Five restaurants in 18 months.
This is the pace set so far by Mike Lindsey and Kimberly Love-Lindsey, the married couple restaurateurs who have just signed for their fifth concept in Richmond: Jubilee at 1303 Hull St. in Manchester.
When it opens this spring at the former Wildcraft Foccacia Co. space, Jubilee will join their Lindsey food group portfolio, which includes Lillie Pearl and Pop’s Market downtown on Grace Street, a buttermilk and honey store. at Short Pump and another soon to open in Manchester.
Their rapidly growing clip started in 2020 when they left their gigs at local EAT Restaurant Partners to open Lillie Pearl and they haven’t slowed down since.
Love-Lindsey joked about the state of their sanity after putting so much on their plate, literally and metaphorically.
“The other day Mike and I were talking, and I was like, ‘Are we blessed? Are we crazy? ‘ She laughed. “Five restaurants in a year and a half is a lot. I think we are both blessed and mad.
The duo said they jumped at the opportunity to lease the 2,000-square-foot space on Hull Street after Wildcraft closed in December after less than a year in business.
Lindsey said their lease for the building materialized quickly.
“(Wildcraft) closed one day, we were there the next day, then a week later it happened,” he said.
Lindsey said the name of the new concept referred to both Jubilee Day, another name for Juneteenth, as well as feelings of celebration in general.
“Jubilee, especially in the black community, this term is used quite a bit to celebrate. The celebration of Juneteenth has always been built around what is called the jubilee, ”said Lindsey. “So this is also our celebration, to be in a field that we wanted to be and to do the concept that we really wanted to do.”
The new restaurant will be similar to Lillie Pearl, which offers a mix of American and West African fare in the old downtown Pasture space.
Lindsey said he was working on a menu for Jubilee, noting that they would like to include dishes such as seared halibut in a lobster dashi, cauliflower steak and a jar of seafood with mussels.
“We’re just creative and we always stick to what we like to do with our approach to the New American with global influences,” he said. “Being in Richmond, I like to highlight Southern ingredients, but it won’t necessarily be a Southern restaurant.”
Since opening Lillie Pearl, the couple have been working on Buttermilk and Honey, a fried chicken concept they’ve opened at Short Pump and are preparing to open at Hatch Local, Manchester’s next food court in The Current. Last summer, they also bought Pop’s Market, the sandwich spot across from Lillie Pearl.
Four of the group’s five restaurants are in spaces that were previously other concepts, with the exception of Buttermilk and Honey in The Current.. Lindsey said their focus on taking over turnkey spaces has helped them grow quickly and without incurring debt or investor capital.
“My goal is to have a slab space and build our own restaurant, but you know what? We are not ready for this, ”he said. “We build the ground floor around the opportunities that make sense to us. “
Lindsey said the space on Hull Street is no different and won’t need a lot of work to open Jubilee.
“The space is built a bit like an old restaurant. We want to keep that feel, but bring some redesigned, high-end twists to it, ”he said.
“It’s going to be dinner only, and we’re sort of thinking upscale and grand in cocktails and craft spirits. It only has about fifty seats to give it a more intimate feel.
Nathan Hughes of Sperity Real Estate Ventures represented Lindsey Food Group in the Hull Street lease. Local owner and developer Michael Ng owns the building, having purchased it as an entrance to Manchester in 2018.