A vacant Carver restaurant space is ready to come back to life.
First-time restaurant owner Matt Shelton plans to open Halcyon Bar & Grill at 1301 W. Leigh St. on May 23 in the building formerly occupied by The Magpie.
Halcyon will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and be open from 7 a.m. to midnight. Its menu will have typical American bar food like burgers and Philly cheesesteaks. Its bar will have eight beers as well as different wines on tap.
“You won’t have to worry about breaking the bank,” Shelton said of prices at Halcyon.
Shelton, 33, also owns Economical Processing Solutions, a merchant credit card processing venture he operates through a licensing agreement with California-based Leap Payments. Shelton said he played baseball at Averett University in Danville and got an MBA from Liberty University.
He said he’s hoping to parlay previous work in restaurants both on the service and management side into success at Halcyon. The restaurant has a five-year lease for the space, which can seat about 30 people.
To help attract students from the nearby VCU campus, Halcyon will accept RamBucks, VCU’s prepaid account service, and host video game tournaments. Shelton also plans to offer delivery for hungry students and residents looking to save a trip.
“Being near VCU is a prime location,” he said.
Shelton said he is financing the venture himself, and he isn’t worried about opening where another restaurant closed. The Magpie was an upscale restaurant that operated from 2011 to 2015. The Time-Dispatch reported the closure was due to the space’s small size. Its co-owner Owen Lane later opened Vagabond at 700 E. Broad St., where he is the chef and a minority partner.
“They didn’t close because of lack of business,” Shelton said of The Magpie.
Shelton came up with the name Halcyon – not to be confused with the vintage store of a similar name on North Robinson Street – because he liked its associations with tranquility and prosperity. He hopes to build something along similar lines in Carver.
“My goal is to get it open and established in the community,” Shelton said. “I’d like to franchise it to different locations around the state.”