Duo from Grisette readying new restaurant in former Commercial Taphouse

beaucoup commercial taphouse Cropped scaled

Commercial Taphouse closed last summer after 30 years in the Fan. (Mike Platania photo)

Six months after Commercial Taphouse tapped out in the Fan, a new restaurant with some Parisian flair is set to open in its place.

Donnie Glass and Eli Adams are preparing to open Beaucoup at 111 N. Robinson St. in the coming weeks. 

Adams has been the longtime bar manager at Glass’s 5-year-old Church Hill restaurant Grisette. Glass expanded into the Fan in 2021 with wine bar Jardin, which he opened in the former Baja Bean Co. space near VCU. 

Glass said he doesn’t want to pigeonhole the new restaurant too much but described Beaucoup as a cocktail and oyster bar.

The concept was inspired by Parisian dive bars and cafes he’s visited, “where you can get a cocktail, a beer, or a glass of wine and it’s not particularly fancy, but the product is good and it’s not crazy expensive.”

“(Beaucoup) is my Robinson Street ‘Cheers,’ Paris edition,” Glass said. “There’s a bazillion places (in Paris) where you can eat oysters and have a good martini and have it not cost you $70. That’s what we’re going after.”

Donnie Glass

Donnie Glass

The building’s former tenant, Commercial Taphouse, had built its reputation as a beer bar. It opened in 1993 and went through a series of ownership changes in its three decades of service, with The Answer Brewpub’s An Bui owning it for a bit in the mid-2010s before selling it to Joe Miller. 

Glass said he tries to be opportunistic in growing his restaurant business, so when Commercial Taphouse closed last July, Glass quickly connected with Miller.

Adams had previously told Glass that he was interested in opening his own spot. Glass wanted to help him achieve that, and after meeting with Miller, all three agreed they didn’t want to see a “For rent” sign go up in the taphouse windows. 

Miller introduced Glass and Adams to the building’s owners, the Boze family, and they worked out a lease. 

“We were like, ‘It’s already a bar, it’s already beloved, and it’s a great location. The building is old, but it’s pretty, and the bones of it are solid,” Glass said. “Anytime you have an opportunity to take a piece of Richmond history like that and do your own thing with it, it’s really exciting for me.”

Beaucoup’s food menu is being kept under wraps until opening, though Glass said the plan is to have oysters priced affordably. He said he feels oysters in many American cities tend to skew upper-crust and can be expensive. 

“I lived in New England for five years combined and just kind of miss the blue-collar oyster vibe. When you go to DownEast Maine, you can eat oysters at any neighborhood bar,” Glass said. “They’re special, but they’re not exclusive. We really wanted to take that approach with oysters at Beaucoup. Oysters are for the people. Oysters aren’t for just rich people.”

The building totals about 2,300 square feet split between two floors. Commercial Taphouse had used the upstairs as a private room with seating, a pool table and dartboard, but Glass and Adams plan to use it for storage and prep space for Beacoup, Jardin and Grisette, mainly for bread production for the three restaurants. 

Glass said that will enable the addition of breakfast and lunch service at Jardin, which currently opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays. Glass said he’s planning to begin offering espresso, pastries and counter-service breakfast and lunch food. The goal is to get more use out of Jardin’s sizable corner patio facing West Main and North Lombardy streets. 

“I look at that patio and I’m like, ‘Man, it should be open more often.’ Only being open six hours a day, we’re leaving so much on the table,” Glass said. “I don’t even mean financially, I just mean how cool it can be and what role it can play in the community.”

Beaucoup, meanwhile, is planned to be open from around happy hour until midnight, though Glass said he wouldn’t be surprised if lunch service is added there later as well. 

He said the pair await a few final inspections and hope to announce a soft opening date for Beaucoup in the coming days. 

Though Commercial Taphouse is gone and Beaucoup’s focus will be on other spirits, 111 N. Robinson St. will still have beer on tap at Beaucoup, just like it did for so many years previously. 

“There’s still going to be beer too,” Glass said. “It’s a Paris bar, it’s a watering hole. It’s not so specific that we don’t have beer.”

Glass and Adams’ plans for Beaucoup were first reported by Richmond Magazine.

beaucoup commercial taphouse Cropped scaled

Commercial Taphouse closed last summer after 30 years in the Fan. (Mike Platania photo)

Six months after Commercial Taphouse tapped out in the Fan, a new restaurant with some Parisian flair is set to open in its place.

Donnie Glass and Eli Adams are preparing to open Beaucoup at 111 N. Robinson St. in the coming weeks. 

Adams has been the longtime bar manager at Glass’s 5-year-old Church Hill restaurant Grisette. Glass expanded into the Fan in 2021 with wine bar Jardin, which he opened in the former Baja Bean Co. space near VCU. 

Glass said he doesn’t want to pigeonhole the new restaurant too much but described Beaucoup as a cocktail and oyster bar.

The concept was inspired by Parisian dive bars and cafes he’s visited, “where you can get a cocktail, a beer, or a glass of wine and it’s not particularly fancy, but the product is good and it’s not crazy expensive.”

“(Beaucoup) is my Robinson Street ‘Cheers,’ Paris edition,” Glass said. “There’s a bazillion places (in Paris) where you can eat oysters and have a good martini and have it not cost you $70. That’s what we’re going after.”

Donnie Glass

Donnie Glass

The building’s former tenant, Commercial Taphouse, had built its reputation as a beer bar. It opened in 1993 and went through a series of ownership changes in its three decades of service, with The Answer Brewpub’s An Bui owning it for a bit in the mid-2010s before selling it to Joe Miller. 

Glass said he tries to be opportunistic in growing his restaurant business, so when Commercial Taphouse closed last July, Glass quickly connected with Miller.

Adams had previously told Glass that he was interested in opening his own spot. Glass wanted to help him achieve that, and after meeting with Miller, all three agreed they didn’t want to see a “For rent” sign go up in the taphouse windows. 

Miller introduced Glass and Adams to the building’s owners, the Boze family, and they worked out a lease. 

“We were like, ‘It’s already a bar, it’s already beloved, and it’s a great location. The building is old, but it’s pretty, and the bones of it are solid,” Glass said. “Anytime you have an opportunity to take a piece of Richmond history like that and do your own thing with it, it’s really exciting for me.”

Beaucoup’s food menu is being kept under wraps until opening, though Glass said the plan is to have oysters priced affordably. He said he feels oysters in many American cities tend to skew upper-crust and can be expensive. 

“I lived in New England for five years combined and just kind of miss the blue-collar oyster vibe. When you go to DownEast Maine, you can eat oysters at any neighborhood bar,” Glass said. “They’re special, but they’re not exclusive. We really wanted to take that approach with oysters at Beaucoup. Oysters are for the people. Oysters aren’t for just rich people.”

The building totals about 2,300 square feet split between two floors. Commercial Taphouse had used the upstairs as a private room with seating, a pool table and dartboard, but Glass and Adams plan to use it for storage and prep space for Beacoup, Jardin and Grisette, mainly for bread production for the three restaurants. 

Glass said that will enable the addition of breakfast and lunch service at Jardin, which currently opens at 4 p.m. on weekdays. Glass said he’s planning to begin offering espresso, pastries and counter-service breakfast and lunch food. The goal is to get more use out of Jardin’s sizable corner patio facing West Main and North Lombardy streets. 

“I look at that patio and I’m like, ‘Man, it should be open more often.’ Only being open six hours a day, we’re leaving so much on the table,” Glass said. “I don’t even mean financially, I just mean how cool it can be and what role it can play in the community.”

Beaucoup, meanwhile, is planned to be open from around happy hour until midnight, though Glass said he wouldn’t be surprised if lunch service is added there later as well. 

He said the pair await a few final inspections and hope to announce a soft opening date for Beaucoup in the coming days. 

Though Commercial Taphouse is gone and Beaucoup’s focus will be on other spirits, 111 N. Robinson St. will still have beer on tap at Beaucoup, just like it did for so many years previously. 

“There’s still going to be beer too,” Glass said. “It’s a Paris bar, it’s a watering hole. It’s not so specific that we don’t have beer.”

Glass and Adams’ plans for Beaucoup were first reported by Richmond Magazine.

Your subscription has expired. Renew now by choosing a subscription below!

For more informaiton, head over to your profile.

Profile


SUBSCRIBE NOW

 — 

 — 

 — 

TERMS OF SERVICE:

ALL MEMBERSHIPS RENEW AUTOMATICALLY. YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR A 1 YEAR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL AT THE RATE IN EFFECT AT THAT TIME UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY LOGGING IN OR BY CONTACTING [email protected].

ALL CHARGES FOR MONTHLY OR ANNUAL MEMBERSHIPS ARE NONREFUNDABLE.

EACH MEMBERSHIP WILL ONLY FUNCTION ON UP TO 3 MACHINES. ACCOUNTS ABUSING THAT LIMIT WILL BE DISCONTINUED.

FOR ASSISTANCE WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP PLEASE EMAIL [email protected]




Return to Homepage

POSTED IN Restaurants

Editor's Picks

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

9 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
4 months ago

This will be a solid addition to Robinson St. Jardin and Grisette are great and I’m looking forward to their new spot!

Robert Coleman Smith
Robert Coleman Smith
4 months ago

Looking forward to your opening. I would suggest that you paint over the “BLM” and other graffiti on the side of the building. A lot of folks quit going to the old restaurant when they went all political.

Zach Thomas
Zach Thomas
4 months ago

I found one of George Soros’s nose hairs in my beer and I walked right out!

Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
4 months ago

If a BLM mural can keep people out of a restaurant in The Fan, then I want more BLM murals.

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
4 months ago

You choose your restaurant based on the graffiti and murals on the building? Interesting technique.

Jordan Tucker
Jordan Tucker
4 months ago

And you are far from alone on this

lee Clark
lee Clark
4 months ago

Glad that it is not going to be a high priced fancy restaurant. So many people are being squeezed in this economy. High priced restaurants do not make a neighborhood more enjoyable.

Mike McLaurin
Mike McLaurin
4 months ago

Can’t wait for this one. We like both Grisette and Jardin. We went to Commercial quite a bit before being lured away by Cask. This sounds like a perfect addition to Robinson Street and a bit closer to our house. Love it!

Bob Quilez
Bob Quilez
4 months ago

Good luck guys! We can’t wait to enjoy and support.