S.J. Collins Enterprises

More than a dozen new restaurants, shops opening in Newport News

Consider driving your taste buds to Newport News this month if you’re in the mood for something different.

More than a dozen restaurants and shops are rolling out in the Marketplace at Tech Center, including a handful that are new to Hampton Roads.

BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, which serves a lengthy lineup of house beers, recently opened in the 250,000-square-foot retail hub. Cafe Rio and Mellow Mushroom, two other popular restaurant chains, will begin serving there this month.

The retail center at Oyster Point Road and Jefferson Avenue is part of a 100-acre mixed-used development known as Tech Center. Plans for the $450 million project, the brainchild of John Lawson, CEO of local development company W.M. Jordan, include space for scientists to commercialize products, materials and patents produced at Jefferson Lab and NASA-Langley.

The retail part of the project is small but recognizable to the public, Lawson has said.

“We’ve worked really hard to bring unique and new-to-the-Peninsula restaurants and retailers to the Marketplace at Tech Center,” said Jeff Garrison with S.J. Collins, a co-developer. “Some of these restaurants are going to blow people’s minds in Hampton Roads.”