Dessert shop family takes on dinner

The Lambs: Zach, Paulette and Rob  (Photo by Michael Thompson)

From left: Zach, Paulette and Rob Lamb of the Ray’s Italian ice chain. Photo by Michael Thompson.

The Lamb family is at it again.

Rob and Paulette Lamb, and their son Zach, owners of Ray’s Italian Water Ice & Frozen Custard, are branching out from their local dessert business and trying their hand at a full-service restaurant in the West End.

In June they plan to open Ray’s Other Place at 3061 Lauderdale Drive.

They’ve leased the 3,200-square-foot space that was formerly home to Ironfish, which closed last year, Paulette Lamb said. The restaurant is in the same shopping center as one of their two Ray’s Italian ice shops. The other is at 2416 Old Brick Road in West Broad Village.

The family’s new venture will tap into Rob and Paulette’s restaurant experience, as well as the name they’ve made for themselves with their dessert operations.

“We saw that the lease was available, and we both have restaurant backgrounds,” Rob Lamb said. “We have a built-in clientele. People come to Ray’s a lot, and we hear them talk. We hear what they want.”

Ray’s Other Place will cater to families and serve “comfort food,” Paulette Lamb said.

“I feel it’s a niche that’s not really filled,” she said of family-oriented restaurants. “There’s the gastropub thing and the chains, but nothing really for families.”

The restaurant will be open daily for dinner, and brunch will be available on weekends. Bread will be made on-site, and they plan to have a full bar with smoke-infused drinks.

The Lambs plan to remodel the space but couldn’t say what it will cost to open their new venture.

Other family-focused restaurants have set up shop recently around the area. Southbound opened in the Stony Point Shopping Center in November, and Family Meal opened at Willow Lawn in March.

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