May 2, 2023 - Food and Drink

Tazza co-founder brings a new concept home to Richmond

The outside of a restaurant under construction. it's brick

Burtons Grill in April on Cary Street across from Kroger. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

When Tazza Kitchen co-founder John Haggai took over as CEO of Boston-based Burtons Grill in 2022, he had two conditions: He wasn't moving out of Richmond, and he wanted to open a location in his adopted hometown.

What's happening: Burtons Grill, a chain specializing in American classics, is set to open its first Richmond location next month in the Carytown Exchange shopping center.

  • "I told those guys I'd love to run the company, but I'm not moving. I love Richmond," Haggai told Axios.

Details: Burtons Grill should open in mid-June in the space next to Torchy's Tacos, making it the 20th location across eight states.

  • The restaurant will have a large bar, private dining room and patio, plus access to the complex's massive parking deck.
What it should look like when it's done. Rendering: Courtesy of Burtons Grill

The menu includes entree salads, burgers and sandwiches, pasta, steak and seafood, with prices ranging from the mid-teens to high 20s for most items.

  • But where the restaurant really shines is with its commitment to allergy-friendly food prep by using separate equipment to ensure there's no cross-contamination for common food allergies, like dairy, shellfish, peanuts and gluten.
  • In fact, the entire menu is available with gluten-free options.
The mural in progress. Image: Courtesy of John Haggai

Each Burtons location is designed uniquely, and Haggai said he wanted to bring Richmond elements into the space, including custom murals inside and out by Richmond muralist Naomi McCavitt.

  • "Richmond is a mural town … [and] she is freaking amazing," Haggai said.

Haggai said he's known the Burtons folks since they got their start in 2005 and was looking to make a change during the pandemic when they approached him to join the team.

  • He still retains an ownership stake in Tazza, but isn't involved in the operations.
  • "And I'm probably their biggest customer. I'll always be a Tazza fan," he added.

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