Chez Foushee restaurant sold to local designer

chez foushee

Whitney Cardozo recently purchased Chez Foushee at 2 W. Grace St. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A longtime downtown restaurant is in the hands of a new owner.

Chez Foushee at 2 E. Grace St. was sold to Whitney Cardozo on Dec. 1. Cardozo, a local interior designer, purchased the property for $400,000, according to city property records.

She bought the restaurant from Andrew Hardie and Dennis Spurgeon, who started Chez Foushee in 1989. She said the pair will provide collaborative support for the business.

Hardie and Spurgeon could not be reached for comment. They were represented in the transaction by Charles Broadwater Jr. with Glen Allen-based Sunbelt Business Brokers.

Cardozo said the purchase will allow her to blend interests in culinary design and consulting.

“I have been looking for a way to combine my love of entertaining with food and design,” said Cardozo, a 2013 graduate of VCU’s masters of fine arts program. “I’d had my eye on food projects in the Richmond culinary scene, but when I saw that Chez Foushee was for sale, I knew it would be the right fit.”

Hardie and Spurgeon created Chez Foushee initially as a small deli and catering operation offering carryout and boxed lunches. Eventually, the business expanded to become a dine-in downtown restaurant known for its French Quarter-style cuisine.

It currently employs about 12 people.

Cardozo said patrons will not see much change to Chez Foushee’s menu, which includes  brunch, lunch and dinner items like chicken breast with sherry cream sauce and quiche.

“Andrew and Dennis have been delivering unwavering hospitality and great food since 1989, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to write the restaurant’s next chapter,” Cardozo said. “Chez Foushee has been a neighborhood fixture long before Broad Street began its revitalization. It has staying power.”

Cardozo’s design and consulting career spans 20 years. She owns and operates Whitney Cardozo Design, with a focus on recipe development, food styling, catering and party planning. Her work has included interior design for schools, museums, churches, homes and businesses.

Prior to launching the firm in 2010, Cardozo was vice president of education and exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Richmond and volunteered for Storefront for Community Design.

She said she plans to update the interior and exterior of Chez Foushee.

The purchase adds to other restaurant moves along Grace Street.

A few blocks west, Alero Mexican Restaurant at 417 W. Grace St. is now closed. The restaurant opened in October 2016 soon after owner Yofre Blanco closed Kanoa Latin Cuisine at the same location. Blanco could not be reached for comment Friday.

Next door to the Alero space, Kufu Ethiopian Bistro at 415 W. Grace St. recently opened.

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