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BizSense Beat: May 5, 2023

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BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of May 5, 2023:

Under new ownership, Blue Bee Cider set to move from Scott’s Addition to Henrico
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

The new owners of a Scott’s Addition cidery are preparing to replant their venture in Henrico County.

Blue Bee Cider is set to relocate to 4811 Bethlehem Road, owners Taylor Benson and Mackenzie Smith confirmed last week.

The move will give Blue Bee 4,800 square feet of space just east of Libbie Mill-Midtown near Staples Mill Road. Benson and Smith, a couple and long-time employees of the cidery, bought Blue Bee from founder Courtney Mailey in March for an undisclosed amount.

Pig & Brew owner branching out with new hibachi spot on Hull Street
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

A new fast-casual restaurant is en route to Manchester.

Red Hibachi & Beer is preparing to open at 1011 Hull St.

Behind the restaurant are Lamarr Johnson, co-owner of nearby barbecue joint Pig & Brew, along with former Plush and Main Stage owner Juan Wilson and Clayton Navarre, who formerly co-owned Fan eatery Poor Boys of RVA.

VCU finishes construction of $125M STEM building on Franklin St.
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

VCU held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week for the $125 million, 168,000-square-foot, six-story STEM building, which brings added lab, classroom and office space to the university’s College of Humanities and Sciences.

Built on the site of the former Franklin Street Gym, the building is primed to be an epicenter of student activity – VCU estimates that more than 10,000 students will take up to 70 courses in the building every semester, starting in the coming fall semester. Most VCU students will take at least one class in the building on the road to graduation. The kinesiology and health sciences will be fully housed in the building.

Mayo Island lawsuit tossed out as $15M sale to city progressesReported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

A lawsuit centered on Mayo Island has been squashed ahead of the island’s pending sale and as preparations continue to replace its namesake bridge.

A Richmond Circuit Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the island’s current owners against VCU and the state, court documents show.

The dismissal, which came on April 10, ties up a loose end ahead of Mayo Island’s planned $14.9 million sale to the City of Richmond, which is working with the Capital Region Land Conservancy to acquire the 15-acre island and turn it into a park.

You can find these and other local business stories at