Richmond staple Baja Bean Co. closing its doors after 20 years

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A staple of Richmond’s bar scene is shutting its doors after 20 years of service.

Owner Jeff Allums tells 8News several factors led to the decision to close down Baja Bean Co. Over the last decade, more restaurants have popped up along Main Street than people — taking a toll on business.

“We’ve come to that time,” Allums said. “You’re the old dog. You’re not the new shiny puppy.”

Written all over the walls of the Baja Bean Co. is decades of history. More restaurants with newer options are populating the area, however, and along with a higher rent payment, Allums said the eatery just couldn’t keep up.

“It’s just the math,” Allums said. “It’s just the way things are. I have a ton of people that love us. I have a ton of people that hate us. That’s going to be the case for every restaurant in Richmond.”

8News spoke a Richmond resident about the changing restaurant landscape.

“It’s sad because Richmond tries so hard to promote small and local businesses,” said Raheim Moore.

Still, Allums says the age of the building and atmosphere factors into the closing.

“I’m not the young, new fancy place and I’m a little bit too big to be the small little dive bar if you will,” Allums said.

A law firm who owns the building will transform parts of the building into a retail and office space, according to Allums. The restaurant space will be used for a new eatery, he added.

Despite the closing, Allums says he is grateful for the memories and patrons he’s met over the years.

“Sometimes, something just gets forgotten,” he said, “I guess, is the best way to put it.”

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