Newport News is like Danny from New Kids on the Block. The other guys got the most attention and glitter posters but Danny was sneaky cool.
It’s like he knew the time would come when his true talent would shine through and he would earn a solo spot on an oversized Spencer’s button.
Just like Danny, Newport News is ready to step out from the seven cities boy band and get some more love. “Bad News” has the perfect mix of old and new business ventures, green spaces and opportunities to satisfy the nostalgic and excite the future-focused.
Here’s five MORE reasons to become part of the Newport News fan club (in no particular order):
What-A-Burger Newport News
When I was a kid, my dad would take me here and we would wait in the standing room only line that wrapped around the inside windows as we all hotboxed grill smoke and listened to idle chatter and sizzling grease. Your HUGE burger came wrapped up like a present in white deli paper and sealed with love. This place has seriously not changed since it opened in 1950 so it stays packed with loyal locals and burger aficionados.
The parking lot is small and so is the building but the flavor is major.
Tradition Brewing Company
Yes, we know we are late on the trend but we have a brewery now! It’s owned by five friends and locals who have invested in making Newport News an even better place to live and drink.
General manager and Co-Founder Andy Beale says, “We wanted to be the first to open a microbrewery in Newport News because it is our home. Zack, Marti, Gray and I all grew up here, and we love this city! Dan has spent most of his life in and around Newport News as well. The support we receive from our community is amazing, and we strive to be an asset to this city with everything we do.”
With a packed music schedule, tons of events, an outdoor fire pit, corn hole, kid activities and lots of room to lounge, Tradition has something for everyone. This brewery is always hopping! (get it?)
The Apprentice Program at Newport News Shipbuilding
This nearly 100-year-old vocational school is a four-year program that prepares students for a career in shipbuilding. It’s a great alternative to a traditional college since young adults learn trades while getting paid. Plus, they are guaranteed a job post-graduation.
Apprentice Alumni Barry Surber says, “Not only did The Apprentice School allow me to gain an education and learn a skilled trade, it afforded me many life values that I still carry with me today, 23 years later.” This program is pretty much a Bad News no-brainer.
Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center
Located in Downtown Newport News, this 52,000 square foot building is packed with original and rotating art exhibits. The Ella Fitzgerald theater provides the perfect setting for local and visiting musical artists, plays and dance performances. The center is the permanent home of the Anderson Johnson Gallery, which is not only a beautiful tribute to the Newport News folk artist but is absolutely fascinating.
All forms of art can be found cultivated in this space that is bursting with Newport News creativity.
Newport News Green Foundation
Newport News is not only home to 32 city parks but Newport News Park is the second largest in the United States. That’s a lot of trails, bike paths, playgrounds, gardens and green space.
According to Jay Scruggs, board member and property chair, the foundation projects include “purchasing derelict sites, like old gas stations on the major roads, and returning them to their natural state” while acquiring and preserving less visible green spaces within neighborhoods that are either abandoned or overgrown, giving residents and visitors the experience of “stepping away from the car horns and shopping centers and actually be in nature, right in the middle of the city.”
So much to love about Bad News. I think I’ll stay awhile.