Barrel Thief Wine & Provisions: A Taste of Richmond’s Wine Revolution

Barrel Thief Wine & Provisions, nestled in Richmond’s West End, has undergone a transformation with its new owner, Booth Hardy, taking the helm. After acquiring the ownership stakes of co-founders Ross Mattis, Ned Wheeler, and Dave Michelow, Hardy now stands as the sole proprietor of this long-standing wine shop.

Since its establishment in 2009, Barrel Thief has been a sanctuary for wine enthusiasts, showcasing a diverse selection of wines from around the world, alongside beer and market provisions. Hardy’s journey into the wine business began in Santa Cruz and Sonoma, California, where he worked at notable winemakers. When Barrel Thief first opened its doors in 2007, Hardy quickly became one of the shop’s original employees.

With the subsequent opening of Barrel Thief’s Patterson shop a few years later, Hardy assumed the role of manager. By 2011, he had become a business partner, solidifying his commitment to the store’s success. While the Short Pump location eventually closed its doors in 2012, Hardy’s unwavering dedication to the Patterson shop never wavered.

Last year, as the lease came up for renewal, Hardy and his fellow partners contemplated the store’s future. Ultimately, Hardy’s passion for Barrel Thief proved indomitable. Recognizing the effort he had invested in the business, he bought out his partners’ shares, ensuring the shop’s continued existence. As the new sole owner, Hardy eagerly signed a fresh lease in November. The building housing the wine shop is owned by a trust linked to the renowned Robins family, who are simultaneously planning the reimagining of the nearby Westhampton Pastry Shop building.

This year marks a milestone for Barrel Thief, as it celebrates 15 years on Patterson Avenue. While the pandemic impacted the store’s operations, particularly the closure of the on-site cafe where jazz nights were a regular occurrence, Hardy looks forward to reintroducing live music through wine tasting events. He aims to invigorate the shop by expanding its inventory of cocktail-related products, offering an eclectic selection of shakers, jiggers, mixing glasses, and more.

Embracing the evolution of Richmond’s wine scene, Barrel Thief is not only a purveyor of fine wines but has also dabbled in winemaking itself. Introducing Moonlighter, their own wine brand, proved to be a successful endeavor during the pandemic when winemakers faced decreased sales to restaurants. Collaborating with winemakers from Oregon and California, Barrel Thief ventured into producing their distinctive line of wines, a testament to their adaptability and innovation.

According to Hardy, the Richmond community’s thirst for wine knowledge has undergone exponential growth in recent years. The flourishing restaurant and bar scene has witnessed an increase in exploration and exposure to small-production wines. As more establishments embrace unique offerings, the demand for exquisite and diverse wine experiences continues to rise.

Under Hardy’s guidance, Barrel Thief Wine & Provisions remains at the forefront of Richmond’s wine revolution. With a commitment to quality, a penchant for innovation, and an unwavering dedication to the community, Hardy ensures that this beloved wine shop will continue to thrive for years to come.


Q: Who is the new owner of Barrel Thief Wine & Provisions?
A: The new owner is Booth Hardy.

Q: Who were the previous owners of Barrel Thief?
A: The previous owners were Ross Mattis, Ned Wheeler, and Dave Michelow.

Q: When was Barrel Thief established?
A: Barrel Thief was established in 2009.

Q: Where did Booth Hardy previously work in the wine business?
A: Booth Hardy previously worked in Santa Cruz and Sonoma, California.

Q: When did Barrel Thief’s Patterson shop open?
A: Barrel Thief’s Patterson shop opened a few years after the original shop, which was in 2007.

Q: What happened to the Short Pump location of Barrel Thief?
A: The Short Pump location of Barrel Thief closed its doors in 2012.

Q: Who owns the building housing the wine shop?
A: The building is owned by a trust linked to the Robins family.

Q: How long has Barrel Thief been on Patterson Avenue?
A: Barrel Thief is celebrating its 15th year on Patterson Avenue.

Q: What is Barrel Thief’s own wine brand called?
A: Barrel Thief’s own wine brand is called Moonlighter.

Q: What does Barrel Thief plan to expand its inventory with?
A: Barrel Thief plans to expand its inventory of cocktail-related products.

Q: What has Barrel Thief ventured into besides wine sales?
A: Barrel Thief has ventured into winemaking itself.

Q: What has been the impact of the pandemic on Barrel Thief’s operations?
A: The pandemic has impacted Barrel Thief’s operations, particularly the closure of the on-site cafe.

Q: What is the demand for exquisite and diverse wine experiences in Richmond?
A: The demand for exquisite and diverse wine experiences in Richmond continues to rise.

Key Terms/Jargon:

1. Wine enthusiasts: People who are passionate about wine and enjoy learning about and experiencing different wines.
2. Winemakers: Individuals or companies that produce wine.
3. Proprietor: The owner or sole proprietor of a business.

Suggested Related Links:

Barrel Thief Wine & Provisions
Richmond Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries