Celebrity chef to open restaurant in Richmond

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CBRE|Richmond said Tuesday that one of Bravo TV’s top chefs, season six finalist Michael Isabella, plans to open a second Graffiato restaurant in Richmond this spring. It will be located on the first floor of the Popkin Furniture Building at 123 West Broad Street in the city’s Arts and Culture District.

According to CBRE, which brokered the deal, the 6,700-square-foot restaurant will take the place of the current Popkin Tavern. Popkin Furniture occupied the building from 1968 to 2004 when it was part of a larger corridor of furniture stores in Virginia's state capital known as "furniture row."

Today, it has apartments in addition to the restaurant. Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer represented Graffiato in the lease for its new Richmond location while CBRE represented the landlord.

Isabella is the chef and owner of Graffiato, an Italian-inspired restaurant in Washington, D.C. He opened Graffiato in Chinatown in 2011, following that up with sister concepts, Kapnos and G by Mike Isabella, on V Street NW in 2013. Another location of Kapnos, Kapnos Taverna, is planned for Arlington's Ballston neighborhood, and Isabella also has a sandwich shop, G GrabandGo, in New Jersey.

He will partner with a well-known local restaurant owner, Travis Croxton of Rappahannock Restaurant, on his Richmond venture. Last month, Croxton was named the 2014 Richmond Magazine Elby Award Winner for Restaurateur of the Year. He opened his first restaurant, Merroir near his Topping, Va., oyster farm. In addition to Rappahannock, he owns three restaurants in Washington: Rappahannock Oyster Bar, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency.

This year, Croxton also was named by Zagat as one of the Restaurant-World Power Players Around the United States.

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