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Mace and Crown | May 25, 2018

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A Norfolk Experience Worth Tasting: 80/20 Burger Bar Opens in Ghent

A Norfolk Experience Worth Tasting: 80/20 Burger Bar Opens in Ghent

The newly opened 80/20 Burger Bar, started from an original idea, to provide customers with a delicious burger with the perfect lean to fat ratio.

The restaurant came together with considerable effort by Jamie Simms, Allan Braesen and Joe Pavey. Fortunately, the men were not alone in their venture. The restaurant had a local following even before it opened to wide community anticipation on Dec. 21.

Pavey, who owns the restaurant, also manages The Taphouse, another local bar in Ghent. As a Hampton Roads native, Pavey knew locals enjoyed a true “Norfolkian” experience and atmosphere.

The burger bar crew did all the work to revamp the space, which was once the restaurant “The Boot.”

“We got about 15 tons of wood and stained it all ourselves…actually we did basically the whole thing ourselves,” Pavey said as he surveyed his place from a stool at the bar. “It’s the only way we knew we could get it done right.”

The restaurant is a dark but open space, with stained wood furnishings and a barn-style atmosphere. Every dark chrome fixture, table and ceiling tile was hand-worked, much like the burgers themselves.

The buns, pickled peppers, seasonings and burgers are all handmade in the kitchen, which is visible from the dining area.  Pickled jalapenos and chilies rest on the far wall, providing a colorful garnish for the food and the décor.

Pavey spends a lot of his time at the restaurant. When he isn’t working, he is walking around and greeting the customers, with a beer in hand.

“We wanted to keep it as regional as possible,” he said.

The menu features obscure names that a Norfolk scenester and grandma alike could recognize. Like the “Orapax,” a burger with kalamata olives and tzaziki sauce, its namesake is a popular Greek place on Redgate.

Outside, the locally commissioned mural of a cow, by Rashidi Barrett, greets customers on their way in, of a breakdown of the animal and cuts that come from it.

The single page menu features 80 different bottled beers and 20 different beers on tap and 12 types of pre-made burgers to choose from, but anyone could be “That Guy” and make their own with three possible toppings to choose from. Every burger is 100 percent grass fed organic beef but can also assume a vegetarian counterpart and comes with one side. There are three different types of fries and options like “smack and cheese” or creamed leeks.

There are a few tables and booths that line the outer rim of the space and the open space in the middle of the restaurant is reserved for live local music acts, which will begin in February.

Visit the official website at to view the full menu and directions to visit the newly established eatery.

By: Allison Terres

Staff Writer