Bernstein plans to reopen Patina in November, according to an announcement about the change. Assisting Bernstein in the transition is consulting chef John Maher, who recently served in that role for 2113 Bistro-Lounge and has operated two pop-up restaurants under his own business, called spoon. Maher, who grew up in Powhatan County, graduated with a culinary-arts degree from Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. His experience includes The French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s renowned Napa Valley restaurant, and Cav Wine Bar and Kitchen in San Francisco. He also won Richmond magazine's “To Die For” Main Dish competition at this year’s Broad Appétit (for seared day-boat scallops with charred corn, bacon lardon and tomato marmalade).
UPDATE: In response to some follow-up questions, Bernstein says that Munford's last day at the restaurant was Oct. 14. She says that Bandazian & Holden handled the sale, and that vice president and sales manager Nathan Hughes suggested that she get in touch with Maher. "It ended up being the perfect recommendation," she says. "John agreed to start the project with me on a consulting basis, and has helped choose the right chef to replace him once he moves on to another project." Bernstein says they are not releasing the name of the new chef yet.
The Patina announcement promises "an original take on the farm-to-table tradition" and says that the November menu will feature Rappahannock River littleneck clams as well as “a variety of innovative chicken, beef and pork dishes.” Richmond-based creative firm Team Eight will assist with updating the restaurant’s look and atmosphere.
Maher adds, "We want to create a simple, refined, locally sourced neighborhood restaurant existing in a sea of mediocre chain restaurants. We're trying to bring what you may find in the city out to the West End."