New restaurant opens

Pop’s Bar & Grill at 123 West Hicks Street, Lawrenceville, features delicious food. Owner Chuck Lessin said the response to the new business has been very positive and he looks forward to being a part of the community. The phone number is (434) 256-0444. Follow the restaurant on Facebook at Pop’s Bar and Grill of Lawrenceville. (Sylvia Allen/Brunswick Times-Gazette)

LAWRENCEVILLE – A new restaurant is open at 123 West Hicks Street offering delicious food in a newly renovated building. Pop’s Bar & Grill opened on Oct. 12, 2020 offering take out orders only at the present time due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed on Tuesdays. Owner Check Lessin looks forward to expanding the hours of operation and being a part of the community.

“We decided to take it slow and offer quality food. I hope to expand the hours and possibly be open seven days a week as we see how things are going. The response so far has been very positive,” Lessin stated.

Lessin works closely with Mike Dotti, Executive Director, Brunswick County Industrial Development Authority, and relies on his knowledge and expertise. The news that Dominion Energy was not going to build the pipeline was a setback. Lessin referred to a Hebrew saying, “this too is for the best” when he realized the pipeline was not coming.

“Mike is a smart, diligent guy and I trust his abilities. Dominion coming to Brunswick County was a big motivator – hiring people at a good wage. Sometimes you have to take a step back and evaluate. We decided to proceed,” Lessin said.

As we were talking Lessin greeted each person who came into the restaurant and thanked them for coming. He shared how pleased he was with the response to the event held on Halloween night. Lessin and his wife came to Lawrenceville after Sabbath arriving in Lawrenceville around 7:45 p.m. He said the lights were on in the restaurant and there were lights and he heard laughter coming from the restaurant. Lessin looks forward to seeing more nights like that in Lawrenceville.

Lessin operates Pop’s Bar and Grill in Richmond saying it is a top rated sports bars. He is using some of the same decorating items at the new location, stainless steel letters and the baseball bats. He also has experience in real estate sales. Lessin said he met Greg Banducci a few years ago and admires his skill as a craftsman.

“Greg crafted the baseball bat at the bar and for the front door. Look at the brackets that hold the bats, he made those too. We wanted to have some continuity between this facility and the one in Richmond,” Lessin said. A general contractor from Richmond was hired for the project. The building was gutted and a completely new kitchen was installed in addition to other major improvements.

Lessin is very pleased with the response he has received from the community. He said he recently received about 10 calls in a month from people calling to thank him for investing in Lawrenceville.

Lessin is hopeful a vaccine for COVID is on the horizon and looks forward to offering things like live music, open microphone night and trivia. He also is very impressed with the recent renovations to the parking lot behind the restaurant and would like to participate in future events.

“I want to grow with this community. We are looking at other real estate here,” Lessin said. “We are interested in having regular live music events offering special food items.”

Lessin is very thankful for the support he has received from his wife, Judy, and son, Akiva. Russ Douglas is the junior partner.

“I have the loving support of my wife. I wouldn’t have achieved anything without her support,” Lessin said.

Family is very important to Lessin. He said he recently was going to interview someone for a job and asked if they would bring their spouse to the interview and the agreed. Lessin stressed how important having family support is when entering into a new endeavor.

On Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020 I stopped in to pick up the menu and had the most delightful conversation with the cashier as I waited for my chicken fillet sandwich to be ready. She and her husband moved to Brunswick County from New York because of COVID. They have no family ties to Brunswick with the nearest relative living in Durham. I am thinking this is the person Mr. Lessin mentioned when we talked earlier. Small world strikes again.

Some of the items on the menu include: 10 piece wings for $12, PO Boy fish or shrimp for $11, BYOB (Build Your Own Burger) for $10, seafood basket for $16, BBQ sandwich, brisket for $12, pork for $8; garden salad for $10, add shrimp or chicken for $14. Some of the sides include French fries, kettle chips, potato salad, and cole slaw.

The phone number is (434) 256-0444. Follow the business on Facebook at Pop’s Bar & Grill of Lawrenceville.