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Downtown restaurant now to have street view and other retail news

Posted: October 24, 2013

By Lydia Wheeler
lydia.wheeler@insidebiz.com

Field Guide, a new restaurant in downtown Norfolk, is expected to open the first week in November.

Drew Ungvarsky, the owner of Grow, a digital agency at 427 Granby St., sent out a request for proposals in June 2012, seeking a different restaurant concept for downtown next to the Grow offices at 429 Granby St. In addition to retrofitting the space, he offered a rental rate of $1,000 a month.

John Porter and David Hausmann, who opened Handsome Biscuit on Colonial Avenue in February, submitted a proposal for a rooftop restaurant and won.

The building, however, had other plans. It could not structurally handle rooftop seating, which forced Hausmann and Porter to change the restaurant concept and create an open-air space at the ground level instead. The front of the restaurant is a garage door that will open on days when temperatures are above 50 degrees.

“We will have a bar across the open area where people can sit, and in the morning that’s where we’ll serve breakfast,” Hausmann said.

Though opening as a lunch spot – serving salads and sandwiches – to start, the duo hopes to introduce “on the go” breakfast and then dinner in the following months. When asked about the menu, Hausmann wasn’t ready to offer details. 

“The menu is still kind of coming together as we’re testing the recipes,” he said. “You’ll have to wait and see.”

Menu options at lunch will range in price from $6 to $8 for sandwiches and $5 to $7 for salads. Dinner entrees will range from $11 to $15.

 

Olive & a Grape is not your regular deli.

“The proper term is salumeria, which refers to a place you go for Italian cheese,” said owner Melanie Nusbaum. “We don’t make sandwiches like a Jewish deli.”

Instead, the deli at 323 Granby St., next to aLatté Café in downtown Norfolk, is a grocer of imported specialty foods like DOP – protected designation of origin – olive oils, vinegars, pasta, assorted tomatoes, tomato products and anchovies.

“I’m second-generation Italian,” Nusbaum said. “It’s a taste of home that’s not really available here.”

The 19-by-30-foot store, formerly home to Flower Works, has a small kitchen in the back where fresh baked breads are made daily. Though business has been slow to start, Nusbaum said her bestselling item is her dinner kit – a pint of pasta sauce, half a pound of meatballs and pasta. It retails for $12 with fresh baked bread made in the store.

“I think the potential here is very good,” Nusbaum said. “There has been a real explosion downtown with the number of condos. I feel like this was a good place to fill a niche market.”

Olive & a Grape is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

Smartmouth Brewing Co. took home the bronze medal for its Imperial India Pale Ale from this year’s Great American Beer Festival.

The Norfolk brewery competed against 732 breweries in its first national competition held Oct. 10-12 in Denver. Notch 9 was one of 149 beers entered in the Imperial India Pale Ale category. More than 4,800 beers were entered in 85 categories for 255 possible awards.

Smartmouth, owned by president Porter Hardy and vice president Chis Neikirk, is known for its three flagship brews – Alter Ego Saison, Murphy’s Law Amber Ale and Rule G IPA. The brewery took nine beers to the festival and all were entered in the judged competition, which was divided into 84 beer styles.

 

Wawa celebrated the grand opening of its new Norfolk store at 6301 N. Military Hwy. on Oct. 18.

This is the third Wawa location in Norfolk. The new store features rolls baked on the premises, a beer cave and 12 fuel pumps, four of which have diesel.

The store has nearly 40 employees, a mix of full- and part-time positions, according to a press release. Associates not only receive competitive salaries and health benefits, but also the opportunity to enroll in Wawa’s employee stock ownership plan. The convenience store is open 24 hours and known for its built-to-order hot hoagies and sandwiches.

 

O’s Donuts, a doughnut and coffee shop, is expected to open next month on West 21st Street in Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood.

Offerings at the Kosher store will include vanilla cake doughnuts with a variety of toppings – maple, chocolate and vanilla frosting, Oreos, Heath Bar,
Reese’s and sprinkles – as well as coffees, frappes and cappuccinos, said Linda O’Connor, who co-owns the shop with her brother Carl Daugherty. 

Located in the 21st Street Pavilion shopping center, O’s Donuts plans to open Nov. 1 and be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. seven days a week.

“We’re going to have a doughnut hot fudge sundae,” O’Connor said. “We’re calling it the Uh-Oh. It’s a donut tossed in cinnamon sugar with a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge.”

The carry-out-only store will make doughnuts on site and prices will range from 89 cents per doughnut to $10.50 a dozen.

O’Connor said she and Daughtery hope to open additional store locations. The next site, she said, will likely be along Laskin Road in Virginia Beach.

 

Suffolk Restaurant Week begins Nov. 2. The biannual event will run through Nov. 9 and participating restaurants will offer deluxe lunch specials for $10 and dinner specials for $20. Premium lunch specials are $15 and dinner specials are $30.

Participating restaurants include Al Forno Pizzeria Italian Restaurant, Amici’s Italian Restaurant & Pizza Café, The Baron’s Pub, Cedar Point Country Club, Constant’s Wharf Grill inside the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront, The Egg Bistro, George’s Steakhouse, Great American Grill inside the Hilton Garden Inn Harbour View, Harper’s Table, The Historic Obici House, Mosaic by Holland’s, Nana Sushi, The Plaid Turnip, River Stone Chophouse and Vintage Tavern.

For menus and more information, log onto www.Suffolk-Fun.com/RestaurantWeek or www.Facebook.com/SuffolkRestaurantWeek.
 

Post-event coverage

To view a handouts from the speaker, click this link:
Useful Websites Resource Guide.