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Mayor Sherman Saunders and other city officials and citizens gathered Tuesday morning in welcoming Cuisine as the latest addition to the River District’s growing list of restaurant options.
The restaurant is located at 621 Main St. and offers seasonal menu options for dine-in and carryout lunches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, the restaurant will cater special events, and it soon will announce pop up dinners with varying themes.
Restaurant owner Robert Bragg said plans might include dine-in dinners on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday brunches.
“We will take this restaurant where the market wants us to go,” Bragg said Tuesday. “We are listening to the people. Show us where you want us to go. If you want dinner, that’s what we will provide.”
Whether lunch, dinner or special events, Bragg and executive chef Micheal Kimball said the menu will be unique, featuring seasonal items, fresh ingredients and different cuts of meat.
“We will offer classic dishes that people recognize but are reimagined, and we will introduce dishes from different regions of the world,” said Kimball, who described his cooking style as classic French with a Cajun flair.
Mayor Sherman Saunders, on behalf of City Council, thanked Bragg for investing in this venture.
“This restaurant has committed to elevating your culinary experience by offering a menu that will constantly rotate with seasonal and multi-ethnic food,” Saunders said at Tuesday’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony. “The River District has truly become the hub for unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences in southern Virginia.”
Ernecia Coles, executive director of the River District Association, thanked the City of Danville for its role.
“We congratulate of bringing yet another creative endeavor to life,” Coles said. “You are keeping the creative arts alive and well here in the River District. Your jewelry at Commonwealth Silver & Goldsmiths features beautiful jewelry, some of which you provide yourself. Now, we are excited to see and experience your creativity with food.”
Bragg has owned and operated Commonwealth Silver & Goldsmiths 601 Main St. since 1989. He also owns and operates the adjoining Commonwealth Watch Werks store at 603 Main St.
However, Bragg said he always has had a passion for food, and he worked as a head chef in Charlottesville prior to opening his jewelry sales and repair store in Danville.
In addition, Bragg said he and his partner, Brent Helms, shared a passion for food and fine dining. A year ago, they began making plans to open a fine dining restaurant with a dinner concept for Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, plus a Sunday brunch.
Those plans abruptly changed when Helms died last month.
Though the restaurant concept has changed, Bragg wants to carry out “Brent’s dream.”
“With the name ‘Cuisine,’ we were wanting to communicate what we did with as little verbiage as possible,” Bragg said. “’Cuisine’ implies a certain amount of passion, an elevated level of food.”
Cuisine will occupy the 1,000-square-foot space of the building complex that housed the Strand Theatre when built in 1914-1915 as part of the Hotel Leeland complex. The dining room will seat 50 people.
The River District includes the downtown and historic tobacco warehouse areas. Six years ago, the City launched the River District Development Project to provide new amenities and to repurpose empty buildings for residential units and for locating, starting or expanding businesses. Today, private investment is taking place as hoped, and it is outpacing public investment by threefold.
Cuisine opened to the public last week.
For more information, visit the restaurant's Facebook page or contact the restaurant at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 421-6536