In case you missed it, there’s one more place to get lunch or dinner in Emporia — Val’s New York Pizza, which opened its doors earlier this month.
Even if you’re new to Emporia, just one look at the exterior of the Val’s Pizza building, with its rustic “hut” design, can clue you in on what used to occupy the space. Fittingly, Val’s takes up the building on West Atlantic Street that used to belong to Pizza Hut.
Owner Hesham Hassan and his family are brand new to Emporia, having previously lived in Newark, New Jersey, as well as Virginia Beach. Although this is his first foray into the restaurant business, reception to Val’s New York Pizza has been largely positive so far, which is reflected in the crowds that have come to sample their food.
“We’re busy for dinnertime,” said Hassan. “Each table here takes 10 people at once, so a lot of large families like to come and try us.”
According to Hassan, the Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are the most popular item on the menu, which also includes pizzas (of course), calzones, kebabs, and cheeseburgers — which, Hassan is quick to mention, are made with halal beef.
As for the pizza itself, Val’s offers a lot of it. Bigger families (or just really hungry people) can get a whopping 24-inch pie with a 2-liter drink for $35.
But Hassan is especially proud of Val’s “Boom-Boom” and “Bobby Sauce”, the latter of which is named after head chef Bobby Wells.
So far, the staff at Val’s currently amounts to only seven employees, which include Wells and fellow chef Walter Odey. That’s not a lot of people to handle the rush of families that have come to try Val’s food, but so far, the customers have shown that they are willing to wait for the final product.
If you’re a high school or college student in need of a job this summer, then the good news is that Val’s is hiring for all positions, including server and delivery driver.
Val’s is open from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.