Ironclad Coffee Roasters to open Richmond cafe

Ironclad Coffee Roasters is planning a cafe at 1805 E. Grace St. (Mike Platania)

RICHMOND, Va. — A century-old Shockoe Bottom building that once housed firehoses and axes soon will be serving up espresso and pastries.

Ironclad Coffee Roasters is preparing to open a cafe in the former fire station building at 1805 E. Grace St.

Ironclad signed a lease last month for 2,200 square feet on the bottom floor of the three-story building. The lease does not include a separate third-floor space.

Joyner Commercial’s Bill Phillips represented Ironclad in lease negotiations.

Ironclad owner Ryan O’Rourke, who opened the business in 2016 with his wife Kelly, said they walked their dogs past the firehouse for years after moving to the neighborhood and took notice of the building.

“We started remarking what a unique building it was,” O’Rourke said. “We were like, ‘What’s the deal with this place? It’s one of the neatest buildings in Richmond. Why isn’t anyone in it?’ We just started saying this would be a fantastic place to have a cafe.”

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