Nov 30, 2023 - Food and Drink

Barrio restaurant in the Fan has been sold

Barrio restaurant opened in 2020. Photo: Karri Peifer/Axios

Barrio restaurant in the Fan District is under new ownership.

Driving the news: The Richmond Restaurant Group sold the restaurant at 2229 W. Main St. to Ramy Yacoub, owner of nearby 3 Monkeys restaurant, co-owner Michelle Williams tells Axios.

  • The deal closed Nov. 21.

Why it matters: The group, one of the largest local restaurant groups in town, ran a restaurant out of the space on the corners of Main and Addison for 16 years.

Be smart: RRG opened Barrio with a taco and tequila focus in January 2020 as a rebrand of Pearl Raw Bar, which ran in the space for six years and was a refresh of the group's DeLux restaurant.

  • "We put it quietly on the market a month or two ago. It's doing well. It just doesn't align with our brand anymore," Williams said.

Williams said the pandemic — and the enormous effect it had on local restaurants — is part of what drove the group to sell Barrio. The sale will allow them to focus on their other restaurants, like The Hard Shell, West and East Coast Provisions and The Daily, which tend to be more food and neighborhood-driven than the bar-centric Fan District.

  • "Everything about how we're doing business is different [post-pandemic]. There's not much room for error if you want to break even or make money," she said.

Yacoub is keenly aware of the post-pandemic restaurant challenges and tells Axios he's excited to put his stamp on Barrio and build on the success he's had since he bought 3 Monkeys a year and a half ago.

  • Richmonders can expect to see a new taco menu and live music early next year.
  • "I think he'll make it better than we did," Williams said. "It needs the touch of an owner."

Meanwhile, Williams is working on enclosing the patios at East and West Coast Provisions to offer more private dining space and more seating to keep up with the demand that she and co-owner Jared Golden are seeing at their seafood restaurants.

  • But don't worry patio-lovers, the enclosures will be seasonal, and the patios will be open-air again come spring.

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