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History

Millie's Diner History

Millie’s opened its’ doors in Richmond in May of 1989, in a then-desolate industrial part of town near Shockoe Bottom. The neighborhood, known as Church Hill, is rich in history (the site of St. John’s Church, Out Front of Millies Dinerwhere Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech) and punctuated with historic houses and renovated tobacco factory warehouses that are now luxury apartments. Millie’s is also close to the downtown business district, the James River and Richmond’s River District area. A prior incarnation of the building was that of a mom-and-pop diner, which served workers from the neighboring tobacco and cigarette factories (the Lucky Strike factory sits directly behind Millie’s). For decades the building sat vacant until re-opening as Millie’s in 1989. Despite the doubling of its’ size with an addition in 1991, Millie’s is still an intimate restaurant with only forty four seats, a small bar and patio. Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior of this 1940’s era diner-esque building-upon entering your senses will be aroused by the sight of hard-working chefs working wonders in a tiny open kitchen, a sizzling grill, and a color drenched cozy atmosphere.

Since opening its doors 28 years ago, Millie’s has established itself as Richmond’s leader for high quality “fusion” cuisine with influences from around the world. Millie’s quickly became known for its eclectic ever-changing chalkboard menus, creative presentation, fresh ingredients, and funky jukeboxes. Locals and area concierges Chien Bizarre at Millies Dinerconsistently recommend Millie’s to out-of-towners for its’ great food and its’ unique marriage of down-home charm and big city “vibe.” . The dinner menu changes every three weeks, and features the freshest of ingredients, bold flavors, intriguing preparations and hearty portions. You never know what exactly to expect, but you can expect it to be delicious. Appetizers can range from roasted quail with chevre and a truffle vinaigrette to sesame tuna tartare to mustard-encrusted sweetbreads to a chicken confit tamale. Entrees can range from Millie’s signature Thai spicy shrimp with linguine to slow roasted pork osso bucco to baked whole red snapper with peasant bread panzanella. Millie’s globally inspired gourmet menu has earned it customer loyalty and a national reputation. An extensive international wine and beer list offers favorites and features many interesting lesser-known varietals.

Millie’s serves lunch and dinner during the week from Tuesday through Sunday, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays also. Richmond.com voters and Style Weekly magazine readers consistently choose Millie’s as Best Brunch in Richmond, and there are legions of brunch fans who show up at Millie’s religiously every weekend. Indulgent Pork Chop and Grits at Millies Dinerspecials like the soft scrambled eggs with lobster and hollandaise, a gigantic spicy crab and egg enchilada and the famous Devil’s Mess frittata will satisfy the heartiest of appetites. There is usually a line at the door, but it generally moves along pretty quickly and best of all, you can enjoy a great Bloody Mary or Mimosa while you wait. Millie’s is not only highly regarded for its food, but also for its vintage individual jukeboxes and amazing collection of real 45s. Bon Appetit magazine noted Millie’s as “the best example of an updated Richmond…a “haute diner” which “serves up everything from Prokofiev to Patsy Cline”. Think of it as Carmen Miranda meets the Confederate widow… a study in eclecticism. ” (Bon Appetit). Over the years, Millie’s has garnered many favorable reviews from all the major food publications such as Gourmet and Bon Appetit, several national newspapers, and an ever-growing list of websites, blogs and guidebooks.

Millie’s is owned and operated by Paul Keevil and Lisa Edwards.

2603 E. Main St. | Richmond, VA 23223 | (804) 643 - 5512

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