Convenience store Bodega Rio Bravo to move, add gas pumps

Staff writer

Curious about the construction along Capitol Landing Road? Come next spring, it will be the new home of Bodega Rio Bravo, a convenience store currently located around the corner at 950 Capitol Landing Road.

The convenience store offers a mix of American and Latin American goods, and opened at the corner of Capitol Landing Road and Merrimac Trail eight years ago, co-owner Dustin Kilgore said. Kilgore also owns El Sabroson Latin American restaurant and the adjacent Tu Tienda shop on Waller Mill Road with his husband, Pedro Ramos.

Construction on the new store is expected to be complete by next April, Kilgore said. The new convenience store will be about 4,000 square feet, and also will feature 450 square feet of outdoor seating and four gas pumps. The store and gas station will be located on a larger 1.9-acre lot along Capitol Landing Road.

“It’s going to be larger and with more variety,” Kilgore said. “We’re going to expand the American and Latino foods, but we’re going to have space in there to rent out where we want a restaurant to come in.”

The city’s Planning Commission approved a final site plan for the upcoming convenience store and gas station this past June. Conceptual renderings for the store’s design show a slanted roof with a mix of brick, metal and wood accents.

Kilgore said the move was necessitated by the City of Williamsburg, which purchased the parcel of land where Bodega Rio Bravo is currently located in June 2017. The parcel had been owned by Capitol Landing Ventures since 1983.

“The city bought the property where we’re at now, so there’s nothing else available on this side of town,” he said.

For more information about Bodega Rio Bravo, call 757-220-0709.

York County’s Office of Economic Development has recently partnered with the Retail Alliance, a Norfolk-based nonprofit trade association serving Hampton Roads, to launch a grant program for small businesses in the county.

As part of the partnership, the county’s existing Keep It In York County program will merge with the Retail Alliance’s regional LOVEVA program. The program was launched by the Retail Alliance in 2014 to support local businesses, and aims to encourage residents to shop local. Small businesses can list their stores on the LOVEVA smartphone app, which allows shoppers to collect rewards at participating stores.

Additionally, the county’s Economic Development Authority is offering York County businesses a 50 percent grant for the $145 listing fee with LOVEVA.

“Rather than duplicating efforts in individual localities — each with its own buy-local program, website and marketing efforts — LOVEVA allows us to work smarter and make a bigger impact collectively,” said Jim Noel, economic development director for the county.

While LOVEVA has always been available to York County businesses, few took advantage of the program, the release states. The LOVEVA program allows small businesses to take full advantage of the Retail Alliance’s apps, websites and marketing campaign, and includes a feature that allows business owners to keep track of marketing metrics on the app.

“You can shop at one store and get rewarded at another — that makes it really unique,” said Kylie Ross Sibert, vice president of corporate communications for Retail Alliance. “The app really is banding together businesses across Hampton Roads. I haven’t seen another app that lets you do that.”

The program evaluates York County businesses based on whether or not they are owned locally and independently, whether business decisions are made locally, whether the business is headquartered locally, if the business originated in Hampton Roads and if the business is privately held. The release states that businesses must meet at least three of the five criteria sets in order to qualify.

For more information, visit retailalliance.com or yesyorkcounty.com.

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

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