Riverside Seafood in Fayetteville becomes a private event space

Riverside Seafood, which opened on the outskirts of downtown Fayetteville in February, has closed as a restaurant as it transforms into a private dining and event space.

Citing seafood costs which have tripled since the restaurant opened earlier this year, as well as staff shortages, co-owners Rashawn Moore and Judith Cage, better known as “Chef Judy,” announced Tuesday afternoon in a Facebook Live video that the restaurant is in transition to become The Riverside.

The new Riverside, located at 1130 Person St., will open on October 1. Cage said he has already booked several events.

The 4,200 square foot space can accommodate over 100 people, a full bar and terraces for outside seating. They make a few cosmetic changes before opening, but the new space will still be very similar.

“We are bringing something that Fayetteville needs,” Cage said in an interview.

Popular district chief "Chief Judy" opened its new restaurant, Riverside Seafood, in February.

Cage said that when she and Moore opened the seafood restaurant they knew they could end up pivoting the business into a food court. The cost of seafood, which has skyrocketed in recent months due to supply issues, increased demand and labor shortages, has led to the decision to change the business concept.

Following:Chef Judy de Fayetteville opens seafood restaurant: “We wanted to create something new”

While Riverside Seafood is closed, some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes now live in their other restaurant, Uptown’s Chicken and Waffles, located at 1707 Owen Drive. New additions include the Hot Crab Dip, Salmon Bites, Fried Catfish and Signature Frozen Daiquiris from Riverside Seafood.

The new Riverside will bring a part of Uptown downtown with a dining menu built around upscale Southern comfort food, including several seafood offerings.

The closure of Riverside Seafood has also pushed some repeat customers to Uptown, where Cage said business has been strong from day one.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our community,” she said.

Cage has been dealing in Fayetteville for about 15 years, and her multiple appearances on Food Network have made the Chicago native and military veteran a well-known local figure.

But soon, another part of the state will be able to taste its cuisine. She and Moore plan to open a restaurant in Charlotte in the near future.

For more information or to book an event at Riverside, call 910-703-6121 or email [email protected]

Jacob Pucci writes about food, restaurants and business. Contact him by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @jacobpucci or on Facebook. Do you like to talk about food? Join our Fayetteville Foodies Facebook group.

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