W.J. Stokes Restaurant

Known Name(s)

W.J. Stokes Restaurant


Route 17 Gloucester, VA

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



Stokes Restaurant is a one-story, three-bay wood frame structure clad in weatherboarding. It has a four-bay addition to the south and a small addition to the north. The roof is standing seam metal, with a front gable on the main structure and a shed roof on the additions. There is on exterior brick chimney, and the windows appear original. A Coca-Cola sign stands in front of the restaurant. Description and photo courtesy Fairfield Foundation.

Detailed History

This is one of three abandoned African-American businesses located on Route 17 South near White Marsh in Gloucester County. Stokes Restaurant is the southernmost business of the three. The adjacent buildings were Mildred's Beauty Salon and a dry-cleaning business. The Wagon Wheel, a well-known nightclub and music venue on the Chitlin Circuit which is no longer standing, stood much further south on Route 17. The three businesses are entered in VCRIS as one resource, 036-5173. Information courtesy Fairfield Foundation.

In mid-2022, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources is supporting a digital documentation project at this site. They are supporting a team from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) that completed collecting terrestrial LiDAR data of the tavern complex and conducted video interviews with community members at the Gloucester Housing Partnership offices in December 2022.

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