Did You Hear the News? By
We’re opening another Urban Farmhouse. Richmond BizSense spilled the beans this morning, so we had better let you in on it too. Thanks a lot, guys. No, really, thanks a lot. It’s nice to get good publicity like that.
We have to blame part of this on the boss. Kathleen grew up in the Richmond area and has family and friends in the Midlothian area. She’s been itching to broaden our horizons for a while now, and when she saw the site at the MillWorks she fell in love. Our next Urban Farmhouse will be in MillWorks at the Green just off of Midlothian Turnpike near Woolridge Road.
We’ve been down here in Shockoe Slip for over two years. It’s hard to believe that, as it seems like we were unpacking biodynamic wines and polishing copper just yesterday, but yes, two years. We love our lady here at 1217 E. Cary. She has a colorful history and seems to talk to us. No, really, we’re pretty sure that there are some ghosts around here, but they seem to dig what we’re doing and like the music we have for brunches and stuff, so they can stay.
And we’re staying too! The new Urban Farmhouse is just another location. It’s our chance to spread the love. We’ll still focus on local foods, still strive for sustainable, still dish up killer coffee, and share local artists and musicians. But sometimes it’s hard to get down here to the Slip. Parking can be a drag, we can’t really expand, and (believe it or not!) some people aren’t aware that Richmond has a vibrant downtown. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is going to be a “Sub-Urban Farmhouse.”
There were a couple of reasons that Kathleen liked MillWorks. Opening a restaurant is obviously a big financial commitment, so a good deal needed to be in place, but the Village of Midlothian, just a skip from this development, has a rich history, much like the Slip.
When French Huguenots (sound familiar? Huguenot Road?) first came to the area just after 1700, Midlothian was a wilderness. They discovered coal, and the coal pits and mines in and around Midlothian are considered to be the first in the Country. As much as it pains us, many think that Midlothian was America’s first “industrial” town. It became a railroad town when Chesterfield began hauling coal to the docks in Manchester, just down the street from our current location. The current paths of Route 60 (Midlothian Turnpike) and Old Buckingham Road mirror trade roads that have been used since early in Richmond’s history.
The other thing that made this location attractive is the way that they’ve laid it out. While Midlothian is kind of the epitome of suburbia, this little stretch of Chesterfield is full of private shops and stores, and very conducive to walking. The developers of MillWorks have tried very hard (and we think succeeded!) to create an environment where people can live, work, and play. It has apartments, condos, offices, stores, and obviously restaurants. Everything about it encourages people to get out and walk around. We much prefer this to a strip mall sort of set up.
We hope to start moving in the local honey, Smithfield ham, and fresh produce in the early fall, with a projected opening in the first week of November. We’ll still have the great sandwiches, fresh salads, and savory dishes that you’ve grown to love. We’ll still have our commitment to the noble farmer, and still wrinkle our nose with a nag at big ag. The new Urban Farmhouse will just be a little closer to those of you living in the remote outposts of Richmond proper.