Pizza joint takes over shuttered BonChon space near VCU

&pizza will take over about 2,400 square feet in the former to-go BonChon location. (J. Elias O’Neal)

A new-to-market pizza chain is ready to fill a former fried chicken joint in VCU territory.

&pizza, which operates nearly 40 locations nationwide, has leased about 2,400 square feet at 308 N. Laurel St., between West Broad and West Grace streets.

The chain takes over the 2,400-square-foot space from Korean fried chicken restaurant BonChon, which operated a short-lived to-go-only location there.

The VCU outpost would be &pizza’s first metro Richmond restaurant, according to its website, adding to its other spots in Virginia in Arlington, Alexandria, McLean, Springfield, Sterling and Reston. The company’s other restaurants are spread across Washington, D.C., Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Massachusetts.

&pizza could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Broker Connie Jordan Nielsen with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented the tenant during the lease transaction, while fellow broker Alicia Brown represented the landlord.

&pizza is opening the region’s first restaurant at 308 W. Laurel St. in VCU territory. (Courtesy &pizza)

&pizza launched in Washington, D.C. in 2012, according to its website. It’s known for its mini skateboard-shaped pizzas.

The menu features both ready-made signature pizzas such as its “American Honey” with spicy tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, arugula, goat cheese, hot honey and red pepper flakes and its “Maverick” pizza with classic tomato, mozzarella, salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, basil pesto and parmesan.

&pizza also features a custom, make-your-own pizza option where customers can choose a traditional, gluten-free or ancient grain crust along with a variety of sauces, cheeses and over two dozen meat and vegetable toppings.

Custom and ready-made options cost a flat $10, with some extra toppings costing an additional 50 cents.

&pizza also sells its own line of caffeine-free sodas and teas, with flavors such as mango passion fruit, ginger berry lemonade and dark cherry cola as well as sweet mint and ginger peach tea.

Other recent restaurant arrivals to the VCU area include Campus Waffle, the younger sibling to its Capitol Waffle Shop on East Main Street downtown and that made its debut in July, plus Rick’s Pizza at 913-B W. Grace St. in June.

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Michael Dodson

Who does the market study or they just said let’s go! This space has been what 6-10 places in the last 15 years. Nothing lasts more than one year; maybe two years. No on or off street parking is available and it is a weird configuration inside with little seating. Hence why the last place did take out only. Add that to all the pizza closings, especially around VCU, and one wonder why a place that charges $15-$20 for pizza and drink (especially with our high meals tax) would take up a space near where Pie 5 and Extreme Pizza… Read more »