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Friends describe restaurant owner in Virginia Beach as “bigger than life” as they mourn his death

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia – Flowers and notes line the siding of Pink Dinghy, a restaurant opened by Chase Pittman in June. Friends gathered on Friday afternoon to remember the life and legacy of Pittman, who died this week.

“The man was really older than life,” said LG Shaw, one of Pittman’s closest friends on the News 3 phone. “If he was hanging out with you and you were in his presence, it was quality time. Everything he did was very much invested in him. “

That’s how friends and colleagues remember Pittman. They describe him as someone who cares, loves and has made an impact in the creative neighborhood of ViBe.

“He managed to connect networks of people who would otherwise never have intertwined,”

; Shaw added. “He managed to unite things and make things happen that other people would never take.”

The pink boat is located at 19you Street between Cypress Avenue and Mediterranean Avenue.

“We just showed up and saw the flowers,” said Katie Harel, a local. “It’s so sad.”

She and her husband, Chris, were walking down 19th Street when they noticed a monument in front of the restaurant. They said they ate in the Pink Boat, adding that they remembered meeting Pitman.

“The restaurant had so much potential and it was doing so much for the community,” Chris said. “It’s a huge loss.”

News 3 interviewed Pittman in June when the restaurant opened.

He told his story, the two years of struggle needed to open the restaurant. He stood up and overcame the challenges until he finally managed to open the door.

His business partner, Stephanie Dietz, shared her thoughts with News 3 in a statement:

Chase Pittman was one of a kind. He was generous, considerate and inclusive, making everyone who passed through our doors feel at home with their warm spirit. He knew exactly how to run a room of people, and gathering people was one of his many talents. I can’t imagine owning and running a business with anyone else, he was my partner in the true sense of the word. The restaurant, our staff and I will feel this loss forever.

Stephanie Deitz is a business partner

“We are very lucky that he actually revived some of his visions,” Shaw said, “and that we will continue to be able to experience and interact with these things.”

An experience Katie Harel said she hoped continues.

“It’s a great addition to this neighborhood,” she said. “I hope they continue and his legacy continues.”

Deitz added that the memorial will remain for the next few days and is open to the public.

There will be a rowing memorial event where friends will gather to go out on the water with paddle boards, a Pitman sport. The paddle is also open to the public, but face masks are needed. The event is Saturday, Oct. 31 from 2 p.m., and will meet on First Street in Virginia Beach.

Anyone with photos, videos, and stories of Chase is encouraged to email them to MemoriesOfChasePittman@gmail.com

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