Monday, May 10th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


Chesapeake couple realizes dream of fun-filled, family-friendly sports bar

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Ryan Mitchell and Markayla Starr, the owners of Tossed and Sauced.

Ryan Mitchell and Markayla Starr, the owners of Tossed and Sauced.

Upon walking through the front door of Tossed and Sauced, it's impossible to miss the restaurant's atmosphere of fun. Etched across the ceiling, in loving detail, is a recreation of the Michelangelo's famous painting, The Creation of Adam, with a few significant changes. Whereas in the original masterpiece, a reclining Adam reaches heavenward to receive the gift of life from Deity, here one of the restaurant's owners, Ryan Mitchell, reclines while reaching for the gift of buffalo wings and pizza, all the while flashing his gold, diamond-encrusted watch, and chain necklace. As a result, it's fair to say that Tossed and Sauced isn't a typical family-friendly sports bar. Owners Ryan Mitchell and Markayla Starr understand that a friendly, fun-filled environment can make an outstanding dining experience all the more memorable.

Both Ryan and Markayla Starr are long-time Chesapeake residents. "We love it here; it's a great community," Ryan says, his hands crossed over the bar's new quartz tables. "Our family comes from around here, too, and we've got our Yorkie and a huge bird- he's neon green, says just about anything, like "pretty bird,' stuff like that. It's always a good time with them around."

Ryan, Markayla, and company have lived in Chesapeake for a long time, to be sure, but it's worth noting that they've spent their time wisely. In other words, Ryan and Markayla are exceptionally hard workers and, as such, are always looking for new opportunities. With their particular kind of drive, it only makes sense Ryan's long-time dream would start to take shape.

"A sports bar- that's something I've always thought about," Ryan recalls. "I mean, what I've dreamed of is something great, not some run-of-the-mill place; I wanted to make it special."

Before the dream became a reality, Ryan and Markayla worked together in their local jewelry store, Tidewater Diamond. For convenience sake, during their lunch breaks, Ryan and Markayla would frequent Franks, a popular pizza shop owned by Biagio Scire, that just happened to be next door to the jewelry store. Over the years, the three business owners got to know each other, and when it came time for Mr. Scire to sell Frank's, he knew to whom he could go. Ryan and Markayla bought the restaurant with a readiness to get to work.

"It made too much sense," Ryan says with a nod and a smile. "Our jewelry store even shares a wall with the place. Everything came together perfectly."

Though Tossed and Sauced is now officially opened, Ryan and Makayla had much more to do.

Ryan laughs, scratching his head. "At first, it wasn't easy to learn the restaurant business," he affirms. "It was a whole new world compared to the diamond business. Thankfully, I wasn't alone in working it all out. Markayla has always been right there at my side, helping to do everything from designing the decor, to finding the staff to manage the place, to making sure the food is the best it can be."

The staff of Tossed and Sauced in Chesapeake

The staff of Tossed and Sauced in Chesapeake

The most important aspect of Ryan and Markayla's vision for Tossed and Sauced was for the restaurant to offer each guest an outstanding dining experience.

"We're set on making this the best place for the family to come in and eat," Ryan says, gesturing to the massive 34-foot bar. "The bar is twice the size of a normal bar because we wanted the ideal set up, with wings, pizza, drinks, and sides all right there. There's plenty of room. Dad gets to watch the game with a beer in hand, while mom and the kids have a great place for having fun and enjoying great food – and the food has to be fresh; it has to be varied. We want everyone to enjoy themselves."

For the couple, it was essential that Tossed and Sauced be a family-friendly sports bar, where everything on the menu was locally sourced, made from scratch, and always of the highest quality. Jumbo wings with 16 wing sauces, all kinds of pizza (featuring crust made from Biagio Scire's classic dough recipe), 20 beers on tap, 40 different types of wines, favorite sides like Philly egg rolls- these are just a few examples of the tasty items that Tossed and Sauced has ready for hungry guests. To make this excellence possible, Ryan has a crack staff of chefs along with a team of friendly and helpful servers- all under the experienced management of Steven Schultz.

To make things even better, Tossed and Sauced's selection extends to even the vegan palette.

"We're set on making this the best place
 for the family to come in and eat.
the food has to be fresh;
it has to be varied.
We want everyone to enjoy themselves."

- Ryan Mitchell

"It was super important to get some greener options," Markayla says, her smile radiating positivity. "I've been a vegetarian for the past 22 years, so I understand how it can be difficult to find high-quality veggies. Ryan has been a great support for me; he even tried to go vegan for about a year."

Ryan laughs. "It was the Japanese steak- I couldn't resist," he recalls, shrugging. "Those eight months were enough to help me understand how important vegan options are, though. That's why we've got a vegan pizza, made with cauliflower crust and vegan cheese that is gluten-free. Of course, there are Gardeinâ„¢ vegan wings with our in-house sauces, huge salads, candied walnuts, and the Beyond Burger. Give it all a shot; it tastes great."

Because of all their hard work, Tossed and Sauced is already bringing guests back for seconds, thirds, and beyond.

"When we decided to open a restaurant, we had no idea what to expect," Ryan concluded, "but we must be doing something right because we've had guests come back in for lunch and dinner several days in a row. They wanted to try everything on the menu, and they seemed to enjoy the feeling and atmosphere we've created here. What more can a restaurant owner ask for than that? We're honestly grateful for everyone's support."

Tossed & Sauced

200 Battlefield Blvd N.
Chesapeake, VA 23320