Waterside's largest tenant closes this weekend


by Patrick Terpstra


Posted on May 14, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Updated Friday, May 14 at 5:39 PM

NORFOLK -- This is the last weekend for Jillian's at The Waterside in downtown Norfolk.

The restaurant occupies 50,00 square-feet on the second floor and, after Saturday, there will be two small businesses on that level.

Even though the company likes the location, the uncertainty about the mall's future made it difficult to stay.

"It's not economically sustainable. We owe it to our guests, we owe it to our employees we owe it to the people who own our business to run a business that breaks even at worst and hopefully makes a profit," said Jillian's general manager Mike Watterson.

Watterson said the company is keeping options open about a possible return once the city has decided on a direction for the festival marketplace.

Jillian's is moving to Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake.

13News has learned the city's manager's office is planning $1.4 million in upgrades, starting this summer.  On the list is fixing the leaking roof, a new paint job, new lighting, a new irrigation system for potted plants out front and new steps in front of Outback Steakhouse.

Meantime, the City of Norfolk is compiling results from a survey about the future of The Waterside.

As of May 3, 2,500 online responses had been received and about 100 hand-written responses had been submitted to city officials, according to the city manager's office.