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BizSense Beat: Oct. 6, 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 Oct. 6, 2023:

Ellwood Thompson’s sold to Florida-based grocery firm
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

Carytown fixture Ellwood Thompson’s is under new ownership.

The local specialty grocer has been purchased by Healthier Choices Management Corp., a Florida-based company that owns grocery stores under several different brands in Florida, New York and New Jersey.

The company announced the acquisition Monday. Terms weren’t disclosed. The Ellwood Thompson’s name is expected to remain in use and the store will stay in place at 4 N. Thompson St.

Ellwood Thompson’s now-former owner Rick Hood, who cofounded the store more than 30 years ago, said he was motivated to put the store on the market in order to retire.

Video Game Store DawnStar, record store Wax Moon expanding in Scott’s Addition
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

A local video game shop and arcade is leveling up in Scott’s Addition, just as a related record shop is likewise planning an expansion of its own.

After about four years on Altamont Avenue, DawnStar Video Games and Arcade is planning to relocate to a larger space that will keep it in the neighborhood.

The store, which buys, sells and trades video games, consoles and merchandise, plans to reopen at 3007 W. Clay St. this fall. The move means DawnStar will share an alleyway with Wax Moon, which is taking on additional square footage in its current location.

DawnStar’s new space, at about 4,000 square feet, is more than four times larger than its current location at 1507 Altamont Ave. That will give it room to expand its retail and arcade offerings.

Stony Point visitors will be able to drink while they shop starting next week
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jack Jacobs

Stony Point Fashion Park recently got the OK from the state to allow visitors to drink alcoholic beverages while they walk around the South Richmond mall.

Its new open-container policy will be initiated on Monday, said Howard Levine of Second Horizon, the real estate investment firm that owns the mall.

Under the program, which is allowed through the Virginia ABC’s commercial lifestyle center license, Stony Point’s restaurant tenants will be able to serve to-go alcoholic drinks to be consumed on the mall premises. People will be able to drink their beverages in the mall’s public areas, as well inside the mall’s non-restaurant tenants that will allow it.

Only the mall’s tenants with ABC licenses will be able to serve to-go drinks and participation is voluntary. Stony Point itself won’t be selling alcohol. The drinks will be served in to-go cups that are branded with the restaurant’s name or logo.

Owners of defunct home renovation company Fabling Built file for bankruptcy
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Mike Platania

Seven months after abruptly shutting down their business and leaving clients and contractors in the lurch, the namesakes of a defunct Richmond-area home remodeling company are seeking legal shelter in the Mountain West.

Last month, Casey and Adrienne Fabling, the couple who owned Henrico-based Fabling Built, filed for bankruptcy in Colorado, according to court records.

Fabling Built performed home renovations and additions primarily in the Richmond region for about seven years before the Fablings closed the business with little notice in March, leading to numerous lawsuits filed in local courts.

According to their Sept. 18 bankruptcy filing, the Fablings state they have $217,000 in assets and $3.9 million in liabilities. Court records state the couple left Richmond in June and now reside in a suburb of Denver, Colorado.

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