Sneak peek at Kevin Healy’s newest Boathouse

Paige and Kevin Healy inside the construction site. (J. Elias O'Neal)

Paige and Kevin Healy inside the construction site. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A local restaurateur’s big bet on the Hopewell riverfront is preparing for its debut.

Kevin Healy’s Housepitality Family restaurant group plans to open its fourth Boathouse location at 701 W. Randolph Road by June, he said during a recent tour of the facility.

Called the Boathouse at City Point, the 6,000-square-foot restaurant sits on a city-owned property that was once home to the Navigator’s Den, which was owned by Haralambos Papanicolaou and closed about a year ago.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the location and how things are coming along,” Kevin said of his latest venture.

After nearly two years of negotiations, Housepitality Family restaurant group, along with Papanicolaou, the city of Hopewell, and the Hopewell Economic Development Authority, formed a partnership to renovate the restaurant – including a $3.75 million loan the EDA obtained from EVB for the upfit.

In return for Healy’s group running and operating the restaurant, the EDA leased the site to his company for 78 months, with an option to renew at the end of that term.

Housepitality Family currently includes The Boathouse, Casa del Barco and Dinner in the Field. The Hopewell venture is one of two restaurants the family-owned firm has in the works.

This summer it will open a new Casa del Barco location in the recently shuttered Tara Thai space in the Macy’s concourse in Short Pump Town Center this summer.

The 6,000-square-foot restaurant sits on a city-owned property once home to the Navigator's Den. (J. Elias O'Neal)

The 6,000-square-foot restaurant sits on a city-owned property once home to the Navigator’s Den. (J. Elias O’Neal)

Work on the Hopewell Boathouse started in September. J.D. Lewis Construction Management is the general contractor and Richmond-based Walter Parks Architects is the design team.

Paige Healy, Housepitality Family director of concept development, said Hopewell’s 223-seat Boathouse was designed to be free flowing like the Appomattox and James rivers it overlooks.

Plans call for the restaurant to feature indoor and outdoor bar areas that include river views, a solar-powered beer cooler and chef’s table in the kitchen that will seat up to eight diners.

Accordion-style patio doors and skylights throughout the restaurant were designed to give the space a more open feel, Paige said.

The restaurant, which will employ around 75 works, will feature an events space, which includes about 2,450 square feet outdoors that will be covered by a tent. The site will also include electric car charging stations.

“The space can be booked for weddings, or for business and family events,” Paige said. “When it’s not reserved, it will be used for additional seating.”

While venturing to Hopewell is Kevin Healy’s furthest he’s ventured away from the heart of the Richmond region, he said he’s confident it will be successful.

“We have a strong partnership and people seem to be onboard and excited about the concept,” he said. “We’re ready to open and become a part of the Hopewell community.”

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