Last Tuesday dinner (new hours blog)

AVA Restaurant hours

Graphic by Curren Media Group.

One of the fun things about running a restaurant is that you’re always learning. You learn the patterns of locals and tourists — favorite dishes, favorite wines, favorite desserts, favorite dining times.

That last one I’ve been especially paying attention to over the last year.

Putting aside annoying anomalies like the roads being dug up in downtown Staunton as they were last year and the year before, which REALLY affected downtown dining, and just concentrating on predictable patterns, I’ve learned that for both visitors and Stauntonians alike, Tuesday’s not so much of a, “Let’s go out,” kind of night.

Not that it doesn’t happen. There are always a few diners out and about in the early part of the week. But it doesn’t happen enough for me to justify full menu food prep and staffing, particularly when my fabulous staff doesn’t have enough to keep them here (I want them to have good earnings nights).

So after observing patterns, and trying events and specials to lure out the elusive Tuesday diner, mostly to no avail, I’ve decided to read the proverbial tea leaves and just not be open on Tuesdays anymore. This Tuesday, June 9. 2015 will be our last Tuesday being open. (We’re still available for privately booked parties and catering on Tuesdays, so don’t hesitate to call 540.886.2851 to book an event.)

Before this leads to any confusion, it’s not my last day being open, it’s just my last day of Tuesday service.

New hours

Our new hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 5-9pm, and Friday and Saturday from 5-10pm.

What will I do with all this newfound free time?

Well, in addition to running the restaurant I also sell real estate through James River Realty, so it’s nice to pick up an extra day and night to work with clients, develop new listings, and keep up with the market.

And rest assured that the restaurant is a full-time endeavor, whether we’re open or not. Often times I find myself doing wine tastings at wineries or with reps even on Sundays or Mondays. Same goes for sampling local beers. And I’m never very far from a cookbook I love or from perusing my favorite online cooking blogs.

And with so much wonderful food in season I’m sure to be out tasting fruits, vegetables, fish and meats at everything from pick-your-own places to farm-to-fork eateries. In fact a little more time in my week for both me and the restaurant is bound to be a great thing for both!

Hope to see you in AVA soon!

— Mary Beth Harris, Proprietress, AVA Restaurant and Wine Bar