SUFFOLK, Va. - "It hurt my soul."
That's Chef Kenny Sloane's description of how it felt to shut down dine-in service at his new restaurant, Fin & Tonic, just a week after opening in March.
"I spent a year planning, building and developing. You get to that point where you're excited about getting open and then they shut you down," he recalled.
Now, Virginia is in Phase Three of its pandemic recovery plan. Dine-in is back except for bar seating and Sloane is starting again.
Fin & Tonic, located just off Bridge Road in the Bennett's Creek area of Suffolk, is his second restaurant. He also owns Fin in Newport News.
"Basically we're just a cool tapas place," he said. "We do small plates that you can share with friends and get multiple courses and try different things."
The menu features everything from she-crab soup to scallops to A5 Wagyu beef, one of the highest-quality meats you can find.
So far, the response has been great. Sloane says people in the area seem to be excited to have a restaurant like this nearby.
"I just wanted to bring something a little closer to home. When I travel out I'm either going to Virginia Beach or Norfolk or Williamsburg," he said.
But his favorite part of the restaurant is what's hidden behind the colorful wall next to the bar; a speakeasy.
Straight out of the 1920s and 30s Prohibition era, the speakeasy features a totally different drink menu.
"Some people don't even know it's here. It's like how do you get in?," said Sloane.
Closer to Downtown Suffolk, the uniquely-named The Plaid Turnip is more 'what you see is what you get'.
When News 3 visited in April, the restaurant had its temporary location in the Suffolk Cultural Arts Center on Finney Ave. The main location on Main Street had recently been under renovation.
Owner Ed Beardsley says he's still in the temporary location for now.
"Our regular guests have been fantastic. They really make an effort to support us and other businesses downtown," said Beardsley in April.
The Plaid Turnip is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week for its faithful customers.
Fin & Tonic
1301 Bridgeport Way, Suffolk, VA 23435
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11:30 a.m.–9 a.m., Bar open until midnight
The Plaid Turnip
110 Finney Ave, Suffolk, VA 23434
Hours: Sun, 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Mon, 8 a.m.-3 p.m, Tues-Fri, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.