VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — After 51 years in business, a Virginia Beach staple nestled on Atlantic Avenue at the Oceanfront is closing its doors. You may be familiar with The Raven Restaurant by the large raven sign that lights up every night.
According to employees and customers, the building has been on the market for a while and it has officially been bought.
Many customers, including the self-named group ‘Hinds and Hounds’, is sad to see it go. The group has been meeting in the back of the restaurant since 2006.
“It’s one place where we talk about baseball, we talk about politics,” said customer Drew Lankford. “We joke around.”
Bobby Mathieson also attends the group lunches on Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.
“It’s such a mix of people who have such history with the city,” said Mathieson.
“We have the former Mayor, former State Senators, Creigh Deeds comes down here when he’s in town,” said Lankford. “We’ve known each other for years.”
From the chandeliers to plaques, to the bar and the booths, the restaurant is as authentic as it gets. In fact, a room off the main restaurant area which was once filled with Raven apparel is nearly empty since customers heard about the closing.
“They’ve had it on the market for several years; it’s a prime piece of real estate. These guys have been doing this 365 days a year for 51 years,” said Lankford.
Two local brothers own the restaurant, and Lankford says they are Vietnam veterans and now volunteer with the Coast Guard.
“They are at the point now, they are saying, we want to step back and try some new things,” said Lankford.
While the restaurant is closing its doors, the memories made here will last a lifetime. A place where friendships formed decades ago over a meal in the back corner.
“It really is a legend and an icon turning off its lights and shutting down, it will be sorely missed.”
As far as the exact closing date of the restaurant, It will likely be in October.