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Norfolk Stores and Retail and Resturants

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On all the Art{sodEmoji.|}Everywhere exhibits... they have the leasing/ contact information for empty storefronts. We could get some more business downtown.

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Kellys Backstage on Granby is closed for renovations. You can tell when a place is really renovating because they don't put paper on the doors. They just do it. I walked by and the entire bar area had pretty much been gutted on the inside. I read something where the owners of Baxters and Snappers will be taking over this place.

Edited by mikeas

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Yea went by the Vineyard place last night (not lunch) and it was quite a bit more expensive. Wish there was places to get human sized portions of food cheap without spending $20. We ended up at Hells kitchen.

Yea, the Pilot article mentioned Kelly's changing.

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Kellys Backstage on Granby is closed for renovations. You can tell when a place is really renovating because they don't put paper on the doors. They just do it. I walked by and the entire bar area had pretty much been gutted on the inside. I read something where the owners of Baxters and Snappers will be taking over this place.

Mikeas, according to the Norva website facebook, Kelly's will reopen in two weeks as BACKSTAGE BAR AND GRILL.

http://www.thenorva.com/

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http://hamptonroads.com/2010/05/new-restaurant-take-former-magnolia-steak-space?cid=ltst

The owners of Bardo Edibles and Elixers in Norfolk and Still, Worldly Eclectic Tapas, in Portsmouth have signed a lease to take over the former Magnolia Steak & Seafood Co., which closed in September in the Ghent neighborhood of Norfolk. They plan to turn it into The Public House, an English-style “gastropub” serving burgers, macaroni and cheese, Scotch eggs and other tavern fare.

Sounds like a good fit for the location and these people know what they are doing.

They also mentioned they will be carrying Oconner's...I've got to get out and try Norfolks new microbrew! I hear its on tap at The Boot, Colley Cantina, Cogans, and A.W. Shucks so far. (all in Ghent)

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Does anyone have ANY information on the commodore maury apartments?

I emailed the webmaster for the site and he gave me the same number that is on the website for residential inquires....and they haven't picked up the phone the few times that I've called!

They seem to be ready to open soon. I walked by earlier this morning and the lobby looks finished. There also seems to be a gym or something on the top of the building!!

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Does anyone have ANY information on the commodore maury apartments?

I emailed the webmaster for the site and he gave me the same number that is on the website for residential inquires....and they haven't picked up the phone the few times that I've called!

They seem to be ready to open soon. I walked by earlier this morning and the lobby looks finished. There also seems to be a gym or something on the top of the building!!

The building was configured for office use and tenants are starting to move in now. There was an article in the Pilot about a week ago about the project. The building looks amazing.

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The former Ooka Sushi on Granby St has a banner posted inside advertising a July opening of Nana Sushi. I think Domo will make it hard to compete with unless they go for a late night Sushi place that has more emphasis on alcohol. Domo closes at 10PM most of the time and doesn't have a liquor bar.

This is a very quick turn around, Ooka has only been closed about 2 months.

Edited by mikeas

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I peeked in last night and the lobby looks impressive. Much more open and bright than before. Also, there's art everywhere, in almost every window downtown. Hope it's not just temporary.

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Much of this is redundant, but this also includes some news I haven't heard before, such as about the former Magnolia and an English Pub in Ghent. From InsideBiz posted yesterday:

Restaurants open and reopen on Granby Street

Posted: May 7, 2010

By Danielle Walker

[email protected]

Downtown Norfolk's Granby Street has been called "Restaurant Row" because of all the restaurants in operation. But in the last few years many have shut down. Recently, though, there has been some new activity:

Bootleggers is set to open in the former Posh Dulce spot on Granby Street in coming weeks. Tommy Arney, the owner of Havana restaurant on Granby Street, will serve as general manager. Bootleggers will be a country-western restaurant owned by Arney's son and daughter, Ryan and Ashlee.

Jack Quinn's Restaurant and Irish Pub was reopened March 8 by Hyman and Josh Dress, a father-and-son team from Virginia Beach. Owner Josh Dress said that the reopened establishment is more "family friendly," with a budget-friendly menu. The pub also has live entertainment, with bands performing seven nights a week. On Sunday, the restaurant also serves family-style brunch.

The 219 reopened as an American bistro on April 26, under owner Sture Sigfred. Sigfred and wife Barbara Zoby also own four other restaurants in the downtown Norfolk vicinity: Byrd and Baldwin Brothers Steakhouse, the Big Easy Bar and Grill, 456 Fish and Bodega.

Backstage Rock Bar and Grille will replace Kelly's Tavern (behind the NorVa) on May 13. Owner Baxter Simmons will also open a sandwich shop, The 3-Way Cafe, on Plume Street in the Blue Plate restaurant's former space.

The Vineyards Trattoria and Pizzeria, a Newport News restaurant, opened a second location on April 21. It is at the former Blue Hippo restaurant location on Granby.

Other restaurant happenings in Norfolk:

The Public House will open as an upscale English pub in Norfolk's Ghent neighborhood by the end of the year. Eric Stevens and Karl Dornemann (restaurant owners of Bardo Edibles & Elixers and Still, Worldly Eclectic Tapas) have taken over the lease where Magnolia Steak and Seafood Co. resided. The space is being renovated. nib

Edited by Sky06

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This is only the beginning of new retail/restaurants in the downtown Norfolk/ Ghent area. With major construction projects coming to a close & as roads re-open, and a sense of order is back downtown combined with LRT and more pedestrian/transit- users.. more and more businesses will probably open up.

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Jilllians, sorry to see you go, it is a ashamed what they city has done to move you to chesapeake. Truly one of most unique establishment we had in the area is now lost to chesapeake. Outback, Joes and Hooters claim they have no intentions of moving, but we will see about that really quickly won't we???

Too bad they didn't do more to keep them in DT, I'm sure there is a space and place for them. They said they are willing to come back, but it will not happen.

I have the slightest idea why people did not like the place. I did not go there that much, but I love the idea of having a place to take friends and family when they came to town that was different than, hey lets go to the bar, hey lets go the nauticus, hey, lets walk down granby, etc...

Edited by brikkman

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The loss of businesses at Waterside is 100% the fault of the city government.

And the other 90% the public's fault. Sure, the city could have done much more to keep Waterside fresh, clean, and vibrant. But Norfolk has reinvented Waterside time and time again, only to have people stay away in droves each time (with a few exceptions). And it's kind of hard to stay in business when people refuse to patronize the place. Much of what's wrong with Waterside, in my opinion, has never extended to Jillian's. To me, it never felt unclean or outdated. But all I hear are things like, "It's no ESPNzone." Well then, if it ain't that great, then why are we getting upset about it leaving. On the other hand, if it does have value, then why don't people support it? You just can't have it both ways: saying one minute that it's not that great, and then the next getting all worked up when it goes away. That kind of wishy-washiness is best left to the paper.

Edited by Sky06

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I want what Baltimore has. Replicate it in Norfolk.

They have restaurants such as the Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys, Uno's, PF Chang's , etc. & we if we could draw name brand retailers to the waterfront in the new complex that would be built such as a Levi's Store, Urban Outfitter's, etc. that would create a dual shopping experience between MacArthur and Waterside thus creating foot traffic throughout the downtown with people travelling back and forth between Waterside area and MacArthur Center allowing more small business on Granby, Monticello, Main, Boush, etc.

harborplace.jpg

harborplace-and-the-gallery.jpg

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None of those places are unique to this area. So why go to Cheesecake Factory or Chang's at Waterside when you can go to Town Center? Why go to Five Guys downtown when you can go to one down the street? It's not just about what goes in there. Or even what the place looks like. It's about the larger picture. Remember, Baltimore's DT is much more than the Inner Harbor. They have ballparks, an acqaurium, and other stuff. In fact, there isn't much in Baltimore that I know of that competes with their DT. Thus, it's an easier sell. So, in order to draw people away from the VB oceanfront, Shore Drive, Town Center, Greenbrier, even Ghent or DT Portsmouth, you have to do something more than bring in a few chain resturaunts. You have to create an environment that makes the place a valued destination for consumers. We've been talking about some of those things on this site: "connecting" Waterside with the rest of DT, making it more welcoming from the street, more easily accessible, etc. LRT will help but that's just a start.

No, I'm not downplaying your call for more popular chains. Like those already in there, Joe's Crabshack, Outback, Hooters, even the ones that were there and left because . . . they weren't good enough? Jillian's, Blackfinn's, etc. They were there, but they weren't being supported--for some reason. But without doing anything else, you end up with a building full of great chains that people love to ignore. If the people don't come, the businesses won't build it. There's never been a lack of places to go. The problem is bigger than that. And the sooner people understand that, the faster we can get it fixed.

Edited by Sky06

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None of those places are unique to this area. So why go to Cheesecake Factory or Chang's at Waterside when you can go to Town Center? Why go to Five Guys downtown when you can go to one down the street? It's not just about what goes in there. Or even what the place looks like. It's about the larger picture. Remember, Baltimore's DT is much more than the Inner Harbor. They have ballparks, an acqaurium, and other stuff. In fact, there isn't much in Baltimore that I know of that competes with their DT. So, in order to draw people away from the VB oceanfront, Shore Drive, Town Center, Greenbrier, even Ghent or DT Portsmouth, you have to do something more than bring in a few chain resturaunts. You have to create an environment that makes the place a valued destination for consumers. We've been talking about some of those things on this site: "connecting" Waterside with the rest of DT, making it more welcoming from the street, more easily accessible, etc. LRT will help but that's just a start.

No, I'm not downplaying your call for more popular chains (like those already in there, Joe's Crabshack, Outback, Hooters, even the ones that were there and left because . . . they weren't good enough? Jillian's, Blackfinn's, etc.) But by itself, you end up with a building full of great chains that people love to ignore. If the people don't come, the businesses won't build it.

Also, we may have another chain opening soon.. IDK though . I saw a whole bunch of dirty Jimmy John's stuff in the window of the building that it's supposed to be opening in? But no serious work has been done?

You make a great point. Norfolk's DT isn't unique. The only thing unique is the urban experience or whatever.. but whenever my family wants to go somewhere nice to eat.. I always try and tell them "lets go downtown!" Time after time I hear, "nahh, we're going to Town Center." SMH. I don't blame them though .TC is safer, cleaner, and you don't have to pay to park.

Edited by varider

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You make a great point. Norfolk's DT isn't unique. The only thing unique is the urban experience or whatever.. but whenever my family wants to go somewhere nice to eat.. I always try and tell them "lets go downtown!" Time after time I hear, "nahh, we're going to Town Center." SMH. I don't blame them though .TC is safer, cleaner, and you don't have to pay to park.

OK, then fix the problem. If people feel the way your family does (and they do), then Waterside can have the coolest restaurants in the world and give away the best steaks you ever had and people still wouldn't go there. You gotta fix the problems. Safer? I doubt it. But the perception's there. So provide better lighting and do like NY did: start cracking down on the little things first, like J-walking. Cleaner? Sure, you're talking about a 375-year old DT vs. a what . . . 5 YO? Even so, clean it up. Paying for parking? Yeah, just like most DTs. But that's not going to change until more people show up and make it more profitable.

But there's one other simple problem that we all tend to foget about. IMO, it's the single biggest reason why places fail around here (especially after they get that great start). Too many people go out of town and spend their money somewhere else. It's not because we don't have money (it takes cash to drive, spend the night, shop, and eat somewhere else). It's not because we don't any places to go. Hell, why go to a Macaroni Grill in DC when you can go to one in HR? Are they really any different? No. People just want to get out of dodge. How do I know this is the problem? Look at traffic patterns: No rush hour on Friday mornings. Empty parking spaces and driveways on weekends. Few people around on Saturdays and Sundays. So why do they have to get out of here? Tell me the paper isn't a big part of making people hate this area. So we have crime. They don't in DC? The economy's tough. Gee, tell that to the developers who used to build in OBX and now are leaving there in droves because nobody's buying. We don't have an ESPNzone? Who cares?

Edited by Sky06

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OK, then fix the problem. If people feel the way your family does (and they do), then Waterside can have the coolest restaurants in the world and give away the best steaks you ever had and people still wouldn't go there. You gotta fix the problems. Safer? I doubt it. But the perception's there. So provide better lighting and do like NY did: start cracking down on the little things first, like J-walking. Cleaner? Sure, you're talking about a 375-year old DT vs. a what . . . 5 YO? Even so, clean it up. Paying for parking? Yeah, just like most DTs. But that's not going to change until more people show up and make it more profitable.

Well we frequently go to Granby Street Pizza, Kincaid's, Chili's, and Tropical Smoothie.. but I mean really other then that... what else is there? Every time we try to go downtown for lunch, everything is shut up and closed like a nuke just went off. I love downtown Norfolk and go there as often as I can, which is usually once a week.. but that's becasue I just like looking at the buildings and activity.. the quality of retail and restaurants is not impressive at all.

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Well we frequently go to Granby Street Pizza, Kincaid's, Chili's, and Tropical Smoothie.. but I mean really other then that... what else is there? Every time we try to go downtown for lunch, everything is shut up and closed like a nuke just went off. I love downtown Norfolk and go there as often as I can, which is usually once a week.. but that's because I just like looking at the buildings and activity.. the quality of retail and restaurants is not impressive at all.

OK, now we have a significant difference of opinion. I don't know what your idea of "quality" is, but let's hope it's not all about chain restaurants. I prefer an independent steakhouse like Byrd and Baldwin myself. Or places like Big Easy, Empire, Bodegas, Todd Jurich's, Sirena's, Vintage Kitchen, 456 Fish, Monastery, Freeason Abbey, Omar's Carriage House. I'm not mentioning everything downtown, just the ones I believe are consistently good. And there are many others. The problem is that people around here apparently have such an inferiority complex that they need to criticize everything while it's here and then lament and complain when they are gone. I have a real problem with that kind of attitude. Please don't take your frustrations out on the many fine businesses we have DT: the places that deserve our support. Life isn't that black or white.

Edited by Sky06

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I think what Norfolk lacks is mass appeal downtown. I think VaRiders points are valid as well as SKY06's points. Both of you are right actually, its more about those like VaRider and his parents making them also see Downtwn as a place to be. I am like SKY06 in that I like what Norfolk has to offer in terms of eateries etc., the mall has the retail now, even though Im sure VaRider would like it better if it were walk ups like the BIG CITY. I feel Varider on those points he made in the past and he is to young to remember as I do when Granby Street was the place to go, in my family anyway. I used to shop there for school in elementary and also sometimes as I aged for shoes and jeans because the deals were there. Then of course the business you could walk up to on the streets disappeared.

SKY06's point is dead on, about fixing the problem as he said in a previous post as well. I was downtown for Mothers Day at Kincaids(packed I might add and folks who spend $60-$200 for family and friends dont tend to frequent dangerous places to eat, they have many options) and Downtown gets a bum rap, its safer now then my teen years. Its perception and some folks who are afraid of what and who they dont understand. Anyone can be harmed or robbed or killed any place these days. Yes, some places have a higher crime rate than others but, look at Ghent and some of the other places downtown and those surrounding it. You have doctors and lawyers and many people who can afford to live in the suburbs that still live Downtown, they have options. WHY? Its safe. In cities like NYC,Philly,D.C,Richmond,Newark etc, a part of the city is crime. You cant have high populations and unemployment and expect no crime.

We either want to be urban or not. Most urban cities with populations over 200,000(single cities not metro areas) have crime due to economics! That said none of us are wrong to me, we just have different views that ALL can improve the Norfolk metro, at least its how my mind and eyes see it. HHHAHAHAAha!.L.G.N.M

Edited by usermel

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OK, now we have a significant difference of opinion. I don't know what your idea of "quality" is, but let's hope it's not all about chain restaurants. I prefer an independent steakhouse like Byrd and Baldwin myself. Or places like Big Easy, Empire, Bodegas, Todd Jurich's, Sirena's, Vintage Kitchen, 456 Fish, Monastery, Freeason Abbey, Omar's Carriage House. I'm not mentioning everything downtown, just the ones I believe are consistently good. And there are many others. The problem is that people around here apparently have such an inferiority complex that they need to criticize everything while it's here and then lament and complain when they are gone. I have a real problem with that kind of attitude. Please don't take your frustrations out on the many fine businesses we have DT: the places that deserve our support. Life isn't that black or white.

Look, loook, loook. I'm probably Downtown Norfolk's biggest cheerleader and supporter that you'll meet. For example, my parents wanted some seafood... so the default is "lets go to McCormick & Shmick's.." I was able to convince them to go downtown to 456 Fish.. We get there, & it's 330pm and it's CLOSED. Whenever my friends want to go somewhere, I always plea for us to go downtown and have gotten many suburbanites to go to Norfolk that previously said "It's too dangerous and there's nothing to do." Usually I hear afterwards "Norfolk is great, let's go next week too!" So don't think tha I have an "inferiority complex" or whatever. I've beeen downtown so many times it's crazy. I've probably fed the parking meter hundreds of dollars. I just know that when I go to PF Changs, my food is going to taste good. Give me some good Norfolk restaurants in DT/Ghent and I'll be sure to try them out over the next month.

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Give me some good Norfolk restaurants in DT/Ghent and I'll be sure to try them out over the next month.

Downtown:

456 Fish is excellent. I believe they open at 5 except for Sundays when they have a brunch.

Trilogy has amazing food but is a bit too expensive for me.

Kebab Shack - Not a fancy place but the food is great. The hummus is the best I've had.

Freemason Abbey - Consistently good and not overly expensive or fancy.

Rama Garden Thai - This place is great and the prices are very fair. I don't know why its never busy.

Domo Sushi - People either love or hate this place. Its the best Sushi I've had in my life and I've run into several musicians from the Norva that look forward to eating there every time they are in town.

Ghent:

A.W. Shucks (22nd St) - Don't let the outside of this place or the tattooed wait staff scare you off. This place will become your favorite seafood restaurant after one visit.

Pasha Mezze (22nd St) - Very unique food, you wont see these menu items anywhere else in HR.

Taphouse (21st St) - Large microbrew selection and surprisingly good food. The Fish and Chips and the Burgers are the best here.

Doumars (Monticello) - Its nothing special but it hasn't changed in years. Get a limeaid and ice cream on a waffle cone made on the worlds first ice cream cone machine. (Food Channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG-GyIZdWmg)

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