Our Story

frontdoorIt all started with a pencil sketch on a plain paper napkin. Before Vintage Tavern became a unique “Seasonally Southern” dining experience, it was a simple drawing featuring a Guinness beer tap in the bar and an ice cream maker in the kitchen. Brian Mullins, owner of a successful real estate development business and a proud descendant of Irish forebears (hence the Guinness), and Teresa, his wife of 31 years, had dreamed of opening a restaurant and this was the perfect time. Their real estate company had begun developing Governor’s Pointe in 2003 and they knew that a new, one-of-kind restaurant – along with a collection of Williamsburg-style shops – would bring something special to Suffolk’s premier residential community.

Brian and Teresa envisioned a restaurant with genuine character, where great food would be served without pretension. It would be a place that welcomed people to a relaxed atmosphere and surrounded them with rustic arts and crafts architecture such as exposed beams, Rumsford fireplaces in each dining room and game trophies in the lounge.

They began collaborating with acclaimed Norfolk chef Meredith Nicolls until a paralyzing mountain biking accident in October 2004 forced him to limit active participation. Nicolls recommended fellow chef Sam McGann, his close friend of more than 20 years to carry on in his stead. Together with his wife Cindy, the McGanns joined the team as consultants to help set up and oversee the operation. As the McGanns completed their mentoring and training, the very talented and capable team that emerged took over the operation of the Vintage Tavern.

When Vintage Tavern opened in April 2006, what had begun on an ephemeral slip of paper had been transformed into a solid wood and natural stone reality. The warm and welcoming ambiance that Brian and Teresa first imagined is brought to life by the personal touches of the many staff members who have been with the team since the opening.

From the exhibition kitchen initially designed by Meredith Nicolls come signature dishes prepared by the culinary team, among them an appetizing Taste of Southern Goodness sampler of home made biscuits, house made sausages, shaved Virginia ham, deviled eggs, house made spreads such as strawberry jam and seasonal entrees like oven-baked flounder with herb-onion spoonbread and lemon brown butter sauce.

To compliment the menu specialties, guests are treated to a list of carefully selected wine offerings. In full view of guests, a floor-to-ceiling, glass-enclosed wine cabinet holds a 1,300 bottle collection of fine wines. On the garden patio, you will also find a wine house with a capacity for 6,000 bottles including guest wine lockers all temperature controlled.

The Mullins cordially invite you to enjoy the exceptional hospitality of Vintage Tavern and to return often for an ever-changing taste of seasonally southern cuisine.