VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Setback after setback hit the owners of the Pink Dinghy restaurant and forced them to keep their doors closed, but they were determined to open.
"I'd say it started with a Hyundai Elentra going through the back," Chase Pittman, a co-owner, told News 3. "Getting this thing completely remodeled with zero experience in remodeling was a challenge in of itself."
That was not all. Pittman said they also had an encounter with a swindler.
"Then we had a contractor who took money from us and never did work, so we learned our lessons our hard way," Pittman explained.
When COVID-19 hit, it delayed their opening even more, but the community came to the rescue of Pittman and his business partner.
"Whether it was businesses, restaurants, individuals, people donated time, swung hammers and donated a lot of different talents to build this place and we're eternally grateful," he said.
Through this turmoil, the doors are now open. Food is being prepared and the rotisserie is cooking chickens.
"We serve what we call 'vacation food,'" Pittman said. "At least we're calling it 'vacation food.'"
The menu offers Caribbean and Latin dishes. Pittman said the menu will change as their international travels help to infuse the menu selection.
"The cuisine is not going to be specific to the Latin, Caribbean kind of vibe," Pittman explained. "You may show up one day and we're going to have some Middle Eastern cuisine; we may have some more local Southern cuisine."
The Pink Dinghy is open on Fridays from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. and then 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., or until all their food is gone.
They are only offering carry-out right now and hope to soon open the dining room area to everyone.
Pittman said the restaurant does need some extra hands and is currently hiring.
"We found it kind of difficult to find cooks right now," Pittman said. "If you're out there, you're watching this and you want a job and you like to cook or like to bake, give us a call."
The Pink Dinghy is located at 609 19th Street in Virginia Beach. More information, such as the menu, can be found on the Pink Dinghy's Instagram page or by calling (757) 937-1010.