NC restaurant touching down at Short Pump

Carolina Ale House will set up its first Virginia location in Short Pump. Photo courtesy of Carolina Ale House.

Carolina Ale House will set up its first Virginia location in Short Pump. Photo courtesy of Carolina Ale House.

A vacant Short Pump restaurant property has found its new tenant.

Carolina Ale House, a Raleigh-based restaurant chain, is opening its first Virginia location in West Broad Village, taking over the former Mimi’s Cafe property at 11275 W. Broad St.

The restaurant will open in the 6,700-square-foot building in early 2016 after spending years searching for the right Virginia location.

“Our owner, Lou Moshakos, has been looking for quite some time, and the Richmond area in particular has been of interest,” said Camille White, spokeswoman for Carolina Ale House. “The Short Pump area has seen some great growth, and we just really thought it would be a good fit for our brand.”

The Short Pump location became available after Mimi’s closed last year. Like many of Carolina Ale House’s other locations, it will be licensed by the LM Restaurant Group, a restaurant management company that works with several brands.

Carolina Ale House sells food typically expected of sports bars, White said, such as wings and burgers, but in family-friendly atmosphere. According to its website, the restaurant currently has 26 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Tennessee.

White said Moshakos conceived the idea for the restaurant when he and his family had a layover in London and he admired the pub-style setting.

Mimi's Cafe vacated the space about a year ago. Photo by Michael Schwartz.

Mimi’s Cafe vacated the space about a year ago. Photo by Michael Schwartz.

“He wanted to inspire that here in the states,” she said.

The company plans to hire between 140 and 150 workers to staff the restaurant.

West Broad Village has a total of about 400,000 square feet of commercial space. Carolina Ale House leased its building from Mimi’s Cafe, which has a long-term ground lease on the space, according to broker Kevin South of CBRE | Richmond. CBRE handles leasing for the rest of the development.

“I think (Carolina Ale House) will be successful there; there’s a definitely need for more restaurants, and it’s a great location,” South said.

South said about 80,000 square feet is still available in West Broad Village. The brokerage recently closed deals with Duck Donuts, men’s hair salon Ironworks and flotation therapy shop Oasis.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based JR Dill & Associates represented Carolina Ale House in the lease deal.

The restaurant plans to renovate the Mimi’s building before opening, but it will not change the footprint. It declined to share how much it will cost to open this newest location.

When it settles into West Broad Village, Carolina Ale House will join several other restaurants, including Bonefish Grill, Carrabba’s, Chuy’s, Dave & Buster’s, Ledo Pizza, Keagan’s Irish Pub, and Burger Bach.

The bulk of West Broad Village is owned by Excel Trust, a California-based REIT that purchased much of the development in 2012. Excel is currently working to develop West Broad Marketplace farther up West Broad Street.

Another piece of West Broad Village changed hands earlier this year when the 24,000-square-foot Golfsmith retail store was sold to locally based Capital Square Realty Advisors.

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