VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Roads Bistro in Virginia Beach is perfect for a casual drink or a full dinner party. The vibe you get depends on what side of the room you decide to sit on.
"You come in here, you can kind of lounge, have a couple of cocktails, wait for your party. Go over there, have the dining experience, then come over here and finish your night," said co-owner Michael Baldwin.
He said when opening this restaurant, there was one goal in mind: "We live in a time right now where it's like divide, divide, divide, divide, divide, and we really wanted to do the opposite and bring people together."
They are bringing people together through their food.
"It's American-style tapas, so it's designed to be shared," Baldwin said.
Their menu is long and probably a bit overwhelming at first, but it is delicious. They have wings, mini crab cakes, and pierogies.
"The pierogies have taken off like mad," Baldwin laughed.
This menu and atmosphere were created with intent.
"When you throw three plates on the table, and everybody is like trying and tasting it. They start communicating. They start talking even if they don't know each other."
In a way, they want you to talk if you don't know each other.
"We're going to do our best to make you have a good time, but also to try to make you meet other people. We want to see a community build. We want to see people smiling and joking and having a good time," Baldwin smiled.
So, go and enjoy good food, drinks, and company, and sometimes, good music too.
"We're going to push jazz, come listen to some jazz; you're not going to get a lot of jazz in this area," Baldwin said.
At the end of the day, they just want to give you a new place to give a try.
"We want to get to know you. It has nothing to do with the financial side of things. It's just like, we like to meet people, we like to talk to people," he said.