Cafe chain checks into historic downtown inn

The Linden Row Inn downtown is bringing in a new restaurant. Photo courtesy of Linden Row Inn.

The Linden Row Inn downtown is bringing in a new restaurant. Photo courtesy of Linden Row Inn.

Fresh off opening its latest store in Manchester, a local cafe chain is checking into a downtown inn for yet another location.

Urban Farmhouse Market & Cafe plans to open this spring inside the Linden Row Inn at 100 E. Franklin St. Kathleen Richardson, owner of Urban Farmhouse, said the company is subleasing an 800-square-foot space from the inn owners, Savara Properties.

“We’ve been talking to them for almost a year,” Richardson said. “I felt like this was an opportunity to stay within Richmond and continue to expand.”

Kathleen Richardson

Kathleen Richardson

Richardson opened the first Urban Farmhouse in 2010 on East Cary Street in Shockoe Slip. Since then she has opened five additional locations in Midlothian, Scott’s Addition, Church Hill, VCU, and most recently Manchester.

Urban Farmhouse sells coffee, soups, salads and sandwiches, as well as an assortment of market goods and produce. The company does made-to-order omelets in Midlothian and Church Hill and is increasing the prepared foods it stocks at the VCU location.

Urban Farmhouse’s new site at North First and East Franklin Streets was formerly used as an events space and for continental breakfast service at Linden Row.

The site of the 70-room hotel is steeped in Richmond history: Edger Allan Poe is said to have played as a child on the property. Some buildings on the site today were built between 1847 and 1853.

Linden Row became a full-service hotel in 1988. Savara Properties bought it in 2008, according to Savara Managing Partner Vishal Savani. He said the addition of Urban Farmhouse is part of an ongoing effort to renovate the hotel.

“We plan to renovate the hotel’s parlor lobby and front desk areas, introduce new bedding in our rooms, and upgrade some of our parlor suites,” he said in an email.

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.

Savani said Savara was also looking for a venture that could serve hotel guests, and Urban Farmhouse will be the exclusive in-house caterer for events held at Linden Row.

“Our vision has been to bring a concept that best reflects Richmond’s culinary identity while offering our guests a convenient way to grab a quick and fresh meal, snack, or drink,” he said. “We explored a number of different options and ultimately felt that the Urban Farmhouse concept was a great fit.”

Richardson said it would cost between $250,000 and $350,000 to open the Linden Row Urban Farmhouse, which the company is financing itself. Van Jester Woodworks will contribute to the location’s decor. Savara is also helping with renovations.

“They’re being very generous,” Richardson said.

She said the Linden Row location is an opportunity to bolster Urban Farmhouse’s base as it looks to grow.

“I feel like we can solidify our operations and our business and brand,” she said. “I do still have the idea that we will grow outside of Richmond.”

2
Leave a Reply
To foster a civil discussion, please use your full name and email address.

avatar
2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
Steve BrownJared Davis Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Jared Davis
Guest
Jared Davis

Congrats Kathleen!! Keep them coming!

Steve Brown
Guest

Smart move Savani. Kathleen works with a lot of local VA Finest producers. She understands the importance of branding with quality products. I look forward to stopping in for lunch.