After a false start by another operator, a Fan restaurant space is slated to open its doors again with its second new tenant in less than six months.
Aura Bar & Grill is preparing to open in the former F.W. Sullivan’s at 2401 W. Main St.
F.W. Sullivan’s closed in 2020 after 10 years at the corner of West Main Street and South Stafford Avenue. The space sat unclaimed for two years, until last year when Neil Kaisani, who also owns Shockoe Slip bar Therapy, leased the space with plans to open another bar called Cure.
However after only a few weeks of operation in late 2022, Cure closed and Javontae Jones and his A-List Hospitality Group swooped in and bought Cure’s lease and equipment in January for an undisclosed amount.
Reached Tuesday afternoon, Kaisani didn’t comment about Cure’s short life span, but said he’d gotten to know Jones through the industry and was happy to make a deal with him for the lease on the space. Therapy remains open for business at 1419 E. Cary St.
Jones opened Arts District eatery The Riviere at 506 W. Broad St. in 2021, though he said he sold The Riviere not long before buying Cure. He said he also owns a few restaurants in Tampa, Florida.
Jones said he wants to bring some new dishes to the neighborhood with Aura’s menu.
“We’re going to be the first spot over here to have oxtails and grits. I’m really excited to have that on the brunch menu,” Jones said. “I want to come in and put something here that’s not really over here.”
He said dishes on Aura’s non-brunch menu will include lollipop lamb chops, a salmon dinner and a shrimp and sausage queso dip, as well as a burger, club sandwich and more.
Jones said Aura will offer frozen drinks and happy hour specials seven days a week.
“I’ve been traveling, and in big cities they have happy hours everyday. I was like, ‘Why can’t Richmond have more of that?’” Jones said.
Jones said Aura will offer specials for Fan residents and that he hopes to work with some other local restaurants for neighborhood events.
“They don’t do that over here, things like Shamrock the Block. It’s nothing but houses and community here, so I’m hoping to come together with the community and try to give the area something new,” Jones said.
Aura is planning for a March 5 opening. Jones said he’s working on renovating the interior now and plans to utilize the building’s Main Street-facing patio.
“Inside the restaurant, it’ll be more like a jungle with grass everywhere, pink flower walls and green seating,” he said. “I want to make it interesting for when customers come in there.”
Along with Aura, another new restaurant is in the works at Main and Stafford, as a pair of New York Deli employees are working on opening a Cajun/Louisianan restaurant in the former Lady N’awlins building at 2329 W. Main St.
Javontae sounds ambitious and I wish him the best! The Riverie has been a hit since it opened so he seems to know how to run a restaurant/bar. I’m glad to see another vacant restaurant reopen.
This was a weird statement = “I’ve been traveling, and in big cities they have happy hours everyday. I was like, ‘Why can’t Richmond have more of that?’” Uhm, pretty much sure every bar in the Fan has Happy Hour??
I’m sure Javontae & Aura will do well, that location is prime real estate for the Fan – kinda weird that Cure couldn’t make it.
How about “they don’t do Shamrock” well no not in the Fan, we have Strawberry St Festival, Haunted Hanover….events for the families and their kids. We have enough overnight small groups of drunks. Scotts Addition can keep the big events for drunks!