RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An effort to boost retail in downtown Richmond during the World Cycling Championships in September is expanding and changing locations.
The Underground Kitchen is the exclusive, fine-dining experience where top chefs are given free reign to create their finest delights. Now, nine different chefs from Richmond, Washington, D.C. and North Carolina will serve up themed feasts over during the World Cycling Championships, when 400,000 fans are expected in Richmond.
"Very big names in food are coming down to celebrate the nine days of the UCI bike race," said Pop Up Revolution and Underground Kitchen organizer Michael Sparks.
The $140 dollar tickets for Underground Kitchen will be available online, with a block for locals and a block for visitors. Proceeds will benefit local charities, such as Art 180, Gallery 1708, and FeedMore.
"Underground Kitchen and Pop Up Revolution will coincide all in the same place," said Sparks. "We are building an 8,000 square foot tent outside that will house all the local wineries, all the local breweries."
Inside Plant Zero, organizers say they'll will transform the event space to house Pop Up Revolution, where 18 local and international retailers will have pop up shops showcasing their wares, including First Colony Wine of Charlottesville and Shoe Crazy Wine of Richmond.
Shoe Crazy's Gwen Hurt plans to serve wine blended from grapes in "California, Bordeaux, France and I hope to have some Virginia Riesling before the event."
The Eclectic Cottage owner Mesha Mott plans to offer a variety of hot and cold blended teas and "allow people to sit and transform themselves and feel like they're at the tea house."
Local artisan Wendy Umanoff of Umanoff Design says she'll display her original lighting designs.
"I'm going to have a pop up of my lighting, a small collection of what I do. The pieces will be for sale. Often what I do for lighting, it's really inspiration," she said.
Clothing maker New Normal in Scott's Addition plans to be there as well.
"We specialize in locally hand made products, mostly women's cut and sew, made in the USA tees, printing with eco friendly inks," said Kelley Blanchard.
At an additional site, at 313 and 314 East Broad Street in downtown Richmond, real estate company Colliers International is working with architect Joseph Yates to fix up two vacant storefronts.
"We have a couple of national bike companies that will lease the space for a short piece of time," explained Colliers Vice President Martin Bloom,
"We're concentrating on the first floor and the facade. There will be some paint and clean up, some new lighting," added Yates,
It's all an effort to boost downtown retail during the race, and encourage retailers to move downtown permanently and fill some of Richmond's vacant storefronts.
"We're hoping it will promote downtown Richmond and encourage more retailers to look at downtown as an opportunity," said Colliers' Senior Vice President Susan Jones,