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How Chef Mike Lindsey can open a new Richmond restaurant during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 8:57 AM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 09:31:38-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many restaurants to close in 2020.

But Richmond chef Mike Lindsey found 2020 to be a good time to leave the kitchens he ran for EAT Restaurant Partners (Red Salt, Hot Chick, Fatty Smokes, etc.) and open a new restaurant of his own.

Lindsey and his wife Kimberly Love Lindsey have years of experience in the restaurant industry and said COVID-19 helped them get ready for their first solo venture -- Lillie Pearl.

The restaurant, which opened this week on East Grace Street, serves Southern food with some global influences.

Lindsey said because of the COVID shutdown earlier this year, not only is he better prepared to pivot, but their landlord was more willing to negotiate terms that will help their business survive amid COVID-related restrictions.

"If we have to go back to just take out, we have another discount on rent there," Lindsey explained. "So it put us in a great position to be able to survive during a pandemic when you know for most restaurants that closed, no one was willing to work with them."

Under current COVID restrictions, Virginia restaurants must stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and close by midnight.

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