Restaurant soon to breathe new life into downtown Bluefield - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Restaurant soon to breathe new life into downtown Bluefield

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BLUEFIELD W.VA. (WVVA) -- There's been bad news about businesses leaving downtown Bluefield, but one family is taking a chance against those odds.  Mindy Hawkins and her husband, Amar, are opening up Portabella's restaurant on Princeton Avenue.

They say this spot had been vacant for years.  They've rebuilt it from the ground up. 

"It's definitely a risk, but it's one worth taking," says Mindy Hawkins.  "And it's not only a good thing for us.  It's a good thing for the community and the town."

The two are no strangers to the restaurant business or the two Virginias though.  They own another Italian restaurant in Richlands.  Who is a stranger to the area though, is their chef.  Ahmed Canoun relocated from New York City to work at Portabella's.

"I was making good business in New York, believe me, making good business.  Making good money also.  But I [am] coming here to do something, [and bring] personality for the people.  I want to do something good," says Canoun. 

The staff prides themselves on fresh, never frozen, homemade food daily.  They hope to be open to the public by the end of the week. 

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