The Fan’s Barrio Taqueria sold by Richmond Restaurant Group to 3 Monkeys owner

barrio Cropped scaled

Barrio spans two floors directly across West Main Street from Sticky Rice in the Fan. (Mike Platania photo)

For the first time since 2007, Richmond Restaurant Group is not the proprietor of the restaurant space at the corner of West Main and South Addison streets in the Fan. 

Last week RRG sold Barrio Taqueria & Tequila at 2229 W. Main St. to Ramy Yacoub, owner of the nearby 3 Monkeys Bar & Grill.

Barrio is the third concept RRG operated in the building. It first opened deLux Diner there in 2007, before it switched it to Pearl Raw Bar in 2013. In 2019 RRG shuttered Pearl in favor of Barrio, which has been serving Tex-Mex fare since 2020. 

Yacoub, who bought 3 Monkeys last summer from George Hatzimanolis, had been in the IT industry for years before getting into the restaurant business when he became the local franchisee for Charleys Philly Steaks in 2021. He left the franchise to pursue 3 Monkeys, and now, Barrio. 

The Barrio sale closed last week, with Sperity Real Estate Ventures’ Nathan Hughes working the deal for RRG and James River Law’s Alex Mejias representing Yacoub. Yacoub said he signed a new lease for Barrio at the time of the sale. 

RRG, led by Michelle Williams, Jared Golden and Ted Wallof, still owns a portfolio of restaurants that spans much of the Richmond region: The Daily (Carytown and Short Pump), The Hard Shell (Midlothian and Shockoe Slip), East and West Coast Provisions (Carytown and Short Pump, respectively) and The Hill Café (Church Hill).

michelle williams richmond restaurant group

Michelle Williams

Williams said the company decided to sell Barrio because it didn’t align with the direction RRG is heading.

“It’s a great concept and it’s doing great in the Fan,” Williams said. “We’re just older and moving away from any business that has a drinking focus and a post-dinner element to it. It’s really not in our wheelhouse anymore.”

Williams said RRG was confident in handing Barrio off to Yacoub, who’s already familiar with the Fan bar scene with 3 Monkeys just three blocks down Main Street.

“They were ready to move on and I think it was a perfect fit for me to take over,” Yacoub said. “It’s a really beautiful location and it’s got the second floor that has a lot of awesome potential, too.”

In addition to a ground-floor dining room and rear annex with garage doors, Barrio’s 3,800-square-foot building also includes a second-floor dining room. 

yacoub headshot

Ramy Yacoub

Yacoub said that he’ll be keeping the Barrio name and the restaurant’s look, but that the menu is likely to get a change-up with the help of his mother, a longtime chef who also helped him update some parts of 3 Monkeys’ menu. 

“I’ll probably do more changes than (I did) at 3 Monkeys, especially when it comes to the food and drinks,” he said. “At Monkeys we kept the classics because it’s been there for a long time, but Barrio’s only been there for a couple years so there’s not a lot of classics, except the frozen margarita, and we’ll keep that.”

Barrio remains open and operational as usual and had no lapse in service as a result of the sale. Yacoub added that the restaurant staff stayed on through the transition. 

Over at 3 Monkeys, Yacoub said business has been going better than he expected since he purchased it. 

“We’re blessed. We’ve got great staff and I think we’re heading in the right direction,” he said. 

Meanwhile RRG is staying busy with some renovations at its seven restaurants.

Williams said the business is in the process of adding roofing and sidewalls to all its restaurant patios to help increase dining capacity through the colder months. 

“Basically we’re turning them into a four-season room as opposed to a two-season space,” Williams said. “That way we aren’t losing a third of our sales in the winter, and we’ll have these additional private dining spaces because that business is doing really well right now.”

Other news out of the Fan dining scene includes Fredericksburg taqueria Juan More Taco opening on Robinson Street last month and Nuevo Mexico Restaurante preparing to open directly across the street. 

The former Lady N’awlins building down the block from Barrio sold to the owners of New York Deli last year and is being renovated to make way for cocktail bar and restaurant Smoke & Barrel, according to Richmond Magazine

barrio Cropped scaled

Barrio spans two floors directly across West Main Street from Sticky Rice in the Fan. (Mike Platania photo)

For the first time since 2007, Richmond Restaurant Group is not the proprietor of the restaurant space at the corner of West Main and South Addison streets in the Fan. 

Last week RRG sold Barrio Taqueria & Tequila at 2229 W. Main St. to Ramy Yacoub, owner of the nearby 3 Monkeys Bar & Grill.

Barrio is the third concept RRG operated in the building. It first opened deLux Diner there in 2007, before it switched it to Pearl Raw Bar in 2013. In 2019 RRG shuttered Pearl in favor of Barrio, which has been serving Tex-Mex fare since 2020. 

Yacoub, who bought 3 Monkeys last summer from George Hatzimanolis, had been in the IT industry for years before getting into the restaurant business when he became the local franchisee for Charleys Philly Steaks in 2021. He left the franchise to pursue 3 Monkeys, and now, Barrio. 

The Barrio sale closed last week, with Sperity Real Estate Ventures’ Nathan Hughes working the deal for RRG and James River Law’s Alex Mejias representing Yacoub. Yacoub said he signed a new lease for Barrio at the time of the sale. 

RRG, led by Michelle Williams, Jared Golden and Ted Wallof, still owns a portfolio of restaurants that spans much of the Richmond region: The Daily (Carytown and Short Pump), The Hard Shell (Midlothian and Shockoe Slip), East and West Coast Provisions (Carytown and Short Pump, respectively) and The Hill Café (Church Hill).

michelle williams richmond restaurant group

Michelle Williams

Williams said the company decided to sell Barrio because it didn’t align with the direction RRG is heading.

“It’s a great concept and it’s doing great in the Fan,” Williams said. “We’re just older and moving away from any business that has a drinking focus and a post-dinner element to it. It’s really not in our wheelhouse anymore.”

Williams said RRG was confident in handing Barrio off to Yacoub, who’s already familiar with the Fan bar scene with 3 Monkeys just three blocks down Main Street.

“They were ready to move on and I think it was a perfect fit for me to take over,” Yacoub said. “It’s a really beautiful location and it’s got the second floor that has a lot of awesome potential, too.”

In addition to a ground-floor dining room and rear annex with garage doors, Barrio’s 3,800-square-foot building also includes a second-floor dining room. 

yacoub headshot

Ramy Yacoub

Yacoub said that he’ll be keeping the Barrio name and the restaurant’s look, but that the menu is likely to get a change-up with the help of his mother, a longtime chef who also helped him update some parts of 3 Monkeys’ menu. 

“I’ll probably do more changes than (I did) at 3 Monkeys, especially when it comes to the food and drinks,” he said. “At Monkeys we kept the classics because it’s been there for a long time, but Barrio’s only been there for a couple years so there’s not a lot of classics, except the frozen margarita, and we’ll keep that.”

Barrio remains open and operational as usual and had no lapse in service as a result of the sale. Yacoub added that the restaurant staff stayed on through the transition. 

Over at 3 Monkeys, Yacoub said business has been going better than he expected since he purchased it. 

“We’re blessed. We’ve got great staff and I think we’re heading in the right direction,” he said. 

Meanwhile RRG is staying busy with some renovations at its seven restaurants.

Williams said the business is in the process of adding roofing and sidewalls to all its restaurant patios to help increase dining capacity through the colder months. 

“Basically we’re turning them into a four-season room as opposed to a two-season space,” Williams said. “That way we aren’t losing a third of our sales in the winter, and we’ll have these additional private dining spaces because that business is doing really well right now.”

Other news out of the Fan dining scene includes Fredericksburg taqueria Juan More Taco opening on Robinson Street last month and Nuevo Mexico Restaurante preparing to open directly across the street. 

The former Lady N’awlins building down the block from Barrio sold to the owners of New York Deli last year and is being renovated to make way for cocktail bar and restaurant Smoke & Barrel, according to Richmond Magazine

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Charles Frankenhoff
Charles Frankenhoff
4 months ago

Did just the business sell, or business and real estate?

Nathan Hughes
Nathan Hughes
4 months ago

Just the business

Charles A Frankenhoff
Charles A Frankenhoff
4 months ago
Reply to  Nathan Hughes

Thanks. The latter would have been surprising

Jason Coleman
Jason Coleman
3 months ago

Does RRG own the property??