Fan bar expands to the canal

BlackFinn closed in May 2012.

BlackFinn closed in May 2012.

Jake Crocker is at it again.

The restaurateur and barkeep, along with his partner Hayden Fisher, is opening a third F.W. Sullivan’s Bar & Grille location in the 7,500-square-foot space that once housed BlackFinn on the Haxall Canal.

This is restaurant No. 6 for Crocker and his partners.

Jake Crocker

Jake Crocker

“I think Sully’s will fit really well down there on the Canal,” Crocker said. “To operate this style of restaurant and bar – BlackFinn was always the model to begin with. They were doing a lot of things right.”

BlackFinn closed in May 2012 after six years in business at the Riverside on the James development.

Crocker said the restaurant, on the ground floor of the Troutman Sanders building at 1001 Haxall Point, would need minimal work to get up and running, which cuts down on the costs.

“This is about as turnkey as it gets,” he said. “All the equipment is still there, there is even liquor still on the shelves. BlackFinn put a significant amount of money into the [construction]. It’s one of the nicest we’ve ever seen. … We’ll obviously make it our own, but we won’t need to do much.”

Crocker would not discuss how much it would cost to get the canal space open, nor would he disclose the terms of the deal with landlord American Real Estate Partners. Crocker did say he received a number of incentives from the property owner, including free parking for patrons.

In addition to the three F.W. Sullivan’s locations, Crocker and various partners own Jorge’s Cantina on North Robinson Street, Lady N’Awlins Cajun Café and Uptown Market & Deli. A plan to open a second restaurant in Fredericksburg called the Chimneys has been scrapped, Crocker said.

Crocker’s other partners in the new F.W. Sullivan’s are Teri Zwerman, business and finance manager at David R. McGeorge Mercedes-Benz; Joe Carter, operating partner at F.W. Sullivan’s Fan Bar & Grille; and Paul Thompson, operating partner at Lady N’awlins Cajun Café.

This is the second new restaurant on the canal this year. Kevin Healy’s Casa del Barco opened in January as part of the Locks development, a joint venture between WVS and Fountainhead Properties.

Matthew Mullett, a broker with the Shockoe Company, represented F.W. Sullivan’s. Alicia Farrell and Connie Nielsen of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented American Real Estate Partners, which is based in Northern Virginia.

Farrell said the deal was signed Wednesday. There is about 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in the Riverside on the James development. About 30 percent of that is now leased with the arrival of F.W. Sullivan’s. Canal Café is also a tenant.

Farrell said she and Nielsen have proposals out for another 8,000 square feet of the space.

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Jake, as an owner in Riverside on the James and a resident/owner in Vistas on the James, we welcome you to the neighborhood and wish you the best in your new venture.

Mark Lindsey
Mark Lindsey

We just bought our new home at Riverside on the James. It will be great having you as a neighbor as we like the food at your fan place.

Jake Crocker
Jake Crocker

Thank you all for the well wishes, we’re excited to be part of Richmond’s continued resurgence!