VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Local businesses are continuing to adapt due to the coronavirus, and that includes three businesses at the Oceanfront.
Waterman’s Surfside Grille, The Shack, and Chix on the Beach are all owned by Mike Standing and have 300 employees working between the businesses.
General Manager Eric Emerson says they met last week to discuss their options. Other restaurants have resorted to to-go and delivery options only, but Emerson says they came up with a different idea.
“The ‘to-go’ business isn’t so strong for restaurants that are typically to-go. Once we realized that, we had to do something. So, we said ‘groceries’ and we decided to see if it worked. So far, it is,” he said.
Waterman’s Seafood Market opened for a few hours on Sunday before opening fully on Monday, according to Emerson. The market is selling fresh seafood, meat, produce and other items that are popular with customers.
“Fresh-made guacamole, fresh-made salsa, She-crab soup we have in the restaurant,” Emerson said. “We’re portioning out and they can cook it at home. We also have some things like stuffed flounder, crab dip, mac and cheese.”
Emerson says it’s been busy especially since they launched online ordering on Wednesday. Customers can order on their website or an app and get it delivered curbside to their car.
10 On Your Side spoke with customers like Brenda Kennedy, who was visiting the market for the first time. She says she liked being able to shop somewhere besides the chain grocery stores.
“The shelves are empty and that’s nothing that we want. What else brought us here was they were fresh,” she said.
Kennedy says she and her friends came to the shop to also support local businesses.
Management at the market have also received positive feedback from customers because they’re able to find items like bacon and fresh vegetables that they’re not finding at stores.
Emerson says they’re learning as they go but believe this is an upgraded shopping experience for those who do stop by.
“There’s chefs to give cooking tips on how to prepare fresh seafood and advice on how you might be able to prepare the food to buy,” he said.
Opening the market has also helped some of their employees get back to work, who were previously furloughed.
Emerson also added that they’re taking serious precautions when it comes to coronavirus and are constantly sanitizing and cleaning. They’re also not letting more than 10 people inside the market, which is located at the Shack. They are also bagging groceries for customers and requiring all customers to use gloves.
“Personally, I feel better here than at the grocery store where you don’t know how has touched the apples and the other things on the shelf. Here at least we have the gloves on and can control who’s hands have been where,” he said.
The market is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Items at the market change daily and yes, they do have toilet paper.
To learn more or order online, visit https://www.theshackvb.com/.
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