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Sign of the Times: Virginia restaurants get creative to stay open amid COVID-19 fears

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"GAINESVILLE, Va. — Loyal customers are the lifeblood of small businesses, especially restaurants. “We’ve been in business since 1979 so we are celebrating 41 years this year,” says Kyle Donovan, manager at Blue Ridge Seafood in Gainesville, Virginia. Years of loyalty and a clever sign outside this eatery inspired Jerry and Ruth Wahl of Front Royal to dine in one last time at their favorite spot for fresh, steamed blue crabs. “It’s tough on a business owner and we like to support them, especially when they are so good to people,” says customer Jerry Wahl." -ABC7

Seafood Restaurant Starts Curbside Service In Time Of Coronavirus

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"GAINESVILLE, VA — A popular seafood restaurant in Gainvesville is providing curbside service to residents who need their seafood fix but are practicing social distancing to contain the spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Starting Wednesday, Blue Ridge Seafood is closing its dining room and will be offering carryout and curbside service in response to Gov. Ralph Northam's announcement Tuesday of a 10-person limit at restaurants and bars." -Patch

10 great places to warm up with a bowl of soup in NoVA

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"Save peeling shrimp and drenching lobster in butter for another day (some time soon, of course) and enjoy one of your favorite seafood soups instead. Offering all three of the classics is Blue Ridge Seafood Company, with lobster bisque, New England-style clam chowder and Maryland-style crab soup. All are served with a side of oyster crackers and can guarantee you’ll be feeling full, warm and satisfied, even if your next beach trip is still a long way away. // 15704 Lee Highway, Gainesvillesting" -Northern Virginia Magazine

Hot Spot of the Week! Blue Ridge Seafood

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Ever see a 14.5 lb. Lobster? Scott holds one in this video about the BEST local seafood Restaurant in Prince William County, VA. Check out how big the claws are in comparison to his hand! Blue Ridge Seafood is a really fun place to relax and enjoy some good eats and drinks with friends and family! To learn more, please visit their website at:

Blue Ridge Seafood: A Tasty Catch for 40 Years!

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"Fast forward four decades...

That's right.  This summer marks the 40th anniversary of Blue Ridge Seafood, now managed by the Stringers' daughter, Donna Donovan, and her husband Mark.  It remains a true family business since the Donovan's son Kyle also works there full-time as well as their nephew Stephen - that's three generations - and there's a fourth generation in training!" -Discover Prince William & Fauquier

Prince William Times: Blue Ridge Seafood celebrates four decades of salt life!

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The restaurant’s iconic sign with its large crab logo is viewed by thousands of travelers a day as they motor past the down-home eatery or into its often-packed parking lot. Siting the restaurant in a quiet country location and then watching development encircle it bordered on genius. But the restaurant’s success is also the result of hard work. 

Fauquier Times: Blue Ridge Seafood celebrates four decades of salt life!

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Ask almost anyone living in Fauquier or Prince William counties if they know where the Blue Ridge Seafood Restaurant is, and the answer will be a variation of, “Of course. On Route 29 outside of Gainesville,” or “Sure. On Route 29 outside of Warrenton.” 

Best of Virginia 2018: Best Seafood Restaurant!

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Best Seafood Restaurant: Since opening in 1979, Blue Ridge Seafood has expanded its original five-item menu to include offerings from haddock and oysters to Cajun breaded gator tail cooked to order and served alongside house-made cocktail sauce.  The family-operated restaurant also serves weeknight specials, such as Friday's Maine lobster.

Best of NoVA 2018 Readers’ Picks

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What began in 1979 as a family restaurant offering only five menu items has grown into a eatery offering, whenever possible, sustainably sourced seafood appetizers, soups, sandwiches, po’boys, tacos, entrees and other edibles from land including steak, chicken and barbecue ribs. Like its cocktail sauce, dessert is made in house here, with seasonal options adding to classics like blueberry cobbler, key lime pie and cheesecake. –RK // 15704 Lee Highway, Gainesville;

Best of Haymarket/Gainesville 2018 Results

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"Two years in a row you’ve voted Blue Ridge Seafood the best spot for savory fare from the sea! Indoor and outdoor seating options are available at this casual, family-friendly restaurant located at 15704 Lee Highway in Gainesville. Keep up with daily specials by following them on Facebook at @BlueRidgeSeafood, and check out the entire menu of seafood (and landlubber) options at" -Piedmont Lifestyle

Love Fresh Seafood!...

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"If you're a seafood lover, there's a fantastic destination close to home.  Blue Ridge Seafood, in its original southbound 29 location in Gainesville, has delighted patrons for going on four decades.  Manager Kyle Donovan, whose parents have run the restaurant for years, has worked in just about every position throughout his life.  His go-to dishes are crab legs and spiced shrimp, but he points out that diners keep coming back for the menu's extensive offerings..." -Discover Publications

Eating and Drinking Across Northern Virginia

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"We’ve always associated seafood with Maryland but not with Virginia, and that was a huge mistake considering that it has over 7000 miles of coastline. Luckily, we’re quick learners when it comes to food, and all it took was five minutes at Blue Ridge Seafood to learn what we’d been missing. For nearly 40 years, this family-run restaurant has served up seafood specialties. House favorites include their homemade crab cakes, hush puppies, and seasonal blue crabs which are as much a great meal as they are an experience. The outdoor tiki bar is a fun addition." -Travel Addiots

2017 Best of Haymarket Results

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"This year is the first ever for this category. Voters made it known that Blue Ridge Seafood is the best place to go if you are seeking delicious meals from the sea! Indoor and outdoor seating options at this casual, family-friendly restaurant is ideal for those who want to enjoy some mouth-watering crabs, shrimp, oysters, clams, chowder, soup, fish, tacos, or sandwiches. The seafood options abound. Try them out the next time you are seeking some savory fare." -Piedmont Lifestyle 

Winners: WTOP’s 2017 Top 10 contest

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"Voted "Best Crabs 2017" By WTOP Listeners and Readers! How does the Top 10 work? Here are the details: WTOP readers and listeners nominated a number of local businesses serving the best food and drink in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. From July 24 through Aug. 4, the public had a chance to vote for their favorites in all 10 categories." -WTOP

Charming, Casual, Cozy

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"Blue Ridge Seafood: nearly 40 years of family dining and still going strong..." -Haymarket Lifestyle, February 2017

5 local spots for great seafood

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"Find a southern twist on traditional seafood dishes in Gainesville, at Blue Ridge Seafood.  From fried frog legs to alligator bites and crawfish you are in for a treat when visiting this southern seafood hideaway.  More traditional fare such as fresh crabs, seasonal fish, hush puppies and french fries are also offered. 

Plan a night out with family and friends to enjoy live music on the back deck or stop in and pick up crabs and hush puppies to enjoy at home.  Their backyard tiki bar is the perfect backdrop to any happy hour too!" -Discover Prince William & Manassas

35 Years of Fresh-from-the-Sea Favorites

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"So you’re traveling Lee Highway at the western edge of Prince William, when you spot an older building with a blue corrugated tin roof. A swordfish is mounted on its upper facade and a sign by the road reads “We Have Crabs.” Looks like an overgrown, out-of-place crab shack, you may think. 


But it’s a hot summer evening and the parking lot is packed. So you decide to stop—good thing, too, because for 35 years Blue Ridge Seafood Restaurant in Gainesville has offered a combination of fresh-from-the-sea favorites, attentive service and a casual atmosphere that brings diners back time and again..." -Prince William Living

Where The Locals Eat

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"Virginia harbors in its center its most precious attraction, the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Within those foothills sits a proud heritage, a unique culture, miles of trails, breathtaking views and a little seafood joint that's been wowing area folks since 1979.  Blue Ridge Seafood Restaurant located on Route 29 has been family owned and operated for over 30 years, providing quality aquatic fare and friendly service in a comfortable casual establishment." -Haymarket Lifestyle Magazine

Sampling across the state on a seafood road trip

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"Located almost within sight of the mountains for 30 years, Mark and Donna Donovan's Blue Ridge Seafood Restaurant - specializing in crabs by the bushel - defies the notion that you have to be breathing salt air to enjoy good seafood." -Cooperative Living

25 Years of Fresh Fun At Blue Ridge Seafood

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"With a little imagination, you can almost feel the ocean breeze!  Blue Ridge Seafood is celebrating 25 years of fresh fun and seafood right here on Route 29 in New Baltimore.  Orginally owned by Rodney and Cora Stringer, Blue Ridge Seafood is now run by their daughter and son-in-law, Donna and Mark Donovan.  Looking like an authentic crab house, Blue Ridge Seafood has been in the same unique building since it opened in 1979..." - Discover

A Taste of the Sea With a View of the Blue Ridge Mountains

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"This is a mom-and-pop business that's exploded," said Mark Donovan, who owns Blue Ridge with his wife, Donna, and in-laws." -The Washington Post

Area businesses offer seafood miles from water

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"Once of these establishments, Blue Ridge Seafood Restaurant in Gainvesville realizes being landlock never stops its customers' cravings from seafood.  "It's pretty sad when you have people coming back from the beach and saying, 'I need to come back to the mountains to get good seafood,'" said Mark Donovan, who manages Blue Ridge with his wife Donna..." -Potomac News

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