The third Boathouse is about to ready the mast at Short Pump Town Center under the Hyatt House Hotel at 11800 W. Broad St. Owner Kevin Healy is looking to open in about two weeks — hopefully a little earlier than that, he says.
Since last fall’s announcement, Healy joked that this Boathouse will be dry-docked — it won’t be perched on a large body of water like his other two restaurants. “People [asked] why I didn’t do another name, but I said, ‘Everyone is just going to say it’s that guy with the Boathouse.’”
Healy was approached in 2013 by Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer. A focus group had determined that two things were missing from the mall: seafood and Mexican cuisine. Healy had experience in both and in addition, had been a partner in Baker’s Crust for more than seven years before he purchased the first Boathouse restaurant and knew the customer base. There was a void in the area he felt his restaurant could fill.
Credit card sales at Healy’s other two restaurants yielded more information. He knew that a lot of his customers lived in the area where the new place would be located. “Do they only come [to the Boathouse] because we’re located on the water?” he says. “Maybe some people. But there’s got to be something about what we do that people in that specific Short Pump zip code like.”
Richmond native and Collegiate School-graduate Robert Nelson will move from the Sunday Park restaurant to take over the kitchen in Short Pump.
Although the menu will be very similar to the seafood-driven ones at the other two Boathouses, Healy says you won’t find pizza on the menu in Short Pump — you’ll find sushi instead. And the interior won’t look anything like them either.
“My in-laws have a house in East Hampton and we’ve been going there for over 30 years. We drew some inspiration from a kind of New England look,” says Healy, “although it’s hard to put your finger on what that means.”
You’ll see subway tile, reclaimed wood and whitewashed tumbled brick. Seating will be plush — and unusually, most seats will have USB charging ports. Caffè Propaganda, a restaurant Healy enjoyed on a trip to Rome, and its airy, Old World vibe was also a strong influence on the design.
“There will be shiny things, old things and new things — it should be a very visually interesting and comfortable environment,” Healy says.