A Charlottesville-based brewery is getting ready to close its local taproom.
Champion Brewing Co. plans to close its Richmond location at 401 E. Grace St. after a nearly three-year run there.
The brewery, which opened its flagship location in Charlottesville in 2012, signed a three-year lease on the Richmond space in late 2016. Champion President Hunter Smith confirmed it will not be renewing its lease. He did not specify when the taproom will close.
Known for its popular Czech-style pils “Shower Beer,” Champion took over the 6,000-square-foot space that was formerly Aurora Restaurant. The building is owned by an entity tied to the Shaia family, which could not be reached for comment.
Earlier this year, Grit Coffee, a coffee shop chain also based in Charlottesville, opened a cafe inside Champion’s Richmond location. It’s unclear what Grit’s plans will be following the closure. Grit ownership could not be reached for comment by press time.
Champion will mark the third brewer to close a Richmond location in recent years. 7 Hills Seafood & Brewing Co. and Twisted Ales both closed in 2018, though both spaces were reborn as different breweries. Shiplock Brewing replaced 7 Hills, and Waynesboro-based Basic City Brewing Co. took over Twisted Ales’ former home in Manchester.
The closure will add another vacancy along a stretch of Grace Street that’s become a sort of restaurant row. Across the street, Pasture closed in June at 416 E. Grace St. The restaurant, which was from Jason Alley and Michele Jones, had been open since 2011.