Mean Bird (2227 W Main St) hit the scene as a food truck and eventually opened up a shop on Main Street. They’re known for awesome chicken and surprisingly good vegan option. The life of a restauranteur is tough one and owners Mike and Sarah Moore are throwing in the towel.
The posted the reasoning behind this well-thought-out decision on Facebook.
Almost four years ago, after a walk on the Chesapeake bay, we started Mean Bird. It was just Sarah and I and an army of friends and family willing to watch our fussy son for long days and restaurant industry hours. We made a ton of mistakes, rewrote our entire menu, did a ton of damage to the food truck, and eventually we started to succeed.
We grew so fast that we were able to open our takeout restaurant a little over a year later. Once again we made a ton of mistakes, had another baby, struggled with staffing, consistency, the new delivery services, and trying to grow our catering business. Growth came slower this time, shop sales were inconsistent but, eventually our catering business grew enough to support us, and eventually became almost more than we could manage.
Our lease at the shop on Main Street is up in October and when we discussed whether or or not it was time to try and grow again; we pretty quickly decided our hearts just weren’t in it. There are tons of chefs and restaurateurs that are
able to find a healthy work/life balance, but I can say (with no shame) that I am not one of those folks. I am also not willing to miss anymore of my two kids lives while I figure it out.
I have hypertension, a bum knee, and an ankle that’s so bad after the long weekends that I have to crawl to the bathroom at night. Despite all that I might have kept doing it, because it is fun. We have met some great people and gotten to travel all over the state to be a part of people’s most important days. At a certain point, all these weddings, parties, and festivals become a reminder of the times I’m missing with my own family and friends. I have two great kids who are delightful, fascinating people, and when they are older and don’t need me as much, I can work on opening a hundred other restaurants. But for now I have some catching up to do.
The shop will be open for the next two weeks (check our social media for updated hours and some special free stuff for our regulars) and our very last day open to the public will be the Richmond Vegetarian festival on our food truck. We’ll be catering booked weddings through November.
We can’t thank everyone enough for supporting Sarah and I as we chased our dreams. We have asked more of of our friends and family than we ever should have, but they still invite us to Christmas every year. This is a cruel business, but we have been incredibly lucky that we have the best friends, family and met the best, most hardworking, and honest colleagues. Particularly in the food truck business there are a ton of folks who you will never read about in the paper or Style Magazine who are working 100 hours a week, in the crazy heat and cold to feed folks in Richmond.
Thanks again everyone
Mike and Sarah Moore
Fried chicken can’t be on my menu very often but I’m going to miss Mean Bird.