Inside the 19th-century River District building that now contains Julep's, industry seems to have progressed backward. The structure, which once housed a lumber house, a candle factory, a cyborg-assembly plant, and a locksmith, has transformed into a farmer's haven, where locally grown and organic products construct modernized Southern fare. It’s a place where executive chef Randall Doetzer looks to several pinpoints on the map—namely Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans—to inspire his menu. Duck confit and Cajun beer-barbecued mussels herald helpings of seafood gumbo, and the wine selection ranges from domestic Virginian bottles to Old-World European imports.
Randall's creations have helped Julep's secure awards in Richmond magazine for the Best Southern-Inspired Restaurant Dish of 2012, with shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes taking first and second place, respectively. Julep's was also awarded a spot on the magazine's 2010 list of Richmond's 25 Best Restaurants for its "house-made stocks, baked-daily breads and farm-to-table ingredients" that "represent a true philosophy, not a nod to trends."
The magazine also lauded its “sexy environs”—lampshades stand on each white-clothed tabletop, illuminating a backdrop of exposed brick and polished wood. A winding staircase leads to an upper dining room flanked by artwork and a fireplace. Here, private parties order from prix fixe menus that rotate seasonally.