The mystery of who bought the old Mamma Zu building in Oregon Hill last summer has been solved.
Lyne and Randall Doetzer, owners of popular Jackson Ward restaurant Adarra, revealed this week they were the buyers of 501 S. Pine St. and intend to move their four-year-old eatery there.
The brick building at the corner of Spring and South Pine streets sold last June for $900,000; however, the purchasing LLC was tied to a local attorney and it was unclear who controlled the property. The building has sat vacant since 2021 when local restaurateur Ed Vasaio closed Mamma Zu after a 27-year run.
The Doetzers, who opened Adarra at 618 N. First St. in Jackson Ward on Valentine’s Day 2019, said their goal was always to find a forever home for the restaurant and that they were competing with developers for the Mamma Zu property who wanted to raze it in favor of apartments.
“We were always long-time fans of Mamma Zu and it’s important for us to keep that same vibe on that corner,” Randall said. “We’re big romantics in that sense.”
They said a total renovation of the building is in order, including replacing everything from the building’s roof to its plumbing and HVAC systems.
Adarra continues to operate in Jackson Ward in the interim, and the Doetzers said they don’t have a move-in date for the new space, as the renovations will take some time.
With a menu inspired by the Basque region of Spain, Adarra has received local and national plaudits. Its reservations are often booked weeks in advance.
Despite the restaurant’s popularity, the Doetzers chose a 1,600-square-foot building that is only slightly larger than Adarra’s current space, which has seating for 30 and a bar. Randall said it was important to them to find a space that had a similar feel to the current location.
“Everybody would expect us to go bigger and try to have a larger dining room, but we’re really more concerned about doing it right than big,” Randall said.
The same firms that helped outfit Adarra’s Jackson Ward space – interior designers Ronnie and Tayne Renmark of Renmark Design and Scott Stephens of SMS Architects – will handle the design of the new building. Matt Jarreau of Hometown Realty represented the Doetzers in their purchase of the building last summer.
Added Lyne, “It’ll be like Adarra is now, just elevated.”
Congratulations to Lyne and Randall Doetzer on their future location. One of the finest restaurants in the Richmond Metropolitan area and in one of our most frequently visited restaurant spots in the past.
Welcome to Oregon Hill, I hope it opens soon! I know the neighborhood is hungry for a new place!.
Trip down memory lane: I well remember DirtWoman peddling flowers on the sidewalk just outside MammaZu’s entrance.
Basque cuisine and this restaurant in particular lean heavily on serving Octopus and Squid. These extremely intelligent animals are usually imported from the far East to trendy restaurants in the West. While I bear no ill will to these restaurant owners, it is in my neighborhood and I cannot and will not support them.
enjoy your kale
Congratulations Lyne and Randall!!
Congratulations Randall and Lyne!!! We will be in full support of the new location! Best of luck.