There’s a new dining option at the Pinemont Pavilion – Ploughman’s Deli & Café, 965 Pinemont Drive #100, opened the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
“It’s a soft opening,” said Darren Greenwood, who is running the restaurant with business partner Nikki Thomas. “This is only the fifth day, and the response has been nice. We’ll probably wait until after the holiday for the grand opening.”
Greenwood said that most customers have been walking over from the adjacent neighborhoods or driving after they’ve seen an online mention.
“Saturday we were really busy and other days it’s been steady,” he said. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. At some point there will be a brunch service, but not yet.
Ploughman’s has an impressive pedigree. Greenwood is still the part owner of the Petrol Station who established and still manages the kitchen there. He also worked at the Hobbit Café for ten years and opened its Richmond location. That’s where he first met Thomas, who waited tables there during college.
“We’ve been friends ever since,” said Greenwood, who noted that Thomas was working a corporate job before she decided to join him in the restaurant venture.
Although Ben Fullelove with Petrol and Brash Brewing is not a part of the venture, there is another Brash connection as Thomas’ husband is a brewer there, so it’s a safe bet that Brash beers will show up on the menu. The restaurant serves wine and beer.
The inspiration for the menu which at the current time includes small plates of roasted nuts, baked Brie and Melon and Prosciutto – in addition to soups, salads and specialty sandwiches, was the kind of food Greenwood and Thomas wanted to eat.
“We made the stuff we wanted,” said Greenwood. “Nikki couldn’t get her favorite sandwich when Eatzis closed. That’s where the Roll the Hard Six sandwich with rare roast beef came from.”
An avid Star Wars fan – like the owners – might get the meaning behind the Biggs & Wedge salad. Biggs was the name of Luke Skywalker’s friend who was killed in the Death Star. Wedge Antilles is a Starfighter pilot who survived the Death Star battle.
In addition to the regular menu, the restaurant will have theme days. On Polish day, a customer might be able to order pierogis and cabbage, while pasta day would feature a selection of baked pastas.
“We want to keep the hood experiencing new food,” said Greenwood.
Ploughman’s is making good use of their neighbors – they get their bread from Artisana Bread just down the sidewalk.
Greenwood hopes that now that construction is ending on Pinemont the restaurant will get more car traffic. He says he was attracted to the center because of the tenant mix.
“The tailor next door is very busy,” said Greenwood. “People pop their heads in here after to see what we’ve got going on.”
Greenwood said the neighborhood has been good to him and hopes that translates into further success.
“We are just happy to be open,” he said.