Richmond restaurateur tacking toward Hopewell

A rendering of the Boathouse project in Hopewell.

A rendering of the Boathouse project in Hopewell.

As it embarks on redevelopment of its riverfront, the City of Hopewell has lured one of Richmond’s more prolific restaurateurs.

Kevin Healy plans to open The Boathouse at City Point at 701 W. Randolph Road along Hopewell’s waterfront this fall. Healy has leased the 6,000-square-foot space formerly home to Navigator’s Den, near the shore where the James and Appomattox rivers meet.

It will be the fourth location for Healy, who also owns Boathouses on the Swift Creek Reservoir in Midlothian, at Rocketts Landing, in Short Pump and Casa del Barco on the canal downtown.

Kevin Healy

Kevin Healy

“I think it’s not an obvious place to go,” Healy said of Hopewell. “But there is some tipping point in every community where they’re ready, and I think we’re close to that tipping point. Southern Chesterfield is on fire.”

Though it hasn’t gotten the attention Richmond has for its dining scene, Hopewell is being revitalized, Healy said.

The Hopewell Downtown Partnership has given out grant money to help small businesses open downtown. The Beacon Theatre, a landmark from the 1920s, was renovated and reopened in 2014. Hopewell’s marina has also undergone renovations, and more riverfront upgrades are in the works.

The expansion of The Boathouse brand, which Healy said would cost around $2 million, is being financed with help from the Hopewell Economic Development Authority. Hopewell Assistant City Manager Charles Dane said Hopewell’s EDA helped Healy secure loans with better-than-average rates to be paid back through rent payments. Healy compared the deal to the financial package Stone Brewing got from the City of Richmond.

“After talking to the leaders of Hopewell, they have infectious enthusiasm for the area,” Healy said. “They’re forward-thinking, and their track record is they’re doing what they say they are going to do and its working.”

Dane said The Boathouse at City Point will go a long way towards revitalizing Hopewell. Healy’s plans were announced as a “major economic development” last night at Hopewell’s city council meeting.

“It’s one more link in the chain we’re trying to create,” Dane said. “We’re at a real tipping point here.”

Walter Parks is the architect on Healy’s new space. He has not yet selected a general contractor for the project.

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Stacie Birchett
Stacie Birchett
5 years ago

This is big news for Hopewell! The city proper has long had few dining options, no seafood restaurants and none on the riverfront. The location on the former Navigator’s Den site is a prime location. I look forward to seeing the Boathouse City Point come to life!