The Whaling Company Story
One of the current owners, Stephen York, opened The Whaling Company in the summer of 1980. The corporate name then was Continental Restaurant Systems owned by Ralston Purina. There has only been one Whaling Company ever built. Thru the late 1970’s to early 1990’s the corporation expanded to almost a hundred restaurants with names like Mountain Jacks and Hungry Hunter. Co-owner Vickie Barbour, a Hampton native, opened the Mountain Jacks in Hampton in 1979.
One of our original menus is framed in the foyer. It’s as much a relic as our décor.
Throughout the decades The Whaling Company was left somewhat alone by the corporate changes and corporate raiders. After several failed attempts, on July 04, Independence Day, 2007 Stephen and Vickie were able to buy the business and free The Whaling Company from corporate hands. We can now proudly say we are locally owned and operated.
Tony Giallombardo has been our managing Chef since 1987. Tony is best known for his commitment to quality, love of family, and easy going management style.
You will find our people dedicated to the art of hospitality, and most stay with us for years. One of our long term waiters, Mike Boatwright, was on the opening team in 1980. Sadly, over Labor Day Weekend, 2011, Mike Boatwright passed away. “We will miss him” is an understatement. Another long term waiter, Sonny Gideon, fostered one of our more popular dishes: The Sonny Delight! And then there is Jermaine Jacob, whose parents both worked here when he was born.
Our kitchen also boasts long term professionals. Frank Long, Sous Chef since the early 80’s, takes great pride in making all of our homemade desserts, soups, and sauces, and he is the fastest shrimp peeler on the planet. Mike Mason, another long term Sous Chef, hand cuts our Fresh Fish and Steaks daily, and painstakingly works the broiler nightly. David Merritt, assisting Mike with the cutting and broiler, started as a busboy when he was a 16 year old junior at Jamestown High School.