VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Jacob Harver has gotten good at dealing with the unexpected - as a firefighter and a cook.
"I initially was just making it for myself and the guys at the fire department," Harver says. "That's kind of how it started."
He never expected to open a restaurant. All he really wanted was to taste a good fish taco, like the ones back home in Southern California. As luck would have it, he was really good.
It wouldn't be long before Harver traded the fire truck for a food truck. Eight years ago, Jacob and his wife Elyse started Bro's Fish Tacos. In time, customers would be lined up for a bite at events across all Hampton Roads.
They were hooked. So were the Harvers.
"It was kind of the natural progression we wanted. Once we got started with the food truck and we realized people liked what we had, we had in mind that we wanted a location," he says.
In the fall of 2019, Bro's Fish Tacos moved into a spot on North Lynnhaven Road - a huge leap of faith for two people and a taco truck.
And then, the unexpected.
"Everything hit. We had all the restrictions and shutdowns and trying to figure out what to do."
For so many restaurants in 2020, the move to curbside takeout only was a tough one. But the Harvers already knew a thing or two about that. After all, they'd been doing it for years.
"As far as our speed and our ability to package things up and get them ready to go super fast and super fresh, that did come with the food truck territory."
Jacob and Elyse used what they learned in their food truck days to crank out enough curbside orders to not only keep the lights on; a year later, they're looking to expand to a second store.
"Exciting. At this point, we're just so happy we made it to this point, you know, we've made it through everything so far," he says.