With two restaurants under its belt since launching eight years ago, a budding local restaurant group continues to grow its holdings along Main Street.
Historical Restaurant Concepts, the group behind Postbellum in the Fan and Station 2 in Shockoe Bottom, recently opened its latest concept, Root Stock Provisions, at 1810 E. Main St. And it’s cooking up its fourth establishment, Oak & Apple, next door at 1814 E. Main St.
“We’ve been pretty busy,” said Ryan Koontz, a partner with HRC. “It’s basically been one project after the next.”
Work is underway to bring Oak & Apple to life in the space left vacant two years ago by Castanea. Details about the venue, including its food and drink menus, remain under development, said Jeb White, another HRC partner. However, Koontz said the sizable patio will allow it to house a large smoker.
“That should drop a few hints,” Koontz said.
Plans call for the 1,000-square-foot interior space to be overhauled to accommodate roughly 45 seats and a bar, while the neighboring patio area fronting East Main Street is being updated to include improved outdoor seating, recreational space and a bar.
“We really wanted to make it a place where people visiting can hang out and enjoy the weather,” Koontz said. “The space is already perfect for that, and with the improvements, we want to make it better.”
With the help of Barrett Contractors, White said, the group is looking to take advantage of the warm weather to open Oak & Apple before yearend.
Meanwhile, Root Stock Provisions opened next door in March, with the look and feel of an old fashioned general store as the setting for its market-café concept.
It serves a mix of breakfast, lunch and dinner items, including its classic breakfast biscuit, made with house bacon, folded egg and cheddar cheese; and a Cubano sandwich prepared with guajillo roasted pork loin, ham, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese on a torpedo roll. The café also will prepare several southern classics such as shrimp and grits, and biscuits and gravy.
HRC executive chef Kevin Church said Root Stock also is preparing dinner items that patrons can pick up and reheat at their residences.
The location has several a la carte options that can be paired with dinner.
“Given the number of apartments coming up in the area, our take-away dinners are something people on their way home from work in the area can pick up and take with them,” White said.
Rostov’s Coffee & Tea is the location’s coffee provider, and Church has added house-made ice cream to the menu.
Root Stock will serve as the restaurant group’s bakery hub – supplying HRC’s restaurants with biscuits, breads and pastries. It also has a large refrigeration system that allows the group to expand its storage capacity.
“Logistically, it made sense to roll our entire bakery operation into this location,” Koontz said.
White said the Root Stock name puts the entire HRC operation into perspective.
“The root is the base,” he said. “And through the root, we are able to stock our locations with the provisions that we are making at this location.”
HRC, which includes partners Ron Morse and Postbellum chef Paul Kostandin, opened its first restaurant, Station 2, at 2016 E. Main St. in 2011. Postbellum followed at 1323 W. Main St. in 2013.
The group recently wrapped up renovations at Postbellum by separating the bar and general dining area, and improving acoustics in the space.