Bay Local Eatery has opened a new location in Virginia Beach! It's located on Laskin Rd. where Metropolitan Oyster Exchange used to be. Metro was doing great but they decided to pare down a little bit and sold to Bay Local. I hate seeing Metro go, it was solid with a great people but I know Bay Local will take the baton running.
This week they had their soft opening with family and friends but then opened the flood gates to stress test the system to see how long it would take to get the tickets knocked out and how the new/relocated staff handle crowds. We felt lucky to get a chance to try out the new place before it officially opened to the public the next day. We were going to visit the day before we actually went but I forgot they didn't have evening hours yet.
When we arrived at 1:00 it was packed! We had a little wait but it was only about 15 minutes, pretty good considering at the original location they waits are usually about a hour. While we waiting I cruised about the restaurant to check it out. The floor plan is similar to what it was with Metro, open with booths along the walls and hightops in the center but the decor has changed a lot. It's more in-line with the original Bay Local feel to it. The huge "M" behind the bar is now a stained glass panel that glows a warm gold.
I bumped into owner Adrian and we chatted a little bit about what's new and life in general. He's be on the ground with this, making sure things have been running smoothly from electricity in the back to the hostess stand front of the house. After my exploration Shelby and I got our seats.
The great thing about soft openings is that you pretty much get to try whatever you like from the menu. That doesn't mean you go crazy and order everything and not eat it all but it's a good opportunity to try something different! We decided we'd start with a couple of appetizers but then had a hard time figuring out exactly what we wanted, there was a lot to choose from and it all looked great. So....how about drinks then?
Shelby got a mimosa, it was moscato with a scoop of sorbet in it. Cute and tasty! I got a bloody mary, Bloody Bay actually. I always get one of these when we eat at Bay Local. It's a spicy house mix that has just enough burn to keep you hanging in there.
The starters we finally choose were the Shrimp, Scallop, & Bacon Fritters and the Poppin Champagne Fried Carolina Shrimp. The fritters were great but we really loved the shrimp, the batter was light and the shrimp were plump and not over cooked.