HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — A new restaurant has opened its doors in the Richmond area and you might recognize the man behind the meals.
Shagbark officially started serving the public on Wednesday. It’s located at 4901 Libbie Mill East Blvd., near West Broad St. and Staples Mill Rd.
Walter Bundy is owner and executive chef. He previously served as executive chef at The Jefferson’s Lemaire for about 15 years.
“I’m a hunter and a fisherman, and that’s why I cook,” he said. “For me, it’s about being in the outdoors and it’s the thrill of the chase and providing bounty for friends and family.”
The restaurant is a reflection of some of Bundy’s favorite things. There are chandeliers made of antlers, a large fish serves as wall art and everything is set to a subtle blue color scheme.
The name of the restaurant came about after one of Bundy’s old shagbark hickories fell and he decided to make a table out of it.
“It was such a big tree I decided it would be a great community table and the next thing I know a light bulb went off,” he said.
He decided to build the restaurant around the idea of a community table where people could gather around good food.
He describes the menu as southern and seasonal.
“We want clean, simple flavors that just showcase the bounty of Virginia,” said Bundy.
He says it’ll be ever changing.
“I look forward to ramps in the spring and fiddle head ferns and I look forward to squash in the fall and pumpkins,” he said.
Some of the menu items include Butter-Basted Day Boat Scallops, Autumn Olive Farms Berkabaw Pork Chops, and Manakintowne Farms Squash Blossom.
Though many remember him for his work at Lemaire, Bundy says this is his time, and he’s putting the focus on Virginia.
It’s the inspiration for everything from the decor to what you see on the plate.
“We wanted to bring in a bunch of Virginia artists and Virginia products and just kind of swirl it all up in the washing machine and this is what came out,” he said.
You’ll notice art from local artists and reclaimed wooden floors from old barns in Virginia.
There’s a main room, private dining options, a spacious bar and an outdoor patio.
Bundy designed the space, which he describes as manly and elegant, but he says there’s still a relaxed feel.
“I don’t care if you come in shorts,” said Bundy. “If the guests are happy and comfortable wearing whatever they’re wearing, I’m happy with that.”
Shagbark is in the new Libbie Mill-Midtown development.
Bundy calls the location a risk since it’s “an island in the middle of nowhere.” But he’s optimistic, as the area continues to grow and people realize how accessible it is, his customer base will expand, too.
“This is halfway between downtown and Short Pump and you know it’s really centrally-located. It’s very accessible. You can get off 95, get off 64,” he said.
Bundy has big hopes for the new place.
“We just want to be everyone’s favorite restaurant. That’s all we want to be,” he said.