Main Restaurant is an independently owned, 75 seat restaurant
in the historic neighborhood of Hilton Village
in Newport News, Virginia. Originally conceived by Jimmy
and Christine Ferguson as they reminisced about the comfort of
living in Hilton, 99 Main was the first fine dining eatery
in Newport News. Gleaming treasures from Christine’s
years in the antiques business create an elegant yet, casual
atmosphere. World traveler and CIA graduate Jimmy completes
the picture with a cuisine anchored in French classics
and technique, but always accented by his flair for individuality.
The kitchen is run by longtime sous chef Paul Hammer. Originally
from New Jersey (Exit 10), he has been living in Virginia and
working in restaurants for the past 19 years. In 1991 he took
a dishwashing job at Cara's Restaurant in Chesapeake where
he rapidly moved up the ladder. (Although he candidly admits
it was more the ladder getting shorter that propelled him to
the top.) Over the next 9 years he learned all there was to
know about cooking. In 2000 he moved to Newport News taking
a position at Aria 51 thus beginning his fine dining career.
Everyday since has been a learning experience. In 2001 he joined
the team at 99 Main Restaurant, where the freedom Jimmy and
Christine allow their staff has given them a chance to sharpen
their style and skill. He currently resides in Hilton Village
with his wife Erin, and two children, William and Morrigan.
Jimmy’s quest to do the best for his kitchen has led
to many improvements. He began the restaurant with a brick
oven, surplus cooking equipment, and old soda coolers. Over
the years a new stove and ovens came, then an overhaul of the
grill and finally to everyone’s joy a walk in refrigerator
was built. Now the restaurant can even cure its own fish
The front of the house staff has a true commitment to excellence.
Original bartender Fred Rich and floor manager Jason Mingee
guide daily operations with smoothness that takes the intimidation
out of fine dining and leaves only the pleasure.
99 Main has established itself as a fixture in both the
Hilton neighborhood and the good life in Newport News.
It all started
with a few cocktails and talk of a brighter future for
the city. That’s usually the way the evening ends