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Marino’s Lunch no longer on condensed hours, jam sessions are back

Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:52 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - Back in April, Marino’s Lunch in Staunton reopened under condensed hours after four years of remodeling.

Now they are fully staffed and back open for lunch and dinner every day.

”Seeing and interacting with customers that are regulars for like over the past 10 or 15 years,” Megan Horn, a waitress at Marino’s Lunch said.

“Some of them have been coming here for way longer so just becoming a part of the history is an honor, and it’s great to work here,” Emily Gardiner, a waitress at Marino’s Lunch said.

One of the reasons the famous Staunton restaurant was able to get back to regular hours was because owner Victor Meyer brought on a new cook who is from the Valley, but says he spent much of his career doing high-end catering in New Orleans and now they hope to bring some of those flavors to Staunton.

”Doing some food that I love to do, potentially introducing that to people who aren’t familiar with it and cultural blending, cultural and musical blending between culinary, I think it’ll go well here,” Travis Foster, chef at Marino’s Lunch said.

Along with the restaurant reopening, the famous jam sessions are back.

“For the first time since 2018 when Marino’s closed after more than a century of continuous operations ... the jam sessions, which have been running since 1962 are on Tuesdays and on Fridays,” Victor Meyer, owner of Marino’s Lunch said.

Meyer said Thursday they saw their biggest lunch crowd yet.

“The outpouring of genuine emotion has just been really unexpected,” Meyer said.

Now having lunch and dinner options, the restaurant is working on a brunch menu to come soon.

“That cuisine [New Orleans] is under-represented here in Staunton. I think it’s got huge potential as we roll out brunch to do our traditional menu, but some specialties from New Orleans,” Meyer said.

Although many are struggling, especially in the restaurant industry to be fully staffed, the waitresses at Marino’s Lunch say they love coming to work each day.

“We just enjoy coming here every day with the authenticity of the place and hearing the blues and bluegrass,” Horn said “We just love that every guest that comes in is family and has a great experience.”

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