever since they moved across the parking lot several years ago it hasn’t been the same. 5 Guys took over that location. I don’t even understand the success of 5 Guys the place is a grease pit and serves horrible slop to its customers, but its interior is modern and up to date. Padows looked like 1988. It was never updated and the quality of the food diminished as well. I hate to see another Richmond owned family business fall by the wayside… Read more »

Jay
Jay
7 years ago
Reply to  Josh

Yep. 5 Guys is a grease pit and serves slop.

A beautiful, beautiful grease pit with delicious, mouthwatering slop.

Sandy Toone
Sandy Toone
7 years ago

Sad to see this Richmond institution beginning to fade into the sunset. This former Richmonder still orders tins of peanuts and sliced Smithfield ham online from Padows to share with those in the deep South during the holidays, and many down here have enjoyed Padows offerings. I hope the Padow family and its business can overcome bankruptcy.