$8M entertainment venue The Park at RVA opens this week

The entrance to The Park at RVA, an entertainment venue opening this week. (Jonathan Spiers photos)

Orcun Turkay says he likes to keep his promises. And, as he promised this summer, he and a group of investors are set to deliver the massive entertainment venue he’s been guiding for months, The Park at RVA, in time to watch this year’s FIFA World Cup there.

The $8 million facility, spanning 55,000 square feet of space in the Michael & Son complex at 1407 Cummings Drive, is slated to open Wednesday, capping a project that’s been over a year in the making.

A moss wall and park-like swings greet visitors to the venue.

Marketed as “an indoor wonderland,” the venue consists of a mix of entertainment options, including an 18-lane duckpin bowling alley, an 18-hole mini golf course, three virtual golf bays, three bars, a food hall with six restaurant concepts, a beer garden-style area with 30 self-pour taps, a 200-person banquet hall and a 200-seat auditorium for live music, comedy acts and corporate functions.

The brainchild of Michael & Son President Basim Mansour, The Park at RVA fills  a second-floor office space that was leased out to a tenant that went dark over the course of the pandemic.

A 60-foot main bar centers the venue and features multiple large-screen TVs.

Helping to light it back up are exterior murals that announce the new venue to commuters along the interstate. A staircase mural by local artist Naomi McCavitt greets visitors at the entrance, along with a moss wall and a set of park-style swings, which are central to The Park’s branding. Additional murals throughout the venue are by Mickael Broth, Wing Chow, Jared Fykes, Skela and Ed Trask.

A 60-foot main bar centers the venue, which also includes a DJ booth, karaoke room, concert stage, and a multi-camera photo spot that creates a GIF of patrons that can be shared on social media.

The 18-lane duckpin bowling alley.

The venue can accommodate up to 1,000 people and employs about 100. Turkay said response to the venue’s job fairs has been strong, as has interest in private parties and corporate events.

Orcun Turkay

“It’s been awesome. We have over 30 or 40 leads that came through that are interested in booking with us. A lot of large parties, corporations,” said Turkay, a hospitality industry vet who Mansour enlisted as The Park’s vice president of operations.

“It’s been a smooth ride,” he said of the project. “No issues. The city’s been extremely collaborative.”

Leading the project is The Park RVA LLC, an investors group that includes Mansour and Turkay. The group served as its own general contractor and financed the project themselves, with Mansour the primary backer.

Richmond-based Release the Hounds handled branding for the venue and assisted with the naming of the food hall’s restaurant concepts. Los Angeles-based Ellis Adams Group designed the interiors and helped build the food-and-beverage program. Hamid Moumni of Falls Church-based Buildix Inc. was the project architect.

Other firms involved include Global Custom Furniture in Cleveland. London-based Smith & Devil designed the mini golf course, and the virtual golf bays were produced by Full Swing Golf.

The 18-hole mini golf course was designed by a company based in England.

The Park will be open Wednesdays to Sundays initially, with a goal of being open daily after about 90 days. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Wednesdays and Thursdays; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays. Weekends will include brunch menus, and the venue is open to all ages before 7 p.m. and ages 21 and up into the evening.

The Park at RVA adds to other development activity near The Diamond, including the Brewers Row development beside Hardywood and the Diamond District redevelopment planned nearby.