Newport News, Va.- It's where people can come to get a home-cooked style meal on the Peninsula, but The Lunch Bell is also somewhere customers say they come to get that sense of community.
Since Betty and Bill Swain opened The Lunch Bell in 1981, they've strived to make it a place that's known not only for their food, but their ability to make customers feel right at home.
Betty points to Bill as the driving force for making The Lunch Bell a restaurant that embodies a strong sense of community.
"When you walked in you would be your best friend. He would tell you how beautiful you are. That's just how he was," said Betty.
Now it's the spirit of Bill that Betty says contributes to the restaurants continued success. Bill passed away in February of 2015 from heart surgery complications.
Since than, the warmth he spreaded at The Lunch Bell is something customers say they still feel.
"Bill was a great guy. He'd come in, he'd always have a smile on his face. Shake your hand, give you a hug," said a Lunch Bell regular.
That description of Bill, along the same line of how others described him.
Betty admits the past year without Bill has been tough, but she finds comfort in knowing that her husbands warm embrace is something customers will never forget.