Sometimes you have those restaurants that you only go to on special occasions. The reasons why could be different depending on the person. Typical reasons for me having special occasion restaurants is the cost of dinning there and if the ambience of the restaurant is upscale. Ruth Chris and The Vintage Tavern are examples of upscale restaurants that my wife and I have dinned at in the past. Typically, a restaurant having an upscale ambience and being high priced go hand in hand. That's what I thought until the first time I went to Brothers in Norfolk. Brothers is able to provide an upscale and classy atmosphere without putting a massive dent in your wallet. That's one of the qualities that makes this restaurant special.
My wife and I started going to Brothers a couple years ago, long before I became conscious about supporting black-owned businesses and reading books like Powernomics. When I write these reviews, I like reviewing the website for the business so I can find out more about the business. All this time I thought the restaurant was either named after a group of black men that were related or the restaurant was using a play on the word "brothers" to mean "black men". But now I know that the restaurant is named after the owner, Tony Brothers, who is a native of Norfolk and also happens to be an NBA referee.
Brothers is located in the vibrant downtown area of Norfolk. They were across the street from the Selden Market, but they recently moved to a new larger location at the Macarthur Center shopping mall. My wife and I went there for our anniversary this year. Their new location has the same upscale vibe as their previous location, and the food still tastes great. Brothers had 2 floors at their previous location. On the second floor they would have jazz bands and other musical artists come in to play music. Their new location has one large floor, and they have a stage in the back for musical artists. Now all the customers in the restaurant get to experience some good music while dining.
For our anniversary dinner I had the salmon with mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts, which tasted great. My wife had the chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus, which she also enjoyed. Brothers has never disappointed us on the quality and the taste of the food. In addition to the food, they have an intriguing mural that pays homage to some of the people and places in Norfolk. The mural stretches across the entire side of the wall.
At the time of this post, Tony Brother's has been has been an NBA referee for a whopping 29 years. That's a very long time for someone to work at any one job. But I assume he's doing what he loves. For over a decade, Tony wanted to open a restaurant in Norfolk that was similar to other types of restaurants he would visit all over the world with the NBA. I'm not an avid basketball fan, but I imagine there's some level of notoriety that comes with being an NBA referee, and I imagine the pay is also good.
Having people like Tony Brother's in the 757 is an asset to the black community for a few reasons. First, he's helping to elevate the community by providing an upscale, yet affordable, stylish restaurant. He also started a non-profit called Men For Hope, where their mission is the following: to support underserved men, organize their efforts in the community, and work with organizations providing services for single women parenting young men. Second, these businesses and non-profits help and provides jobs to black people. Third, his presence and activity in the community can serve as inspiration to kids and young adults all over Hampton Roads.