If the restaurant business is any reflection of the economy’s well-being, then Richmond must be thriving. The ongoing wave of notable openings feels like a culinary renaissance, and Arcadia, in the former Café Gutenberg space, is breathing new life into Shockoe Bottom.
Arcadia is the “rustic home of fauna, the god of shepherds, hunting, fields and groves,” the restaurant’s website says. But there’s not much that’s rustic about the fine-dining destination that veteran restaurateur John Van Peppen has created.
Soft yellow walls, white linens, and furnishings from the former Copper Grill give the old peanut factory a bright, clean facelift, and allow the tall ceilings, big windows and original hardwoods to shine. The upstairs dining room is the place to be at night, when the twinkling lights of Main Street transform Shockoe’s grit into a charming cityscape.