Marlins at work

Featured Image: The Ghent | Courtesy 

It’s September, everyone! Which means it’s the perfect time of year for enjoying savory foods and sitting by a fire with your favorite people. And where better to do that than at The Ghent, a rooftop and indoor restaurant right here in the 757.

The restaurant is conveniently located on 21st Street, just a twenty-minute drive from Virginia Wesleyan’s campus. Elias Kenworthy, a senior, one of our fellow Marlins and an employee of The Ghent, was kind enough to provide some insight into what sets this restaurant apart from the rest and makes it more efficient.

Kenworthy has been part of The Ghent since its opening approximately two months ago, and he has nothing but great things to say about the establishment, both from a customer and employee perspective. 

According to Kenworthy, the owners are in their late twenties and early thirties, so they are more in-tune with what newer generations are asking for, as both guests and workers. They are very hands-on, and can often be found in the establishment, greeting and lending an attentive ear to their patrons, in order to improve and cater the restaurant experience.

What distinguishes The Ghent from restaurants in the area is the self-pour and online ordering system. When you arrive, you receive assistance on how to place your food order and access the self-pour system, where you’ll see a variety of beer, wine and seltzers. At first, this may seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it’s a smooth process that benefits both customers and staff.

Customers appreciate the convenience once they realize how easy it is. The use of technology allows customers to order at their own pace, directly from their own digital devices. 

Patrons at The Ghent no longer need to worry about waiting for their server to take their order, or delays in placing the order. Not to mention, the front-of-house staff can work more efficiently with this system.

“People don’t realize just how much us servers do. We do way more than take orders, and not having to run back and forth helps a lot,” Kenworthy said. He puts an emphasis on how this progressive ordering system helps prevent server burn-out and allows the team to focus more of their energy on other tasks that improve the overall experience of everyone involved.

Of course, the team behind the operation plays the crucial human role of making guests feel warm and welcome, but let’s divert our focus and dig into how the establishment itself plays a crucial role in positively building a reputation for the new restaurant.

Upon entering, customers are greeted by cleanliness and a visually pleasing layout. The simplistic, neutral colored theme sets the perfect mood for an elevated, yet casual evening dining experience. Tables of all different sizes provide comfortable seating for any sized party.

Contrasting the pattern of simplicity throughout the restaurant, there are televisions placed for your entertainment, which is also perfect for children who come in as well. The main attraction, as far as seating goes, is the upstairs patio area. With cushioned seats, benches and fireplaces all spaced out comfortably, you’ll never want to leave. The best part is, you won’t have to go back inside to pour yourself another drink. With taps both upstairs and downstairs, you won’t have to worry about running back and forth.

The Ghent takes as much pride in their food as they take in their customer service and interior design. With a wide variety of food on their menu, chefs still ensure all plates–even the kids’ menu–are made with fresh ingredients. American classics, such as pizza, tacos, salads and burgers are elevated at this gastropub. 

What makes their food trays even better are the house-made sauces. When I visited the restaurant, I tried the blackened shrimp tacos, which featured their cilantro lime crema, and it did not disappoint!

If you aren’t a fan of how that sounds, they also have a creole drizzle, and they make their own tartar sauce and southwest ranch. Though I can’t speak on how those options taste, I will probably be back to try them. From the food to the vibes, this is the place to go for good service and customer satisfaction. I am excited to see how this new establishment will continue to grow, and I hope if you decide to go, your experience will be as positive as mine.


By Cecilia Candelaria