When Rick Lyons opened Lunch (1213 Summit Ave.), a tiny breakfast- and lunch-only spot in Scott’s Addition in 2012, it quickly drew lines for its hearty Southern-influenced dishes.
The following year, he added Supper (1215 Summit Ave.) next door, with an expanded menu and later hours. The two restaurants worked in tandem and kept expanding to include a beer garden, The Urban Roost event space, and long lines during peak hours. In 2019, Brunch arrived in the former Star-lite space (2600 W. Main St., now home to SB’s Main Street Love Shack) and Lyons had meals covered all day long.
Then, in 2020, COVID-19 caused him to shutter Brunch and Lunch, focusing on operating Lunch.SUPPER! out of the spot at 1215 Summit Ave. As he worked to staff that restaurant and an expanded covered patio, he permanently closed the original Brunch because staffing shortages made running two separate locations too difficult.
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But everyone’s favorite boozy in-between meal destination is finally back starting this week. Brunch JR opened in the former Lunch home on Tuesday with new décor and a fresh menu. “It just didn’t make sense to do Lunch back in the Lunch space,” Lyons says. “So we decided to go back to what worked at Brunch.”
Before reopening, Lyons and his staff totally overhauled the restaurant with live-edge wood tables and a new bar they built themselves. One of his servers painted the magnolias you’ll see on the cheery blue walls.
The menu is different from Lunch.SUPPER! with a streamlined selection of breakfast dishes featuring fresh bread and English muffins made daily and even homemade chicken sausage. Choose from mains like savory bacon-cheddar griddle cakes, and the Benito Burrito featuring chicken tinga. There are three-egg omelets and creative skillets like the Chorizo con Queso made with salsa verde, black beans, crispy potato wedges and mozzarella cheese. Sandwiches also lean on the breakfasty side — try the Croque Madame that’s served on Johnny cakes layered with Tasso ham, Gruyere cheese, chives and mornay topped with sunny-side-up eggs.
There’s a section of the menu devoted to sourdough pizzas with dough that’s made fresh every morning. Start your day with The Early Bird featuring mozzarella, sausage gravy, pork belly lardons, Taylor ham and scrambled eggs. Or, later in the day go for The Short with ricotta, caramelized onions, arugula, fresh basil, mornay sauce, and balsamic glaze.
The Grazing Board is perfect for sharing, featuring the house-made chicken sausage and English muffins alongside candied bacon, Taylor ham, Tasso ham, peach mostarda, pickled eggs, house-made pickles and the pimento cheese that’s revered at all of Lyons’ dining establishments.
The smaller location doesn’t leave room for many bar drinks, but Lyons says you’ll find “fun mimosas, fun bloody marys, and maybe a whiskey thrown in here or there.”
Brunch JR is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with Monday hours coming after July 4.
Megan Marconyak has been devouring every fresh flavor she can find and capturing it in writing for over 15 years. Drool along with her dining adventures and send her your #RVADine tips on Instagram @MeganMarcoStyle.
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