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‘Love Local, Buy Suffolk’

This week, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association is partnering with Virginia Tourism Corporation to promote “Virginia is for Restaurant Lovers Take Out Week.”

According to virginiaisforrestaurantlovers.com, Virginians are encouraged to order takeout, delivery or curbside pickup this week from local restaurants, and to share their experiences on social media with the hashtag “#VirginiaEatsLocal.”

Suffolk Tourism is also reminding citizens to “Love Local, Buy Suffolk — Whenever and However you Can, Today and Every Day,” as Suffolk restaurants adapt to the social distancing guidelines in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In response to COVID-19, our local eateries have been getting creative in their offerings, working within the restrictions to ensure safety of staff and patrons, as well as maintaining their businesses,” Tourism Development Manager Theresa Earles wrote in an email Monday.

Suffolk Tourism has been working with local restaurants to promote their pick-up, takeout and delivery business models since restrictions have been made in response to COVID-19 concerns. These restaurants are being promoted on visitsuffolkva.com, as well as on Suffolk Tourism’s various social media platforms, according to Earles.

This “Takeout Week” promotion, Earles wrote, is a great way to support these businesses that are struggling in this difficult time, while also reminding the public about proper social distancing.

“We are learning that every day brings a new challenge but also new ideas,” Earles wrote. “This COVID-19 crisis and our response to it changes constantly, and we are doing our very best to serve as a valuable resource for our residents and our business community.”

Holland’s Produce in downtown Suffolk is one of these local restaurants trying to adapt during this pandemic.

Holland’s is now down to two chefs on staff, plus Jeanette Holland, one of the owners of the family-owned business on North Commerce Street. Hours have changed to 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The restaurant was previously open for Sunday brunch, but that’s been suspended for the time being.

People are still ordering to-go meals at the popular downtown restaurant. Loyal, dedicated customers that live in the community order by phone, or walk in to place orders while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Holland’s is also one of the Suffolk restaurants offering curbside pickup.

“They just come in, and if there’s somebody in front of them, they wait their turn (and) stay six feet back,” Holland said about the customers. “They’re very conscious of what the government is asking them to do.”

Holland is trying to get “creative,” she said, with lunch and dinner specials for families to take home and enjoy during this difficult time.

“We’re just trying to create happy food to keep people looking forward to tomorrow,” she said.

Go online to visitsuffolkva.com for a list of Suffolk restaurants that are offering curbside pickup and/or delivery services.