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When The Tobacco Company reopens next month — it won’t be the same Richmond restaurant

RICHMOND, Va. -- It’s a Richmond restaurant question that's been on the minds of many -- when will The Tobacco Company reopen? News broke today and now there is an answer.

"We are looking at December 10," David Campbell, the wearer of many hats and de-facto spokesperson for the Tobacco Company, said.

The Shockoe Slip restaurant closed in July 2017 after a devastating fire.

Campbell, who has been with The Tobacco Company for 40 years, said he was excited for some updates the year-and-a-half-long closure allowed the restaurant to undergo.

There is a refreshing new art deco lounge, updated specially-commissioned art work, more banquette seating, and intimate booths.

There are a few some menu tweaks as well.

Expect to see a small plate menu on the first floor and more seafood added to the steak house menu.

The dance club on the bottom floor, where Campbell hung out when he was younger, will still be a thing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The place has an airier, more open look to it now, however.

His hope is to get some of the previous staff back.

He has about 50 percent who plan on returning with full or part-time work.

“It’s been a labor of love — it’s been crazy but we have turned the corner," he said. "The challenge now is to find staffing."

Why the long delay in reopening?

“When you are coming to an aftermath [from the fire], water damage and old building — what do you do first?," he said. "We slowly started peeling layers off and put it back together again — we had rewiring and had things custom-made. It’s not the same Tobacco Company it once was. I think people are going to like it."