About The Hound's Tale
The Hound’s Tale, which opens daily at 4 p.m., is a casual, cozy bistro-type restaurant created by Don and Geri Pratt of Williamsburg. Located in the Griffin Arms building on Prince George Street, the restaurant features affordable fresh, tasty bites that range from comfort foods with a twist, to dishes that evoke memories of travels abroad. Great spirits include a variety of regional beers and wines as well as an array of delightful, hand-crafted cocktails.
Of course, locals will recognize Don and Geri as the owners of Aromas coffeehouse and bakery, also located on Prince George Street. There are two other Aromas locations as well, including one on the campus of William & Mary and another in Newport News.
The tiny “English pub-ish” place truly delivers a fun, artsy vibe that the Pratts hope their customers will find unlike any other. It is reminiscent of quirky bars and restaurants in Richmond’s Fan District and Carytown area, as well as similar neighborhoods in metropolitan areas like Pittsburgh and Atlanta.
“Aromas got us started in this direction,” Don says. “We envision a culinary arts district in the downtown area someday, that will complement the existing arts district. Our mission for Aromas and The Hound’s Tale is to help our neighbors and guests enjoy life each day, but behind that is an incredible effort to incorporate good food and beverages at a reasonable price — and have fun.”
Executive chef Steven Sowell has put together a menu that Don refers to as ‘eclectric’.“Not eclectic,” he explains. “It’s eclectric with an ‘R’, and here’s why. Our food is shockingly yummy! It gives you a pop in the mouth. That’s true of the drinks too, by the way. Our bar team creates the most wonderful cocktails.”
Executive Chef Steven Sowell
A Virginian native who had returned to his home city of Williamsburg to open The Hound’s Tale, Steven started out his culinary career working during college at Aromas Coffeehouse on Prince George Street. He then went on to join the elite at The Culinary Institute of America where he met his wife Monique. Steve and Monique graduated together, each with a degree in Culinary Arts. Monique graduated prior to the CIA from the University of Florida with a bachelors degree in Advertising. Steve went on to work for the Tribeca Grill in New York City, while Monique worked for the high end catering company, Sterling Affair. Steve then moved with the Executive Chef of the Tribeca Grill to open Harlan Social in Stamford Connecticut. When the opportunity came about to move back and be a part of this creation, he jumped at the chance to settle his family in Virginia. The Sowell’s have a three-year-old daughter who loves dogs and food, and are expecting a second child in September 2017.
From young pup to the great big 11 ½ year old, 120-pound big boy, Harley, a Harlequin Great Dane, has become the mascot for The Hound’s Tale. He sports a black and white coat and stands out from the crowd at nearly 34 inches tall. His most embarrassing moment was when he was told it’s “casual Friday” and he showed up naked wearing only a tie. Loves everybody … except squirrels. His soft floppy ears and firm wag of his tale shows how sweet his demeanor really is. A big cuddler, who often forgets his size and would love to curl up in your lap. He knows exactly where to go so if you want the best seat in the house, you will have to move the dog. You can spot Harley on most Saturdays with his human mom out on a walk near the Hound’s Tale.