Richmond Road Popeyes opening delayed to mid-March

Staff writer

Hungry Williamsburg residents will have to wait a bit longer to get their fried chicken fix, as the city’s first Popeyes is now expected to open in mid-March.

Although the restaurant was originally expected to open in early February, scheduling final inspections with the city has delayed the opening, according to Tanweer Chaudhry, assistant to franchise owner Shahid Hashmi.

The soon-to-open Popeyes restaurant at 1500 Richmond Road is approximately 3,195 square feet, according to a site plan submitted to the city, and is next to Discount Tire, in front of Aldi.

Hashmi owns the Richmond Road location along with 13 other Popeyes in the Tidewater region, most recently adding to his portfolio with a Popeyes franchise that opened in Chesapeake last year.

“We are hoping that in three to four weeks, we should actually open the doors after getting all of the necessary inspections and preparation done,” Chaudhry said.

Construction on the 4,500-square-foot retail building next door, also owned by Hashmi, is nearing completion as well, he said.

“We should be getting some tenants over there soon. We’ve been having some people contacting us about that, but it hasn’t been finalized yet,” Chaudhry said. “We are hoping that by the beginning or middle of March, that building should be ready to be leased.”

The building is expected to house up to three businesses, but no tenants have been confirmed for the space.

Virginia Beach restaurant Becca recently joined AAA’s list of Four Diamond-rated restaurants in Hampton Roads, which also includes local restaurants Fat Canary and the Williamsburg Inn’s Rockefeller Room.

Becca joins Salacia and Zoe’s as the third Virginia Beach restaurant to be rated Four Diamonds, according to a AAA news release. Just 2 percent of the nearly 32,000 restaurants inspected by AAA annually earn the distinction of a Four Diamond rating, according to the release.

The Fat Canary, located in Merchants Square, has been ranked Four Diamonds since 2004, while the Rockefeller Room has held the rating since 2017.

“We are honored to have another addition to the AAA Four Diamond restaurants in Virginia Beach,” Georjeane Blumling, AAA Tidewater vice president of public affairs, said in the release. “These restaurants are committed to exceeding guest expectations and providing a premier dining experience.”

According to the release, the restaurants were awarded a Four Diamond rating based on the upscale ambiance they offer, both due to the attentive service and fine-dining experience, along with the top-quality ingredients used by restaurant chefs. Just 656 restaurants throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean hold the AAA Four Diamond Rating.

“AAA is pleased to recognize Becca as a Four Diamond restaurant,” said Michael Petrone, director of AAA inspections and diamond ratings. “AAA Four Diamond restaurants go above and beyond, delivering memorable dining experiences.”

Area commercial real estate agency RJS & Associates Inc. has announced a number of new and renewed leases in the Greater Williamsburg area:

» Welcome Basket of Williamsburg leased an executive office suite at 502 Strawberry Plains Road. The business concentrates on supporting and promoting other local businesses in the area with sponsored gift baskets to new home buyers, according to a news release. Joe Singley represented the landlord in lease negotiations.

» Kaufman & Canoles, PC renewed its lease for 12,169 square feet in the SunTrust Building in New Town for an additional five years. RJS & Associates represented the landlord in lease negotiations.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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