A taco-tequila bar, a grocery store and a brewpub will be opening on Craghead Street’s 500 block, owner Rick Barker announced Monday.
Fresh, local ingredients and a choice of indoor and outdoor dining options will be part of each new business.
Stephan Parry, managing partner of the Parry Restaurant Group, plans to open a taco-tequila restaurant/bar this fall, featuring 10 6-inch taco options and more than 100 brands of tequila.
It will be located in the Hughes Building at 530 Craghead St.
The restaurant group has 13 restaurants throughout Virginia, including two other taco-tequila bars: El Jefe Taqueria Garaje in Lynchburg and Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje in Roanoke.
“We’re glad we attracted Steve to the River District,” Barker said. “He’s at the top of his game … with an ability to develop a menu to a local market; it’s very localized and offers quality food and atmosphere.”
The interior will be themed after the Mexican holiday, “Day of the Dead,” which honors the lives of family members who have died.
Plans call for seating for 54 diners inside, with additional seating for 66 outside.
“We’ll be able to use the outside dining most of the year,” Barker said. “We’ll have gas heaters and fire pits.”
Barker said they have tried to tie the opening of the new businesses — and the apartments above— to the completion of the sidewalk renovations the city is doing and the parking lots being built by the Industrial Development Authority.
A new market also plans open next door to the taco-tequila bar.
Steve DelGiorno — who owns the 616 Farm to Table restaurant on North Main Street as well as the Chatham Public House and Le Petite Rebelle in Chatham — will open the Craghead Market, featuring healthy, organic and minimally processed food options. Fresh baked goods, fresh flowers, staple grocery items, fresh produce and meats, beer, wine, dairy and frozen foods will be carried, as well as prepared foods and salads from a 14-foot salad bar.
Delivery to River District locations will be available.
“It will all about food,” DelGiorno said. “It will be a scaled-down version of Whole Foods or Weaver Street Market in Hillsboro, North Carolina.”
Bulk foods, such as different types of flours and granolas, will be available by the pound.
“It will have everything you need to go home and cook a great restaurant-quality meal,” DelGiorno said.
The third project announced Monday is a partnership between Barker and DelGiorno to open Preservation Ale and Smokehouse at 518 Craghead St. — the former Gibson’s Dry Prizery — in 2018.
The restaurant will serve up southern barbecue with some twists, incorporating Nashville-, Memphis- and Korean-style flavors, DelGiorno said.
An on-site brewery will have its own seating behind double doors leading from the restaurant, so people sampling the brews will be surrounded by the equipment making those brews, Barker said. The brewpub will offer rotating taps of lagers, ales and specialty beers.
“The building was slated for demolition, but we offered to buy it and restore it,” Barker said. “It’s the oldest tobacco prizery downtown.”
Renovations to the historic, 1871 building are set to begin this fall, including the addition of a courtyard for outside dining.
DelGiorno said he has been asked if Danville needs another brew pub, in addition to Ballad Brewing on Craghead Street and 2 Witches Winery and Brewing Company on Trade Street.
“We did a tremendous amount of research into this,” DelGiorno said. “The data says the more breweries clustered together, the more successful they become.”
Multiple breweries attract travelers in a two-hour drive time range around the cluster, he said.
“One won’t attract travelers, but if there are more, they become a destination,” DelGiorno said. “It’s like the food truck rodeo they had — 4,000 people came to that, a lot of them from out of town.”
Seven new high-end apartments over the Hughes and Venable buildings will also be ready shortly, Barker said. All have different layouts, with one or two bedrooms and baths, as well as a variety of finishing touches, like different cabinet styles in each of the kitchens.
Additional commercial spaces will be available.
Barker and DelGiorno have several projects in the works beyond this block of Craghead Street, including a partnership at the soon-to-be-completed Crema & Vine in the former gas station at 1009 Main St., and projects they are working on individually.
DelGiorno said the projects being done in the River District — by all of the development groups currently working on various buildings — will help revitalize the whole city.
“The more we transform the River District, the better Danville will be,” DelGiorno said.
Corrie Teague Bobe, assistant director of economic development for the city, said city officials are pleased with how the revitalization of the River District is coming along.
“We’re excited to see the 500 block of Craghead Street come back to life,” Bobe said. “These three businesses are unique and the concepts were requested from visitors to the River District — both from here and from other places — over the past few years.”