Swapping burritos for gyros, a West End restaurant space is set to become the third location for a local chain of Greek restaurants.
Bell Greek plans to open early next year at 7011 Three Chopt Road in the Village Shopping Center. The space was home to Moe’s Southwest Grill for years.
The Village spot will join Bell Greek locations at 11360 Iron Bridge Road in Chester and 11307 Polo Place in Midlothian.
Ibo Pinar, who owns the restaurant with his wife Ashley, said he had his eye on the space for some time and sees a gap in Greek offerings in that part of town.
“I’ve been looking at it for a couple years and after Moe’s closed I went back and forth with brokers and we came to an agreement,” Pinar said. “There aren’t many Greek restaurants in the immediate area.”
Jim Ashby of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented the landlord in the Bell Greek lease.
Pinar plans to renovate the space to make way for a patio area to seat around 10 people. The 2,200-square-foot restaurant is expected to be able to seat a total of about 60 to 70 people.
Pinar is betting a patio will help the restaurant ride out any subsequent waves of COVID restrictions.
“We’re going to pull the front entrance back a little bit,” he said. “COVID just changed the whole atmosphere in Richmond. A lot of places are dying to have outdoor seating.”
Pinar said he wasn’t sure yet how much he’ll invest in the buildout, citing variable material costs and delays that have been spawned by the pandemic.
The restaurant is expected to open with about 20 employees.
Pinar bought Bell Greek in 2015, and added the Chester location in 2018. He’s been involved in Richmond’s restaurant scene for about 20 years, and operated the Central Virginia Qdoba Mexican Eats franchise from 2002 to 2011.