Waypoint, The Team
Waypoint Seafood and Grill Restaurant marks Williamsburg’s latest culinary destination from Chef Brian Hines. The Waypoint menu is a celebration of Chesapeake ingredients and includes items grown at local farms and caught in regional waters. The pure flavors and rich ingredients presented in the seasonally changing entrees represent a variety of Mediterranean cuisine with classic culinary heritage.
But by far, it’s the people of Waypoint that bring it alive, serving as our key ingredient. Read more below about Owner Mario Buffa, Chef Brian Hines, and General Manager Jen Gallaccio.
The Key Factors Creating Waypoint’s Exciting Future
Brian was born and raised in Long Island, New York and relocated to Yorktown, Virginia where he started working in restaurants such as River’s Inn in Gloucester and Berret’s restaurant in Williamsburg. Brian was promoted up the ranks to Chef de Cuisine, and spent the next twelve years of his career there. For the next seven years, Brian worked as executive chef at Buon Amici, an Italian scratch kitchen, in Williamsburg. In May of 2013, he and Mario Buffa created and opened Water Street Grille. In September of 2013, Brian became the executive chef of Riverwalk restaurant, running both restaurants simultaneously. Brian started cooking with his mom as soon as he could reach the stove and knew he was going to be a chef from the young age of 15. Chef Justin Wilson caught his attention for his cooking skills and regional Cajun humor. He entered into the industry because of a passion for food and horticulture. Brian has been leading Williamsburg and Yorktown restaurants for 25+years. His local awards and accolades along the way continue to drive Brian to creating unique, local farm to table cuisine, blended with flavors people crave each and every day!
Brian Hines is excited to bring Waypoint Restaurant to a new level of culinary success!
When Brian is outside the kitchen, he loves spending time with his wife, Megan and son, Teddy, and their two English mastiffs, Murphy and Lucy.
Jennifer is native to Yorktown, born, raised and has lived here her entire life. She has over 20 years in casual and fine dining food service. She was raised in a family that shared a love for food and cooking, which is where she developed an appreciation for foodservice at a young age. Growing up she was inspired by her Grandmother, Dorothy, who shared basic cooking knowledge and recipes to last many lifetimes. On the floor or behind the bar she will be a face that many will recognize and be able to share stories with. Most of all, Jennifer enjoys developing lifelong relationships with guests. She admits that a first name might slip her mind from time to time, but she promises she will always remember your favorite drink, even if it has been years since she has seen you.
Owner/Operator Mario Buffa
Born in Milan, Italy and raised in the restaurant business in the greater Peninsula for over 50 years!
Over the years, Mario has blossomed into a dedicated and true restaurateur. He began in Hampton in 1970 at Anna's Pizza in Buckroe at his family's Italian pizza shop. Joe and Mimma’s Italian Restaurant opened in November 1972 with a second location that opened in Newport News in 1973. In 2010, Mario ventured into mainstream franchise restaurants. In December 2012, he launched flagship restaurants, Riverwalk and Water Street Grille located at the historical Yorktown waterfront, which has been phenomenally successful. In 2021, Mario is honored to follow in the great footsteps of Chef Hans at Waypoint seafood grill. Mario’s dining and entertaining philosophy is truly simple: "treat every family and guest as if they were dining with us in our home! Begins with a warm welcome and finishes with memories to last a lifetime."