RICHMOND, Va. — Screaming in anguish to discourage a new restaurant from taking over its space, the ghost of 203 N. Lombardy St. warned all who entered to leave immediately or face the wrath of a deadly curse that has plagued the location, sources confirmed Sunday.
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The spirit is believed to be that of a Museum District millennial who frequented the venue during its time as Balliceaux. The ghost has enjoyed its privacy since Flora, the most recent restaurant at the location, closed its doors last November.
Prospective tenants claim the spirit made its presence known during preliminary walk-throughs of the venue’s backroom. “My husband and I were checking out the backroom when a ghostly figure appeared before us,” Jan Freeman, one of the potential tenants and an aspiring restaurateur, recounted. “It told us that the market for new restaurants is nearing oversaturation and that a market analysis from the great beyond did not contain good omens.”
“It also told us that the entire space—particularly the backroom—has been cursed since Halloween 2016,” Freeman added.
The ghost was also heard moaning, “Small plates are incredibly difficult to pull off in this environment ooooooooooooh.” At certain times after dark, others have heard a terrible shriek of “NEW AMERICAN CUISINE IS OVERDONE,” echoing through the halls.
According to neighbors of the vacant building, the spirit that haunts the space is known to chase away anyone who enters, regardless of their intentions.
“I once saw a building inspector enter, before being greeted by the ghastliest of voices,” Brian Reynolds, who lives across the street from the building, recalled. “I heard this voice yell ‘Get out, before it’s too late! For God’s sake, get out!’ and within minutes the inspector had bolted out the front door and was running down Lombardy at full speed.”
The potential tenants appear to have been persuaded by the apparition. Freeman said, “You know, once we got over the bloodcurdling fear, the realization that life exists after death, and that it includes mundane suggestions about the restaurant business in a mid-sized East Coast market, we found the ghost was really quite helpful. Perhaps that isn’t the right spot to open our new restaurant after all.”
At the time of reporting, it was revealed that the building’s prospective tenants were heeding the spirit’s warning, and were eying up the former Cous Cous space as a possible location for their upcoming restaurant.
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