The longtime home of Cary St. Cafe at 2631 W. Cary St. in the Fan has been sold to restaurateurs familiar with the area.
The property, which the cafe — known for its vegetarian dishes, Grateful Dead decor and consistent live music — had occupied for 34 years, sold last week for $650,000.
Public records show the buyer was an entity tied to Jin Gao and Xian Wang, who also own Carytown dining staple The Eatery at 3000 W. Cary St.
The seller was Robyn Chandler, who had owned Cary St. Cafe since 1995 and bought its building in 2016 for $425,000.
The roughly 3,200-square-foot building was first listed for sale in 2019 and Chandler said she had a deal lined up for it just before the pandemic hit. About a year later, Chandler said she feels liberated to have sold it.
“I’ve had the last year to go through all the feelings of mad, sad, bitter, whatever,” Chandler said. “I am just so grateful to have had 25 years of amazing music and friends. Not too many places make it that long.”
The sale was recorded with the city April 13, and Lindy Patterson of Hometown Realty represented Chandler in the deal. The building was most recently assessed by the city at $456,000, and has an apartment on the second floor.
It’s unclear what the deal means for The Eatery or what Gao and Wang’s plans for the building are. Gao declined to comment.
Chandler said she’ll continue operating the cafe’s food truck, Shakedown Eats. In years past, Shakedown Eats would travel all over the U.S. going to music festivals, but Chandler said she’s staying local this year in the interest of pandemic-era safety.
Since closing Cary St. Cafe, Chandler said she’s been hearing from locals who’ve expressed that they’ll be missing it.
“I feel the same way. It was a second home to a lot of people, but it was my second home for 25 years,” she said. “There’s not another place in Richmond like it, and I hope that there will be someday.”