Alarming news tonight on the local foodie front — as the unique ChefScape operation at the Village at Leesburg braces for some changes. Exactly what is going to happen next at the food hall and commercial kitchen facility is still being negotiated by the parties involved.
Here’s what we know. Like so many other restaurants and food-related businesses, ChefScape has struggled during the COVID-19 restrictions over the past year. The rent on the 16,000+ s.f. space has become a significant issue and the owners have been negotiating with Rappaport, the landlord at the Village at Leesburg, trying to find a solution amenable to both sides. The final details are still being worked out and an announcement is expected as soon as tomorrow.
Many passers-by at the shopping center may not realize that ChefScape is actually the home of more than 30 local businesses that use the commercial kitchen facilities there. This includes local food trucks and local caterers as well as mail-order and food delivery businesses. Plus there are several restaurants with kiosks in the ChefScape food court. Recently, the popular delivery service LoudounGo, which connects consumers with local farms and artisan food vendors, has also based its operations at ChefScape. Because the situation involves so many Leesburg businesses, the city’s Economic Development department has gotten involved and is helping the parties seek a solution.
“We are working hard to restructure our business, keeping our kitchen members first and foremost in our minds to ensure the continued success of their businesses,” ChefScape owner Ginny Grivas told The Burn. “We are actively negotiating with our landlord to restructure our lease in this challenging time of a pandemic.”
In the meanwhile, Rappaport has listed the entire 16,000+ s.f. space as “available” for lease — apparently as a back-up plan if a deal is not reached.