When one closes, another opens

Published 7:48 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2012

There are many things to love about Suffolk, but I always seem to focus on the food. From great restaurants and food-related events — Taste of Suffolk is only a little over a month away! — to overflowing farmers’ markets, a foodie is well-served in this community.

But there’s a dark side to Suffolk’s restaurant community.

For example, if you find yourself falling in love with a particular roll at a Suffolk sushi bar, there’s a chance, however slight, that you’ll never eat it again.


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That’s what die-hard Sushi Aka fans discovered last week, when chef and owner Michael Hart announced the restaurant’s closure.

I had to bid adieu to a particularly delicious potato-skin appetizer at a now-shuttered eatery in downtown Suffolk.
But what disappoints foodies about Suffolk’s restaurant community also excites us. That’s because for every tearful goodbye to a favorite dish, there’s a mouthwatering menu just waiting to be discovered.

Just days after Sushi Aka closed shop, Harper’s Table served its first dinners to Suffolk’s hungry foodies.

Harper Bradshaw, who left Suffolk’s Vintage Tavern last July, plans to get most of his menu from local sources. With multiple rivers, the Chesapeake Bay and plentiful farmers’ markets in Suffolk’s backyard, showcasing everything Suffolk and the region have to offer is a worthy endeavor.

And while it may mean that you can’t always count on seeing the same dish on the menu every week, it also means you can always be sure of finding a great meal.

The restaurant itself showcases pieces of Suffolk’s history, from a pristine Coca-Cola mural to a canopy over the dining area, which was rescued from the old Suffolk Peanut Company warehouse.

Bradshaw told the Suffolk News-Herald, “We’re just really excited about being a new part of the community.”

And the Suffolk community — and its bellies — are really excited to have him, too.