HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A Henrico restaurant described as a little piece of paradise is quickly becoming one of the hottest spots to emerge from the pandemic.
"The sunsets here to our east over the water and the James River, and there’s nothing like it. It’s an absolutely beautiful setting over the James River," Max Walraven said.
Walraven is right on point when describing The Lilly Pad in Eastern Henrico. The restaurant features 8,000 square feet of outdoor space right at Osborne Boat Landing.
He bought the Marina in 2018, took ownership of the restaurant and opened in June 2020.
"We are physically at a marina and you can eat lunch or dinner and you’re sitting on a dock beside the water," Walraven said.
"The area with the blue shade sails is our stage area, that’s where bands play typically, mostly Saturdays. Sometimes we have Friday and Sunday music events and this Memorial Day Weekend we have music on Saturday and Sunday," Walraven said.
And Salsa nights on Thursdays have become a popular scene for dancing.
"I think it’s because of the island-style feel of Salsa music with the water setting where it transports you to another place," Walraven said.
Safety is taken seriously, Masks are required in confined spaces.
"Regardless of vaccination or not there’s no way to tell who is vaccinated, so you know we do the best we can, but at the same time, we do stand our ground and say hey these are the rules follow them if you can’t you got to go," Walraven said.
Being inclusive was also important to Walraven and removing the chain-link fence surrounding the property was key.
"So that’s also part of Salsa dancing, Bachata is that kind of dancing in the spirit of inclusivity is to have people come out here that wouldn’t normally come to the east end of Richmond and explore," Walraven said.
And everyone in the east-end knows this spot is a great place to see the James River Parade of Lights.
For more information on events at the Lilly Pad, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Learn about The Lilly Pad, Richmond's hottest waterfront restaurant