VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Two Virginia Beach restaurant owners are such good friends they consider each other family.
Christina Johnson and David Bellinghausen have worked together for more than 20 years. They say the restaurant industry is challenging work, but they've been lucky.
"We started working together years, and years, and years ago, and it just worked," Bellinghausen said.
The two worked near the Oceanfront for years, but then decided a move to General Booth Boulevard might be better, so they opened Huntley's Place right before the pandemic hit in 2020.
They say without their fantastic staff and community, they wouldn't be making it.
"We really concentrate on some old-school breakfast, and then we try to bring in some new stuff for our specials from time to time," said Johnson.
That means they have all of the classics. They even have classics that might make the younger generation cringe.
"Both of our families have chimed in too. His dad insisted on spam and eggs," Johnson pointed at Bellinghausen. "When he first told me that, I was like, 'Ew, spam and eggs,' and he was like, no, my dad insists, and it took off," she laughed.
The menu is long at Huntley's Place. And, there's one special menu that catches the eyes of many.
"We were all about doing special boards, and when we started that pancake board, it just took off," Johnson explained. "Pancakes are a really big thing for us. We have a great breakfast all the way around, we have a great lunch all the way around, but our pancake board has become kind of a really special thing here."
Their pancakes come in many flavors, types and toppings. Sometimes there are themes, sometimes there are specials, but there are pancakes -- and tons of them -- all of the time.
Johnson and Bellinghausen want this spot to feel like home.
"We now have so many customers that are becoming family. We've been open long enough where they come in, and they were pregnant, and now they have their babies, and we get to meet their babies. And I hope over the years we'll watch their babies grow up," Johnson smiled.
Bellinghausen nodded and said, "The thing that makes this place click, no doubt, is two things: we have a wonderful staff, and the reception we got in this part of town when we moved down here has been phenomenal. If we would've known how well this would've gone over, and how wonderful the people were down here, we would've done this 15 years ago."
Huntley's is a place that feels like home and serves homestyle food to match.
To visit Huntley's Place, go to 1581 General Booth Blvd #111 in Virginia Beach.