This time of year when it’s cold and your outside activities are limited heading out to a new restaurant should be on your list of things to do! One of the restaurants that should be on that list is Wharf Hill Brewing Company! Not only does this place, located on Main Street in Downtown Smithfield, have delicious food, including daily specials, but it is a Brew Pub! As a microbrewery Wharf Hill not only has a full bar and long list of local craft suds, but also features a number of in-house made beers like the famous Isle of Wheat Hefeweizen and the Holy Braille Brown Ale.
When you walk in the main entrance of Wharf Hill Brewery you are met with friendly faces, jovial laughter, a warm welcome by the host or hostess and the overall eclectic and inviting nature of a building that has been around for over 100 years! That’s right, not only is this an awesome pub with delicious food, but it is also filled with history! The building, or buildings, that Wharf Hill occupies was a number of businesses over the years, as they were all part of the town’s African American Business District. These businesses consisted of a barber shop, the Elks Lodge and a funeral parlor. When this restaurant was being built, the owner took pain staking efforts to incorporate as many of the leftover elements from these buildings back into what you see today! And, if he couldn’t find supplies from those buildings he used pieces and structural elements from historical buildings found throughout the town and county!
So what about the food?! Wharf Hill Brewery offers many choices for lunch and dinner, opening every day at 11:30am, switching over to their dinner menu at 4pm. Since we are talking about riding The Salty Southern Route, a must try is their smoked, dry-rub BBQ! And since we are talking about pork, you have to order the Non-Won-Tons! What’s a Non-Won-Ton?! They are three BBQ and homemade coleslaw stuffed egg rolls that are deep fried to perfection and served with the most delicious tangy BBQ sauce! By the way, this is just where the deliciousness starts! With the recent release of a new menu, Wharf now offers a few new items like Dave’s (one of the owners) homemade meatballs for pasta and a devour worthy sub, a new sampler platter that features a little bit of all the awesome apps, Joe’s (one of the chef’s) special BBQ Mac N Cheese and the yummy WHACHOS (Nachos, lol)!
So, are you hungry yet?! Travel down the hill on Main Street in Smithfield “Ham Town,” Virginia and visit Wharf Hill Brewing Company, the perfect place to warm up with a full belly and some local beers on one of these winter days!
Visit the links below for more information about Wharf Hill’s beers, food, the really cool story of how the three current owners were former employees and more insight into the history of the buildings!
Nothing says "Salty and Southern" quite like the peanut and Suffolk, Virginia has been a hub for the production of this delicious legume for years! It all started with Amedeo Obici,, an immigrant from Italy who's story exemplifies the American dream of "rags to riches."
Obici arrived in America as a boy unable to speak English and worked his first job in a cigar factory while going to night school. He then worked a fruit stand that also happened to roast peanuts. It was this first affiliation with the peanut that inspired Amedeo to eventually take large strides in its production modernization!
While this dream started in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania, Obici moved his processing operation to Suffolk, Virginia in 1913. This region of Virginia was already leading the way in the farming of the peanut, therefore it seemed natural to bring production closer.
Since this move Mr. Peanut and Planters Peanuts have had a big hand in shaping The City of Suffolk. You can see statues of the lovable character throughout Suffolk and, most certainly, he makes an appearance in front of what was Amedeo Obici's home! (picture above)
This home is the Obici House and sits on the 263 acre Bay Point Farm overlooking the Nansemond River! The mansion is an irregularly planned Italian Renaissance-style house that has been decorated with Italian art, has classical details that include flute columns, brackets and huge windows for gazing at the water. This beautiful abode was Obici's home until his death in 1947 and these days it is a "Nationally Registered Historic Place." It has been opened to the public for a wedding/event venue, the grounds are now a lovely golf course and The Obici House serves dinner on Thursday nights to whomever would like to attend!
From the story that surrounds Planters Peanuts and Amedeo Obici to the impressive house and property that was left behind, this story is worth delving into and The Obici House is definitely worth the visit! Stop by on Thursdays for a delicious dinner or contact them to set up your next event!
Visit these links for more history on The Obici Story, as well as more information about The House and upcoming events!