Bakery chain enters market with Innsbrook outpost


The former Citgo gas station at 11000 W. Broad. St. will be replaced by a Corner Bakery Café. (J. Elias O’Neal)

Another former Innsbrook gas station has a date with a wrecking ball to make more room for retail space.

The former Citgo gas station at 11000 W. Broad St. soon will be transformed into the Richmond market’s first Corner Bakery Café location.

Shahid Ali, who owns the Corner Bakery franchise territory in metro Richmond and Fredericksburg, plans a 4,000-square-foot storefront on the site. He purchased the property in 2014 for $850,000, according to Henrico County property records.

Construction is set to begin in July, with its opening set for the fall, Ali said.

While the Innsbrook site’s plan of development has been approved, Ali said county officials are ironing out details related to parking and West Broad Street frontage – both matters that delayed development.

“We’ve been working on this location for a couple of years,” Ali said. “We’ve worked through those issues and we’re ready to begin construction.”

Based in Dallas, Corner Bakery offers pastries, breads, breakfast dishes, gourmet sandwiches, homemade soups, salads and pasta.

The brand has nearly 200 locations nationwide, including four in the commonwealth – all in Northern Virginia.

Corner Bakery will be Ali’s second franchise brand in the region. He owns two Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen locations, at 8044 W. Broad St. in Henrico County and 2709 Chamberlayne Ave. in Richmond.

Plans call for the dormant gas station to be razed to make way for the restaurant, which will include more than 50 seats, a large kitchen, a conference room and about 40 parking spaces.

No general contractor has been secured for the project, Ali said. Florida-based Interplan Architects and Engineers were retained as engineers.

Ali said the Corner Bakery location will employ 60 to 80 full- and part-time workers, including three to four managers.

Ali, a London native and Fredericksburg resident, said he’s looking to establish two to three additional locations across the metro.

“With the high traffic counts and the number of office jobs in the area, I wanted this to be the first location,” Ali said. “We’re looking in mature markets in the area to establish future locations.”

Corner Bakery will join a rising tide of national eateries near the Dominion Boulevard and West Broad Street intersection.

Work is underway across the street on the Dominion Shoppes – a 12,300-square-foot retail development at 4101 Dominion Blvd. that previously housed a gas station. The center’s tenants include Blaze Pizza, Noodles & Co., Starbucks and American Family Care.

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Chris Terrell

I’ve been wondering when this building was finally going to be repurposed (or demolished and rebuilt), sounds like a great addition to Innsbrook! Best of luck to Shahid Ali on this project.