In most cases, selling a restaurant is bittersweet. But for Matthew and Andy Weaver, the husband-and-wife duo behind Maggie’s Farm in Hamilton, the connection is more personal.
“I’m a little heartsick,” Andy says. “The restaurant is where my husband and I met as co-workers, became business partners, and eventually became partners in life. It’s where we really grew as individuals and as a team.”
The couple met in 2010 while working for the restaurant’s predecessor, The Chameleon Cafe, and took over the space two years later, transforming it into a homey destination for creative cocktails and Lowcountry comfort food.
But earlier this week, the owners decided to put Maggie’s Farm on the market in order to focus all of their attention on a new concept that they are referring to as “Restaurant B.”
The brand new, 4,000-square-foot eatery will anchor Hamilton’s in-the-works SoHa Union project, aptly named after its location along Southern Avenue and Harford Road. Community mainstay Zeke’s Coffee has also signed on to work with the developers spearheading the mixed-use property, which is expected to debut summer 2017.
After the owners discovered that Restaurant B was on track to open a few months earlier than anticipated, they came to the realization that juggling both spots would be too much to take on.
“We’re hoping that someone with a little more capital can come in and make Maggie’s more self-sustaining,” Andy says. “Matthew and I don’t see ourselves being able to manage two locations concurrently. We’d rather leave Maggie’s in the hands of a good caretaker than see it suffer.”
The business—which includes a Class B liquor license, fully equipped kitchen and bar, basement storage, garden space, and ample parking—is listed for $100, 000. Andy says that, ideally, she would like for the new owners to preserve the Maggie’s Farm concept, but she and Matthew are open to hearing new propositions. Maggie’s will be open for lunch and dinner service as normal while the team searches for a buyer.
In the meantime, the owners will work on developing the new restaurant—a space more than double the size of Maggie’s that will feature an open kitchen, woodfire grill, outdoor patio, spacious bar and dining room, and its own private events area.
The concept, says Andy, will explore a fusion of traditional French fare and Southern-style barbecue.
“They’re two cuisines that are very much based on peasant food,” she explains. “But then once they hit different cultures and cosmopolitan areas they got a little more refined.”
Though Andy says the decision to leave Maggie’s behind was difficult, she is happy to remain a part of Hamilton’s budding food scene.
“Part of what makes this decision a little easier is that we’re staying in the area,” she says. “We’ve outgrown the space, not only in size, but in terms of what we’re able to do with our ideas. We’re excited to be a little more challenged.”