Cafe chain snags space in Manchester

Urban Farmhouse will move into a new apartment complex at 1200 Semmes Ave. on the Southside. Photo by Michael Thompson.

Urban Farmhouse will move into a new apartment complex at 1200 Semmes Ave. on the Southside. Photo by Michael Thompson.

Kathleen Richardson is on the move again.

Her local cafe chain Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe has leased space in Manchester for its sixth location in five years.

The new outpost will take 1,500 square feet on the ground floor of the apartment development at 1200 Semmes Ave. The storefront will open this summer and will add to Urban Farmhouse locations in Shockoe Slip, Midlothian, Scott’s Addition, Church Hill and one soon to open on West Broad Street near VCU.

Urban Farmhouse originally opened on East Cary Street in Shockoe Slip. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

Urban Farmhouse originally opened on East Cary Street in Shockoe Slip. Photo by Evelyn Rupert.

“This was one of those opportunities that came our way,” Richardson said. “What’s important for us now is going into an area to look for other ways traffic will be generated. There is a great neighborhood that already exists in Manchester.”

Richardson, who opened the brand’s first store in 2010 on East Cary Street, said she has been in talks with the owners of the Manchester building for more than a year. The 129-unit apartment building is owned by Mark Purcell of Purcell Construction and local developers Robin Miller and Dan Gecker.

Urban Farmhouse sells coffee, soups, salads and sandwiches, in addition to various market goods and produce. The Manchester location will have beers on tap and a juice bar.

Richardson said Manchester’s rising number of apartments, remodeled homes and office tenants made the Southside neighborhood attractive. Urban Farmhouse’s new neighbors will include Legend Brewing Co., Blanchard’s Coffee Co., Triple Stamp Press and SunTrust Mortgage, among other businesses nearby.

“You can just see how quickly it is growing,” Richardson said.

Kathleen Richardson

Kathleen Richardson

Miller said 1200 Semmes will also be home to a Subway, which is expected to open around the same time as Urban Farmhouse.

He said 1200 Semmes is 96 percent leased. Purcell is majority owner and contractor of the property, Miller said. Monroe Properties is its leasing agent and property manager, and Middleburg Bank is the lender.

Richardson said it will cost about $250,000 to construct and open the Manchester Urban Farmhouse. The business will share some of those expenses with the landlord.

“Our landlord is being very generous,” Richardson said.

Richardson said all of Urban Farmhouse’s growth is self-funded. And more locations may be on the horizon. Richardson mentioned University of Richmond and the West End as attractive options, as well as other parts of Virginia.

“We’ve been talking to folks in Williamsburg, Fredericksburg and Charlottesville,” she said. “Because we’re small, it’s about proceeding slowly and making sure we’ve got everything well under-hand before we take that next step.”

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