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February 4, 2015

Cape Henry Center on Shore Drive – a great place to shop


To encourage patronage of local businesses by locals, It’s a Shore Thing continues to explore shops owned and operated by Virginia Beach residents so that its readers can get a peek at what they offer.  This is the fourth article of the series.


By Gregory Wright

It’s a Shore Thing Correspondent


Cape Henry Center.  Cape Henry Center is a mall located in the 3100 block of Shore Drive across the street from Westminster Canterbury Retirement Communities. Its shops are extremely popular with nearby residents.


Famous Uncle Al’s Hot Dogs.  Although there are six Famous Uncle Al’s franchises, this is the original Famous Uncle Al’s and it’s been here for 30 years. Its walls are festooned with photos of local celebrities – actors, disc jockeys and newscasters – and memorabilia. On the rear wall are plaques celebrating customers who have eaten the most hot dogs at one sitting. To date, the winner is Wild Bill who ate 22 hot dogs on December 30, 2007.


The latest Famous Uncle Al special is the Garbage Burger (“military guys like them”).  It consists of a fried chicken sandwich topped by a cheeseburger and is adorned with lettuce, tomatoes and fried onions, all for $5.89. It doesn’t get any better than this. Call 757-481-2718 or go to


Shore Drive Barber Shop.  If you like an old-fashioned barber shop that gives its customers a great haircut, this one’s for you. You’ll know it as soon as you walk in because you can’t miss the white-and-black checkered capes covering the clients who sit in the barber’s chairs. Owned by Dave Aurillo, a proud Marine veteran, the walls are decorated with banners from every NFL team and every MLB team.


Marine Corps and U.S. Army rank insignia and unit patches cover an entire wall.  Sadly, there are no shelled peanuts on offer and the popcorn maker is not in use because Dave is trying to discourage the pesky squirrel that has been burglarizing the premises. Call 757-481-2277.


Albano Cleaners.  James Albano Sr. opened the first Albano Cleaners in 1935 and soon began processing Navy foul weather gear in addition to serving his civilian customers. In 1974, James Albano Jr. took over and expanded the business. Today, his daughter, Jamie, runs the business, ensuring that all 27 store locations provide top quality service, including custom hand cleaning, fur cleaning and smoke/water damage restoration. Call 757-481-7019 or go to


Main Stage Hair Studio.  Kim Smiga bought Main Stage almost two years ago and has transformed it into a world-class hair studio. Kim is one of he area’s only REDKEN certified colorists and continues to attend seminars at the REDKEN Exchange on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Kim’s stylists offer a complete menu of treatments, including hair texture and texture correction, hair glossing and clarifying, makeup and hair removal. A bridal specialist is onsite. Call 757-353-3299 or go to


Nail Spa #1.  At this location for 9 years, Nail Spa #1 offers eight chairs and an extensive list of treatments for reasonable fees. These include manicures, pedicures, facial massages, body massages and waxing.  The staff members, all certified, also provide a special regimen for children 10 and under. The atmosphere is pleasant and inviting and much of the spa’s new business comes from referrals from present clients. Call 757-481-4130.


Foon’s.  Foon’s is one of those Chinese take-out restaurants that, once found, is never forgotten. It offers free delivery to residents in the immediate area. The portions are generous and delicious but inexpensive. Locally owned by the Chiang family, it offers a gluten-free menu as well as its traditional menu. Those in the know will ask for the carrot cake. Call 757-481-0448.








About the Author

It's a Shore Thing
If you happen to live near the shore, you already know many of the amazing businesses, shops, services and restaurants around. But, you don't know them all! This is where you learn about the unique places you haven't tried as well as special messages and deals from those you love! Your community resource to find the local things important to you, online, mobile, and your iPad.



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