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Updated – What’s Up with Captain Buzzy’s?

Update 05/16/2019: Check out this article about the new owners from Richmond Biz Sense:

Update 05/14/2019: So there is a Reddit post that was shared in the comments. Reddit user “I_Got_A_Truck” says he’s the new owner of Captain Buzzy’s! You can see an excerpt from the conversation below. We’ve also reached out to the new owner for some additional info and will post updates here.

I’m not out to set the world on fire with any new crazy ideas. I want to start small: keep the shop clean and keep the food and coffee in stock. After that, we’ll see how it goes.

Any questions, please ask!
Edit: oh yeah, the reopening. We are shooting for the second weekend of June. We were hoping June 1, but the floors are going to take 8 days. Looks like we are going to have to buy some new equipment also, so that’ll take a bit of time too.

Original Story: So we’ve had a lot of questions about the state of Captain Buzzy’s from the neighborhood and quite a bit of speculation:

  • There were some rumors that it changed owners, which we haven’t been able to verify.
  • There is also a sign on the door saying it’s closed for renovations that will start May 5th.
  • Lastly, we have this story by NBC 12 saying they were cited for health code violations.

We also tried to reach out by phone and email. Emails bounce back and the phone just rings. I also reached out via Facebook and haven’t heard back. Does anyone have any solid info about this?

We’ll update as we find out more.


Michael Jones 05/12/2019 at 3:18 PM

I believe that there is a change in ownership with renovations underway. Sounds like there was some tired (and perhaps substandard) equipment that’s being replaced. I suspect that they’ll be back up to speed and open for business in the near future. They probably should have done a better job of getting in front of the current circulating stories. One hopes the marketing and community engagement will improve. It’s such an integral part of our Church Hill community.

Paul Granger 05/12/2019 at 3:49 PM

Unless they’re marketing geniuses and knew the vagueness would get twenty threads going on social media ?

Michael Jones 05/12/2019 at 3:50 PM

No such thing as bad press!

Jason McCune 05/12/2019 at 3:57 PM

Bring back TEE!

Stevie Jude Tate 05/12/2019 at 3:58 PM

I passed by this morning and they had brown paper over the windows, and a guy outside with some paint brushes and paint and looked they were about to start painting. So I’d say renovations would be a good guess.

Appanage 05/12/2019 at 4:39 PM

Just give us better coffee than they’ve had in the last and they’ll make a lot more off us for sure!

crd 05/12/2019 at 5:35 PM

I heard that it is being taken over by a local (Church Hill) couple, no name mentioned to me, they will clean it up and reopen. I too saw the brown paper today, and the front door open to see at least one painter. Person who was operating it is gone, and I have not heard if the name will stay the same or not. The people who own the building were not the same as the operator.

By reading the health dept. report and Channel 12, seems like it needed cleaning up in a lot of ways.

Theresa 05/13/2019 at 9:47 AM

The place was always dirty, the coffee watered down and not a great atmosphere. Surprised this place stayed open that long. Hopefully will close for good.

Liz 05/13/2019 at 10:55 AM

My guess is that the building owners were not aware of the issues until the health department report. I think it did need an overhaul and hopefully it will reopen as a coffee shop. I think the question of new management is still up in the air.

Liz 05/13/2019 at 6:04 PM

I have lived up here for almost 15 years and back then, our only options were Hill Cafe, Patrick Henry’s and Buzzy’s. Not a lot of competition and Buzzy’s used to serve a good cup of coffee and nice baked goods. Competition and loss I think changed this place.

Liz 05/13/2019 at 6:28 PM

And I agree – bring back Tee!!!

Brian 05/14/2019 at 12:56 AM

Hello! If you’ve walked or driven by Buzzy’s and seen a guy scrubbing and painting, that is me. My wife and I are the new folks that are going to occupy that location.

The Captain recently became engaged and decided that he needed to make a clean break from his old life and start a new one with his new fiance. My wife had been joking about taking over the coffee shop for a couple of years and when the chance came, we took it.

This whole thing started only about two weeks ago, and now we’re in there as owners and trying to make sense of it all. Tons of cleaning, painting, powerwashing the basement, and trying to bring everything up to code.

Michael, you’re right, we probably should have gotten in front of it better. This happened very quickly, and we’ve been very busy trying to get the place in shape. Hopefully it’ll be a better option than it was before.

Jason and Liz, Tee came by the shop today. He is the one of the main reasons we love the place so much.

Appanage, that’s a tough one. I’m aware of the “watering down” issue, and that’ll be fixed. The coffee will be “better” in the sense that the machines (grinder, roaster, etc) will be regularly serviced. I can’t change the coffee though. It would be a disservice to the people that do like it. At some point we would like to roast more than just what we currently offer. Hopefully one of those will suit you.

As long as there are no snags, we would like to open around the first week of June. Hope to see you there!

Liz 05/14/2019 at 10:42 AM

OMG this is so exciting!!!

Mike 05/14/2019 at 11:15 AM
Alex 05/14/2019 at 8:34 PM

In the mean time, can someone convince Mike & Maddy’s to open earlier than 8 am?!

Frank Watkins 05/15/2019 at 6:53 AM

I am excited for the update/improvements to Buzzy’s. It was one of the reasons I returned to The Hill. During the early 80’s, it was a “grocery store”- pretty rough. My best wishes to Bob on engagement and a new start in life.

Jay 05/15/2019 at 9:28 AM

I worked there a long time ago. The owner was on a first-name basis with the health inspector, who visited frequently and found all types of violations regularly (usually coolers and display cases working improperly and food being stored at dangerous temperatures). One day I was told to sell decaf to customers but not say anything to anyone because the owner had forgotten to pay the person who delivered beans. The place was filthy, the prices inconsistent, and no matter how many hours I begged for, I was kept at only one or two shifts per week so the owner could avoid guaranteeing benefits (because nobody would be offered full-time hours no matter much they asked). I have been boycotting this place ever since I quit. Glad to see it will be in new hands and hopefully wont have a weird college frat boy sports vibe in there anymore.

jean mcdaniel 05/15/2019 at 3:49 PM

I wish the new proprietors the best of luck! I am happy for Bob. He needed to move on from this neighborhood that treated him so badly. What happened should have never have happened. Several of the “neighbors” that were responsible for the debacle have also moved on and fortunately away.

There were some hard lessons learned and lets just hope that there won’t be any repeats!

Juliellen 05/15/2019 at 9:01 PM

Please continue to serve the iced coffee with coffee ice cubes!

Ingrid Addison 05/16/2019 at 2:30 PM

Brian, congrats on your new venture! We’re rooting for your guys. Please keep Church Hill blend…it’s our favorite!

Jacob C. 05/19/2019 at 5:16 PM

The comments were getting a little too personal and off topic. Comments are closed and a few comments were deleted. This is not a place to attack people in our community.

Comments are closed.