Western Henrico shopping center adds new brunch chain, sells for $10M to N.C. firm

shop at wellesley

The shopping center is located about a mile south of Short Pump Town Center. (Mike Platania photos)

On the heels of adding another new restaurant tenant, a western Henrico retail center with a knack for luring independent eateries has changed hands. 

The Shops at Wellesley at 3416 Lauderdale Drive just south of Short Pump recently sold for $10.1 million, shortly after signing Wilmington, North Carolina-based restaurant chain Brunches to take over the former Spoonbread Bistro Deux space. 

Both the sale and lease were confirmed by John Barker, the managing partner of the 42,000-square-foot retail center’s new owner, Liberty Investment Partners. 

john barker liberty investment partners

John Barker

The five-year-old firm also hails from North Carolina, where it invests in and develops real estate with a focus on retail and multifamily properties in the $2 million to $20 million range. 

Based in Raleigh, LIP works primarily throughout the Southeast and first arrived in the Richmond region in 2021 when it teamed up with fellow North Carolina firm Prudent Growth Partners to purchase The Shoppes at River Forest in Chesterfield for $6.1 million.

Barker, a Hampden-Sydney College alum, said Aug. 17 that the Shops at Wellesley was LIP’s first solo deal in the area. 

“I’ve always loved Richmond and love Virginia. As far as real estate markets, we like the market and the growth,” Barker said. “The demographics specifically around Short Pump are very strong. It’s a very good retail area with high household incomes and tons of rooftops.”

The shopping center is over 90 percent leased and was most recently assessed by the county at $7.9 million. Thalhimer’s Catharine Spangler represented the seller, Capstone Advisors.

Barker said LIP’s lender in the deal was Fulton Bank. 

shops at wellesley spoonbread scaled 1

Brunches will take over the former Spoonbread Deux space.

Since 2021 three local restaurants have opened in the Wellesley center: Redemption BBQ and Market, Thai Won On and Hibachi House. They’ll soon be joined by the first Brunches location to open outside of Wilmington. 

According to reports in Wilmington, brothers Danny and Earl McPherson founded Brunches there in 2019 and have since added two more locations in its hometown. Brunches’ breakfast menu includes staples like chicken and waffles and biscuits and gravy, as well as a variety of eggs benedict and omelet options. Burgers, salads, wraps and sandwiches make up the majority of its lunch menu. 

Attempts to reach Danny McPherson for comment were unsuccessful in recent months. 

Barker at LIP confirmed that Brunches has signed a lease for the 3,300-square-foot former Spoonbread space, which has been vacant since last fall. He anticipates the restaurant will open sometime in the coming months. 

POSTED IN Commercial Real Estate

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Ed Christina
Ed Christina
29 days ago

If Brunches wants to do well in Richmond, they can try making Country Fried Steak in house, I can’t think of a place in RVA that does that now.