Restaurant review: At Tubby's Tavern, it's family, arts and crafts

Rodney and Rebekah Jones opened Tubby’s Tavern as a place where people could meet, have a great meal and get good regional craft beers. The tavern welcomes families with children while still having a full service bar.

Tubby's Tavern opened last September, the same month Rodney and Rebekah's daughter, Emeline, was born. They had to move the grand opening of Tubby's back a couple of days because she arrived on the same day they were going to open the doors.

Family is important at Tubby's—Rodney named the tavern after his father's childhood nickname. If you're visiting Tubby's Tavern, chances are good you'll see Rebekah and Emeline inside or outside, where they have a table for when the weather is nice.

Earlier this year I went to a release party for a new beer being distributed in town. I hung out a bit and was able to talk to Rodney. He was working the kitchen that night but he always seemed to find time to get out on the floor and talk to the customers.

Tubby's has made a name for itself as a go-to spot for craft beers.

The local favorites are always available on tap or in the cabinet: Smartmouth, O'Connor, Beach Brewing, Young Veterans, Two Fathers and many more. Tubby's prides itself on supporting local breweries. They have regular release parties for new beers. Back Bay Brewing and Young Veterans Brewing Company will be releasing a new collaboration recipe soon and Tubby's will be one of the first places to get a sip of it outside of the breweries.

The food in Tubby's is classic American pub food. Burgers, tavern chips, cheesy fries — it's all there. One night we went, they had an all-you-can-eat crab leg special, served with slaw and hush puppies.

On one visit, I ordered a Tavern Burger. It's topped with a special Tubby's sauce, white cheddar cheese, bacon, and caramelized onions. The burgers are cooked to order, and I like mine medium-rare. It was juicy and filling. I couldn't finish mine partly because I ate almost a whole order of Tavern Chips by myself. The chips are sweet potato waffle fries topped blue cheese dressing and crumbles, then sprinkled with bacon and chives. They're addictive!

Some other classics are their lobster rolls, beer battered fish tacos and chicken wings. They serve brunch on the weekends with a build-your-own Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar. The lobster omelet has become a favorite for the brunch crowd—topped with Gouda cream sauce, sprinkled with bacon and chives. If you like bacon, you'll probably want to check out this place.

Rodney's experience in the food industry has served him well and, as I mentioned earlier, he can be found in the kitchen cooking and serving with the rest of the crew. He started sweeping and busing when he was 12 in a diner on a Native American reservation. Later, he eventually became the regional director of training and development for Carrabba's. While his wife was attending Regent Law, they settled in Virginia Beach and opened Tubby's Tavern.

Try out Tubby's when you're in Virginia Beach. Sit down at the bar for a good craft beer or stay and treat yourself to dinner. I would bet that after one visit to the cozy spot off Virginia Beach Boulevard and Great Neck Road, you'd want to go back again.


Tubby’s Tavern

2224 Virginia Beach Blvd. #113

Virginia Beach