#1 Story
Aqua Restaurant Becoming Oyster Farm Seafood Eatery

Cape Charles' preeminent restaurant retained its original name of Aqua even after ownership changed.  Now the name is changing and so is the theme to more family-oriented, less expensive dining with more emphasis than ever on fresh seafood -- especially oysters. (Wave photo)

Cape Charles’ preeminent restaurant retained its original name of Aqua even after ownership changed two years ago. Now the name is changing and so is the theme to more family-oriented, less expensive dining with more emphasis than ever on fresh seafood — especially oysters. (Wave photo)

By KAREN GAY
Cape Charles Wave

February 2, 2015

The Oyster Farm Seafood Eatery is coming to Cape Charles, part of a newly branded complex called The Oyster Farm at Kings Creek. If you’re thinking that the name Kings Creek is familiar, you’re right!  This is the new name for the Aqua Restaurant and the Kings Creek Marina.

Big changes are underway to the restaurant, marina, weddings and event center, and villas. The plan is that rebranding will bring many more people and especially families with children to Cape Charles this coming season and afterwards.

So what’s with the Oyster Farm concept? Marketing consultant Hope Lawler explains that Robert Occhifinto, who bought the property two years ago at a foreclosure auction, plans to create a very large oyster farm. Oyster cages measuring 20 inches in diameter and 6 feet long, each with 10 compartments, will be suspended from the sides of the docks. The oysters they produce will be called “Kings Creek Salties.”  The idea is to have an interactive, festival-like environment right on the docks with raw oysters available to eat, hands-on demonstrations of oyster growing, oyster shucking, shucking contests, oyster bakes, BBQs, and bands. [Read more…]

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#2 Story
NJ Entrepreneur Buys AQUA, Marina, for $4.6 Million


Click the PLAY button above to watch the auction. Buyer Robert Occhifinto is on right. (WAVE video)

By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave

December 29, 2012

Five bidders signed up for the trustees’ auction yesterday in front of the Northampton County Courthouse, where AQUA restaurant, Bay Creek Marina, adjoining shops, and Marina Village rental units were on the block.

But when bidding began at $3.3 million,  the amount due on the bank note, the players quickly dropped to two: Eastville attorney Bert Turner, and New Jersey entrepreneur Robert Occhifinto.

Turner presumably was representing a client, while Occhifinto was bidding for himself.

The two began by raising each other’s bid by the minimum allowed — $10,000. Occhifinto soon tired of that game and bid a full $3.6 million.

Turner followed suit at $3.7 million.

And so it went for the next minute or so, until Turner bid $4.5 million. Occhifinto immediately came back with $4.6, and Turner was silent. That was his limit.

And so a new major investor has appeared on the lower Eastern Shore. Robert Occhifinto has actually been around for a while, but until 11:30 a.m. yesterday, few realized the extent of his interest or the depth of his pockets. [Read more…]

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#4 Story
AQUA RESTAURANT IN BAY CREEK MARINA CLOSING

By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave

December 5, 2012

Say it ain’t so, Joe!

Sadly, the fabled Aqua Restaurant in Bay Creek Marina Village, managed so ably by Adam Travis, and served so deliciously by chef Shelly Cusmina, after Saturday, December 22, will be no more.

The final decision to throw in the towel at Aqua was made only this morning.

The Cape Charles Wave confirmed the news through multiple, independent, high-level sources.

Aqua employees have been told only that the restaurant is closing for the season.

The Aqua website has been changed to read: “AQUA will close for the winter season after the close of business on December 22.”

What the website fails to mention is that, along with the Shops at Bay Creek, the closure is permanent. [Read more…]

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#6 Story
Survey Finds Bridge-Tunnel Toll Highest in Nation

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is one of the few surveyed that charges a toll in both directions.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is one of the few surveyed that charges a toll in both directions.

By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave

March 3, 2014

“With tolls on the Golden Gate Bridge headed for as much as $8 by 2017, there’s plenty of grumbling and griping,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle in a survey of the cost of crossing each of the nation’s 150 toll bridges. The Chronicle found the cheapest toll to be $1 to cross to Avery Island, Louisiana (home of Tabasco Sauce). The most expensive toll was – you guessed it – the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. [Read more…]

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#7 Story
Home & Garden TV Network Films Cape Charles Episode

Filming “Meet & Greet”, A Re-enactment Of The First Meeting Between Eva & The Buyers

Richmond residents and now Cape Charles vacation homeowners Jim and Jodi (obscured behind Jim) Outland re-enact their first meeting with Realtor Eva Noonan, filmed at Aqua Restaurant. (Photos by Marlene Cree)

Home & Garden Network (HGTV on cable channels) filmed an episode in Cape Charles last week for a new series to be aired in January, and Marlene Cree of Blue Heron Realty was there to record every detail — which she has graciously provided for Wave readers.

By MARLENE CREE
Blue Heron Realty

October 2, 2013

It’s been a pretty exciting last few days for Blue Heron Realty Co. with the Home & Garden network, HGTV, filming here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia for a new series entitled “Beachfront Bargain Hunt“ which will air in January 2014!

I say exciting for us because in late August, after seeing some of our great beach listings on our website, HGTV called Blue Heron’s Cape Charles office where Eva Noonan was the Duty Agent that afternoon. I’m sure Eva never dreamed when she picked up the phone that day that the call would be a real estate agent’s opportunity of a lifetime — starring in a national real estate TV show! [Read more…]

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#8 Story
Bay Creek Lots, Lighthouse Go for Pennies on the Dollar

map annotated

Bay Creek lighthouse cost $1 million when built 10 years ago but sold at auction for $137,500.

By GEORGE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave

June 2, 2014

The iconic Bay Creek lighthouse, a full-scale replica of the historic Old Plantation Flats lighthouse, sold at auction Saturday for $137,500 to the sole bidder, John Waller of Virginia Beach. Waller said he did not attend the auction with the purpose of buying the lighthouse, but when no one else bid, he did so on a whim. He and his family will use it as a “getaway.”

An additional 22 lots in Bay Creek Marina Village East owned by Paul and Robert Galloway also sold at auction for prices ranging from $2,750 to $37,076, for a total of about $200,000 for all 22 lots. At the height of the market eight years ago a single lot sold for more than that.

Built by Bay Creek developer Richard “Dickie” Foster as a museum in 2004, the lighthouse was never intended to be sold. Instead, it was a visual feature of Bayside Village and the Arnold Palmer golf course. But Foster gave up the lighthouse as part of a December 2013 settlement with his former business partner Paul Galloway. [Read more…]

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#10 Story

GOODBYE WAVE, WAVE GOODBYE

CAPE CHARLES WAVE

June 29, 2015

In last Monday’s edition (which broke all readership records – over 7,000 page views in one day) the Wave had the sad task of leading the page with news of another drowning off Cape Charles Beach – a tragic death that competent town leadership could have avoided.

Anyone could have seen that drowning coming, and of course many did. The former “safe” beach has become a death trap now that newly pumped spoil has brought the beach close to the once-distant Cherrystone channel and its sudden drop-off and swift tidal currents.

Three months ago the Wave drew attention to the town’s failure to acknowledge the dangerous beach when we wrote: “A ‘special edition’ of the Cape Charles Gazette purports to tell everything you ever wanted to know about the harbor dredging/beach improvement. We learn what color the sand will turn, and whether it’s safe to walk on the beach. What isn’t mentioned is whether it’s safe to go in the water — specifically, are there dangerous drop-offs now that the beach extends so close to the channel? The town isn’t telling. (April 1, 2015)”

That same Gazette mentions that the town annually budgets $20,000 for beach sand replacement, but with the free spoil, that cost will now be saved. Yet last Saturday’s Eastern Shore News quotes town officials as saying that hiring lifeguards would be too expensive and too complicated. [Read more…]

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Bay Coast Railroad Must Move Hazardous Railroad Ties

Pile of railroad ties in foreground were amassed by the Army Corps of Engineers while preparing the spoil containment area in the background. The photo was taken from the Hump. (Wave photo)

Pile of railroad ties in foreground were amassed by the Army Corps of Engineers while preparing the spoil containment area in the background. The photo was taken from the Hump. (Wave photo)

By DORIE SOUTHERN
Cape Charles Wave

June 29, 2015

Bay Coast Railroad has been given five days to come up with a plan to properly dispose of creosote-treated railroad ties currently being buried behind the Cape Charles Museum. After the Wave alerted the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, DEQ sent a letter to Bay Coast Railroad, owners and operators of the Cape Charles rail yard, requesting a response within five days detailing what will be done to remove or recycle the material. That response is due today (June 29).

Creosote-treated products such as railroad ties must be disposed of in an approved landfill or be recycled appropriately. According to DEQ, the railroad ties must be treated as hazardous waste.

DEQ had not been aware of the large number of railroad ties amassed at the western end of the area being prepared to contain dredged spoil from the town harbor and channel. The mound of ties can easily be seen when driving over the Hump.

The regional DEQ representative, who asked not to be quoted by name, said the railroad was not allowed to use its property as an unpermitted dump site.

DEQ spokesman Bill Hayden told the Wave that he did not know whether the railroad ties could contaminate the water table. [Read more…]

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