A Shockoe Bottom bar owner and operator have big plans to bring a vacant Fan restaurant property back to life.
Roland West and Hani Atallah are taking over the former Martini Kitchen and Bubble Bar space at 1911 W. Main St. where they are planning major upgrades and a new bar and restaurant.
The pair signed a lease for the 13,600-square-foot space this week, and West said they’ll look to open in the late spring or early summer. A name for the concept is still being finalized.
“We’re not necessarily trying to break the mold here,” he said. “Think of a Fan bar, but on a much bigger scale.”
Atallah is the owner of Off the Hookah and Southern Railway Taphouse, both on Virginia Street in Shockoe Bottom.
West is a general manager at Off the Hookah and helped Atallah open Southern Railway Taphouse.
The Fan space has been vacant since Martini Kitchen and Bubble Bar closed in November. The property also once housed the now-defunct Main Street Beer Co.
Brokers Jim Ashby and Reilly Marchant of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer marketed the space and brokered the deal for the building’s owner, Thalhimer Realty Partners.
“The goal was to get a lease signed with an established Richmond operator, which these folks are,” Ashby said.
Thalhimer’s Alicia Farrell represented the new tenant.
West said the interior of the space is being completely redone. It’s expected to cost between about $300,000 and $400,000 to get the venture open. West said he and Attalah are financing it themselves.
Similar to their taphouse in the Bottom, the new bar will focus on craft beer, and the food will be American causal, West said.
West said he was attracted to space because of its size and parking. The property shares a parking lot with an ABC store and a Family Dollar near Main and Meadow streets.
“You don’t have to leave your friends at the bar, because everyone fits in here,” West said. “And you don’t have to parallel park.”
West said he isn’t fazed by the number of other bars in the neighborhood.
“They all have lines on the weekends,” he said.