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Norfolk restaurants gearing up for Restaurant Week amid obstacles

Last year, they faced mask mandates and limited capacity. This year, they're up against staffing shortages and high food prices.

NORFOLK, Va. — People in Norfolk are gearing up to enjoy some good food for Restaurant Week.

This means restaurants are pulling together their limited staff to make it happen.

"It’s kind of a tradition in Norfolk," said Brianna West, General Manager at Brick Anchor Brew-House.

Last year, they were up against mask mandates and limited capacity during the pandemic.

This year, Robert Wallace, General Manager of Grace O’Malley’s said they’re facing new challenges.

"We’re the same as everybody else. We’re very short-staffed, but you know we’re gonna do our best to knock out the food as quickly as possible."

Looking at the participating restaurants, the list is a little shorter than in years past.

RELATED: Multi-course dinners for $40, lunch & brunch for $14: Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week is back

Wallace said he thinks that’s a result of the staffing shortage.

West said they’re gonna make it work.

"We have pretty much a whole… all hands on deck kind of thing, we have a few servers who are going to be doing doubles when they can here and there."

They’re also all facing high food costs.

"Food cost has been up with COVID for everything. Beef, chicken, that’s why people have been seeing increases on prices," West said.

But after weighing the pros and cons of participating, she said getting the extra customers through the door is worth it.

Both Wallace and West said even with these obstacles they’ve faced all year, they’re ready.

"Our guests expect it," Wallace said. "We’ve got some really nice stuff lined up for this year."

"It’s always exciting," said West. "It’s fun having people come out and try something different."

Restaurant week kicks off this Sunday and runs through the 26th.

14 restaurants are participating this year:

  • Brick Anchor Brew-House 
  • Freemason Abbey
  • Gershwin's
  • Hair of the Dog
  • Monastery Restaurant
  • Grace O'Malley's
  • Saffron Indian Bistro
  • Omar's Carriage House
  • Southern Eats
  • The Stockpot
  • Stripers
  • Varia
  • Todd Jurich's Bistro
  • Voila! Cuisine Internationale