In the midst of a pandemic, most people may have said, “not now,” or turned away from their dreams of opening a fine-dining establishment, but Tony Brothers is not most people. The timing may have seemed like a long shot, but so have many things in Brother’s life. Tony knew what type of establishment he had in mind and forged ahead.
Tony, who has spent 27 years as a referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA), was determined to open a restaurant like the ones he enjoyed visiting while on the road, in his beloved Norfolk, Va. This Norfolk native who has stated, he was born in Norfolk, lives in Norfolk and will probably die in Norfolk, continues to show his commitment to the city he loves and calls home. His belief in Norfolk’s continued growth and development encouraged Tony to join the restaurant community in February 2021, when he opened the doors to Brothers: Chops, Seafood and Spirits.
During a time, when many restaurants have been forced to close, Brothers has managed to hold on and actually do better than hold on. That’s not to say Brothers hasn’t experienced challenges, in fact, quite the opposite. Rather than say, “game over,” Tony, who always had more than great food and spirits in mind for his patrons, topped his menu by delivering a feast of great music to his guests. Tony set the bar quite high when the first artist to give his patrons a taste of what was to come was none other than musical legend Jonathan Butler. Almost a year later, Tony continues to deliver critically acclaimed musicians and great local musical talent. Best of all, the diners are still enjoying the restaurant and local musicians are back doing what they love.
Tony is not new to doing good work in the Norfolk area. In 2015, Brothers founded Men for Hope, Inc., a non-profit to support underserved men, organize their eﬀort in the community, and work with organizations providing services for women and their families. Brothers also established an endowment at Norfolk State University in honor of his mother, the late Dorothy B. Brothers.
Click for more about Brothers: Chops, Seafood and Spirits and Men for Hope.