RICHMOND, Va. — David Duke had his mind already made up when it came time to secure a location for his third local Potbelly Sandwich Shop franchise, reported RichmondBizSense.com.
“I was adamant about going into Willow Lawn, because everyone and their brother was there,” Duke said. “It seemed like the right place to be for this type of business.”
But after taking another drive past the former ARC Printing building at 1400 N. Boulevard in Scott’s Addition, Duke changed course to make the leap into the city’s most sought-after neighborhood.
Duke has signed on to open Potbelly in a new 2,700-square-foot space in the redeveloped ARC building, which was converted into commercial space and apartments by UrbanCore Development and Duke Dodson of Dodson Commercial.
The sandwich shop is taking the last ground-floor unit of the rehabbed building, joining Gelati Celesti and High Point Barbershop & Shave Parlor, which opened in February and June, respectively. The upstairs units were converted into apartments.
“It’s a good bet for us,” Duke said. “It certainly is a risk, but we think we are going to generate the type of traffic and business from the area to be successful.”
Jim Ashby, broker with Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, has been retained by Duke to grow Potbelly’s presence throughout the Richmond market. Fellow Thalhimer broker Reilly Marchant represented the landlord in the Boulevard deal.
Pending permitting approvals, Duke said he hopes to open in Scott’s Addition on June 1. It will add to the two other Potbelly locations owned by Duke and partner Jay Clark, in the Gateway Plaza building on East Canal Street downtown and in the Colonnades West shopping center on West Broad Street across from Innsbrook.
The group also is preparing to construct a new restaurant in Charlottesville.