New eatery bolts into former Zeus Gallery Café

The former Zeus Gallery Cafe at 201 N. Belmont Ave. has been sold. (J. Elias O'Neal)

The former Zeus Gallery Cafe at 201 N. Belmont Ave. has been sold. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A shuttered restaurant in the Museum District is being revived for a third time under a new name and ownership.

The former Zeus Gallery Café at 201 N. Belmont Ave. has been sold to Steven Gooch, a local businessman who purchased the restaurant from Richmond-based Hera Corp.

Both parties closed on the deal in early August for an undisclosed amount.

Hera Corp’s principal officer is listed as Ted Doll, who took over the restaurant as its second owner in 1995. In 2014, Doll sold the restaurant to Randy and Angie Dudley, restaurant veterans who became the restaurant’s second set of owners. Doll reclaimed the restaurant last year from the Dudley, ultimately selling it to Gooch.

The buyer, Steven Gooch, plans to open a new restaurant with different name and chef over the next 60 days. (J. Elias O'Neal)

The buyer, Steven Gooch, plans to open a new restaurant with a different name and chef over the next 60 days. (J. Elias O’Neal)

The 1,800-square-foot restaurant then closed in December 2015 after nearly 24 years of business.

Doll and the Dudleys could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

As part of the agreement, Gooch said he purchased the equipment and furniture from Hera Corp., along with assuming a more than 12-year lease with an option to renew. He also purchased the intellectual property for the former restaurant – granting him the rights and benefits to the Zeus Gallery Café name, along with any trademarks.

Gooch said the Zeus Gallery Café name will not be associated with the new venture and a new chef and menu are pending.

“I’m planning to open a different restaurant there,” Gooch said. “It will still be classified as new American food.”

Gooch hopes to open his new eatery within 60 days. He said he’s funding renovations on the space out of pocket, he said.

He said the restaurant will initially open for dinner and Sunday brunch, before building up its operation to include additional breakfast and lunch hours.

“I want to make sure we have plenty of opportunities to get our staff and operations down,” Gooch said of his new restaurant’s operation.

Gooch is a relative newcomer to the Richmond dining scene, but is no stranger to the Museum District.

In December 2015, he purchased the Franklin Inn at 800 Cleveland St. – his first foray into the restaurant business after serving as CFO for Pennsylvania-based Teleflex Aerospace.

Gooch said while Franklin Inn is logistically different compared to Zeus Gallery, the same concept for delivering exceptional customer service and quality food will be the focus at his second restaurant. He’s also hoping its location will draw customers to his latest venture.

“It’s all about location, location, location,” Gooch said. “That’s why I jumped in when I saw this opportunity because the potential is all around this area.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported that Ted Doll bought Zeus Gallery in 2013. He purchased it originally in 1995. 

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