A peacock struts into the Fan

A local couple is trying their luck in a Fan restaurant space that hasn’t been so lucky in the past.

Elizabeth Lee and her partner, John Purcell, plan to open Peacock’s Pantry, a gourmet bistro at1731 W. Main St. next week.

The space, at the corner of Allen and West Main, has become something of a cursed location for restaurants. In the past, it was home to Cirrus, Dogwood Grille & Spirits, Plaza Mexico and, most recently, Mainstream, which closed in May after just six months.

Lee said she hopes bringing her concept to the area will change the space’s revolving-door reputation.

“We have a different niche and we’re bringing something new to Richmond,” she said. “We’re going to try to make a go of it.”

Lee, who will also serve as the head chef, describes Peacock’s menu as American fare with European and other worldly influences.

The restaurant will have a small plates menu, as well as steak, chicken, seafood and lamb. Lee said patrons can expect truffled egg toast and red velvet waffles for the weekend brunch with everything in the $15 to $30 range. Peacock’s will also have an extensive wine and beer menu.

They chose the 1,500-square-foot location in July after scouring Short Pump, the West End and a few other areas.

“It’s a great location, right on Restaurant Row,” she said.

The restaurant will be open Thursday through Sunday for dinner and brunch.

Purcell, 50, works for SAP as a computer sales executive, and Lee, 47, has run a West End dental practice for the past 20 years. The pair will keep their day jobs while they manage the restaurant.

Lee said she spent years catering holiday parties and hosting events at her home and wanted to do something more with her skills.

“I’ve been cooking since I was kid,” Lee said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

A local couple is trying their luck in a Fan restaurant space that hasn’t been so lucky in the past.

Elizabeth Lee and her partner, John Purcell, plan to open Peacock’s Pantry, a gourmet bistro at1731 W. Main St. next week.

The space, at the corner of Allen and West Main, has become something of a cursed location for restaurants. In the past, it was home to Cirrus, Dogwood Grille & Spirits, Plaza Mexico and, most recently, Mainstream, which closed in May after just six months.

Lee said she hopes bringing her concept to the area will change the space’s revolving-door reputation.

“We have a different niche and we’re bringing something new to Richmond,” she said. “We’re going to try to make a go of it.”

Lee, who will also serve as the head chef, describes Peacock’s menu as American fare with European and other worldly influences.

The restaurant will have a small plates menu, as well as steak, chicken, seafood and lamb. Lee said patrons can expect truffled egg toast and red velvet waffles for the weekend brunch with everything in the $15 to $30 range. Peacock’s will also have an extensive wine and beer menu.

They chose the 1,500-square-foot location in July after scouring Short Pump, the West End and a few other areas.

“It’s a great location, right on Restaurant Row,” she said.

The restaurant will be open Thursday through Sunday for dinner and brunch.

Purcell, 50, works for SAP as a computer sales executive, and Lee, 47, has run a West End dental practice for the past 20 years. The pair will keep their day jobs while they manage the restaurant.

Lee said she spent years catering holiday parties and hosting events at her home and wanted to do something more with her skills.

“I’ve been cooking since I was kid,” Lee said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

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Kevin Anderson
Kevin Anderson
10 years ago

I love reading about new local businesses opening, but this article just saddens me. I hope the landlord and all the contractors were paid up front, because this place is going to hell in a hand basket. I will never figure out why people continue to think that operating a restaurant is an easy business. I see absolutely no reason why someone who runs a dental practice believes they can suddenly operate a restaurant on a “part time” basis. Operating a restaurant in a mid level market like Richmond is a life, not a side job. There isn’t any room… Read more »

Marsha Killington
Marsha Killington
10 years ago

I, on the other hand, wish them the best of luck.

Brett
Brett
10 years ago

Kevin is right, but I look forward to trying it. It is incredible, with how many restaurants there are in the fan, how many people continue to open shop. It’s seems like there is a new one every month. I don’t know how they do it, but personally I just can’t get enough of the story lines. I wonder how that guy that re-opened Byram’s is doing. They probably should have talked with him first.

Melissa P Gay
Melissa P Gay
10 years ago

Can’t wait to try the new restaurant. When do they plan to open?

KB
KB
10 years ago

“We have a different niche and we’re bringing something new to Richmond,” she said. “We’re going to try to make a go of it.”

The only thing new here is that these folks dare to open a $30 plate restaurant that’s open only four days as week. Truffles, small plates, beef, chicken and lamb. Been done a billion times.

Ruben Foster
Ruben Foster
10 years ago

Yup. Another future failed restaurant. Terrible business model.

Mariane
Mariane
10 years ago

Parking. Not enough. Not safe enough of a neighborhood to park several blocks away.

Brett
Brett
10 years ago

So true on both points, Jack.

Christine Ottersberg
Christine Ottersberg
10 years ago

Betsy,
I have been to your parties and always was amazed at the delicious food presented with panache and very yummy. Can’t wait to try out your restaurant .

Jack Sonos
Jack Sonos
10 years ago

I decided to check this place out on Friday night. I pulled up and saw that their sign is a badly designed and saggy vinyl banner. You can’t really see in to the restaurant because they have rigged up a bunch of curtains which looks off. We decided to skip it. I just couldn’t drop $100, or probably more, when this was the first impression. There are too many other good places doing it right.

Kimber
Kimber
10 years ago

We stopped by the restaurant and were blown away. Having traveled around the globe a few times and eaten in some of the world’s top restaurants I was very pleased to find such a gem in Richmond. I really do not understant how someone can wish ill will if they have not visited the restaurant. I, for one, are very supportive of a locally owned and operated business that serves outstanding food. The days of McCarthism are past. Support local businesses!

Kate
Kate
10 years ago

Went here with a friend not too long ago and am pretty certain that it won’t succeed. The food wasn’t bad, but the dentist-chef didn’t cook it. Her kitchen staff did. She stayed out on the floor the whole time talking with the same table. The interior is too over decorated (it’s like a peacock threw up inside). After speaking to some sources, I learned that the kitchen is a train wreck. Not so much the staff, but how the dentist-chef stocks and runs it. If you are charging that much for a plate (which you shouldn’t only being open… Read more »

Kimber
Kimber
10 years ago

Interesting, I have been twice and the food has been excellent. After all the comments on this site I asked to see the kitchen. It was well organized, spotless and I did not see any box foods from Costco. I have gone with different people on each visit and everyone was very pleased with their meals. Again, I am happy to support this local business.

charles
charles
10 years ago

Seriously Marianne? How ignorant are you? I think Applebees might be perfect for you.

The neighborhood is safe, and parking is easy. Unless you are a complete incompetent. Which I grant might describe things considering the data…