Restaurant with whiskey-and-cigar lounge opens in the Fan

Charles Wilson, left, and Adam Evans are co-owners of restaurant and whiskey-and-cigar lounge Brun, which recently opened in the Fan. (BizSense file)

A Fan restaurant space has been relit with the opening of a new eatery and cigar lounge.

Brun recently opened at 203 N. Lombardy St. in the Fan. Its 3,200-square-foot space is a cigar-and-whiskey lounge on one side and a restaurant on the other.

Co-owner Charles Wilson said that thus far he’s noticed that both sides of Brun, the lounge and the restaurant, have their regulars and a third cohort of customers like to split their visits between both spaces.

“Probably one of the most humbling things I’ve seen over the last few weekends are groups of diners who come to dinner and they’re there for two hours in the dining room and then they go into the lounge,” he said. “I’ve seen groups of four, five, six people go to the lounge and go there for an additional three hours.”

While open to the public, Brun also offers memberships that come with complimentary cigars and cocktails, discounts on event tickets and other perks.

Wilson said its membership count is about 15 percent of the way toward the 300-member cap it has set for its highest and second-highest tiers of memberships.

The highest membership level, capped at 50 people, runs $175 a month. The second-highest tier is $125 per month and capped at 250 people. An uncapped tier is $60 per month and intended for patrons who expect to utilize the lounge space infrequently.

Non-members can access the lounge for $10.

On the restaurant side, entrees range from $16 to $36 and include dishes like lamb chops and seared scallops. The menu also features sandwiches that run $16 to $20 and salads between $14 and $17.

After parting ways with its initial chef, Brun’s menu has shifted to a higher-end and more varied soul-food lineup than its original vision of a Caribbean-influenced fare. The restaurant’s new executive chef David Gyapong came on several weeks ago. He was most recently sous chef at Cine Bistro.

“We want to expand our boundaries so we didn’t get put in one category,” Wilson said. “If we’re going to play in the world of restaurants, we have to be able to step it up.”

The restaurant has 50 seats while the lounge has seating for 60 people.

A focus of Brun is events, including live music performances across genres as well as dance lessons and other programs. It recently kicked off an educational series with an inaugural session on cigars.

“The intention is to create a platform for the Richmond music scene, to have somewhere (performers) can go on a regular basis and so city residents can come to know they will find a great show at Brun,” Wilson said.

In a bid to encourage Fan residents to patronize the space, Brun offers a special Fan-resident tier of membership and plans to introduce a happy hour special for Fan residents.

“It’s a very walkable neighborhood and we want them to know we’re here to serve and be a place for them to relax in their neighborhood,” he said.

Brun’s membership tier for Fan residents is free with proof of residency through a driver’s license or state ID and provides free lounge access with the purchase of a restaurant entree and half-off lounge entry when using the lounge only. Wilson said an honor system will be in place for the happy hour program.

“What we don’t want to do is police this to the extent like you’re being carded. We are using an honor system to some degree. The neighborhood residents know who they are,” he said.

Wilson said the ongoing investment into Brun will total $375,000. That figure includes additional air filtration upgrades and new furniture expected for the lounge next month.

Emerge Construction Group has been the general contractor for Brun’s buildout and ArcDev Studio the architect.

The restaurant had its grand opening in late March. The space was formerly home to Poor Boys of RVA and is next to The Lombardy Market. Brun, which is co-owned by Wilson and Adam Evans, had been in the making since late last year.

Charles Wilson, left, and Adam Evans are co-owners of restaurant and whiskey-and-cigar lounge Brun, which recently opened in the Fan. (BizSense file)

A Fan restaurant space has been relit with the opening of a new eatery and cigar lounge.

Brun recently opened at 203 N. Lombardy St. in the Fan. Its 3,200-square-foot space is a cigar-and-whiskey lounge on one side and a restaurant on the other.

Co-owner Charles Wilson said that thus far he’s noticed that both sides of Brun, the lounge and the restaurant, have their regulars and a third cohort of customers like to split their visits between both spaces.

“Probably one of the most humbling things I’ve seen over the last few weekends are groups of diners who come to dinner and they’re there for two hours in the dining room and then they go into the lounge,” he said. “I’ve seen groups of four, five, six people go to the lounge and go there for an additional three hours.”

While open to the public, Brun also offers memberships that come with complimentary cigars and cocktails, discounts on event tickets and other perks.

Wilson said its membership count is about 15 percent of the way toward the 300-member cap it has set for its highest and second-highest tiers of memberships.

The highest membership level, capped at 50 people, runs $175 a month. The second-highest tier is $125 per month and capped at 250 people. An uncapped tier is $60 per month and intended for patrons who expect to utilize the lounge space infrequently.

Non-members can access the lounge for $10.

On the restaurant side, entrees range from $16 to $36 and include dishes like lamb chops and seared scallops. The menu also features sandwiches that run $16 to $20 and salads between $14 and $17.

After parting ways with its initial chef, Brun’s menu has shifted to a higher-end and more varied soul-food lineup than its original vision of a Caribbean-influenced fare. The restaurant’s new executive chef David Gyapong came on several weeks ago. He was most recently sous chef at Cine Bistro.

“We want to expand our boundaries so we didn’t get put in one category,” Wilson said. “If we’re going to play in the world of restaurants, we have to be able to step it up.”

The restaurant has 50 seats while the lounge has seating for 60 people.

A focus of Brun is events, including live music performances across genres as well as dance lessons and other programs. It recently kicked off an educational series with an inaugural session on cigars.

“The intention is to create a platform for the Richmond music scene, to have somewhere (performers) can go on a regular basis and so city residents can come to know they will find a great show at Brun,” Wilson said.

In a bid to encourage Fan residents to patronize the space, Brun offers a special Fan-resident tier of membership and plans to introduce a happy hour special for Fan residents.

“It’s a very walkable neighborhood and we want them to know we’re here to serve and be a place for them to relax in their neighborhood,” he said.

Brun’s membership tier for Fan residents is free with proof of residency through a driver’s license or state ID and provides free lounge access with the purchase of a restaurant entree and half-off lounge entry when using the lounge only. Wilson said an honor system will be in place for the happy hour program.

“What we don’t want to do is police this to the extent like you’re being carded. We are using an honor system to some degree. The neighborhood residents know who they are,” he said.

Wilson said the ongoing investment into Brun will total $375,000. That figure includes additional air filtration upgrades and new furniture expected for the lounge next month.

Emerge Construction Group has been the general contractor for Brun’s buildout and ArcDev Studio the architect.

The restaurant had its grand opening in late March. The space was formerly home to Poor Boys of RVA and is next to The Lombardy Market. Brun, which is co-owned by Wilson and Adam Evans, had been in the making since late last year.

Your subscription has expired. Renew now by choosing a subscription below!

For more informaiton, head over to your profile.

Profile


SUBSCRIBE NOW

TERMS OF SERVICE:

ALL MEMBERSHIPS RENEW AUTOMATICALLY. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AT THE RATE IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY LOGGING IN OR BY CONTACTING [email protected]

ALL CHARGES FOR MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ARE NONREFUNDABLE.

EACH MEMBERSHIP WILL ONLY FUNCTION ON UP TO 3 MACHINES. ACCOUNTS ABUSING THAT LIMIT WILL BE DISCONTINUED.




Return to Homepage

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
Michael P Morgan-Dodson
1 month ago

Opened in March, already cycled through a menu and a chef, at 15% membership capacity, the new furniture is still not in and they now offering discounts/happy hour specials to Fan only residents get them to start stopping by the place. PS the Boiling Crap at the old Cornerstone must be a dead deal; that place is still boarded and vandalized. FYI King Crab at Willow Lawn has already closed up as well. Now called Yoshi Sushi.

karl hott
karl hott
1 month ago

I wish them the best but I feel like the operators that continue to go into this space don’t have a concept that matches the neighborhood residents. Keep it simple and affordable. Think young families and post-VCU renters. Just down the street Beauvine, Foo Dog, & Home Team Grill always do great because the “check all the boxes”.

Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  karl hott

Yeah, I feel like Balliceaux had the right idea for the space and everything since then has missed the mark. I hope I’m wrong about this one though, good luck!

Tracey Harvey
Tracey Harvey
1 month ago

What a beautiful restaurant and lounge with excellent branding! I’ve only heard excellent reviews. Congrats and wishing Brun many years of success.

Robbie Asplund
Robbie Asplund
1 month ago

The article neglects to mention that the General Manager is Chauncey Jenkins, who knows a thing or two about how to cultivate an authentic brand, build a dynamic membership base, and set the highest bar of hospitality for a venue.

Jim Jones
Jim Jones
1 month ago

Are Cigars included for a $10 cover to just get in the door? How about A walk in humidor on site? The article left out a lot.

Jackson Joyner
Jackson Joyner
1 month ago

I didn’t get it. I thought the interior was dreary and just a gutted version of Balliceaux, which had been a really cool environment. The food was ok and pricey. Glad to hear they are getting new furniture, but I’m not sure it will help. Many of the potential customers who travel here will hate the fact the there is no parking. A neighborhood focused concept would be way more successful venture. I wish them luck.