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Hatchet Owner and Partner to Open New Restaurant in Richmond

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From left: Gabriel Firman, Jan Zolten and Lars Whitman, co-owners of 39 Bridge Street in Richmond - MELISSA PASANEN
  • Melissa Pasanen
  • From left: Gabriel Firman, Jan Zolten and Lars Whitman, co-owners of 39 Bridge Street in Richmond

A trio of business partners has bought and undertaken significant renovations of 39 Bridge Street in Richmond. Two of them will launch a new restaurant there this summer.

Gabriel Firman, Lars Whitman and Jan Zolten purchased the building in September 2019. The 1870 structure was most recently occupied by Toscano Café and Bistro but is perhaps best known as the longtime home of the Daily Bread Bakery & Café. Directly across the street is Hatchet Tap and Table, owned by Firman, who hopes to open the new, still-unnamed restaurant with Zolten in June.

"It will be taco-focused, Mexican-influenced," Firman said, adding that the bar will stock a deep selection of tequila and mezcal. "We're going to get a little geeky," he said, "but we'll do margaritas, too."

The 2,400-square-foot first floor will also include a separate cocktail bar and private event space. A wraparound porch will offer outdoor seating, which Firman said Richmond is lacking. Hatchet's creemee window will move across the street to the new restaurant, where staff will have more room to offer an expanded menu of frozen treats.

Firman, Whitman and Zolten are all Richmond residents. "Hatchet was born out of the idea that I don't want to leave Richmond," Firman said. Having watched the downtown restaurant scene undergo changes over the past couple of years, the trio saw an opportunity.

"We just need more options in town to keep things firing on all cylinders," Firman said, "and we know how our town likes to eat."

The restaurant will be open initially for lunch and dinner, with plans to start cooking breakfast in fall 2020. The co-owners also expect to host some musical events.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Bridging the Gap"