By Courtney Daniel
t feels like Richmond has left downtown and moved to the bypass-that is, after all, where most new businesses set up shop. But one new bar decided to switch things up and open its doors in downtown Richmond. JW’s Fine Food and Spirits, a new restaurant and bar, opened last Thursday night on the corner of Third and Main streets.
JW’s is attached to the Gylndon Hotel where Woody’s, a similar establishment, operated before closing last summer.
Ray Kennedy, the new owner, named the place after his father, John William Kennedy. And he’s worked hard at revamping the space.
From the new coat of hunter green paint on the outside to the new hardwood floors on the inside, Kennedy has given the bar a whole new feel.
JW’s also uses a wood fire to cook on. “It gives the food a completely different flavor,” Kennedy said.
On opening night, people filled the chairs along the bar and booths along the walls and listened to a jazz trio play while enjoying their drinks.
Candles were lit on the tables, the staff was attentive, and alcohol lined the mirrored shelves behind the bar.
But JW’s didn’t even get its final go-ahead to open until a few hours before the first customer came in.
“Code did its walk through at 2 p.m. and we were still doing things like putting up blinds,” Kennedy said.
Despite the last minute rush, the open was a definite success. And with the new feel of relaxed sophistication the bar offers, it seems there will be more success to come.
Kennedy said just because they’ve opened their doors doesn’t mean they’ve finished tweaking the finished product.
“The wine list is a work in progress,” Kennedy said. “We.hope to have wines from all over the world that will be available by the glass.”
JW’s is open every day for lunch and starts serving dinner at 4 p.m. Live bands will also perform on certain days.
Kennedy called their Thursday opening a soft opening. He is currently planning for a grand opening on Oct. 6, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony and other festivities.
Kennedy said JW’s is currently working on its Sunday license, but until then, this is not the place for a Sunday brunch.
It is however, the place for a special date or a relaxing drink at the end of a long day.