Urban Farmhouse closes Manchester location

Urban Farmhouse at 1200 Semmes Ave. is temporarily closed. (J. Elias O'Neal)

Urban Farmhouse at 1200 Semmes Ave. is temporarily closed. (J. Elias O’Neal)

One of the first regional cafés to roost in the Manchester neighborhood has flown the coop – for now.

Richmond-based Urban Farmhouse Market & Café has closed at 1200 Semmes Ave. in the 1200 Semmes mixed-use apartment development after about a year in business.

Urban Farmhouse served as one of the main anchor tenants in the small retail center and opened its location there in 2015.

Dotti Rickards, 1200 Semmes property manager, said Urban Farmhouse vacated the 1,450-square-foot space Oct. 28.

Kathleen Richardson

Kathleen Richardson

Kathleen Richardson, owner and operator of Urban Farmhouse, said in an email the decision to shutter the Manchester location was to focus on the company’s other pressing initiatives.

“We did recently make a decision to reconsider our focus and are currently busy with adding OrderUp Delivery to all our cafes, adding RamBucks for our VCU community of students and expanding our Catering via Farmhouse Functions,” Richardson said.

She added that Urban Farmhouse could return to the neighborhood.

“We have been pleased to be a part of the growing Manchester community for almost a year….We think the Manchester area is ideally and beautifully situated near beautiful nature trails and the James River, and would consider a future opportunity.”

Urban Farmhouse currently operates five locations around the Richmond area: in Scott’s Addition, Rocketts Landing, VCU, Midlothian and Shockoe Slip, where the brand’s first store opened when Richardson launched it in 2010.

The chain closed its Church Hill location in early 2016 after two years in business.

Its website also lists a pending location at the Linden Row Inn at 100 E. Franklin St., which hotel officials say could be ready by the end of the month.

The Manchester neighborhood has seen a surge in multifamily and single-family infill development, though retail has been slower to catch on.

The commercial portion of the 129-unit 1200 Semmes development fronts Semmes Avenue and is nestled between SunTrust’s large mortgage center and UPS’s freight unit offices.

With Urban Farmhouse’s departure, Subway, located near the intersection of West 13th Street and Semmes Avenue, remains the sole tenant of the retail component of the development.

The Green Flamingo Flower Co. vacated its space at the center toward the end of September, Rickards said.

Rickards would not release any terms of the lease agreement between 1200 Semmes and Urban Farmhouse. She said the space is garnering interest from potential restaurants and retailers.

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4 Comments on "Urban Farmhouse closes Manchester location"

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Brian Ezzelle

Not a surprise. Witnessed many people at lunch walk by Urban Farmhouse on their way to Subway. Overpriced small portioned bland tasting food.

ron virgin

Ditto, Brian. I live in Manchester and I’m honestly surprised the Subway is still open. Manchester still has a ways to go to fulfill the vision that the general public has for its future. Applause to Urban Farmhouse, however, for giving it a shot.

Bert Hapablap

Unfortunately the risk to reward for restaurants in Manchester just isn’t that good…yet. A lot of the area is being developed for apartments but it hasn’t translated into demand for retail in the area. I’m sure it’s coming but right now residents seem content to cross the river into downtown for their retail shopping and dining.

Ed Christina

How come no one ever mentions Camden’s Dogtown market? Its been in manchester for years.

If a place can survive having the roads and parking torn up like they have done, that speaks volumes.

I just wonder why they are so consistently overlooked, in favor of constant talk over “hipper” places.