Eric S. Huffstutler on What is up with the Church Hill Post Office?
Eric S. Huffstutler on What is up with the Church Hill Post Office?
Yvette Cannon on What is up with the Church Hill Post Office?
crd on Power Outage on the Hill
King’s Maidens? 3700 East Broad? WTF?
09/09/2008 3:12 PM by John M
The city’s Land Use Log(PDF) has an POD to open The Kings Retreat at 3700 East Broad Street:
Each table will receive the dedicated services of a King’s Maiden, an intelligent, talented, and attractive woman. Her goal is to make our guests feel pampered. She will be equipped with wireless communications to convey your wishes to the rest of our staff. She is versed in the use of our wi-fi internet and intranet systems and can also function as an assistant for business meetings.
Is there a 3700 East Broad? This is a mistake (in many ways..) – right?
TAGGED: Broad Street, The Kings Retreat
It must be West Broad, right?
It’s a brothel for business men…Hooters is for peasants. It better be West Broad!
I checked the tax records and there is no 3700 W. Broad St. There is a 3700 E. Broad which is that warehouse building at the bottom of the hill at the end of Broad St. It is also listed as 3801 Glenwood Ave. Now what are we going to be confronted with?
Why don’t they just offer a shuttle service between Club Velvet and King’s Maidens?
The domain name is registered to:
9200 S. Genito Road
Jetersville, VA 23083
804-561-4707 Fax: 804-561-6066
Not sure if he is running the venture or just doing the Web site.
At first I thought it was the project that strip club owner Sam Moore was trying to get rolling, but he supposedly cancelled the plan. The address was in the 2600 block of West Broad.
Sam Moore’s venture failed because of community (and civic association) pressure because it was across the street from the Children’s Museum and the Science Museum. However, tucked away under the brow of Church Hill, I guess the project wouldn’t get as much notice. Of course it is just below Fulton Hill Properties new, proposed 33-unit condominium project! Let the battles begin!
This project has been in the making for some time now. The owner wrote to the CHA president about this last year. There have also been advertisements in the paper for this establishment over the past year or so. Why, I don’t know, considering that they were not even close to opening let alone acquiring the property.
The concept is a geisha-type setting/ expensive gentlemen’s club and it will not be open to the public. It will require private membership.
The shuttle idea is actually a good one.
I don’t know if this project has any legs (yes, pun intended), but I personally don’t have a problem with gentlemen’s clubs/hostess joints.
Interesting yet odd concept…private Geishaesque gent’s club. We’ve been encouraging new small business opportunities up in the hill area but this seems a bit beyond what we’re looking for. I thought another restaurant or small market would be nice…not sure about this kind of place.
Private membership gentlemens club means prostitutes for politicians.
I’m waiting for Eric Huffstutler to inquire of their menu options.
How funny would it be if that area at the east of the hill became an executive paradise? I overheard the Echo Harbor developer mention at the downtown master plan charette that he would love to turn Fulton Gas Works into a 9 hole executive golf course. You have Rocketts Landing(and Echo Harbor) to live at, a small golf course, the harbor for your boat… and now a gentlemen’s club. If that all happened it would be appealing to those with lots of money.
I understand that Belle Isle used to be home to gambling and extracurricular establishments. I remember that when I was whitewater raft-guiding on the James, that was the story that we told, anyway. Helped take the fear out of the fact that we were about to pull them through a Class V rapid at Hollywood.
But then there IS that joke: How do you know your Guide is telling a tall tale? Because her lips are moving. (yuk yuk.) Great fun!
Anyone else have any knowledge of this pseudo-factoid? Haven’t thought about it in a while, and now I’m curious. Seems like there should be a book somewhere about Richmond’s establishments of ill repute.
I’m withholding membership until they promise cockfighting and cigars.
I also want to double down on when the moniker “King’s Maiden” makes it onto “Law & Order,” which as we all know is the true stamp of cultural relevance.
The website is HILARIOUS! Apart from the fact I’m personally grossed out by the concept of a fantasy club for wanna-be “masters-of-the-universe”, if the club pays its taxes, legally employs folks, gives’em health care benefits and refrains from participating in the international slave-trade of prostitutes, then I say, let ’em open.
The description of the food reminds me of the “Smoov B” column in The Onion
The menu is stunningly classy, no?
Beverages: A gourmet selection of vintage wine, spirits, and beers
Hors d’ oeuvres – A delightful assortment of skewered meats and seafood
Bread Cart – 7 types and 7 toppings
Salad Cart – A variety of fresh, crisp vegetables, fruits, and cheeses with a selection of dressings.
Soup Caddy – 4 delicious choices
Entree – Served on its own plate
10 choices – 2 sizzling beef, 2 succulent poultry, 2 steaming pasta, 2 simmering seafood, 2 chef’s specials
Entree Side Cart – 7 traditional favorites
Coffee Service – Rich, flavorful blends, made to order
Dessert Platter – An array of absolutely decadent delights
I am sure there was some river gambling at Belle Island, but Shockoe Bottom has always been the “entertainment” district. Harry Kollatz wrote up a history piece in Richmond Magazine about it.
Smoove B. Hilarious. Thanks Clay Street
I still miss the H-Dawg.
Wow! The comments to date are fascinating. If someone had proposed the concept of a first-class club/restaurant for business women, would we have seen these comments posted? I doubt it. Having read some of the Kingâ€™s Maidens past advertising, it seems to me to be a huge stretch to fear that this business venture will somehow be a house of ill repute. Here we have what would seem to be an open, public, and straightforward attempt to establish a fine restaurant with entertainment that caters to those (primarily men) that want and can afford such an establishment. I am reminded of the angst that occurred here in Richmond many years ago when, GASP, it was proposed that restaurants be allowed to sell spirits other than wine and beer. I hope that the entrepreneur is successful in his endeavor, as I would at least check the place out once it opened.
I couldn’t care less what people do there, as long as everyone consents and people get paid well for whatever services they are performing.
My objection is to the outrageous tackiness and total lack of class, despite the website’s proclamation of how “classy” this place will be…
Fresh fruit dipped in chocolate, my ass!
Then again, maybe that’s what 30-65 year old business executives are into 😉
You are very naive, Dick.
Dick said, “If someone had proposed the concept of a first-class club/restaurant for business women, would we have seen these comments posted?”
Yes. Here is a quick version of the “King’s Maiden” for women called, “The Queen’s Suitor” –
“Each table will receive the dedicated services of a Queenâ€™s suitor, a wealthy, powerful, and handsome man. His goal is to make our quests feel pampered. He will be well equipped….”
or maybe the Queen’s Knight.
Does anyone know what the zoning is for that area?
First off I would like to say I think this is a wonderful idea. In no way does it come off as anything but an upscale restaurant that will also offer fine entertainment. Something that as far as I know does not exist yet in Richmond.
To say that stating a King’s Maiden will be attractive somehow is equal to saying that a King’s Suitor would be “well equipped” is silly and sexist. I’ve read several nasty comments on here from one poster in particular, who to me seems to only be going for shock factor, offering up no explanations for his remarks.
I also thought that Dick Leatherman’s comments were intelligent and well thought out. To say that he is naive, again without any explanation is juvenile.
“Each table will receive the dedicated services of a Kingâ€™s Maiden, an intelligent, talented, and attractive woman….She is versed in the use of our wi-fi internet and intranet systems and can also function as an assistant for business meetings.”
To me the above comments in no way insinuate that these women are “prostitutes”, and to say so is extremely sexist! What, an attractive woman can’t be intelligent, a great server, and helpful with a computer without being a w@ore! Come on! This is the 21st century!
Oh, and for the record it is called THE KING’S RETREAT!
Wow! This place sounds amazing! Can’t wait for it to open. It will be nice to finally have a place for a “complete” night out here in Richmond! Where do I sign up?!?
I believe that area was long-called Sugar Bottom…it’s historically an enterprise-zone, I guess you could call it.
I don’t get it. Is there something wrong with fresh fruit dipped in chocolate?
How is it that a woman being “attractive” is the same as a man being “well equipped”?
@ Ron & Paul — Both of you are first-time commenters posting within minutes from the same IP address. Are you the same person? Are you in any way associated or affiliated with The King’s Retreat?
Hey, at least he picked Ron/Paul and not Ron/Jeremy…
That web site is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while! You can put lipstick on a pig… but it’s… um… nevermind.
Paul said, “How is it that a woman being â€œattractiveâ€ is the same as a man being â€œwell equippedâ€?”
Don’t forget “wealthy and powerful.” Equipped could mean any number of things from wireless communications to biceps and washboard stomachs.
And no they are not the same. Remember the Queen’s suitor is catering to women not men…hehehe.
Wow, a brothel in our neighborhood…. this is good news.
I was afraid the old warehouse would become a Wallmart or something.
Mmmm…..I say we send “12 on your side” and find out what is going on…maybe we can link the donations to Reva Trammell and Bill Pantele to high-end escort services….SCANDAL!
To me the above comments in no way insinuate that these women are â€œprostitutesâ€, and to say so is extremely sexist! What, an attractive woman canâ€™t be intelligent, a great server, and helpful with a computer without being a w@ore! Come on! This is the 21st century!
Sexist would be the assumption a pretty woman can’t be smart. Assuming these women will automatically become prostitutes is stereotypically judgmental.
A common misperception about Geisha’s (pronounced gay-sha) is that they were prostitutes when, in fact, they were merely companions for wealthy (and sometimes not so wealthy) men. It was heavily frowned upon for a Geisha to have sex with any man at all. I believe they were allowed to take gifts from men and often were “kept” by a man, but they in no uncertain terms had sex with them.
What bothers me about this place is 1) it is again right by my house and 2) it opens the door for so much illegal activity that women tend to bear the brunt of. What is sexist? The objectification of women, the industry that supports it, etc. Show me an establishment that uses men like this and is successful, please. And then again prove to me the sexism in its intent because, as most women already know, we have been oppressed for thousands of years, women of color longer. White men, not so much.
So while men can have a solid conversation about sexism, please check your privilege at the door before you start spouting your consent for such a place.
Everyone is missing the pont! The first question should be “how is the chili and when is it being served?” The second question is how will Samuel J.T. Moore get Doug Wilder video tape themselves having sex in this establishment? Come on folks! This is church hill we have standards to keep up!
Personally, I can’t wait to ask the city council and mayorial candidates their position on the proposed “Kings Retreat” at the Fulton Hill Candidtates Forum, 10-21-08.
Finally, this might be the very issue that gets Richmonders to pay attention to mayoral race: it has all the right ingredients to hold an audience’s attention: sex, power, intrigue, land-use, etc.
RE: post 27
Sugar Bottom is where Franklin winds down around to Main Street at 29th and Franklin.
“Commercial: Restaurants, boutiques & daycare” is what is on the POD for 3700 E. Broad.
Does anyone know how the “boutiques & daycare” might figure into the Kings Retreat develoment project?
To answer a previous poster’s question, the current zoning for the address is R53 (multi-family residential) and the planned land use is SF-LD (single family, low density) per the City’s online property info.
Clay Street, your links are to some interesting stuff. Did I read it right, Kings Retreat gave Reva Trammell $250 and Bill Pantele $500? Sounds like the same organization – it’s listed as Restaurant, and location is Jetersville…
Elaine, Maybe they were thinking “pampered” fits in with daycare.
Doesn’t Richmond already have a place like this? I think it’s called the Commonwealth Club. Will there be a Champagne Room at the King’s Retreat? I think Beth Sarrett is looking for work, but I’m not so sure she’d make a good Wench!
But does the Commonwealth Club have “talented” women?
See j’s post (# 5) on the Jetersville connection–I am thinking that is his base of operations. Where is Jetersville, isn’t way out west on 360 or something?
Re: Queen of Church Hill–my mistake on saying it was part of Sugar Bottom–I knew S.B. was at the bottom of that hill, but I’ve never been clear on where it started and stopped 🙂
Gray #44 – my read is that the Commonwealth Club does not have talented women, at least not the type being touted for this place. Actually, can women even join the Commonwealth Club?! I know they could not in the past, not sure as to present day rules there.
Clay Street #45 – yea, Jetersville is out west on either 360 or 60, an hour or so out I think.
Celeste, I was joking and no I don’t think the Commonwealth men allow the women to join -the women have the Women’s Club, east of them.
Does the Commonwealth Club have women? I guess you’ve never been there for one of their special TS/TV parties? Sometimes, Boys will be Girls!!!
I just hope the owners put huge search lights on the roof and drive around town in Hummers, blaring their annoying horns
I envision a fleet of Dusenbergs.
This would correspond to the classy days of Yore they wish to recreate.
That and the bread cart (seven types and seven toppings!) will really capture the *je ne sais quoi* of classy classiness.
The website is so cheez-ball.
My imagination is running wild as to what this place would look likeâ€”probably full of Japanese and Russian businessmen wearing loud nylon jog suits.
Went to the website and it said, “Each night The King’s Maidens treat our audience to a variety of song, dance and instrumental performances. We also have a dance floor for our guests who enjoy dancing.”
If it is a men’s club then who are they dancing with?
And it said, “The King’s Dance: Once each night our dance team performs a choreographed show in costume set to popular contemporary and classical musical selections.”
Costume? Pasties, tassels, and thongs maybe?
A bit of info after some web surfing:
The address is listed as a 20,000-square-foot building with 141,000 square feet of land (3.2 acres).
The name listed as the applicant in the land use log seems to work for Timmons Group, an engineering consulting firm located at 117 S. 14th Street. Timmons Group is also listed as the applicant for Rockett’s Landing.
I’m not sure if the developments are related or if this is just coincidence.
I would like to thank everybody for posting their comments. This is exactly the type of community feedback that our company desires. I would like to take this opportunity to clear up any misconceptions about our proposed development.
The Kings Retreat is a revolutionary new concept in dinner theater and fine dining. Our team will almost entirely consist of talented people. People who can sing, play an instrument, dance, tell a joke, recite poetry, etc. Richmond possesses an abundance of this type of talent. Much of it unemployed. The title of King’s maiden is derived from the ancient tradition of having the maidens of the town in attendance at the Kings functions. The male counterpart is the Kings Squire. Through out the evening, various members of our team will perform for our guests. Our team’s goal is to re-create the luxury and ambience once experienced When you traveled first class by steamship or train.
We would like to develop the old Richmond trolley barn at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and government road. Into a mixed-use retail development. The development will complement the residential nature of the area by utilizing architectural and landscaping styles reminiscent of a country estate. The renovation of this historic trolley barn will promote the historic nature of the area. Most notably the Richmond trolley system by placing a historical marker in the form of an antique trolley car at the corner of Glenwood Avenue and government road. This trolley car will be used as a GRTC bus stop.
The property will be completely renovated and professionally landscaped with an emphasis on green technology including the largest sustainable green roof in the Commonwealth of Virginia.Our proposed construction methods will qualify the building for Leeds certification and an energy Star rating. Its presence inside the city limits will give Richmond a tremendous asset for promoting ourselves as both a green city and a place for green oriented industries to locate.
The development will provide many valuable services are not currently available in the area including food-service laundry service styling salon and auto detailing facility, a clothing boutique and a state-of-the-art childcare facility with a playground. These services will be available for the community and members and guests of the kings retreat. The childcare facility will be partially subsidized as it is badly needed in that area. It will operate from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m..
Our company prides itself on being a good corporate citizen and therefore input from and assistance for our neighbors is part of our culture. I am hopeful that somebody out there noticed that The Kings Retreat was the presenting sponsor for the Richmond broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon.
I would be happy to answer any additional questions, anybody may have. I can be contacted by e-mail at Robert@thekingsretreat.com.
The idea of well heeled west end businessmen driving in from Wyndham to Fulton Bottom to patronize this place is a ridiculous fantasy. The whole idea sounds like an elitist pipe dream. I’ll put down $100 that says the place will never open, and thank God.
I am really weirded out that the childcare place operates until
If I had kids I would not be dropping them off at a laundry business/auto detailing business/private men’s entertainment club and then feel comfortable with said kids being there until
Very shady and, frankly, just odd.
I am actually very intrigued by this possible development for the neighborhood, especially after reading more of the details of the development posted by Mr. Huotari, especially the green roof.
I went back to the website…Is it a gentlemen’s club? I couldn’t find where it said men members only.
Click on Mission/Vision and it says, “The King’s Retreat – will be a good place to work. We will provide a safe, fun and nurturing environment for our associates and their families.”
Families mean children.
But click on the Membership and up pops a photo of women behind a server and one is just wearing fishnets and a corset. Her breasts might be exposed but the male server blocks the view.
Maybe the daycare is for the King’s Maidens working the late night shift.
“Because It’s Good To Be The King.”
I’m sorry, but selling the experience of “being the king” involves gendering your customers as male. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but let’s call it what it (really) is.
I agree that the daycare may be for the children of the King’s Maidens.
Sadly, what that conjures up is the image of bunch of broke 19-year old single moms whose kids are being watched (or not)) at the company store while they shake it next door for the “Kings.”
Is this really the best you can come up with? Green roof and all this has to be the strangest idea I’ve seen in a while. And I thought the Ice bar folks were crazy.
High concepts almost never work. And this is truly “high concept.”
Mr. Huotari: Has this concept been test marketed or proven somewhere else? If this has the potential to succeed at all, it would not be in our little burg of Richmond, and at the bottom of Church Hill on Government Road no less.
Dinner Theatre is a dying form of entertainment. It’s height was in the 70’s and it has been in decline ever since. At one time there were several dinner theatres here in Richmond, but only two remain, and I personally happen to know that they are not sustainable on their own, and rely on other ventures within their organizations to stay open.
You can dress it up all you like, but this aint gonna fly, dude. To actually call this concept dinner theatre is a misnomer in my opinion. It is actually more like burlesque, and a similar venue, the Sycamore Rouge out in Petersberg is barely hanging on by a thread. They augment their burlesque with stage plays and are funded by grants and the kindest of rich patrons/corporations.
I’d really like to know why you think that this will be successful based on research and previous successes in other areas.
Clay Street, that’s what I was getting at.
I would like to invite anyone who is genuinely interested to visit our website. Thekingsretreat.com Complete our online survey and then sign up for our advisory panel.
Again, Mr. Huotari, what evidence empirical or otherwise do you have to show that this concept will be successful in Richmond, let alone in Fulton Bottom?
I would think that if you are asking for investors or bank loans, which are really hard to get nowadays, you must have some pretty compelling evidence that this will work. What is it?
Please answer the question so that potential investors have confidence in this project.
An “advisory panel” sounds to me like you are making this up as you go along. What is your resume and experience?
Why should folks invest in your company, or want to become a member at such a high cost?
So as I understand, at The King’s Retreat, you will ba able to get your hair done, eat, get your car detailed, buy clothes , get your old clothes washed, and watch a floor show performed by a bevy of beauties. All this in an ecologically firendly enviroment sure to please the ardent historic preservationist. That sounds better than Walmart!!!
The perfect evening out.
My wife and I along with our good friends James and Cindy and their nine-year-old son. Enter the gates of The Kings Retreat. We are greeted by the valet. We are escorted to our table in the dining hall, where our preferred beverages are already in place. Little Jimmy is taken to the nannies. After we are seated. The ladies wished to visit the salon, for a little touchup or a pedicure while the gentlemen discuss sports, politics. business etc.
When we asked our attendant to commence serving dinner, our food was presented and served from beautiful ornate carts. Abundant selections served in the portions we desired. I had the garlic fillet with wild rice, I had them put that on the same plate. I also had a side of green peas, yellow corn and mushrooms.
The attendant was very helpful in helping us choose the wine. The wine list was displayed on a large color monitor with pictures of the bottles and a description of characteristics. This made it very easy for each of us to choose our favorite. While we had a leisurely dinner we enjoyed several performances. The young lady who sang Wind beneath My Wings was amazing. The Kings dance that night was a set from all that jazz, the guest who had to judge the performance was absolutely hilarious.
Afterwords, James and I ascended to the roof for a cigar in lounge. James was very impressed by the one half acre Greenway overlooking the James River Valley. He wants to reserve it for his sister’s wedding reception.
When we informed our attendant that we were ready to leave. We were treated to carry out selections from the dessert cart and beverage cart. I ordered tea, James got coffee. My wife and Cindy both got the fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate and a bottle of water.
When we got to my car. Johnny was in the backseat playing with his new toy. The suits, and my wife’s dresses, which were in the trunk had been cleaned and pressed. My car had been freshly detailed, and the gas tank topped up. After we were handed our carry out selections, I looked around at everybody and said, it’s good to be the king. They all agreed.
Dear Mr. Hillkid,
You sound as though you may actually have some experience in business. Are you a potential investor? If you are interested in statistical analysis Please feel free to contact me directly at Robert@thekingsretreat.com
RE: post 66
That is all.
The more Robert Huotari speaks, the more ridiculous this place sounds.
Re: post 68
Looks like the Commonwealth Club needs to be looking over it’s shoulder.
Reading this has made my day. Thank you all, especially Mr. Huotari, for providing what has been a delightful bit of reading.
Sorry, Mr. Huotari. I’m not interested in investing in a venue of this sort. Again, I’m asking where is YOUR experience beside running a printing company?
RE 66: Did your wives get to eat? I kept waiting for them to come back. I feel like maybe they were off somewhere being attended by some eunuchs, too busy to re-join you until the end.
The description of the evening totally cracked me up, as well, working that Penthouse Forum flavor. Pure fantasy – which I endorse wholeheartedly, as a general rule. I would love to see this in action, but it seems like it might be quite logistically agonizing.
But I guess the point is that the customer doesn’t need to worry about how they do it, huh? They just make it happen and don’t-you-worry-about-a-thing.
Are there any King’s Retreats in actual operation now? Road Trip! (Oops! I mean scouting venture for the good of our fair neighbors…)
At the risk of being bombarded with pine cones, I must say that I’d love to see this in action!
I think the King’s Retreat is an exciting, ambitious ,unique and brilliant idea. It won’t be a “gentlemen’s club” or some sleazy place. Like the president said, it is supposed to be like something from the past, from a time of ladies and gentlemen, not guys and gals, dudes and chicks. But all this talk about it just shows to prove that every time someone comes up with a new idea, people are reluctant to accept it because they are afraid of change and future. It took a long time for humanity to accept the building of skyscrapers, use of the telephone and trains, .etc. This is America!! Lets show the world that we are not afraid of development and we encourage entrepreneurs who build things unique, create jobs and make this country more beautiful and successful.
Dear Mr. Hillkid,
If I fail, it will not affect you in the least. So don’t worry about me, attend to your own life.
Yes Our Wives Did Get to Eat and on their own schedule in the portions they desired. Thank you for your reasoned and intelligent comments.
Hillkid’s hobby is predicting dire ends for anyone who dares set foot in Church Hill offering food, drink and tax revenue. I think he would have made a swell Roman Emperor. “Throw them to the lions, they displease me!”
Maybe you have an opening at your club for someone with his demeanor and skill set? He could sit on some sort of big cushiony chair in velvet pantaloons and tights, and point at random diners and bawl “TO THE DUNGEON WITH HIM!” It would be awesome.
I think Robert is smoking from the same pipe as the dreamer from the legendary Church Hill Market….It will NEVER fly.
I think it’s a fantastic idea. I hope it comes about!
You know what would be cool? (And I swear I’m not being snarky…) Not sure what country has this as a regular thing, but I’m thinking Japan â€“
It would be cool to have some rooms there with a bunch of glass vases and lamps and dishes and general knick-knacks, and the patrons could sport some goggles and other protective gear, and break stuff in that room with sledgehammers. Or throw them at the cinderblock walls. Oh wait! Just found a link to something like it here in the US â€“ Sarahâ€™s Smash Shack in San Diego. Check it out: http://sigmundcarlandalfred.wordpress.com/2008/09/04/new-self-help-pay-to-break-stuff/
Might seem like a bit of a contrast to the very civilized world described by Mr. H, but if we are talking about fantasy for grown-ups, I canâ€™t imagine much that could be more useful to society as a whole. Think of everyone who tries to run you off the road every day because of their pent-up angst. Lots of people, right? Itâ€™s ridiculous. All of their big adult problems and pressures are so overwhelming, yeah? Couldnâ€™t they really use a safe place to blow off some steam?
So maybe there could be an area in the warehouse dedicated to this barbaric form of release, too, in contrast to the girl singing Wind Beneath My Wings â€“ the thought of which actually Gives me anxiety, rather than taking it away. (Iâ€™d like to see Patti Smith and her guys as the House band, but thatâ€™s just me.)
This thread reminds me of that show Fantasy Island. What if everyone could create their own Kingdom, magically, upon entering 3700 E. Broad? Iâ€™d totally buy a membership to that.
You are obviously a very astute individual. Please visit our website. Take our survey and sign up for our advisory panel.
Oh my! I was supporting your Fantasy Island, so I hope that you were not referring to me! Harsh.
I really think the smashing-things room would be a cool idea. Sorry if you felt like it belitteled your concept. I thought I was adding.
If you WERE referring to me in your comment, I can tell you that I don’t really have time for any more volunteer work. But you can use my suggestion if you want.
Also: rubberneck? whaaaaa?
I don’t know who Rubberneck is either, but Shannon, if we can get some backers for a place where we listen to Patti Smith and smash stuff, I am SO. THERE. Every night of the week!
Ok. My WTF meter has just pegged at the top. I Mr. Huotari appears to own another business in the area. It is a prining company called Merlin Industries.
My favorire part is the company motto which is “Graphic Reproduction Through Science, Alchemy and Time Travel”. I also noted that there is a quote from Dick Leatherman on the site. Appearently Merlin got it’s start by purchasing the clients from Mr. Leatherman’s company. My thoughts are that this is either:
A) A scam
B) A joke
Or the other possibility is that Mr. Huotari is a colorful visionary that would be an interesting addition to an already colorful neighborhood….
I really need to get some work done and this thread has been distracting me for three days…
DAMN you, Robert Huotari, and ALL of your time-traveling, chocolate strawberry-dipping, succulent entree-serving, “Wind Beneath My Wings”-singing minions!!!
Enough already, I’m out. This is too ridick. It can’t be real.
I guess questioning your “Arab chick” critique of Bubbling’s food got under your skin.
Clay Street, you said it perfectly.
Could be a joke, but I doubt it. #11’s post is another possibility of what Mr. Robert Huotari could be banking on. Sure makes some sense. This whole area needs to take this seriously, and decide what the neighborhoods want.
Shannon: rubberneck was a previous poster, I believe Mr. Huotari was referring to them.
UHNewGuy: Rest assured…it isn’t a joke.
“…your time-traveling, chocolate strawberry-dipping, succulent entree-serving, â€œWind Beneath My Wingsâ€-singing minions!!!” Hilarious! Nowhere on Merlin’s website is there an explanation of how alchemy and time travel factor into a business dedicated to printing pamphlets and brochures. Ukrops and First Market Bank are listed as clients, but somehow I doubt it is for their print services. If contracted time travel is the key to Ukrops’ success I can certainly understand Mr Huotari’s confidence in writing “The King’s Retreat will be profitable. We will earn a fair and honest profit.” I especially love how Huotari asked for questions in this thread and then managed to avoid every single one that was presented. I thought Michael Ripp’s Tijuana Country Club restaurant in Shockoe Bottom was a goofy concept (waitresses in tennis shorts?), but at the time they seemed to have business acumen, sound financial backing and a positive track record with Havana 59. But this?! Alchemy, maidens, executive class, and luxurious ornate carts with green peas, yellow corn and mushrooms? The servants are “attractive” and “talented” women who are well versed in wi-fi? What is the talent? The King’s Retreat will have their own dance team that will perform in costume every night? A $2500 joining fee?! I love this place! They even have the Mel Brooks line “It’s good to be the king” proudly displayed on their website. I can’t get enough of this topic!
I think I’ve got it.
Think about it–this guy could make a mint if he invested in some rivets, goggles, stovepipe hats, vintage machine guns, and a full-scale replica of the Titantic.
Jules Verne style, for realz!!!
“Nowhere on Merlinâ€™s website is there an explanation of how alchemy and time travel factor into a business dedicated to printing pamphlets and brochures. ”
‘king’s maidens’ has a vaguely religious sound…sort of like ‘virgins for jesus.’ wonder if virginity will be a requirement for the ‘intelligent, attractive women’ who’ll make up the staff. if so, that’ll really put richmond on the map.
The concept is humorous, but the elitist and sexist overtones are not. Instead of simply outlining a mission of an establishment dedicated to quality and service, Huotari places at the forefront of his vision a clientele that is in stark contrast to its clearly defined serving class. There are abundant references to the “Kings”, an obviously masculine term, as nobility, “the executive class”, the “cream”, “stars”, and “decision makers” of the community. Yet, at the same time, the only references to women in this fantasy are as “maidens”, assistants, entertainers, servers or pedicure loving guests and wives of the noble Kings. Nowhere in this world is there even a nod to a Queen. I love the landscaping, community day care, trolley car bus stop, and green roof ideas, but I would prefer to see it accompany a business that places inclusiveness and community at the forefront of it mission. By the way Huotari contributed to Bill Pantele’s mayoral campaign.
RE: 91 – Thanks! I was pretty confused, and thought I had scanned the previous comments well enough. Guess not. 🙂
There is a story in River City magazine at http://www.rivercityrichmond.com/archived%20Issues/RC_MARAPR08.pdf
I had never heard of River City Magazine, but it’s just a shill.
This is some sort of packaged advertisement– most of the advertised businesses have half page ads ( even more blatantly done than Style Weekly or Richmond magazine ).
“River City Richmond is
published bi-monthly by Advertising Concepts, Inc.,
6301 Harbourside Drive, Midlothian VA 23112
(804) 639-9994, http://www.advertisingconceptsinc.com
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Is it me or do the photos that go along with the text look like Julep’s?
Juleps was the advertisement next to the Kings “article”.
I have read all 100 threads, and I have to say, there are too many people with too much time on their hands to emit negative thoughts about such a venture. I say, SPLENDID!! What a brilliant idea, and so NEEDED in Richmond. I have been there a time or two and I found little substance in the town. This would truly add substance to Richmond and possibly put it on the map. Think outside of the box small minds. Mr. Huotari should receive the support from the community, because the last time I checked, businesses add a financial benefit and jobs to the local economy. Fortunately for him, the words of a few, are not that of the many. I look forward to opening night!! Good luck Mr. Huotari!!
Dear Union Hill Dave, you’re obviously a thinking man. I thought most questions should have been answered in post number 54 and 67. Please take the opportunity to visit our website. Take our online survey and register for our advisory panel. Also, please feel free to contact me directly at Robert@thethekingsretreat.com
Dear Clay Street,
dude, I thought you said you were burnt out. Hey, think about this were not even open, but were already entertaining you
Robert, We are definitely entertained! Dude, I need to know what the story is behind “graphic reproduction through science, alchemy and time travel”, that line added a whole new dimension (literally) to this discussion.
Would the maidens do some sort of choreographed dance number at James’ sister’s Wedding Reception? Perhaps an interpretive, Martha Graham-styled version of those Wedding classics The Chicken Dance or Electric Slide?
While the concept does sound a little “out there”, I would love to show up one night and see the whole thing in action. All my fancy schmancy DC friends would be totally jealous!
re post #101 You consider Richmond lacking in substance? You consider an enterprise like the King’s Retreat to be something of substance? Perhaps you should peruse the King’s Lexicon before you speak so boldly. The KR is nothing but every pimp’s vision of high class living, getting waited on hand and foot, an overabundance of food, and wenches waiting for you in the wings. Decadence and indulgence is nothing new and it certainly doesn’t qualify as substance. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to it, just call it what it is. Given the current business model, it won’t work anyway. Bringing in half a million a year at full membership capacity won’t even cover expenses so services will have to be a la carte, and that won’t work for a number of reasons. Corporate membership is unlikely since the Dow just had the biggest drop since 2001 and that kind of expense will certainly be frowned upon. Without special serices by maidens generating revenue, I don’t see where enough cash flow will be produced to keep the business going, and that angle is blown by being so public about the whole thing. Despite my negativity here, I do wish Huotari success in his endeavor. More business in the area is good, and the more bizarre the better.
All I have to say is that from now on out, I will always serve my guests 7 types of bread with 7 toppings….
And, any attempt to install this establishment in our community will most likely be met with HUGE opposition from the general public.
excellent news! this is going to appeal to some of the enormous SUV driving lodge members that have the tendency to flaunt their wealth in our neighborhood. i think this crowd is the perfect market for King’s Retreat memberships. they certainly don’t invest enough in this community according to their annual IRS 990 statements.
Union Hill Dave,
Merlin industries specializes in producing literature on an incredibly tight timeframe. We take on projects thought to be impossible by other companies. Our tagline is a twist on Clark’s axiom that any sufficiently advanced technology will appear as magic to the uneducated, and therefore beyond comprehension.
Mary Anne! tell us more about the mason’s IRS statements. we would love to know how they invest in the community.
King’s Retreat = Nerd’s Retreat
Clay St., please do the readers a favor and rise to the level of intelligent and civil discourse.
That is really quite tame by local standards, actually.
True John M…now that I think about it the King’s Retreat is too classy for us untamed hillers.
Clay…. you are hilarious! Your post #69 is FUNNY! I tried to state as much but my numbering is off.
RE: CLARK’S AXIOM: It’s CLARKE with an E, not CLARK, and while he wrote that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” he never said anything about the UNEDUCATED. Perhaps you stuck that in as a thinly disguised insult. Nice try, but rim shot…
Dear Mr. Robert Huotari,
Post # 103, regarding intelligent discourse:
it is *we’re* not *were.*
Mr. Huotari, I cannot thank you enough for participating in this discussion. You are an absolutely fascinating individual and I am glad that you call this place home. Post #67 is a beautiful piece of work, I think I have read it five times now. Good luck sir, and may the wind be beneath your wings!
I was just reading post 67 again, describing a night at The King’s Retreat. Forgive me if I missed this in other posts, but did anyone else notice they gave Jimmy to the Nannies and took Johnny home in the car? Thay gave them the wrong kid!!!
Kidding aside, I am 100% for new concepts in entertainment and dining opening up in Richmond, but does anyone really think that there is a market for an upscale private club, where couples come for a nice dinner and the women retire for a pedicure??
Mr. Huotari’s website has a link for people wanting to invest in this concept, yet when asked here to give some kind of research baed evidence that there is a market for this, all he has is a pleasant little story about a trip to his place, or he states that he writer seems to be “astute” and should sign up to be on his advisory committee.
So ar the “King’s Retreat” bears a remarkable resemblance to he “Emporers New Clothes.”
LONG LIVE THE KING!
As King of Oregon Hill, I am more concerned about the City’s schools and overall sustainability than this high-end concept. Nero’s fiddling while Rome burns is the disturbing image that comes to mind. I suggest that there are more important matters to concern ourselves with than Huotari’s business plan.
Scott Burger, I respectfully disagree with you, I cannot think of many issues more important than this one. Aren’t you even a little bit concerned that they gave away the wrong kid on the perfect evening out?!! Think of the children!
ok, i’m just catching up on the last 25 or so posts, and laughing so hard my sides hurt. thank goodness improv-comedy is alive and well in these’darn hills. personally, hoping we get a preview of the “maidens” at the Italian Festival.
Scott Berger and Union Hill Dave are both right. How are we going to provide quality child care and good jobs in our area?
This is great! For the past 10 days I haven’t been able to stop reading this thread…
While I wish Mr. Huotari the best of luck and success in his endeavor I do have to wonder if it will fly. Some of the ideas that he has are rather unconventional but interesting nonetheless. Mr. Huotari, are there any other establishments like this currently in operation (either in the US or abroad)? Just curious.
CHPN posters, I have not laughed so hard in quite some time. I thank you for the humor and look forward to the humor that I’m sure I’ll see later in this thread.
THE KINGâ€™S RETREAT
DAVID J. MALONE, C.C.M.
To establish a world-class city club emphasizing an approach to hospitality which is seldom experienced in our current-day environment. The club will strive relentlessly to provide an unparalleled level of personal service to each and every member. This commitment to provide only the finest quality of services including dining, entertainment, concierge and other personal services is the very foundation of the clubâ€™s mission.
In recent years, and over the past decade, premier private clubs have enjoyed phenomenal growth in both membership levels and amenities offered. This is true both nationally and on a regional level. In audited surveys performed by one of the nationâ€™s leading accounting firms specializing in private clubs, results verified that growth has outpaced most other market segments. Revenues in Virginiaâ€™s private clubs have increased well over 20% in just the past three years. Although the overall performance of the economy has been somewhat varied over the past 10 years, private clubs both in Virginia and nationally have grown in revenues each and every year. On average, capital improvement spending in private clubs is at an all-time high, due in large part to demand for membership and the resulting increases in membership fees.
A private club first and foremost must feel like an extension of the home. Social compatibility within the membership is a top priority. Sponsorship of nominees by current members, combined with an interview process, insures that integrity is maintained within the admissions process. This process, combined with outstanding, well-designed facilities and a dedicated, highly trained staff of hospitality professionals, ensures the ultimate in fine dining, entertainment, and all other amenities provided. Unparalleled service at and above the 5-star level is a mandate. The club at its core will establish itself as one of the very few facilities in the state which can deliver hospitality at this benchmark level.
The planned facilities include a spacious and luxurious clubhouse complete with a 230-plus member capacity, main dining area, and special venue commons. Smaller, more intimate gathering rooms will complement the main clubhouse. Additional areas within the clubhouse will be dedicated to a full-range spa with personal services available such as, manicures,child care,auto detail and concierge. This flexible design allows for meeting spaces as well as social gatherings and other special occasions such as bar mitzvahs, wedding receptions, and political receptions. The club facilities will comfortably support a membership of 1,000.
Although the club can comfortably support a much larger membership, a conservative approach of just 400 members creates a healthy financial picture. Both the projected initiation fee and monthly dues levels are modest, which creates a demand far exceeding the monthly membership base.
The overall club design will be achieved by incorporating both the founding memberâ€™s extraordinary vision and the design and operating expertise of private club professionals. The club has already committed extensive resources related to this project. This commitment has included the clubâ€™s leadership team under the direction of President and CEO Robert L. Huotari developing working relationships with highly experienced professionals in the industry. These important relationships have enabled the clubâ€™s vision to be merged with solid business fundamentals to ensure a highly successful project.
I think a club of this nature is long overdue. What a great idea. I would join in an instant but my wife won’t let me.
“…my wife wonâ€™t let me.”
Why not? According to Mr. Huotari, it’s not a titty bar, just a place with talented attractive women gifted in wireless communications at your service.
“A private club first and foremost must feel like an extension of the home. Social compatibility within the membership is a top priority. Sponsorship of nominees by current members, combined with an interview process, insures that integrity is maintained within the admissions process.”
Thank God–We wouldn’t want *THOSE* people to be a part of our club.
It’s the “wireless communications” stuff. My wife hates that.
That “wireless communication” stuff can be dangerous, especially while driving.
Post #131 makes absolutely no sense -I was thinking cell phones but that’s not “wireless,” it’s cordless….
Re. Post #67 …..
What does a night like this cost?
Just curious …..
If I recall correctly, it’s $2500 to join and membership includes two free nights a month.
A third night is on the house if they lose a kid.
Mr. Huotari, your consultant in Post 126 above, refers to “In audited surveys performed by one of the nation’s leading accounting firms…results verified that growth has outpaced most other market segments.”
Are the results of this survey publicly available, online or published in a trade journal? If so, I and many others, I believe would like to read the findings.
We (the members of the community where you wish to locate,) could benefit by learning more about the types of business venture you are interested in pursuing.
Sharing that study with the public would be a step in the right direction. It could help you gain some traction with the neighborhood and go along way in building our trust.
After all, you will have to get us to support your variance/special use permit. So please, the more information you can provide from the “private clubs” industry, the better.
Didn’t another private club, “Downtown Club” close just a year or two ago? And while I would love the opportunity to drop off my kids and have a pedicure while my husband had an attractive woman bend over and help him out with his “connection”…$2500 is a lot of money. At least compared to the cost of a sitter and a night at Velvet.
You can see single women talented in wireless communications for free at any neighborhood coffee shop, however, if you look or smell like a troll, they probably won’t help you with any connection.
RE: 138: ROTFLMFAO!
For $2500 a year and the cost of a monthly fee, I can join a spa/health club and eat out regularly wherever I want and whatever I want. And, I won’t have to put up with cheesy musical reviews and “jazz hands.”
There are no research studies, or business models to back this up. That’s why they keep dodging the questions.
The most obvious reason this won’t work is that no one is going to go to a private club that is right across the street from a ghetto project.
Where the hell is Jetersville anyway? Is that in between Hooterville and Petticoat Junction? I think Mr. Huotari is really Mr. Haney in disguise.
#54 “Our team will almost entirely consist of talented people. People who can sing, play an instrument, dance, tell a joke, recite poetry, etc. Richmond possesses an abundance of this type of talent. Much of it unemployed.”
Has anyone been to see local musical theatre in this town lately?
I don’t know where Huotari thinks he’s going to get his talent from. The same women have been playing the ingenue roles for past twenty years. With all do respect, it takes a lot of forgiveness and imagination to watch a 50 year old gal play twenties.
This town is not exactly brimming with talent because THERE IS NO WORK. Talented folks, if they want to work, go where the work is.
And before anyone jumps all over my shit about talent bashing, I’ll concede that there are some talented people in this town, but they are in the minority.
A business lesson on wireless communication, laptop computers, intranet and Internet systems.
By placing a laptop computer, at each guest service area and all serving stations we achieve the following:
Comprehensive and highly visual Menu of guest services.
Multimedia presentation of wine selections.
Rapid and almost instantaneous compliance with our guests requests.
Dramatically reduced waiting times.
Increased quality and efficiency through the use of written rather than verbal communication.
Substantial reductions in wasted motion.
Reduced staffing requirements.
Accurate compilation of guests charges and preferences.
Vertically integrated inventory management.
A broadcast media
Zone controls for temperature, lighting and sound.
Member to member communication.
A concierge service for guests desiring information about boats, handbags, golf clubs, shoes, tennis rackets, cars, vacation destinations, jewelry, etc.
I hear that Corky St. Clair is looking for work as long as you let him wear his dance belt and buy him some chapstick!
This is one of the most entertaining threads I have seen in quite a while. I get a good giggle every day.
please feel free to contact Goodman & Co. or Dunn & Bradstreet.They can provide you with audited financials and industry trends for any industry you desire to learn about.
RE 142: Yep – I saw an absolutely outstanding rendition of Guys and Dolls presented by the Barksdale a couple months ago. I was floored by the talent. Vocally, they were right on, the dancing was tight – totally nailed, the sets were well-designed and executed, good lights… etc. Great show.
BTW – my degree is in acting and directing, and I have been involved with theatre, both musical and other, since I was old enough to walk/dance. So I have a pretty critical eye about that stuff.
Richmond has some smokin’ talent, actually. Get on out and support your local stuff. You might be very pleasantly surprised.
Post 138. Please review postings number 67 and 143
also, please do not use that word again. I had to wash my computer screen.
we have a pro forma available to qualified investors. Jetersville is in northwestern Amelia County
I am happy to hear that you have the means to afford our basic membership.
It sounds like you are starved for some place new
The club you are referring to is the Capital Club, and yes, they did shut down. The 2300 Club is probably not far behind.
I believe the accounting firm that he is referring to is Duey, Cheatham & Howe, AKA Moe Larry Cheese.
Here’s a link to a video of a well known business man with a similar business model, albeit in the aviation industry.
post number 147
please visit our website thekingsretreat.com. Take our online survey and register to be on our advisory panel.
Post number 151
Dear Mr. Hillkid,
I hope when we open, you will apply for the position of comedian.
And you said there was no talent in this town.
Despite it all. You’re obviously a thinking person.
Thank you for being such a good sport, and providing all of us with great material to work from!
PS: Interesting surname. What nationality? No reason for asking, other than curiosity.
Now hillkid…never underestimate the allure of jazz hands, especially when paired with a sequined ensemble. I could never have made it through many a dance recital without a snazzy shuffle-ball-change and smokin’ jazz hands. Hey, perhaps Mr. Huatori will have a spot for a middle-aged Mom. I don’t know much about wi-fi, but as a Mom, I am used to having “instantaneously comply with requests” and I promise to shake my jazz hands like I’ve got Parkinson’s the entire time.
Sorry about the Parkinson’s joke…I know karma will get me on that one.
There has been a lot of concern expressed about the potential failure of this venture. All I can say is if we succeed, we bring lots of good jobs and valuable services into the area. A rising tide raises all boats. But if we fail, look on the bright side. You can visit me at my new home on the park bench in Chimborazo,and say I told you so.
Hopefully, if you have some compassion in your soul, you will buy me a cup of coffee.
The Downtown Club closed about 3 years ago, I believe. The Capital Club about the same time. The 2300 Club is in great shape, thank you, now that we have a professional manager taking charge of everything. In all my years being involved with private clubs I have never heard of any of them doing auto detailing, and David Malone knows better. He and I used to be fellow club managers. What puzzles me more than anything is not so much the concept (anyone has the perfect right to sink money into a restaurant project and take whatever associated risks-that’s their business), but to pick a location that does not give maximum street exposure or is in an entertainment area that would provide spill over from other venues, seems self-defeating. I wouldn’t want to drop big bucks in a private club located in an old trolley barn, in a marginal residential area (not the top of the hill, just the bottom). But that’s just me.
The Downtown Club was also a private club that closed a couple of years ago. If I recall correctly, it was due to declining membership. The class of people who belong to the Downtown Club, Bull and Bear Club, etc. wouldn’t be members in a place like this. Furthermore, I don’t know of many men who want to watch a lounge singer sing “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
You could use your “Parkinson’s jazz hands” in a hot flash striptease!
There’s got to be a market for a “Cougar” review.
What do you think Mr. Huotari?
Dear Mr. Hartstock,
Please Review Post 156
Please Feel Free to Contact Dave for His Opinion
Please visit our website at the king’s retreat.com and take our online survey and register to be on our advisory panel.
“Furthermore, I donâ€™t know of many men who want to watch a lounge singer sing â€œWind Beneath My Wings.â€
Maybe there will be a separate gay bar in the club? (yes, I’m addicted to this thread – get me to rehab!)
Post #67 By Mr. HuoAtari 2600 is probably the single funniest thing I have ever read in my life. It is so great to have a gentleman’s club besides Velvet to begin pandering. The Web site is hysterical.
I am pretty sure this is all a joke. It’s got to be.
Reminds me of SNL/Christoper Walken’s “The Continental.”
Hillkid…If only the average 17 year old wishing to be taught a thing or two could afford that $2500 “initiation” fee!
Please don’t tell me that Robin O’Neal, Jan Guarino, Debra Wagaoner or any of the other middle-aged actresses in this town were in the Guy and Dolls production. O.K. maybe the Adelaide part, but not anything else!
Sorry for going off-thread…
I don’t usually respond to spurious postings as you have continually put on this website, but I don’t need to talk to David about his help to you with your project. What he proposes for you is his business. I respect him as a long time friend and very professional in his tenure as a country club manager. As a fellow hospitality industry professional I am entitled to my opinion of your business plan, and I find it faulty. That is my opinion and I would like you to respect it. I don’t feel that I could add a subjective voice to your “advisory panel” as I am a strong advocate of the neighborhood and feel your project is ill-advised and ill-conceived.
Mr Huotari, I hope you won’t also be hiring the “attractive” ladies sight unseen from the community blogs because so far you’ve asked folk here on this thread to advise, invest, and put on a show.
This “advisory panel” is shaping up to be a quite an entertaining cast of characters. This business will fail, in fact I doubt it will ever open its doors, but where will that leave the property? Is developed and vacant better than merely vacant?. It seems like an overall net gain, but not if they develop it extensively for the wrong use. Ron and Paul (see 25, 26 and 29) will lose their shirts with this venture, but hopefully Church Hill and Fulton will ultimately win in the end.
Dear Mr. Hartsock,
Please be assured that I do value and respect your opinion as well as the opinion of others. Successful leaders rarely surround themselves with yes people.
With regards to our advisory panel.To date I have had the opportunity to speak with over 75 people representing a broad cross-section of our community and compassing all races and genders and income levels. It has been most enlightening.
I welcome input from the entire community. I have found that the basis of a civil society is an ability to agree to respectfully disagree. This ability usually allows us to find common ground.
One question…have you ever run a restaurant before, or owned one?
Another question…Why do you feel you need an advisory panel when you have a very competant consultant to help you?
I’ve never heard of consensus building when putting together a business plan which involves a lot of up-front capital. Is this “advisory panel” just a ploy to suck in investors? Probably.
You are correct.Consensus building is not used in putting together a business plan. A business plan is composed by using proven management principles and compiling extensive industry research. The business plan of any corporation is proprietary information. A board of directors governs the execution of a business plan. Our business plan has long been completed and is very well-received in investment circles. A copy of our pro forma is available to qualified investors. The minimum subscription is $100,000. To date we have commitments totaling 38 subscriptions. I have 12 subscriptions left, if you’re interested.
An advisory panel is used to target preferences of a specific region and to tailor your product for that market.
Sir, I do genuinely appreciate your interest, and I do not wish to seem rude, however I am very busy running my companies, and I have no interest in providing a tutorial on economics and business management. The University of Richmond has some very good business courses. I would highly recommend them.
Yes, you are rude, and I suggest that you go on about your business that you feel is so important.
Hath ye considered this location instead, milord?
Tis a mighty castle with a mighty moat to ward off dragons, the Black Knight of Chimborazo, RPD, and the taunting of Bill Hartsock.
In all seriousness, follow your dreams, my man! This thread makes me so happy…
This guy has always been a scam artist.
Those are some fightin’ words. Where do you have your info from? Careful dude.
So you know, I don’t think this place will fly and seems kinda shady to me too.
Many posters on this site are missing the point. Here are the real effects of what The King’s Retreat will bring to the area:
Highest and best use of the building and a real improvement to the neighborhood
Tax revenue for the city which can be used for neighborhood projects
A well-conceived and thoroughly researched project proposed by a highly successful and civic-minded businessman
No public funds will be requested or used
Restoration of a historic Richmond resource – the trolly barn
New jobs created
A very viable alternative to the same tired old restaurants/entertainment venues in the Richmond area
These are the facts. How could you not support this venture?
I’m not sure that there is a consensus that these are actually facts as most people use the word. “highest and best” and “well-conceived” are quite subjective, and we’ve seen no proof at all for “thoroughly researched”.
The posters on this site are missing the point. Here are the real effects of The KIng’s Retreat project:
Highest and best use of the building and an improvement to the neighborhood.
Tax revenue generated for the City of Richmond which can be used for neighborhood projects.
A well-conceived and thoroughly researched project proposed by a highly successful and civic-minded businessman.
Creation of new jobs.
A welcome, viable alternative to the same old and tired restaurant/entertainment venues in the Richmond area.
Restoration of a historic Richmond resource – the trolley barn.
These are the facts. How could you not support this project?
Mr. Huotari, regarding consensus building, your property is zoned R53 (residential, multi-family.)
You can’t get a zoning variance or special use permit without community support. Thus, you have no other choice than to build consensus.
It’s really not that big of a deal. All businesses in this area go thru this process. You simply go to the civic association meetings, make a few presentations and be open to discussion.
Hey “advocate,” you can post your lame argument as many times as you want. It still doesn’t make it true or factual.
Actually, the more you and Huatori commnet on this thread, the more you dig yourself into the mire and by now, you have all but lost any respect or credibility that you might have thought you had with the community.
Why don’t you start one these things in Jetersville? You know, sort of a prototype? Then you WILL have something to show folks and make reference to when you say you know what you are talking about.
Mr. Huatori, I would suggest that you actually start answering questions that people ask you instead of avoiding them.
Why are you including yourself when you speak of “our” community? You don’t live here. It takes more than buying a vacant building to be part of the community. You CAN say that, when and if you get this thing up and operating.
In the meantime, STOP BEING SUCH A DICK AND ANSWER THE FRIGGIN QUESTIONS!
Sorry about the “dick” thing, but I loose my patience with people who will not answer questions.
You continue to come on this site/thread trying to win our support and confidence and yet when we try to engage you and ask questions about your background, you won’t tell us. You won’t be specific about research, your experience, or anything else.
Your numbers are garbled. On this thread you are looking for a different number of members than your website says it’s accepting. Why?
If you are going to participate on this thread and “talk” to the community, then by all means, do. Let’s hear something that is accurate, truthful and factual.
I’ve changed my mind, you are not Mr. Haney, you are Professor Harold Hill.
The more you ask him to answer questions the more he will appear on the thread and advertise himself. That’s what politicians do and they get elected.
I googled Robert Huotari and all that’s there about him is the Merlin Printing Co.
If he were civic minded, and owned several businesses, or had previous restaurant experience, it would be out there. It is not.
There are a bunch of other Robert Huotaris out there, most notably a mathematics professor.
He has over twenty years of experience in the printing business. That hardly leaves any time to build experience in the hospitality or restuarant business.
I kinda feel bad for Mr. Houtari. This concept is so whack, yet he believes it’s a great idea. If I were you, I would not invest (donate) money for this project. He may be able to print a mean flyer, but this business is way out of his league. Otherwise, he would realize how ridiculous it is – or maybe he is just looking to scam a few people out of $2500?
i ngoogled hillkid and it came up with anonymous know it all dickhead. seriously this website gets even more hilarious when you dont read it for awhile. MYOB IS THE OPERATIVE TERM HERE FOLKS. even the longest running old bitch bill hartsock has got his panties in a bunch over what would seem to be a project that will succeed or fail on its own real or imagined merits. so why all the hubbub bub? oh because huotari might be “different” from all the anonymous opposition that so gutlessly vomits up venom on any idea that they might be to stupid to come up with themselves.hey maybe the same ten dorks that inundate this site with the same quasi historical fervor that masquerades as community concern coul start a new website called SHIT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT BUT FEEL COMPELLED TO RUN MYMOUTH ABOUT. i know you guys could have a great time just excluding other people who dont meet your standards.if this doesnt see print who would be surprised as your moderator only seems able to print comments he agrees with. and before one of you pollyanna blowhards takes ME to task please show a little intgrity and post your insults under your real name.buddycorbett p.s hey murden what happened to all your outrage overmean comments? you let your little surrogates insult people but get all verklempt when a poster you dislike takes them to task. the church hill hypocrites news is more like it.
Dear Mr. Huotari,
I wanted to thank you for your very generous donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It was by far, the largest of the day! My daughter, Emma, who you met on Saturday, is training for her first triathlon. She is also a leukemia survivor. She was diagnosed when she was only 10-weeks old. This Valentine’s Day we celebrated her 7 year anniversary…7 years off treatment and in remission. Her survival would not be possible without research by organizations like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Their research would not be possible with out donations from people like you. So again, I thank you. From time to time I am touched by the kindness of a stranger and so I was on Saturday. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Why is McFeely posting under Robert Huotari’s name?
Hillkid, did Huotari’s latest posting answer any of your questions?
Dear Mr. huotari,
On behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and those we serve, I am sending our sincerest appreciation for your sponsorship for the amount of $5,000 for this year’s Jerry Lewis MDA telethon, the services of MDA would not be possible without your support.
We are so excited that this year’s telethon raised a record 65 million nationally and $791,159 here in central Virginia alone! These funds will be used to help provide much-needed program services such as our clinics, research, support group sessions and the MDA summer camp for children.
It is businesses like yours who give hope to those with neuromuscular diseases. We hope to continue to work with your organization in the future. Thank you very much for your support.
Central Virginia MDA
Dear Mr. Huotari,
On behalf of the Virginia foundation for agriculture in the classroom. Thank you for your generous gift of $750 for a beverage cart sponsor in support of our annual golf tournament. We sincerely appreciate your partnership as we promote an awareness and understanding of the importance of agriculture to Virginia’s children.
Your gift will enable us to provide teachers across the state with lesson plans books and tools helpful for teaching agriculture.AITC will update you on our progress with quarterly newsletters and an annual report. You can also check our website for up-to-date program information.
We look forward to being able to share our success with you. Thank you again for your support.
Dear Mr. Huotari, thank you for your support of the Richmond ballet and your attendance at the 15th annual wine auction the event grossed over $225,000 for the ballet. We appreciate your support and your generous donation of $1250. We could not have enjoyed such success without your participation!
Richmond ballet is a nonprofit organization that is funded through generous donations from individuals and companies along with special event proceeds. Your support has a direct and positive impact on our continued operation without you, Richmond ballet would not be able to captivate audiences with a wide range of performances or spark young minds with our acclaimed outreach program such as Minds In Motion.
We are grateful for your support, which makes possible the continued success of all of our programs and performances.
Yeah, so? Good for you. We all donate to charities. What does that have to do with the questions that we have asked that have not been answered.
You can’t answer them because THERE ARE NO ANSWERS. THERE IS NO EXPERIENCE, NO RESEARCH, NO NOTHING.
Accept the accounting firm of Duey Cheatham and Howe.
You are creeping us out!!!!
Stop while you are ahead.
We wish all of our partners were as wonderful to work with as you have been! You and Merlin have continuously done an outstanding job for us. We are grateful for your support.
The notepads look fabulous and I know everyone will appreciate the annual dinner favor. We love them!
Thank you again and again,
Greater Richmond Chamber Of Commerce
Dear Mr. Hillkid,
So Far I’ve Not Heard Any Specific Questions Only Ranting.
If you would like to compose a list of specific questions. I will give you specific answers
Seriously? Charitable donations to sick children “creeps you out?”, maybe if you spent half the time helping charitable organizations as you spend typing nonsense on this forum you would be a productive member of society.
So what have you donated? A few dollars here, a few dollars there…..
Dear Mr. Huotari,
Thank you for your $250 contribution to the Virginia Sheriffs Institute and be assured that your generosity to the Institute has not gone unnoticed.
Because of the assistance provided to the Institute by citizens such as you we are able to provide the death benefit for families of deputies killed in the line of duty. Unfortunately, 22 deputy sheriffs have been lost during the past 28 Years, the Virginia sheriffs Institute is proud of our immediate contribution to the family when this tragedy occurs and is made possible by your donation.
Again thank you for your support.
John W. Jones
I couldn’t wait another minute, this Thanksgiving holiday to say thank you to you, most especially. And for you going the extra sweet Monday mile again to help us! The annual fund-raising letter was mailed before Thanksgiving thanks to you and truly it was so kind. “Be ye kind to one another”Prov.11:25. Thank you And thank you God for Robert at Merlin industries.
In his service,
Sweet Monday ministries
Huotari and Paul:
Read the posts dudes. Many, many of us have asked you very specific questions. Do the work, look through the posts. Answer the friggin questions.
You know, I’ve been nice for the most part to both of you (I’m sure your part of the King’s court, Paul baby – ring a ding ding!), beside a little ribbing here and there, but now you want to get nasty.
I think your comments and your constant weird fake letters from charities are REALLY CREEPY!!!
What are you trying to prove?
Seems to me that Mr. Huotari has A LOT of time on his hands to be posting so frequently. Shouldn’t you be minding the shop with you many businesses?
Yikes! If you apply for an SUP or any other permits that requires input from the public, I can assure you that I will organize to keep you weird s**t out of our neighborhood.
KEEP IT UP KING BOYS! SEE WHERE IT GETS YOU.
I think these donations were made very recently to boost his credentials for investors of the king’s retreat….
Want to post some more fake letters that illuminate us on your other many business ventures and your previous restaurant experience?
How about a fake research study?
post #184 is all you baby!
Not sure that Huotari is the ONLY ONE on here who has issues…You’re coming unglued and really creeping me out. Take a pill.
I happen to know one of the reported authors of the donation letters and decided to call him to verify the authenticity of the letter. In this case, it was absolutely TRUE.
Gotta agree with Kelly, you can’t really demand that someone tells you their private business plans and research. The business isn’t really that weird anyway, it’s not like that one they were going to put in in Jackson Ward selling body parts for science, now that was weird and creepy. That location could use a facelift anyway, ever since they burned down the trailer park it’s kind of a wasteland over there. If it doesn’t work out the King will have to retreat, hopefully leaving a restored building behind.
O.K. folks. Huotari has chosen to engage us on this thread. He said that he has welcomed comments and discussion from the community.
It is not “creepy” or out of line for the community to ask him if he has previous restaurant experience or experience running a private club. Likewise to inquire about specific research or other similar clubs success rates.
I understand the intent of posting copies of thank-you letters, but it is CREEPY how this guy communicates. It would have sufficed to have listed the organizations that he has contributed to. To type out SEVEN copies of thank-you letters to prove that he is civic minded is just plain weird, and in my opinion kind of revealing to this guy’s need to be “THE KING.”
This business will need the communities support in order for it to move forward. It won’t happen.
Yes, I do have issues with a commercial business of this type going into a residential zoned area. He will have to get a SUP and and go through the BZA.
You think I’m unglued, wait till the community gets it’s hands on it.
Thanks marko, for that insight. Won’t be the first time someone has tried to buy credibility and a reputation.
As far as Mr. Huotari’s experience with running private clubs goes, you answered your own question in post #182. Ya know, the one right after you called him a DICK for not answering questions that have obvious and easily found answers.
And on the research and success rates:
David Malone wrote a report which was posted #126
He is a very established, well known club manager in the area, if you can’t take to heart his observations, then what do you want?
Mr. Huotari is not going to freely offer up research and business information he has been working for years to compile to some idiot on a forum. Especially not one with a demeanor such as yours. He told you if you wanted more info how to get it and even invited you to join the Advisory Panel where you could further express your opinions.
I noticed you didn’t even comment on Ramzi’s observation that succeed or fail, there will very likely be a beautifully restored historical building left behind. Seems to me like you are far more interested in bashing an upstanding community member than caring about the community itself.
I love this thread!!!
but this version of The King’s Retreat sounds more my style.
I’ll second that Mike…
Buddy, with your fine resume, you’re a shoe-in for the head doorman/bouncer job at the King’s Retreat. Have you applied for the job yet?
It’s obvious to me that you are either Huotari posing as another name, or one of his “investors/advisory board.”
I will address all of your observations.
1. “you answered your own question in post #182” I guess you’re telling me that Huotari has no restaurant or private club experience since my comment was about finding NOTHING about him when I googled his name.
2. I never called Huotari a “Dick.” I said he was acting like one – big difference. And, if you recall, I apologized for suggesting that.
3. David Malone. I guess he’s somewhat of an “expert” as Bill Hartsock has suggested, and I trust Bill to tell the truth. Funny though, I can’t find anything about him either. If he’s so great, why can’t I google him and find info about his consulting biz. It should be easily accessible and readily available. Not very good at marketing himself.
However, I find his analysis vague and simplistic as if he were making it up as he went along. I don’t find “â€œIn audited surveys performed by one of the nationâ€™s leading accounting firmsâ€¦results verified that growth has outpaced most other market segments.â€ as providing factual information about your venture. I know later on Huotari suggests that we all pay for a industry profile from Dunn and Bradstreet. Sorry, dude, don’t think so. As for me being an idiot with a “demeanor,” well, I guess time will tell.
4. I don’t care if you succeed or fail at this thing. As for there being a beautifully restored building left, well, first of all, that building still has a “for sale” sign on it. Nothing + nothing = nothing. Too often, overly ambitious and inexperienced developers come into our community talking a good talk and then leave a half renovated eyesore of a mess, unpaid bills and the community holding the bag. And we’re supposed to be greatful for “THE KING” gracing our lives despite it all.
As for Mr. Huotari being upstanding member of the community, he is NOT a member of our community. At least, not yet. And, I have seen no indication whether he is or isn’t anywhere else.
So, Mr. Ring-A-Ding-Ding/Paul/Huotari Groupie/Handmaiden, if you are any indication of the type of clientele or the type of investor in this venture, it is surely doomed to fail, and Mr. Huotari should be more careful who he picks to fight his fights for him.
Dear Mr. Hillkid,
It has been my experience that people who are both unethical and insignificant Have a tendency to look at others the same way. It’s sad really, When someone has so little in their own life that they must meddle in the affairs of others.
I am making comments on my own accord thank you very much. Yeah, I may have an interest in The King’s Retreat, but does that make my observations of your nonsensical ramblings any less astute? I think not! As far as fighting someones battles for them, when I found out where the possible location was, I googled “The King’s Retreat Church Hill” to see what was out there and found this thread. Upon reading it I was appalled at some of the idiocy that was being spouted about a perfectly viable business idea by people that very likely know little or nothing about the subject. I made a post, and my father who is also interested made a post, and I was “called out” as being the same person. This forum is a joke and you sir obviously have little or no life. People like you need people like Mr. Huotari to banter with in order to feel like they are someone important, and with that I wish you the best of luck in your meaningless existence!
King Huotari and King Paul:
I guess you guys really don’t get it.
Don’t you know that it is the oldest trick in the book to goad someone on to see how they will handle the pressure of scrutiny.
Sorry Kings, you get a failing grade. If you can’t handle my silly online antics with grace and class, surely you’ll make a huge mess of your real world kingdom.
Just remember, this is a permanent record for all to see, and folks are reading and watching…
What is the proposed opening time frame?
Time to chime in again. Paul, your last post brought up the one question people here want answered. You call this a “viable” business idea. The people posting here have been asking for some sort of hard evidence that this is , in fact, a viable concept. So far nothing has been put forth. One consultant citing vague “studies” about private clubs is not hard evidence. The entertainment, and restaurant businesses are two of riskiest around. You cannot ask for support, community or financial, for such a high risk venture, in an out of the way, questionable location, without solid supportive research, and not expect to be called out on it.
Thank you for your intelligent response! It’s a nice change from some of the other posters on this thread (hillkid). Unfortunately I can’t answer these questions, because contrary to “King Idiot’s” beliefs, I am not directly associated with this venture. I am just someone who occasionally visits Richmond when I want to make a night of it. I am not an investor (I wish I had that kind of money), nor am I some kind of King’s Retreat executive (PaLease). When I first heard of this concept I thought it was a great idea and could be a great addition to the restaurant/club scene in Richmond. I have been following The King’s Retreat’s progress ever since and was merely flabbergasted at some of the responses on this thread. I mean come on! Some of those comments are rude, crude, and unacceptable. I was merely defending an idea that I thought would improve Richmond. In my later comments I simply used Mr. Huotari’s posts to further fight my own personal “cause”.
ooooo….scary! Aren’t you the smart one?!? Since this is “Permanent Record” I guess I should watch my step! You only wish you were half as important as you think you are, Mr. “I will organize to keep you weird s**t out of our neighborhood.” Are you kidding me? What do you think your going to do? Start a revolt? What a joke!
Nice to know that you don’t even live in Richmond,let alone in the neighborhood. So I ask, why such harsh comments? Last I checked, the community has a stronger say of what they want for their neighborhood, over someone who occasionally visits Richmond. You, nor King Huotari even live here, yet want to shove this down our throats. And because huotari donates to charities, this neighborhood is expected to accept his fantasy(lol,wtf) so he can make $$. Usually you give out of the goodness of your heart and for tax purposes. So why print these letters?
rubberneck is saying what many of us have said already and just as eloquently. rubberneck is a friend of mine and fellow Church Hiller and this thread has given us plenty of laughs!
It seems to me that you are the pathetic one that needs to get a life, as you have said to me. You don’t live here, you are not an investor, you have no stake in our community. You sir, are just a voyeur – a King without a cause.
Since you are “not from around here” I’ll tell you that it is very common for folks to “organize” here in Church Hill, and for the better. That’s the very reason why “The King” wants to invest in our community. Lots of years of hard work from community grass roots efforts that have made this hood so desirable.
It seems to me that you are the one who has been repeatedly name calling and using crude expressions and sticking your nose in something, just to stick it in.
I have lived here a long time and have invested in this community both financially and emotionally. I CAN organize. Although I doubt I will need to lift a finger on this fight. It’s dead in the water. To quote you, “What a joke!”
I gotta admit that I get a huge chuckle out of pushing your buttons, and man, do I seem to push them!
This is truly one of the most fun threads I have seen in a long, long time. Sorry you don’t agree, but then, you aren’t one of us, and don’t get it. We are a feisty bunch that loves to disagree with each other and reach consensus too.
Unfortunately this thread has worn itself out, unless someone else can breath some new life into it.
Sure was fun while it lasted!
Will The Kings Retreat have 50 year 3 dimensional shingles or a standing seam metal roof?
We have a sustainable green roof design, totaling one half acre. On our opening we will have created the largest sustainable green roof in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Post 220. That’s nice to know but 219 was being smug about a previous neighborhood thread posted on another topic.
There will also be a turret where a John Cleese type character will yell insults down to the people arriving for their “kingly” evening.
I think you and your investors will definately loose money on this ridiculous concept. But, go ahead and find out for your self. If you want to ignore popular opinion, go ahead. It’s your (and your investors) loss.
#222 I will soooo be there!
Whether or not the King’s Retreat ever sees the light of day, why is there so much negativity? Mr. Huotari may be a dreamer, but, on paper, I’m guessing Walt Disney’s idea of a gigantic playland looked rather absurd. What’s wrong with being creative? I think some of these posters are the same ones who pick Pizza Hut each year as “Best Pizza in Richmond.” I don’t see Mr. Huotari trying to force anything on anyone.
We all know what happens to good ideas in downtown Richmond. They end up being built in Gwinnett County, Georgia…if they get built at all.
I have officially cracked my spleen laughing at this series of posts.
Smoove B lives in Richmond and builds clubs for gentlemen! The description of the night out in post 67 is fantastic. “When we got to my car. Johnny was in the backseat playing with his new toy.” Oh, what fun we could have with that line.
I just saw an ad for the King’s Retreat and looked at the website, then saw this post. I have read about 1/3 of it, but have to go back to being productive now.
Thanks to everybody (pro and con) for creating one of the funniest dialogues I have ever seen in a blog – and fairly civil to boot.
I am eager to see how this all unfolds. It would be great if a couple of DAR ladies would end up prone on the cobblestones in front of the entrance to the King’s Retreat.
Yippee! DAR ladies prone on the street. That does sound like fun. Now if only we could see some school kids get caught in the middle of a drive-by shooting. Talk about fun.
You might have been confused by my post. DAR ladies are the Daughters of the American Revolution. Years ago, they protested the removal of cobblestones on Monument Avenue by laying down in front of bulldozers.
I am not sure WHAT you thought I was suggesting.
Maybe Steve had mistaken DAR for DOA.
You have to read Smoove B’s Letter to the Ladies at http://homepages.theonion.com/PersonalPages/sB/content_openletter.php to truly enjoy this series of posts.
Lighten up dude.
While it was thoughtful of you to contribute so generously to the charities named in the thank-you notes you posted on this site, you might want to ask yourself if the letters showed readers exactly who the intended beneficiaries were – the charity that got the check or you trying to up your social quota with chpn bloggers with a transparent attempt to win us over by throwing money to some good causes(none of which are dedicated to serving this neighborhood you plan to move in to soon. some really wonderful investments can be made in church hill based organizations and schools – don’t the rest of chpn readers agree?? sorry, but just had to speak up on that subject. sorry.
I’m hungry for any and all news on King’s Retreat.
LOL! Why? Uninterested in the economy, foreclosures, and more politics and elections and possible depression?
After reading this whole story I can not help but notice a couple of things. First of all, having owned three restaurants, this idea will fail. There are just too many problems with the idea.
Secondly, assuming the doors open, which is a long shot, investors will visit the place for awhile which will make it seem the place to be but as soon as the novelty wears off the business will suffer, thus the food quality, the dancers and the extras. People that can afford this type of expense want a real quality experience, not some made up theatrical dinner club. This might work if you open it up the the public but then you have lost the exclusive feel.
I just have three questions:
1 Assuming you are a member, what is your estimated cost per person for dinner after any free visits? How will you pay for dinner, valet, babysitting and spa? Will you be billed or pay as you leave?
2. What is the expected attire?
3. When is your expected open date?
This concept is LOLtastic, even if the economy were booming (and it were being launched in Myrtle Beach, Las Vegas, or Branson, MO).
No one is going to join this club. There are enough nouveau riche rednecks in the area but they will be afraid to drive in from Short Pump/Midlothian/King’s Charter.
Normal upwardly mobile Richmonders will not have any trouble with the location but A) will not be caught dead in this bizarre melding of a trip to Medieval Times and a taping of Solid Gold and B) probably already belong to another perfectly sufficient club. And those seeking a club will not over look the fact that the yearly nut on a membership to Mr. Huotari’s joint will be $2500. That is in the neighborhood of 38.8% MORE than it costs to be a member of the Commonwealth Club for a year.
My advice to Mr. Huotari would be to go back to square one and move this out to Short Pump or Midlothian. Ditch the renaissance faire part and rebrand as a dude’s den. Have a bar, a library, an old-school barber shop, maybe an indoor pistol range. You can keep the hot servers but you will never shake the whispers that you’re offering a rub’n’tug service.
I couldn’t agree with you more. The ren-faire angle (aiming at, and missing completely, ‘class’) is what skeeves me out the most. The faire wenches might as well be ho’s. Give me Hooters Girls any night of the week (well, actually, you can have them) but let’s call a spade a spade here. Either make it a strip club or make it a classy place. You can’t have both.
Hilarious post. No one has said it better! Thanks! Interested in running for the 7th District Council seat in Nov.?
Hey everybody our online version of the Kings retreat is doing really well. We will soon have over 500 members. Someone posted a profile with the headline The King of Church Hill and a username of Ralph Wiggam I just want to thank you for your support whoever you are. That profile has had over a hundred page views! Keep those cards and letters coming!
Does the online version include a missing children section? I seem to have lost my son during a recent trip out with the wife…
Can we have a “where are they now” post about Robert Huotari? I miss him.
Holy crap, King’s Retreat is now a dating site. http://www.thekingsretreat.com
He’s busy printing stuff. No time for any retreats.