They’re bringing a wine bar and coffee shop to the Richmond Canal Walk

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Owners Arvat McClaine (left) and Harry Watkins (J. Elias O’Neal)

RICHMOND, Va. — Two investors are making their first splash into the restaurant business, with a new venture in the works on the ground floor of a downtown condo tower.

Bateau, a new wine bar and coffee shop, is set to open along the canal level of the Vistas on the James building at 301 Virginia St.

Owners Arvat McClaine and Harry Watkins, who typically have invested in educational and health care ventures across the state, are targeting a December opening.

Bateau will serve a variety of coffee blends, white and red wines, Watkins said, and wine-infused coffee. It also will offer a small breakfast, lunch and dinner menu that is being crafted with the help of local chef and Spoonbread Bistro owner Michael Hall.

Watkins and McClaine are gathering wines from several California-based African-American vintners, including recording artist John Legend’s LVE Wine and NBA player Dwyane Wade’s D Wade Cellars. Bateau also will include wines from South Africa, Italy and France, and is working to secure a distributor to bring in wines from a few Virginia wineries.

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