Gordon Quinby and Charley Smith are hoping a makeover will help an old Cary Street restaurant building get its mojo back.
The pair last month purchased the former Mojo’s Philadeli building at 733 W. Cary St. for $750,000.
Sitting near VCU’s campus at the corner of West Cary and South Laurel streets, the 6,700-square-foot building had been home to Mojo’s for over 20 years.
The restaurant closed last fall, and Quinby and Smith’s purchase of the building closed Dec. 22. The 121-year-old building was most recently assessed by the city at $912,000.
Quinby said in an email that he and Smith plan to renovate the building with the hope of attracting another restaurant tenant.
“Despite COVID and the near-term impacts to the restaurant and higher education sectors, we feel it remains a strong submarket of Richmond and demand will return accordingly in due time,” Quinby said.
He added, “We will be fully renovating the property using enterprise zone incentives and historic tax credits and hope to have the property ready for occupancy in late 2021. We feel that a restaurant is the best use for the property but we are open to other uses for the right tenant.”
Prior to housing Mojo’s, Bandito’s Burrito Lounge called the building home in the late ’90s. Bandito’s is now under new ownership and continues to operate out of the Museum District.
Quinby said he and Smith have a number of other properties throughout the VCU and Fan area and have no plans for any major redevelopment of the Mojo’s spot.
“We don’t have plans to redevelop the property as it’s a historic building and serves as part of the remaining gateway to the Oregon Hill community,” Quinby said. “Our anticipated scope of work will include restoration of the original glass storefront and entryway of the building.”
Just across Laurel Street to the east is the new 805W development, which is set to soon welcome a new tenant in Paisano’s Pizza.