NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Brazilian steakhouse has closed its doors in downtown Norfolk and an email suggests recent violence could be to blame.
The website for Texas de Brazil, a Texas-based chain known for its large portions of red meat, states the location on the first floor of MacArthur Center is “temporarily closed until further notice.” A recorded phone message states the same.
The exact date of closure wasn’t made clear and inquires made to the restaurant’s corporate headquarters were not immediately returned.
On May 3, 10 On Your Side received a response to our inquiries.
“We have evaluated our options as a result of the recent tragic events that occurred at MacArthur Center. As the public is aware, the news has continued to report about the string of escalating violence in the mall and surrounding areas – but this time with multiple shootings and a fatality at our doorstep.
Based on our evaluation of the circumstances, we have determined that the mall has become unsafe to the extent that we can no longer operate safely there. We cannot jeopardize the safety of our staff and guests; both of which are our primary concern. We must look for a new and safe location to operate. Once we have a tentative opening date, we will announce on our social channels, in an email to our eclub members and will post on our website.”Hannah Thompson, Texas de Brazil Director of Marketing
A screenshot of a reservation cancellation email was posted to the public “Hampton Roads Restaurants – Take Out, Delivery & Dine In Options” page on Facebook.
The email, which indicates it was written by Texas de Brazil, states the restaurant has not only decided to temporarily close, but permanently close at the MacArthur Mall location.
“Unfortunately, we can no longer operate at the current location due to recent incidents, as the safety of our staff and our guests is our number one priority,” the email stated.
The email goes on to say the announcement will be made via social media when the restaurant is ready to open a new location.
The news of the restaurant’s closure follows a violent incident — a fatal shooting — that happened inside the MacArthur Center not far from the restaurant.
The mall, which is currently in foreclosure proceedings after the former owners defaulted on its loan, has seen several shootings in recent years. It also seen many tenants leaving due to the overall death of American malls.
The general manager for MacArthur Center had “no comment” when reached by a reporter, but Texas de Brazil has been removed from the mall website.
On Friday, Councilwoman Courtney Doyle, who represents the area, said she didn’t hear about the restaurant’s move until it was reported by another media outlet on Thursday.
She said she does think safety is improving downtown. Friday night, six mobile cameras were activated for the first time, allowing police to have more eyes on the area. Doyle called for the cameras after a quintuple shooting on March 19 injured three people and left two others dead outside a nightclub. It is believed that no video of the crime exists.
“I really want to commend the police force especially, because I know they have stepped up, not just on Granby but I know we have needs in other parts of the city. But I just want to say thank you because the enhanced police presence and all the other actions you’ve taken think are really making a difference and we need to continue to press hard on this,” Doyle said to council members Tuesday.