Warm weather lets Virginia Beach Oceanfront businesses 'grease the wheels' ahead of summer season

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Posted at 3:08 PM, Mar 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-05 18:49:10-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With temperatures in the high 70s on Sunday and potentially hitting 80 the following day, beach-adjacent businesses are preparing for foot traffic to pick up.

"Just as long as I got a full crew because it's been really hard," said Ray Ray Labuen, of what it'll take to manage more customers.

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Ray Ray's at the Mayflower is expecting a busy kitchen this weekend.

Labuen owns Ray Ray's at the Mayflower on 34th Street at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. A long-time presence in the Beach restaurant scene, Labuen says industry-wide staffing shortages are affecting him too.

March, is the time when events kick back up and spring breakers start showing up, along with the occasional summer-like day.

"This season is gonna be...It's gonna be cool," he predicts.

Free parking along nearby Atlantic Avenue runs until April, another incentive from the City of Virginia Beach to get locals to visit restaurants and shops in the off-season.

A couple of miles down, Eric Emerson's staff at The Shack on 8th is prepping "crush" ingredients ahead of what's expected to be the outdoor bar's first weekend back since New Years.

"(It's) a good chance to grease the wheels, get back to work, test everything out," said Emerson, The Shack's Director of Operations, of the higher-than-average temperatures predicted. "(We want to) make sure everything is still working and have a little fun."

Emerson also runs nearby Waterman's and Chix on the Beach where he says he scored a last-second band, The River Boyz, to play Sunday afternoon from 2-6 p.m.

Because if it's warm temperatures bringing the people, it's a good atmosphere that will keep them coming back.