VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— A local restaurant that’s been around for more than 50 years is struggling to survive because of the pandemic.
Pollard’s Chicken & Catering is now calling for the community's support as they’re forced to shut down one of their locations. The company is closing the Virginia Beach restaurant on South Witchduck Road after December 31— 24 years after the doors first opened.
“It’s very sad, it’s very emotional for all of us,” said operations manager Mary Gagnon.
The family-owned restaurant company is a staple in the community — serving down-home meals in Hampton Roads for 50 years.
“There’s a lot of people in the community that their first job was working for Pollard’s, and their children, their first job was working at Pollard’s,” explained Gagnon.
It’s the little things that keep people coming back to Pollard’s Chicken.
“The people treat you great, they remember you from time to time,” said Jason Nowell.
When Nowell’s grandfather retired, he spent his days in the restaurant on South Witchduck Road, and when dementia made things difficult, the people at Pollard's were there to help.
“There was more than one time they would call the family and say ‘Hey, by the way, he’s lost,’ and we’d come get him,” said Nowell.
Now Pollard’s is the one who need help. A decline in walk-in customers and event catering during the pandemic badly hurt business and led to the downsize.
The company says it will make room for the South Witchduck Road staff at the company's other seven restaurants.
“We want to keep Pollard’s around for years and years to come, so we’re going to do what we can to keep our little small family business,” said Gagnon.
On the eve of the last food service, they humbly ask the community for continued support at their remaining locations.
“Please keep supporting your local businesses or local restaurants and come out and visit us and help us through this.”