Delayed but undeterred by the pandemic, a veteran of the local pizza scene is now slinging burgers and hotdogs in the Fan.
Sal Nuara, who also co-owns Belmont Pizzeria, recently opened Capital Burgers & Dogs at 814 N. Robinson St., in a space formerly occupied by sushi restaurant Akida.
The restaurant serves smash burgers, which feature beef patties that are thinner and crispier than the standard hamburger patty, along with hotdogs and other items.
“I thought of the concept of smash burgers because I didn’t think Richmond had many original mom-and-pop smash burger shops,” Nuara said.
Nuara had plans to open the restaurant last year but said the pandemic got in the way, slowing the permitting process and making it difficult to secure things for the business like furniture. It became such a problem that Nuara took matters into his own hands.
“I couldn’t find chairs and tables,” he said. “I made all the tables myself in the restaurant. We kind of made a homemade place. My dad and I went to Lowe’s and got the lumber.”
The pandemic also claimed Nuara’s Short Pump restaurant Bel Cibo Pizzeria, which has permanently closed.
“To be honest, when the pandemic hit it put a hurting on us,” he said. “We still had customers coming but we couldn’t find employees to save our lives in Short Pump.”
While continuing his involvement in the operations of Belmont Pizzeria, Nuara is the sole owner of Capital Burgers & Dogs, where his wife Krystina keeps the books.
Most of the restaurant’s sandwiches, which are named after Richmond streets, run $6 to $10. The restaurant also serves beer and wine.
There’s seating for about 25 people in the restaurant, which Nuara said is about 1,000 square feet.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct the name of the restaurant that was previously in the space at 814 N. Robinson St.