Beginning this month, Taste Virginia Food Tours will offer once monthly food tasting walking tours in Virginia Beach’s creative arts district—the first of its kind in Hampton Roads.
Backed by the well-known Taste Virginia tour experience and local food expert Patrick Evans-Hylton, the new Arts and Eats Walking Tour will highlight both the excellent culinary arts and vibrant public art projects throughout the ViBe Creative District. Visitors will receive a custom-tailored 3-4-hour walking tour experience with stops at 6-8 local businesses, led by local creative entrepreneur Megan Hogan, a military wife who operates her small business from the 1701 co-working location in the district.
“I’m excited to partner with Taste Virginia to share my love for the ViBe Creative District and all the incredible small businesses we have here,” said Megan Hogan, a Shadowlawn resident. “There’s so much to do and experience beyond the boardwalk, and this tour is a great opportunity for both locals and tourists to see what the ViBe has to offer.”
The first inaugural walking tour will occur on Wednesday, September 27th from 2-6pm. Monthly tours are planned for the last Wednesday of the month. After meeting up in the Hearth parking lot, guests will sample culinary bites at each restaurant, tour restaurant gardens, taste craft spirits and explore local artwork and artists’ workshops along the route. The total walking distance of the tour is estimated at 1 mile, an easy and convenience trek with the built-in stops.
Tour stops may fluctuate month to month but include ARTS stops at 17th Street Marketplace, a consignment based artistic retail venture; local artist works shops: Benevolent Deisgn Co, North End Bag CO and Igors Customs; French Twist fashion boutique; creative crosswalks and public art in 18th Street Parklet.
Craft spirits, culinary fare and EATS will be sampled at Beach Bully BBQ, Chesapeake Bay Distillery, Croc’s 19th Street Bistro, Commune – A Sustainable Eatery/Bakery/Café, Esoteric – Craft Beer and Curated Food, Hearth – Wood Fired Cuisine & Craft Beer, Java Surf®, The Stockpot and Three Ships Coffee.
The tour tickets support local art in the district. Each ticket purchased for the ARTS + EATS tour will generate a 10% donation towards public art projects in the district.
Current public artworks include: over 35 fence murals at 18th Street Parklet; four creative crosswalks by local artists from Virginia Beach (Scuba Steve), Norfolk (Rick Nickel), Chesapeake (Allison Termine) and a teen crosswalk by Governors’ School for the Arts senior Ava Borte; and a custom, artist-design performance stage at ViBe Park by internationally acclaimed Dublin artist Maser.
Future plans for public art in 2018 include four additional creative crosswalks, artistic bike racks, sidewalk graffiti and painted neighborhood identifiers on the street corners of 19th and 18th Streets. Private murals on local businesses will also be a topic of tour discussion.
“We are thrilled to bring the 5 star Taste Virginia experience to highlight the ViBe Creative District rich and diverse artistic and culinary delights,” said Lisa and Rex Hamaker, owners of Taste Virginia Tours.
Taste Virginia is a Virginia Beach-based company which has earned a reputation for their Birthplace of American Cuisine in Virginia Beach, the Out on the Town: Eats and Drinks Tour in Norfolk and the Capital Assets: 300 Years of Eats and Drinks in Williamsburg. The ViBe tour is unique in that it is the company’s first walking tour experience—modeled after others found in arts district across the Commonwealth and the country.