Waterside closing for three days ahead of grand opening

A bird's-eye view inside of the new Waterside District during a soft opening Thursday, May 4, 2017. Credit: WAVY/Joe Fisher

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk’s newest attraction will be closed for three days this week in preparation of a grand opening.

The new Waterside District opened to the public for the first time in last Thursday’s soft opening.

Photos: Waterside District Opening

The Fudgery was initially scheduled to stay open through the week, but officials later said it would also be closed Monday through Wednesday.

Glenn Sutch, President of Waterside District, said the three-day closing was planned.

“It’s commonplace that when we do that, in all of our districts across the country, we soft open, we close, we regroup, we make tweaks, take good notes, and then we prep for our grand opening celebration.”

More than 10,000 people came through Waterside’s doors in four days, Sutch said.

“Everybody, I think was pleasantly surprised at what they saw inside. We saw lots of ‘wows’ on people’s faces,” Sutch said.

Alex Morgan Tracey of Portsmouth said she visited twice, but wasn’t as impressed.

“In terms of service, they weren’t really up to par. They weren’t prepared to handle the crowds of people who came in over the weekend, and I understand it just opened and all of that, but I feel like they should be up to par,” Tracey said.

WAVY News asked Sutch about concerns like Tracey’s.

“Every new opening is busy. We do the best we can to try and serve everybody. What we do is we try to pace the restaurants as best we can. We want to give you a great service experience once you do sit down,” Sutch said.

A celebration for the new Waterside is scheduled for May 11 through May 14, and will feature live concerts from Weezer and New Politics. Officials announced Monday the grand opening is set to begin at 11 a.m. on May 11.

Waterside was evacuated for a short time Friday, after a fire alarm went off. Sutch said a duct sensor went off, and for safety reasons they cleared the building and chose to keep it closed as they were getting ready to end the night anyway.

WAVY will have complete coverage of Thursday’s grand opening celebration.