Lillie Pearl owners cooking up fried chicken concept in Short Pump

Kimberly Love-Lindsey and Mike Lindsey, owners of Lillie Pearl, are opening a new fried chicken concept called Buttermilk and Honey. (Photos courtesy of Buttermilk and Honey)

With their first restaurant humming along downtown and another concept in the works in Manchester, Kimberly Love-Lindsey and Mike Lindsey are now looking to Short Pump for the next addition to their growing food empire.

The wife-and-husband duo behind downtown eatery Lillie Pearl are preparing to open Buttermilk and Honey, a fried chicken restaurant, at 12246 W. Broad St. in Short Pump’s West Broad Marketplace.

The location adds to the couple’s plans in Manchester, where they’re planning to bring the Buttermilk and Honey concept to the neighborhood’s forthcoming food hall Hatch Local.

Buttermilk and Honey’s menu includes a variety of fried chicken sandwich styles such as Nashville hot, Korean with kimchi slaw, and Southern with pimento cheese and collard greens.

Lindsey said the fried chicken concept began as a pop-up at Lillie Pearl, which Love-Lindsey and Lindsey opened last year at 416 E. Grace St. after working for years at EAT Restaurant Partners as director of operations and executive chef, respectively.

Lindsey said the pop-up approach was a kind of backup plan in case pandemic protocols came back limiting restaurants to takeout only.

Buttermilk and Honey’s fried chicken sandwiches are available in a number of styles.

“I wanted to make sure we had that in place to help generate sales for our takeout,” Lindsey said. “Not everybody wants to spend $30 per person on takeout (at Lillie Pearl), but an $11 or $12 sandwich would go out very easily.”

Love-Lindsey was skeptical at first.

“I was like ‘What? Can’t we just focus on one menu?’” she said, laughing. “It ended up working out really, really well.”

With the Hatch Local spot slated to open in the fall, the couple looked to Short Pump for another location for Buttermilk and Honey, and Love-Lindsey said they struck a good deal for the roughly 2,500-square-foot space, which fast-casual chain B.Good formerly occupied before closing in early 2020.

“The B.Good spot was perfect for what we wanted to do for quick-service,” she said. “It’s already set up and ready to go for that. It was a turnkey situation.”

The menu at Buttermilk and Honey’s Short Pump spot will include about eight signature sandwiches ranging in price from $12 to $14, fried chicken tenders and salads, as well as sides like hot fries and cheddar cornbread.

The space at West Broad Marketplace was most recently home to B.Good, a restaurant that closed in early 2020. (Mike Platania photo)

Lindsey said they’re hoping to open in Short Pump between August and October, and that they’d be open to exploring more locations for the concept in the Richmond region.

“The goal for us is to continue to grow and do things that make sense for us,” Lindsey said. “For me, I think south of the river. Chesterfield and Midlothian are areas that I think are growing.”

EAT Restaurant Partners, the couple’s former employer, has been growing consistently over the years with over a dozen restaurants throughout the region and more on the way. Lindsey and Love-Lindsey got to experience some of those grand openings, but owning Lillie Pearl and growing on their own has been a different feeling and routine.

“As the director of operations (at EAT) I learned so much, but you’re disconnected from the guest experience. Yeah, you’re in there running restaurants, but it’s not the main part of your job anymore,” Love-Lindsey said. “But being back working shifts and talking to people … I forgot how much I really missed and enjoyed that. It’s on a different level being owners.”

Added Lindsey, “When you work for someone else, you push yourself to get great reviews and put out great food. But when people come into our space, it’s a personal thing. They know Kim and I. They know the story.”

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charles Frankenhoff
charles Frankenhoff
3 months ago

Their fried chicken sandwiches are awesome, but I hope this doesn’t dilute their focus as happens so often when restaurants expand too quickly

kay christensen
kay christensen
3 months ago

looks like a heart attack waiting to happen….hmmm.

Craig Davis
Craig Davis
3 months ago

enjoy your kale smoothie then

Barbara Lamb
Barbara Lamb
1 month ago

That sandwich will make you slap your grandmother on both sides of the family

Barbara Lamb
Barbara Lamb
1 month ago

and lord dont forget the cookies