We first met James at one of our favorite winter watering holes—Saison in Richmond’s burgeoning Jackson Ward neighborhood—and the place where James’ connection to the spirit world was solidified. As Beverage Director, he quickly became the answer-man for all things alcohol-related and started putting his own spin on the cocktail menu. Through his artful elixirs, James caught the attention of Richmond’s most discerning foodies and was recruited to help build out what was surely to be the hottest spot in town, Brenner Pass.
James, alongside the talented Brenner Pass team, moved at a record pace to create the most unique new eatery in Richmond. Navy Hill hustled in a similar fashion—both start-ups were aiming for a June 2017 launch date, less than a year from their inceptions. It was under this mutual stress and excitement that James agreed to be Navy Hill’s frontman—a partnership that helped us to visualize the brand’s future. James believed in Navy Hill from first sip. With a vigorous shake, and a few flicks of the wrist, he showed us just how versatile and delicious Navy Hill could be. Sophisticated, kind and refreshingly handsome—if Navy Hill were a person, he’d be James.