Pocahontas Pancakes Virginia Beach

Pocahontas Pancake and Waffle Shop was originally opened in 1974 by the Crisostomides family. In 1986 The Zervoudakis family, Mary, Angelo and George bought the restaurant and kept the Pocahontas name. Since that time there have been many changes made to the restaurant. We brought in local artist Jim Johnson to paint murals on the wall and windows and had an authentic Indian Tee Pee built inside. Our crew works hard to keep our restaurant in good condition, serve the best food possible and provide a family friendly atmosphere.

In late August of 2002, the Food Network featured Pocahontas Pancakes and Waffle Shop on the "Best Of" series choosing us as the "Best Pancake House in Virginia Beach".

We appreciate you choosing Pocahontas Pancake and Waffle Shop and hope you enjoy your visit.

Below is a newspaper article printed February 2007 in the Virginia Pilot, the local newspaper for Hampton Roads, Virginia .

Restaurateur opened his heart to women needing sustenance!

IT WAS A SMALL ACT: Susan Anderson was going to take her friend out for pancakes. She wanted to give Melia Trost a much-needed break from some family worries.

On a Thursday morning earlier this month, Anderson drove Trost to the Pocahontas Pancake and Waffle Shoppe at the Oceanfront.

If you haven't been there, Pocahontas Pancakes is a landmark of the tourist strip on Atlantic Avenue. Over the summer, the lines can stretch out the door, but in the beginning of February the Oceanfront often resembles a ghost town, and many businesses are virtually empty.

When the women walked in the restaurant's back entrance, they were the only customers, and no one was around to seat them.

Men standing near the door said the place was closed. The front door was locked. The men apologized and said that during the off-season Pocahontas is open only on weekends.

Anderson persisted, saying her friend had never been to Pocahontas.

That changed everything.

Owner George Zervoudakis invited them in. He asked them to sit down. He made them coffee and warmed their mugs to make sure the coffee stayed hot.

Then he went in the back and made his famous pecan waffles. He apologized that it would take 15 minutes to warm up the grill. He sliced bananas for a side dish.

As he worked, the women sat in the empty restaurant and talked. Girl talk. Some about their children. Some about growing up. Some about Trost's teenage daughter, who was fighting a second bout of cancer.

The smell of the place, Trost said, was very comforting, like her mother's kitchen.

Then Zervoudakis brought out the food, which the women described as incredible. The waffles had an elaborate design around the border. After 30 minutes, Zervoudakis approached the table. He told the women he'd be right back, he needed to go pick up his wife.

"Is it all right with you?" he asked.

Of course, they said. And the women kept talking. When he came back, Anderson pulled out a $20 bill to pay.

But Zervoudakis wouldn't take it. Anderson followed him around the restaurant, and still he wouldn't take it. He said she was embarrassing him.

"It's becoming go, go, go. Money, money, money. Maybe I'm one of the few romantics left," Zervoudakis told me later. "A few dollars in my pocket, it's not going to make a difference."

Zervoudakis is energized when people treat him well. He says it's the hospitality that comes with being Greek. In turn, he likes to give back twice what people do for him.

I told Zervoudakis why the women were there: to keep their minds off the anxiety that cancer brings. I told him that the next day Melia Trost's 18-year-old daughter was going in for chest scans to see if her cancer treatment had worked. He was quiet and said "oh." Then I told him that the test results came back and the cancer was gone. He didn't say much.

But Trost described that morning as "an absolutely amazing" experience.

"It's hard for people to know what to do," she said. Some people don't call. Some people avoid the subject in conversation. Some people don't ask what they can do. Everyone means well, but they just don't know how to help.

"He gave us exactly what we needed."

Coffee, bananas and waffles.

Reach Mike Gruss at (757) 446-2277 or mike.gruss@pilotonline. The Virginian-Pilot © February 24, 2007