VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Donnie’s Barbeque opened in the Red Mill area of Virginia Beach in March of 2020, just as COVID-19 crippled the country.
Donnie Vaillancourt and his wife moved to Hampton Roads from New York to enjoy warmer weather and be near family. He started out with two food trucks but decided to open a sit-down restaurant as well.
“It’s been very slow this past year because of COVID. A lot of weddings and a lot of events have been canceled,” said Vaillancourt.
Donnie’s Barbeque currently offers sit-down service at a 50% capacity due to COVID-19. They also do carry-out and delivery services. Catering is also offered; however, at this time, they’re not traveling to events, just providing the food for carry-out.
“We’re hoping when we move past the COVID portion of what our country is going through right now, we can back into where we used to be - where everybody is comfortable with having events outside or inside,” Vaillancourt said. “We’re a small store, but we have big, big abilities to send lots of food out very quickly and very professionally for our customer base.”
The menu at Donnie’s features meats with styles inspired from around the country.
“We do the East Carolina or Carolina vinegar-style pork. We do the Kansas City sweet-style pork. We do the Memphis ribs. We do the Texas dry rub sausage and brisket.”
Barbeque fan Frank Russo said he’s a repeat customer.
“The food is fantastic. I love BBQ, and since this is the only game in town, especially around this area, once I tried it, and the food was great and I had to come back,” Russo explained.