Rick Barker Properties, LLC, a Danville‐based real estate development company, today announced three tenants that will locate to the 500 block of Craghead Street.
As renovations to the Charles E. Hughes (530, c1909) and William C. Venable buildings (534‐546, c1904) come to a close, two new businesses will be moving in. Rick Barker will be partnering with Stephan Parry, managing partner of the Parry Restaurant Group, to open a taco tequila bar concept in Suite 100 of the Hughes building. Parry has over 35 years of restaurant experience and has opened 13 restaurants throughout Virginia, including two taco tequila bars in Roanoke and Lynchburg. The menu will include 10 six‐inch taco options and over 100 tequila varieties. The interior of this restaurant will be themed after the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates life and pays tribute to the lives of family members who have passed way. This restaurant will open during the fall of 2017.
“We have experienced a tremendous positive response with similar projects in the last two years with El Jèfe in Lynchburg and Tuco’s in Roanoke,” said Parry. “Both restaurants are praised by customers for our use of fresh ingredients and food prepared daily, with over 100 types of tequila offered, all at an affordable price. We see a healthy demand for high‐quality food and beverages delivered in a unique and entertaining setting.”
Local entrepreneur, Steve DelGiorno, will be opening Craghead Market in Suite 102 of the Hughes building. This grocery concept will focus on providing healthy food options that are organic, minimally processed and raised without hormones or antibiotics. Craghead Market will offer freshly baked goods, fresh flowers, staple grocery items, fresh produce and meats, beer and wine, an assortment of dairy items and frozen foods. Each department will carry a limited amount of products. In addition, there will be a prepared food area and salad bar for residents and employees within the district to enjoy on the market’s outdoor patio or take to‐go. The market will also offer delivery services to addresses located within the River District.
“Our mission is to expand the culinary offerings in the region, both in food service and retail,” said DelGiorno. “As such, there’s no place we’d rather be next than on Craghead Street while partnering with Rick on his latest development.”
Five commercial spaces and seven luxury apartments will also be available for lease this fall. Commercial units range in size from 800 to 2,600 square feet. Each residential unit is uniquely designed and sizes range from 500 to 1,000 square feet with one‐ and two‐bedroom options. Exceptional attention was made to the details of each apartment, such as the trim work, cabinetry and sound proofing.
After the completion of the Hughes and Venable buildings, Barker will begin development at 518 Craghead St. This building was built in 1871 as Gibson’s Dry Prizery and is Danville’s oldest surviving tobacco prizery. Originally slated for demolition, Barker saw an opportunity to save this historic tobacco warehouse and acquired it in 2016.
“Three years ago, I described Craghead Street’s 500 block historically as a brilliant smile, originally with 11 teeth (buildings). Over the years, several teeth were removed and the gleam gradually faded. Upon learning of 518’s pending demolition, I realized that the smile, and the street’s architectural integrity, would soon be changed forever,” said Barker. “Then, a conversation evolved with the Office of Economic Development about restoring the smile. That is, saving the existing teeth and possibly replacing some that were removed, to eventually recreate the brilliance of the early twentieth century, here in the early twenty‐first.”
Plans to redevelop this building are underway and a first floor tenant has been secured. Barker will partner with DelGiorno to open Preservation Ale and Smokehouse in 2018. This brewpub will offer rotating taps of lagers, ales and specialty beers, with an emphasis on seasonality. The food menu will offer selections that combine traditional southern barbeque with a trendier, Korean‐style twist.
Barker added, “I was pleased with Steve’s suggestion for the name of the new brewpub/BBQ concept, as ‘Preservation Ale and Smokehouse.’ Fitting, don’t you think?”
DelGiorno added, “We are energized by the substantial investments being made in the River District and across Danville as a whole. We are truly excited to bring this concept to Danville and hope our contributions help enhance the region.”
Corrie Teague Bobe, assistant director for the Office of Economic Development, said there is a sense of excitement about the development taking place along Craghead Street bubbling within our community.
"The 500 block is transforming before our very eyes," Bobe said. “Rick and his team are taking a vacant and blighted block and turning it into a lively, inviting place for residents and visitors. He has found great partners in Stephan Parry and Steve DelGiorno to help fill these beautiful buildings with unique and trendy businesses. From the creativity of these concepts to the quality of the design and construction, this block is becoming a showpiece in the River District. We thank all involved for their investment in our community.”
In addition to these projects, the City of Danville is making streetscape improvements along Craghead Street from Newton Street to The Crossing at the Dan. To meet the demands of commercial and residential development, the Industrial Development Authority of Danville is constructing a 96‐space parking lot along the 500 block of Craghead Street.
“We always imagined that in this previously dingy block, we could apply a superior design standard that would attract others to create very special places and show Danville’s River District at its finest,” said Barker. “First, last year with BB&T’s Scott & Stringfellow, and now with these various food concepts, I am excited to see the 500 block strategy realized. With our new partnerships with Steve Parry and Steve DelGiorno, along with the new parking lot and streetscape, the 500 block has established a momentum that will undoubtedly attract additional investment. The current projects will be locally tailored concepts, unique to the Dan River region and offer amenities not currently available in the River District. Reimagine that!”