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.


  1. Jeanette Smith

    Says 18 Jan 2022 at 10:24 am

    I visited Brothers on January 16, 2022 for dinner and to experience smooth jazz featuring National Jazz Artist, Julian Vaughn along with the Brothers band.
    My friend and I had a blast! The food was awesome and the music was sensational. I really love the set up and personal touch that Mr. Tony Brothers added to downtown Norfolk. We really needed it and I encourage others to stop by for a tasty meal or to book a fabulous jazz show with your meal.
    Also, Shout Out to 88.1 WHOV and Jay Lang for supporting and bringing great Jazz to the area! Love you all!

  2. graliontorile

    Says 20 Apr 2022 at 4:10 am

    I am glad to be one of the visitors on this outstanding site (:, appreciate it for posting.

  3. Lisa harvey

    Says 27 Dec 2022 at 2:42 am

    I went to a concert at the restaurant I never felt so comfortable. It was up front and personal. Who would think that an NBA referee and an owner would be so personal with his guest. I will never forget it. Thank you for such a wonderful experience

  4. Jerry L Cook

    Says 12 Aug 2023 at 6:50 pm

    12 August, 2023,
    My family treated me to dinner for my 69 th Birthday, which was also all of our first time dinning at Brothers. Customer Service to include being greeted, welcomed, seated and service was excellent. The appetizers, entrees and desserts were delicious. Would recommend to anyone looking for a relaxed ambiance for dinners pleasure, while in the city of Norfolk.

Leave Your Comments

Test the popup