NEWPORT NEWS — The building that once housed the German restaurant Das Waldcafe is vacant no more.
Matt Jones and his father, Dr. Joel Jones, bought the property a few weeks ago and have been renovating the building ever since.
This is just one of the many projects they’re working on.
They also co-own Chisel and Shaker and the storefront’s lease expires in 60 days.
Located in a strip mall in Denbigh, Chisel and Shaker specializes in ice sculpting and cocktail services throughout Hampton Roads area.
The Joneses also provide different products such as ice cubes and spheres for beverages for their clientele which includes Fin Seafood, Ironclad Distillery Co., The Cavalier Hotel, and Heritage Restaurant in Richmond.
The business is run by Matt and his father Joel, who also works as an emergency room doctor in Tappahannok, mixologist consultant Robert Gregory and marketing consultant Grace Godwin.
Right now, the Joneses plan to store the ice sculptures and equipment at the new building until they can lease a space at Ironclad Distillery in downtown Newport News.
The building on 12529 Warwick Blvd. had been vacant for two years and was left fully furnished for its new tenants.
“It was like walking into a ghost town and a nuclear facility,” Matt said. “It was like everybody got up and left.”
Inside, there’s part of an old carpet covering the floors. There are various items scattered throughout the restaurant, including dozens of wooden chairs, stacks of dinner plates and even a couple German beer steins.
Matt said the building was actually a house in the 1950s that was later converted into a restaurant. There are also eight bathrooms, four studio apartments and a large apartment with a kitchenette.
“They just kept adding on to it,” he said.
The plan is to open a bar and restaurant that will feature a “contemporary American” tapas-style menu that embodies his love of Tex-Mex cuisine, with small plates and an extensive beer and wine selection.
Matt said it won’t be a German restaurant and doesn’t want to mislead people, however, he may have a German beer or food item to “pay homage” to the German restaurant in some way.
The bar and restaurant won’t be open for at least a year.
For now, he wants to preserve the building as much as possible.
“We want to maintain the character,” he said.
Chisel and Shaker is located at 14346 Warwick Blvd., Suite 107B in Denbigh. For information about the business, visit its website or call 757-216-9113.