HOPEWELL, Va. -- The Boathouse, a successful local restaurant chain, is expanding to the south. Owner Kevin Healy will open his fourth Boathouse in Hopewell where the James River and Appomattox River meet. After working on the deal for more than a year, Hopewell city leaders announced the Boathouse at City Point to the public at Tuesday's Hopewell City Council meeting.
"There are not many sweeping views of the river that I have seen. This is something you'd see more at the Chesapeake Bay or out at the ocean. So this is particularly intriguing," Boathouse owner Kevin Healy said about his new restaurant's location. "It really speaks to water and gets your imagination going."
The restaurant's location, over the Appomattox River Bridge off Route 10, offered what Healy and Hopewell Assistant City Manager Charles Dane called a "million dollar view" of the water and City Point -- the site of General Grant's headquarters during the Civil War.
"It has a view that's unbelievable," Dane said. "It was critical that we get this occupied by a name restaurant and we're so excited that that name restaurant is probably the biggest name restaurant in the Richmond region."
The building, which had been vacant for more than a decade, was most recently a restaurant called Captain's Cove. It is more well-known, however, as Navigator's Den, the restaurant which occupied the space in the 1960s through 2000.
Dane said he hoped the restaurant would help encourage people who visited Hopewell to stay there to eat, drink and unwind.
"We have hundreds of people there [the Beacon Theatre] one or two nights a week for concerts and shows and very often they're going out of town to eat. This will be a stopping point for them, before or after the shows."
Healy, who said he hoped to open Boathouse at City Point later this summer, planned to hire 75 workers to keep the 6,000-square-foot-restaurant running smoothly. He called Hopewell city leaders progressive thinkers and who had their community's interest at heart.
"I think in every community at every time there is a tipping point and I believe this is the tipping point time for Hopewell," Healy said. "There is a lot going on in southern Chesterfield and there is a lot going on in Hopewell. When I drive by Meadowville Landing and I see million-dollar homes on the river and I come to Hopewell and I see hundreds of people at the Beacon Theatre I believe this is the time for Hopewell this is the tipping point and I want to be part of it."