West End restaurant on hiatus as owner plans new venture

The Urban Tavern space is being transformed into a new concept. Photos by Evelyn Rupert.

The Urban Tavern space is being transformed into a new concept. Photos by Evelyn Rupert.

A veteran Richmond restaurateur has closed one of his West End eateries with plans to revive the concept farther east and to bring a new venture to the current location.

The Urban Tavern closed Monday at 10496 Ridgefield Parkway in the Gleneagles Shopping Center, according to owner Garland Taylor. The restaurant had been open for less than two years.

Taylor, who also owns Home Team Grill and its three locations, said he thinks Urban Tavern would do better closer to the city and that he’s looking for space.

“I believe that our concept is a little bit north of where it would need to be,” Taylor said. “Sometimes you’re in the river, but you’re not in the current.”

The Urban Tavern

The Gleneagles Shopping Center sits on Ridgefield Parkway between John Rolfe Parkway and Pump Road.

Urban Tavern was a self-described gastropub that focused on new American cuisine, according to its website. Leading up to its opening in August 2014, Taylor hired a consulting firm to help make the restaurant’s menu and design its layout. Its dinner menu ranged in price from $16 to $26 and included items like an adobo pork chop and shrimp and grits.

“This market out here would be better served by a different concept, and I’m working on that right now,” Taylor said. “I don’t think people are having an issue with our price points out here. That’s not the issue.”

Taylor said he plans to launch a new restaurant in The Urban Tavern space. He wants to renovate the 4,200 square feet and make craft beer part of the new concept.

“We’re going to definitely make some menu changes that will be better received,” Taylor said.

The Gleneagles Shopping Center is also home to Little Venice, Glory Days Grill, and Ichiban. The Urban Tavern had replaced Shackleford’s Restaurant, which had been open for 19 years. The shopping center is owned by Blackwood Development Co.

A new Crunch gym is also in the works in the shopping center’s former grocery space.

Taylor said he has his landlord’s blessing to launch a new venture at the shopping center.

“I’ve been doing this a long time,” Taylor said. “I’ve got a good track record, but sometimes you miss the mark by a little bit.”

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Courtney Malveaux
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Courtney Malveaux

The owner of Little Venice closed that restaurant down and just opened Ciao Capri next door to introduce people to more traditional Italian cuisine.

Lilly MacKenzie
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Lilly MacKenzie

Dear Mr. Taylor: Wish we would see another Garland’s in the space. That was a great neighborhood grill/gathering spot in the Nuckols Road corridor that was convenient to many, had terrific food, and provided a family-friendly atmosphere. Now, it’s “just another sports bar” (Home Team Grill). Craft beer is nice, but is being way overdone in the Richmond market. What most people want (IMHO) is a convenient, reasonably priced (Read: if the food and service are good, I don’t mind paying the price) place to meet friends & family and take visitors to enjoy a good meal when they don’t… Read more »

Grace Festa
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Grace Festa

Please, please, please bring us a restaurant where I can feel comfortable showing up in jeans with my toddler, but can get GOOD, CREATIVE food. Added bonus if I can order my child something HEALTHY from a children’s menu – something other than chicken nuggets or fries (ie, vegetables, fish, lean protein, whole grains – and extra bonus if it tastes good!). I honestly don’t care what the price point is, as long as your food quality is worth it. I want to spend time with my family, but don’t want to eat generic junk from a chain. If you… Read more »