New salad spots set for Carytown, Willow Lawn

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Two new restaurants promise to add some roughage to Richmond’s diet.

The Good Leaf, a salad-centric restaurant, is taking over a storefront space in Carytown at 2925 W. Cary St.

Charles Ellen, owner and operator of The Good Leaf and first-time restaurateur, said he hopes to open by early May, with plans to hire six to 10 people to staff the location. Renovations are underway.

Good Leaf will offer patrons a choice of greens and toppings to build their own salad, Ellen said, in addition to seasonal salad and soup options and several grain bowl varieties.

The Good Leaf is building out its space at 2925 W. Cary St. in Carytown. (J. Elias O'Neal)

The Good Leaf is building out its space at 2925 W. Cary St. in Carytown. (J. Elias O’Neal)

“We want there to be a good variety of items for people,” said Ellen, a Richmond native and 2012 UVA alum. “This is going to be a healthy food option for people that live, or are visiting, the neighborhood.”

At about 1,350 square feet, Ellen said The Good Leaf space will be able to seat about 24 people.

Dominion Construction Partners is the general contractor overseeing the renovations. Richmond-based Johannas Design Group is the architect, while Helen Reed with H.L. Reed Design designed the interior.

Plans call for the space to include a retractable window fronting West Cary Street, a salad-prep station and a wall with live plants, Ellen said.

“I really want this to be a gathering place for people,” Ellen said. “Carytown is a very interesting and eclectic area that’s open to new concepts … I think this is a concept that could work very well given the neighborhood.”

Meanwhile, Canada-based Freshii last week opened its latest Richmond outpost at 1700 Willow Lawn Drive, said Samuel Farhi, general manager and managing partner of the franchise.

Charles Ellen

Charles Ellen

Freshii offers salad bowls, burritos and wraps in a build-your-own format. The chain also has several signature dishes, and serves frozen yogurt and smoothies.

The 2,500-square-foot Willow Lawn location employs about 12 people and is one of Freshii’s largest restaurants in the U.S., Samuel said.

An alumnus of Benedictine College Preparatory and a 2015 VCU finance graduate, Samuel said he and his uncle, Joseph Farhi, who owns Fish Window Cleaning, secured the Freshii franchise in August 2015.

The Willow Lawn Freshii is the franchise’s second in metro Richmond. Another store is open in VCU’s Student Commons and Activities Center at 907 Floyd Ave. in the heart of the university.

Correction: An editing error in a earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Good Leaf is moving into the former Curry Craft space. That storefront is being revived by a new restaurant concept called Eleven Months

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Bud Richman

I thought Eleven Months was taking over the old Curry Craft location?