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Gourmet Gang opens Mermaid Bay Café in Virginia Aquarium

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center has recently reopened its café in partnership with Gourmet Gang.

Previously known as Osprey Café, the establishment closed its doors on March 31 and resumed operation over the Fourth of July weekend as Mermaid Bay Café.

Mia Guinan, the owner of Gourmet Gang, expressed her gratitude for the support from the aquarium staff during this collaboration.

The newly launched quick-service dining spot offers a diverse menu featuring hot dishes, grab-and-go salads, sandwiches, sides, beverages, and desserts. Specials that change periodically include items like a sweet potato biscuit with smoked brisket, sandwiches with sustainably sourced fish and crab cakes.

The café’s presence offers a convenient option for visitors to the aquarium who want to make the most of their time exploring. Keith Bogan, the supervisor of Mermaid Bay Café, highlighted this aspect, mentioning that patrons can enjoy their meals and drinks within the café itself, at the outdoor seating area, or at designated picnic spots along the nature trail. However, dining is not permitted within the exhibit spaces.

One of the café’s notable features is a Norfolk mermaid, now named GG in honor of Gourmet Gang, which was acquired from a private owner.

Gourmet Gang has been chosen as the vendor for both private and public events at the aquarium. Furthermore, it will soon manage the Otter Bay Café, a grab-and-go facility located in the aquarium’s newly constructed south building, which is still awaiting its official grand opening.

What began as a small business initiated by Mia Guinan more than 25 years ago in Virginia Beach has now expanded to seven locations. The business’s eighth location is set to open soon in a former Starbucks outlet at La Promenade in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Aquarium CEO Cynthia Whitbred-Spanoulis emphasized that Gourmet Gang’s well-known local reputation brings valuable dining expertise, top-notch catering services, and an enhanced amenity for the aquarium’s guests.

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