In hindsight, Aline and Dale Reitzer began their hiatus from the restaurant industry at just the right time.
In January 2020, the couple behind Acacia Mid-Town sold their restaurant’s building at the corner of West Cary and Robinson streets and closed Acacia the following month.
Upon turning out the lights at their business of nearly 20 years, the Reitzers said they still hoped to reenter the industry eventually. A month later, the pandemic touched down in Richmond.
“We consider ourselves very lucky. The intention was to move Acacia and we were fortunate to hold off on that as everything unfolded,” Aline said this week.
Now, about two years later and as COVID-19 cases are plummeting, the Reitzers are bringing back Acacia — albeit a bit further west.
Acacia Mid-Town has signed on to reopen in Gumenick Properties’ Libbie Mill Midtown development. The restaurant will occupy about 3,700 square feet in a Starbucks-anchored outparcel retail strip at 2363 Roux St. in the project’s northeast corner.
Aline said the interior will be about 1,000 square feet smaller but will be bright and airy, and Dale said the menu, while still in development, will feature many Acacia classics mixed with new dishes.
“It’ll be based on a fresher approach and the travels we’ve done,” Dale said, referencing trips they’ve taken to various parts of Mexico and Florida.
“A lot of fresh seafood, ceviches, whole roasted fish and aguachiles. We’re trying to get away from using so much salt, butter and cream in things. Even me, as I get older I want fresher, lighter things.”
The Reitzers are looking to open Acacia this fall. It will join a handful of other local restaurateurs in Libbie Mill, including Steven Gooch’s The Stables Market, Walter Bundy’s Shagbark and Michael Cohan’s Crafted.
Dale said being around other like-minded restaurateurs was part of the draw of Libbie Mill and Gumenick Vice President of Property Management Skip Nash said the developer deliberately eyed a mix of retailers and restaurants.
“We have long sought local retailers and this fits within that strategy,” Nash said. “We wanted to have a mix of both local establishments and national groups.”
That approach is further demonstrated with Gumenick’s recent finalized lease with The Brass Tap, a Florida-based beer bar franchise with dozens of locations nationwide — including one in Williamsburg.
Nash confirmed The Brass Tap is leasing 3,400 square feet at 4901 Libbie Mill East Blvd. He said The Brass Tap is also looking to open later this year.
Libbie Mill also recently inked a deal that’ll bring Athletico Physical Therapy to the development with a 2,600-square-foot lease. It will be Athletico’s first outpost in the Richmond area, joining more than 600 locations in 18 states.
Nash said they’re also in advanced discussions with an unidentified tenant that would take about 6,000 square feet. Should that deal finalize, about 12,000 of Libbie Mill’s 200,000 square feet of commercial space would remain available for lease.
Colliers International’s Peter Vick and Harrison Hall have the listing and have repped Gumenick in all the recent transactions.
Back in the Fan, Acacia’s old space has since been reborn into The Coop, a ghost kitchen concept from local chef Mike Ledesma.