A Rocketts Landing Indian eatery has been reborn as a Mexican restaurant.
Besos Mexican Kitchen & Cantina opened this week at 4821 Old Main St., a space formerly occupied by The Bombay Co.
Though Bombay closed earlier this year after a three-year run in the space, its owner Jazz Singh is staying on as an owner of Besos. Singh enlisted Carlos and Adrienne Londoño, who own La Bodega, Papi’s, Casa Fiesta Mexican Kitchen & Cantina and Margarita’s Cantina in the Shockoe Slip and Bottom areas, to reimagine Bombay’s space.
Carlos Londoño, a Colombia native who got his start in restaurants in New York City, said Singh reached out to him earlier this year after Singh’s son, Paul, left his post as Bombay’s general manager to pursue a career as a firefighter.
Singh, who wasn’t available for comment by press time, was left running both Bombay and her longtime restaurant Lemon Cuisine of India in the Museum District, and needed a hand.
“She said she couldn’t let it go. When she said that to me, I said, ‘Don’t worry, I won’t let you quit. You give me the control, let me do what I know how to do, and we’ll make it,’” Londoño said. “She was a lady who didn’t want to lose the location, and I wanted to help her as a friend.”
Singh hired Londoño as Besos’ general manager and they kicked off a renovation of the 3,000-square-foot space, one that included plenty of neon lights, pastel paint, sombreros and colorful murals — all of which are common decor in Londoño’s other spots.
“I like it loud, and we did that here,” he said. “It looks totally different.”
The menu also has been updated to include Mexican fare like tacos, burritos, elote and specials like mole chicken, carnitas and taco salad. Londoño said Singh taught him the recipes to a few of Bombay’s most popular dishes like its butter chicken, which will stay on the menu.
“We’ll just serve it with plantains and beans. Is Latin-ized even a word? I Latin-ized it,” Londoño said, laughing. “It’s like Latin-Indian fusion.”
Besos is open for happy hour and dinner service, as well as brunch on the weekends.
The new restaurant marks the first time Londoño has had a Richmond restaurant outside of the Shockoe Bottom and Slip area. He said Rocketts Landing hadn’t been on his radar but that he’s glad Singh, who he got to know through the industry over the years, reached out.
“It’s not like (Rocketts Landing) has a million restaurants,” Londoño said. “I’d call (Besos) a neighborhood place.”