Chesapeake restaurants adapt to changes for first Restaurant Week during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 2:33 PM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 23:01:04-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Saturday mornings are busy for Metro Diner as visitors enjoyed their breakfast and the staff moved around, filling orders, cooking, and bringing those orders to the guests.

Metro Diner is once again a featured restaurant during this year’s “Restaurant Week” in Chesapeake. It is the first one the city is promoting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You know, I'm curious to see what it does to Restaurant Week,” Willoughby Nute, the diner’s managing partner told News 3 in the middle of the rush.

Nute helped the staff in the kitchen. At one point he asked a cook, “Can you plate me a beautiful chicken-and-waffles?” one of the diner’s signature dishes, according to Nute.

Just a short drive, the staff at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue was getting their restaurant ready for the day. They too have seen an impact from the pandemic.

"We just had to adapt to a slow pace since when we opened and we were at a high volume,” Demetrye Wells, the restaurant’s general manager, said.

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is participating in its first Restaurant Week. The restaurant opened last November.

Either way, the two said are hopeful and ready.

"A much larger portion of our business is to-go and delivery, now operating with 50 percent capacity,” Nute explained. “We've been able to survive on that to-go and delivery-food."

"Also, making sure we follow all COVID regulations,” Wells said, “that way when our guests come in they know we're practicing all the safe practices."

Both restaurants are requiring guests to wear a face mask before entering and to social distance.

"We're doing what we can during the pandemic,” Nute said. “Hopefully, like I said, new people will choose to get us for delivery."

Depending on what your tastes buds are going for, you could go for L&L Hawaiian's Restaurant Week Special. Like mentioned, there is also the chicken-and-waffles from Metro Diner.

The two restaurants have a greater selection of foods to choose from.

"We get food in mouths and people fall in love with us,” Nute said, when asked what he is looking forward to this year’s Restaurant Week.

As for Wells, he said he hopes people, “enjoy our food, that's pretty much it."

Restaurant Week started on Friday and goes through Friday, Oct. 23. The purpose of the week is to “celebrate Chesapeake's flourishing culinary scene,” according to its website.

Menu items range in price from between $10-$50. For a full list of participants, click here.