Doumar’s has along history dating back to 1904. Much of its history is on its web site Having been born and reared in Norfolk, I remember Doumar’s most vividly in the 1950’s, when it was a ‘whites only’ establishment. Then, if a non-white were to slowly drive by the establishment, racial epithets would always emanate from the patrons. Those days reflect the area’s proud history of segregation and racism. Fifty years later, some things have changed. The color of green is sometimes more significant than black or white. Today, at age 70, I patronized Doumar’s for the first time.
Doumar’s is proud of its long history and of its made-on-premises minced BBQ and cole slaw. It’s most popular item is its minced BBQ with slaw sandwich. It also makes its ice cream and ice cream cones. I ended up eating two BBQ sandwiches with slaw and a vanilla ice cream cone. ($8.15 total). The BBQ appears to be whole hog. I only encountered one small piece of gristle or bone in my first sandwich. The sandwiches are quite ample for the price. Now, these are not the award winning BBQ sandwiches, and Doumar’s does not claim them to be. Doumar’s will never be confused with North Carolina-style BBQ. The ice cream cone was good, somewhat creamy, and did not contain a lot of butter fat. Service was warm and cordial .
Of the eight persons ‘working’ behind the dining counter, one was non-white. I noticed that most who referred to my server referred to her as ‘Shirley’. The non-white behind the counter, however, referred to her as ‘Miss Shirley’, reminding me of the past. When my lady flies in from New York, I’ll revisit Doumar’s. She’s my age, from Norfolk and has experienced the history as I have. It’ll be her first time at Doumar’s and I’m anxious about her review of the place.