POQUOSON—Blue Crab & Purple Pig Bistro Chef and Owner Barry Wildman has closed his doors to regular restaurant traffic and is opening the space to catering, cooking classes, wine dinners, and special events. The decision was made after a series of pandemic-driven events made it difficult for the restaurant to remain profitable.
“It’s been a challenging year,” said Wildman in a recent interview. “Every time it seemed like we had a foothold, the next boulder would roll down the hill. I thought we had it timed quite well to open when the covid vaccine became available. And we started out strong. Then the Delta variant hit. When that first started, we dropped 40 percent of our business in one week. Then there was the Omicron variant. Then supply chain issues, increased food prices, and increased labor costs. We could have overcome any one of these issues separately but putting them all together made it impossible financially to continue as a restaurant.”
Fear not though. The restaurant’s doors are not closing permanently. Wildman will hold cooking classes at the facility at least twice a month and wine dinners at least once a month, plus offering catering services for private events.
“I just built a beautiful patio that can seat up to 110 people,” said Wildman. “There’s an herb garden that goes all around and I have grapes growing behind the bar. I just need to finish the fire pit and the space will be incredible for classes and events.”
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