The storefront at 506 W. Broad St. has seen restaurants with Filipino, Japanese, Tex-Mex and new American cuisine come and go over the years. Now, after 12 months of dormancy, the table’s being set for a new venture in the space.
In July, Javontae Jones is planning to open The Riviere, a bar and restaurant concept in the spot previously home to Yaki, Boka Tavern, Belvidere at Broad and, most recently, Tiny Victory.
A Richmond native who also owns events and entertainment business True Society Events, Jones said he hopes The Riviere is the first step toward his bigger ambitions.
“This is my first sit-down restaurant. It’s definitely something different for me,” he said. “My honest life-long dream is to open a big night club. But I’m starting here to learn everything. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.”
Jones said The Riviere will serve bar food like burgers, wings and steaks and have an extensive cocktail menu. The new restaurant will also offer brunch every day it’s open on Wednesday through Sunday.
Jones said he’d heard of the space being vacant and went out to see it for himself. Once he got there he ran into the building’s owner, Marland Buckner, who bought it last year for just shy of a million dollars after Tiny Victory closed.
“Me and (Buckner) just connected. He really was patient with me and helped me out with the rent and the buildout because the building needed a lot of work,” Jones said. “It’s always good to have that landlord on your side.”
Jones said he’s working with local pop-up Pacq’s Kitchen to develop The Riviere’s food menu. Founded last year, Pacq’s Kitchen has been operating at places like Kabana Rooftop, Belle and Therapy in Shockoe Bottom.
The Riviere also plans to host spoken word and other arts events that would fit in with the neighborhood’s First Fridays art walk.
“My whole thing is, I want to bring that culture back to Broad Street,” Jones said. “The world’s opening back up. I can’t wait to open up and feed the people.”