Willow Lawn adds Ugly Dumpling as newest restaurant tenant

ugly dumpling willow lawn Cropped scaled

Ugly Dumpling is set to open in a space that had previously been home to Legends Grille, among other restaurants. (Mike Platania photo)

An upstart Asian restaurant chain is entering the Richmond market. 

Ugly Dumpling, a new concept with one other location in New Jersey, is preparing to open in the Shops at Willow Lawn, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.  

The restaurant recently signed a lease for a 6,500-square-foot space at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive that’s housed a handful of restaurants in the last decade, including American Tap Room, Hattie Mae’s Southern Kitchen and Legends Grille.

Ugly Dumpling’s menu is filled with dishes inspired by Shanghai street food, including steamed buns, dumplings and wontons, as well as fried rice and noodle dishes. Ugly Dumpling’s signature dish, the company says, is its Xiao Long Bao, which are soup dumplings filled with chicken, pork, cucumber and crab. 

ugly dumpling dim sum

The full-service restaurant’s menu is inspired by Shanghai street food. (Courtesy Ugly Dumpling)

The restaurant’s dim sum dishes are priced between $4 and $9 and its entrees are between $9 and $14. 

Ugly Dumpling is owned by New York-based Vertex Hospitality Group, whose other holdings include KPOT Hot Pot & Korean BBQ, Kinya Ramen and Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar. Hook & Reel opened a Forest Hill location in 2021. None of Vertex’s other brands currently have a Richmond-area presence. 

The Willow Lawn spot will be Ugly Dumpling’s second spot, joining its flagship location in northern New Jersey. Vertex has six other Ugly Dumplings planned to open throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, as well as in Texas. 

Ugly Dumpling is aiming to open at Willow Lawn this summer. D.C.-based fast-casual chain Taco Bamba is also looking to open at Willow Lawn around that time.

Trey Blankinship and Jamie Lanham of Segall Group represented Ugly Dumpling in lease negotiations at Willow Lawn. 

The owner of Willow Lawn, Federal Realty Investment Trust, recently received Henrico County approval for a major, long-term redevelopment of the 37-acre shopping center that’s planned to include building over 2,000 residential units and half a million square feet of new commercial space. 

ugly dumpling willow lawn Cropped scaled

Ugly Dumpling is set to open in a space that had previously been home to Legends Grille, among other restaurants. (Mike Platania photo)

An upstart Asian restaurant chain is entering the Richmond market. 

Ugly Dumpling, a new concept with one other location in New Jersey, is preparing to open in the Shops at Willow Lawn, a spokesperson for the company confirmed.  

The restaurant recently signed a lease for a 6,500-square-foot space at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive that’s housed a handful of restaurants in the last decade, including American Tap Room, Hattie Mae’s Southern Kitchen and Legends Grille.

Ugly Dumpling’s menu is filled with dishes inspired by Shanghai street food, including steamed buns, dumplings and wontons, as well as fried rice and noodle dishes. Ugly Dumpling’s signature dish, the company says, is its Xiao Long Bao, which are soup dumplings filled with chicken, pork, cucumber and crab. 

ugly dumpling dim sum

The full-service restaurant’s menu is inspired by Shanghai street food. (Courtesy Ugly Dumpling)

The restaurant’s dim sum dishes are priced between $4 and $9 and its entrees are between $9 and $14. 

Ugly Dumpling is owned by New York-based Vertex Hospitality Group, whose other holdings include KPOT Hot Pot & Korean BBQ, Kinya Ramen and Hook & Reel Cajun Seafood & Bar. Hook & Reel opened a Forest Hill location in 2021. None of Vertex’s other brands currently have a Richmond-area presence. 

The Willow Lawn spot will be Ugly Dumpling’s second spot, joining its flagship location in northern New Jersey. Vertex has six other Ugly Dumplings planned to open throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, as well as in Texas. 

Ugly Dumpling is aiming to open at Willow Lawn this summer. D.C.-based fast-casual chain Taco Bamba is also looking to open at Willow Lawn around that time.

Trey Blankinship and Jamie Lanham of Segall Group represented Ugly Dumpling in lease negotiations at Willow Lawn. 

The owner of Willow Lawn, Federal Realty Investment Trust, recently received Henrico County approval for a major, long-term redevelopment of the 37-acre shopping center that’s planned to include building over 2,000 residential units and half a million square feet of new commercial space. 

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Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
2 months ago

Is this in the city or county?

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
2 months ago
Reply to  Michael Boyer

This is in Henrico. Hope they do well. That location has had a rough time with turnover and I’ve always thought it was due to how large the space is. At 6,500 sqft. I cannot imagine what the rent is.