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Takeout Tuesday: The Baker's Wife Bistro opens in historic Phoebus, a homecoming for the owner

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Posted at 7:04 AM, Feb 23, 2021

HAMPTON, Va. - It's a rainy Thursday morning at the corner of Mellen and Mallory Streets.

Dinner service doesn't start until 5 p.m., but the team at The Baker's Wife Bistro is on-site several hours ahead of time, preparing.

It's been over a month now since the doors opened and the excitement hasn't slowed.

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The Baker's Wife Bistro's menu includes classic dishes like rack of lamb.

"I would get pictures from people, messages. 'I drove by your building last night, look how pretty it looks.' 'I can't wait for you to open.' Those kinds of things," said restaurant co-owner Dana Clark Epstein of the lead-up. "Now, I'm just blown away at the response, at the support."

Here, Clark Epstein is the literal 'Baker's Wife.'

She and husband, baker Phillip Epstein, already own The Grey Goose in Downtown Hampton, where Dana serves as chef. For The Baker's Wife, which specializes in French cuisine, they brought in Executive Chef Michael Koch.

The menu features everything from duck l'orange, lamb and ratatouille to steak and a Chef's Table feature allows for an even more personal dining experience.

But before you can even try the delicious food you notice the beautiful architecture of the historic interior.

It's a location Dana Clark Epstein knows well.

"My great-grandfather opened his business in 1908 in the next block over, so my father ran it, my grandfather and my great-grandfather ran it, so for me Phoebus is home. This is, like, the coolest thing to be back home," said Clark Epstein. "Much to the credit of the restaurants down the street, (Phoebus) has really come into its own."

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The Baker's Wife Bistro occupies the space once filled by the Electric Glass Company. Bistro owner Dana Clark Epstein says she would visit the stained glass business as a child.

As for the actual building that would eventually house her restaurant, Clark Epstein is familiar with that too.

"When I was growing up, this venue was called the Electric Glass Company and they used to do stained glass pieces and as a kid, to me, that was everything," she recalled to News 3. "It was sparkly and shiny and the owners had a dog here at work with them and I would come over and look at all the pretty things and play with their dog."

It's a special memory that Clark Epstein wanted to honor by keeping the Electric Glass Company's original tin ceiling and brick walls. To pay tribute to the original business, the Epsteins put a focus on lighting and put a stained glass feature, the building's owner found at another property, above the bar.

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The Baker's Wife Bistro honors the stained glass making of The Electric Glass Company.

Outside, strung lights illuminate a patio space that will be used once the weather warms.

It all makes for a cool atmosphere that, paired with delicious food, is the experience The Baker's Wife Bistro is excited to provide.

The Baker's Wife Bistro is open Tuesday-Saturday starting at 5 p.m. To make a reservation, call (757) 964-9424.