The owners of The Front Porch Market & Grill in The Plains have sold the restaurant to local restaurateur Shawn Malone, following conflicts and legal disputes with a neighboring business. The restaurant is now temporarily closed.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce The Front Porch has been sold,” read a statement on the restaurant’s website. “The new owner is an experienced restaurateur and talented chef who lives in the area and will be a great fit for The Plains. We wish the new owner much success.”
The restaurant was opened in 2015 by owner and operator William Waybourn and his partner, Craig Spaulding, The Washington Business Journal reported. The restaurant, located in a Victorian home on The Plains’ Main Street, served classic bistro cuisine such as sandwiches, soups, and salads.
In July 2023, Waybourn told Fauquier Now that he was weighing selling the business as a result of legal fees from an ongoing dispute with neighboring business ICS Financial.
The legal issues began in 2021 and involved complaints of foul-smelling garbage and zoning issues related to a shared parking lot. An article published in The Washington Post in July detailed the dispute, positioning it as an ideological conflict between the two businesses.
“We are devastated to leave our beautiful corner in The Plains,” The Front Porch’s statement said. “It is with great respect for Fauquier County that we write today to appeal for better for the new owners of The Front Porch and for all small businesses in the county.”
Malone is the former managing partner of Magnolias at the Mill and general manager of Tuscarora Mill, both in Loudoun County.
The website indicates that the restaurant is anticipated to open under Malone’s ownership in early February.
Feature image of The Front Porch Market & Grill by Ronnie Gregorio
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