RICHMOND, Va. — After nearly 20 years in the Richmond food scene, a local chef is preparing to step out on his own in Scott’s Addition.
Mike Ledesma on Tuesday announced plans to open his first restaurant in the former Joy Garden Chinese space at 2918 W. Broad St.
Ledesma, who has worked at Max’s on Broad, Richmond Restaurant Group and currently as executive chef at Kabana Rooftop downtown, said he’s still working out details for the venture, including a name and menu.
“I have about 12 (names) out for legal review,” he said. “Once we settle on a name, it will pretty much decide the menu concept for the restaurant.”
Joy Garden closed last summer after owners Mark and Bang Sin didn’t want to pay rising rents in the booming neighborhood and were looking to retire.
The property was purchased in 2015 by a group made up of Birck Turnbull of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer and Charles Bice of KB Building Service.
Ledesma leased the space with help from broker Annie O’Connor of Colliers International.
The chef said he plans to invest about $1.2 million into the space and is targeting a winter 2018 opening, pending city and ABC approvals. He has yet to retain a general contractor or architect for the overhaul.
“This is a large project, and I feel very lucky to have secured the space,” Ledesma said. “I want what goes into the space to reflect what is happening in the neighborhood.”
An ode to his journey from Hawaii to Virginia, Ledesma plans to bring American cuisine and traditional Filipino dishes to the Scott’s Addition eatery, ranging from lumpia spring rolls to pork barbecue.