Running two bakeries at a time had Tim Laxton feeling like dough that’s been stretched to the brink.
That’s part of what led him to make the tough call to close the Bellevue location of his Early Bird Biscuit Co. last weekend, allowing him to focus solely on the company’s other location in the Fan.
“It’s been on my mind for a long time, honestly,” Laxton said of being pulled between the two locations. “I’m looking to simplify my life, too. I’m not getting any younger and it might be nice to have a gym membership again, practice some better sleep habits – things like that.”
Laxton first started Early Bird in 2014 with a less-than 400-square-foot space on Lakeside Avenue before jumping to 119 N. Robinson St. in the Fan a year later. He returned to Northside with the Bellevue location at 1221 Bellevue Ave. in 2017, where he’d operated until the recent closure.
Early Bird’s Fan location will continue as usual, and Laxton said the four employees he’d had working in Bellevue are staying on and will head to Robinson Street.
The Bellevue Early Bird was also home to pop-up Detroit-style pizzeria Secret Squares, which Laxton said will join him in the Fan to continue operating.
And Early Bird’s Bellevue space may not lay dormant for long. Laxton said he’s in discussions with a potential buyer for the equipment and lease, but that he couldn’t disclose further details. Sperity Real Estate Ventures’ Nathan Hughes is handling the transaction.
With the second location in the rearview, Laxton said he and his staff are now focusing on ramping up the Fan Early Bird’s offerings.
“Being able to focus on one property will give me that ability to try some things and talk to my customers and find out what they want. That’s a big reason behind my decision to close Bellevue was to get back in touch with customers over (in the Fan),” he said.
Some planned changes include expanded hours as well as Early Bird’s lunch menu.
“Everyone wants a chicken biscuit every day, so you know what, they’re going to get it,” Laxton said, laughing. “We had been offering them on Saturdays but we’re expanding it. We’ll be offering them every day.”
While Laxton said it’s bittersweet to be leaving the Northside for a second time, he won’t be too far.
“Interestingly enough I live over here,” he said. “So I won’t be leaving entirely.”
This marks the second time a biscuit-heavy restaurant has closed in Richmond this year, following Salt & Forge’s closure in February.