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Build-a-burger joint to open in Shockoe Bottom

Posted at 11:02 AM, Nov 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-01 11:02:59-04

RICHMOND, Va. — A first-time local restaurateur whose family has run bars in Shockoe Bottom is striking out on her own on East Main Street.

Aisha Farooque is opening Bottom Burger at 1719 E. Main St., a 1,400-square-foot space once occupied by a Puerto Rican eatery called Blithe.

Farooque said she developed the concept for the restaurant after serving as her family’s “griller-in-chief” during holidays and events with her family.

“I would always be the one coming up with different ways to make burgers,” Farooque said. “I wanted to do something creative and do something different.”

The restaurant, which is set to seat about 40 people, is set to open by the end of November with a staff of about 10 people. Michael Shaia, a broker with Richmond-based Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, represented Farooque in the 3-year lease signed earlier this fall.

This is Farooque’s first restaurant venture, but not her first foray into the Richmond dining and entertainment scene. She helped her parents operate MoFauzy’s Lounge at 1814 E. Main St., and Visions Ultra Lounge & Restaurant at 1718 E. Main St. in Shockoe Bottom, both of which has since closed.

Overall, Farooque is investing $30,000 of her own capital into Bottom Burger with much of the renovation work being completed in-house with the help of family friends.

Bottom Burger will give customers the option to build their own burger from the bottom up – starting with their choice of meat, cheese, veggies and condiments.

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